Today in Irish History – 16th April:

1660 – Sir Hans Sloane, physician and naturalist, is born in Killyleagh, Co. Down .

1701 – Some MPs and gentlemen of Co. Carlow petition against the return and residence of Mark Baggot, ‘a violent Papist’, in that county, of which he was ‘titular High Sheriff’ in 1689.

1752 – The first regular stage-coach service between Dublin and Belfast commences.

1782 – Irish Parliament declares its independence from the English Parliament.

1850 – Samuel Butcher, scholar, is born in Dublin.

1871 – John Millington Synge, poet, playwright, and student of Irish language and culture, is born in Dublin.

1912 – The World learns about the sinking of the Titanic. Survivors picked up by the Carpathia head for the United States.

1939 – Pop singer Dusty Springfield, whose real name is Mary O’Brien, is born to Irish parents in London.

1941 – Belfast suffers major damage on night of 15/16 April as Nazi bombers rain death on the city.

1947 – Singer Gerry Rafferty is born in Paisley, Scotland to an Irish father and a Scots mother.

1970 – Protestant right-winger the Reverend Ian Paisley wins a seat in Northern Ireland’s parliament.

1999 – Supreme Court Justice Hugh O’Flaherty and High Court Judge Cyril Kelly are given 72 hours to quit by the Government — or else face unprecedented impeachment proceedings.

1999 – Union officials at the centre of the scaffolders strike predict chaos within the building industry as over 800 workers place unofficial pickets on countrywide sites following the breakdown of crisis talks.

1999 – David Trimble admits for the first time that he accepts it is unlikely the Provisional IRA will return to violence in the short-term.

2001 – The Government prepares to re-institute draconian restrictions in a last desperate attempt to prevent the foot and mouth plague sweeping the country. Fresh cases of the disease in Northern Ireland have stunned Department of Agriculture officials and Minister Joe Walsh admits that it now appeared that foot and mouth is rampant north of the border.

2002 – Beginning with a ‘park-up’ outside John A Woods and ReadyMix sites in Cork, Kerry and Limerick, as many as 300 truck drivers transporting sand and gravel take their trucks off the road in protest at strict weight restrictions, high insurance costs and low pay.

2003 – A spokesman for the British Government says that it is sticking with its plans for Assembly elections in Northern Ireland next month, even if efforts to restore devolution fail.

2017 – Martin McGuinness’ gravestone was unveiled in Derry. ‘We have to govern by treating every single citizen equally’ reads the tombstone.

Photo credit: 1916 Easter Revolution in Colour

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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.