Today in Irish History – 19th April:

1366 – The parliament, alarmed at the apparent undermining by native influences of the settler population’s Englishness, passes the ‘Statute of Kilkenny’. This aims to halt the widespread adoption by the Norman-Irish, especially in frontier areas, of Gaelic Irish culture, customs and language. It bans the use of the Irish language (insisting ‘that every Englishman use the English language’, though it is written in French) and Irish names within the colony, intermarriage with the native Irish, the playing of hurling, and so on. Pejorative name-calling between the English of England and the English of Ireland is prohibited. In fact, at this time there is a strong mutual influence: the Gaelic Irish are adopting some Norman-Irish practices, too. Also, most of the ‘new’ laws merely reiterate old ones (the exceptions being those on the Irish language and Irish minstrels).

1780 – Henry Grattan moves resolutions in favour of legislative independence in Irish House of Commons.

1798 – The Earl of Clare begins a 3-day visit to Trinity College, Dublin to purge United Irishmen; 19 are expelled.

1875 – Charles Stewart Parnell is elected MP for Co. Meath.

1909 – Conel Hugh O’Donel Alexander, master mathematician, expert on codes, and chess champion, is born in Cork; he learns chess at the age of 8. From a Derry college he goes to King Edward’s School, Birmingham, where as a schoolboy he wins the Birmingham Post cup, which carries with it the unofficial championship of Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Going on to Cambridge, he not only wins the University championship four years in succession, but picks up first-class honours. He wins the British championship in 1938.

1912 – Titanic Inquiry Opens – Four days after sinking.

1922 – In Belfast, four people were shot dead and many others injured.

1923 – Two Anti-Treaty fighters are killed in action at Kealkil, West Cork.

1969 – Fierce rioting breaks out in Derry after the RUC ban a civil rights march from Burntollet Bridge.

1972 – Lord Widgery’s report exonerating “Bloody Sunday” troops is issued.

1997 – US Navy commissions The Sullivans, the second ship to be named after the five Sullivan brothers who perished on the USS Juneau, November 1942 during the Battle of Guadalcanal. The Sullivans were descendants of Irish immigrants.

1998 – Key members of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee, led by the sister of H-Block hunger striker, Bobby Sands, meet to draft an outright condemnation of the Good Friday peace deal.

2001 – Jenny Hegarty, a 72-year-old Dublin grandmother, takes on a host of international players and wins £10,000 at the Irish and European Open Poker Championship.

2001 – EU restrictions on farm exports due to foot and mouth are lifted one month after the Republic’s only outbreak.

2002 – Ireland’s first cash-free petrol station, Carrigdhoun Service Station, near Ballygarvan, Co Cork, opens with all business being transacted by credit card or petrol card.

2003 – The British army is called in to deal with rioting in North Belfast where up to 200 people are involved in disturbances at the junction of Limestone and Halliday Roads.

2003 – Bono surpasses competition from British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac to become Europe’s greatest hero. The U2 lead singer is picked by online voters from a list of 36 other Europeans compiled by Time magazine.

Photo credit: 1916 Easter Revolution in Colour

1185682_1427784510766541_429967689_n

Posted by

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.