Today in Irish History – 14 September:

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Formerly, in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following 14 September were observed as one of the four sets of Ember days. In the Irish calendar they were known as Quarter tense).

1607 – Hugh O’Neill, Ruari O’Donnell and other chiefs of their families depart Lough Swilly for the continent in what has become known as the ‘Flight of the Earls”.

1647 – Lord Inchiquin, a royalist turned Parliamentarian, sacks the Irish Catholic Confederate garrison at the Rock of Cashel.

1752 – The Gregorian calendar is adopted in Ireland and Britain, 170 years after mainland Europe: 2 September is followed by 14 September. There are protests and riots by people who are convinced that they have lost 12 days out of their lives.

1824 – Sir Frederick Falkiner, impoverished former MP for Athy, Co. Dublin and Co. Carlow commits suicide in Naples.

1852 – Death of Arthur Wellesley, alias the Duke of Wellington. The Dublin born soldier served as MP for Meath before eventually becoming Prime Minister of Britain.

1886 – Birth of author Alice Milligan.

1901 – Eight days after being shot by anarchist Leon Czolgozc, President William McKinkley dies of his wounds. McKinley was of Scotch-Irish descent. His great-great-grandfather James McKinley had emigrated from Conagher, Ballymoney around 1743.

1907 – Edel Quinn, promoter of Legion of Mary in Africa, is born near Kanturk, Co. Cork.

1920 – Three IRA men (Lt. Michael Glavey, Vol Pat Glynn, Vol Michael Keane) killed by Crown forces ambush in Ballinlough, County Roscommon.

1921 – The Dail votes to appoint plenipotentiaries to negotiate with Britain re Irish independence. In what would turn out to be a momentous decision, De Valera opted NOT to be one of the negotiators stating that the Irish parliament “recognised themselves but no one else did. He really believed it was vital at this stage that the symbol of the Republic should be kept untouched and that it should not be compromised in any sense by any arrangements which it might be necessary for our plenipotentiaries to make. He was sure the Dáil realised the task they were giving to them—to win for them what a mighty army and navy might not be able to win for them. It was not a shirking of duty, but he realised the position and how necessary it was to keep the Head of the State and the symbol untouched and that was why he asked to be left out.”

1922 – Republicans under Michael Kilroy ambush a Free State convoy near Belderg, County Mayo, killing 4 National Army soldiers and taking 16 prisoners. Another ambush in the Ox Mountains kills up to 15 National Army soldiers, including Brigadier Joe Ring. Republican losses are reported in the press as 10 killed and more wounded, but this may be an overstatement.

1922 – Drumshambo barracks in County Leitrim is seized by Republicans after successful ambush of National Army troops.

1922 – A skirmish takes place at Donoughmore, County Cork. Two Anti-Treaty IRA men are killed.

1922 – Press reports say that a total of six Anti-Treaty and six pro-treaty troops are killed in an ambushes at Blarney.

1922 – Republican fighters open fire on Free State troops landing by sea at CourtmacSherry in Cork. Three Anti-Treaty fighters and one Free State soldier are killed.

1922 – In Killarney, Free State troops break into the houses of six women republicans and paint their bodies green.

1947 – All-Ireland Football Final played at the Polo Grounds, New York.

1951 – Birth of Joe McDonnell. He was a volunteer in the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), who died in the 1981 Irish hunger strike. McDonnell was born on Slate Street in the lower Falls Road of Belfast, and was one of 10 children. He went to a Roman Catholic school which was nearby. In 1970, he married Goretti, and moved into her sister’s house in Lenadoon. There were only two Catholic houses in this predominantly Protestant housing estate, and the house was attacked on numerous occasions.

1955 – Dr. Kathleen Lynn, Irish Citizen Army officer, dies.

1971 – Ian Paisley founds the Democratic Unionist Party.

1982 – Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, dies in a car crash.

1994 – At a London auction, Bono pays $53,400 for Charlie Chaplin’s costume from The Great Dictator.

1998 – Sinn Fein is warned by First Minister, David Trimble, that it could not take up seats in the new Northern Ireland Assembly’s ruling executive until the IRA’s vast armoury of weapons are decommissioned.

1999 – Clonfert Cathedral which ranks in importance with the Great Pyramids and dates back to the 12th century, joins the millennium list of the 100 Most Endangered Monuments. The list is compiled by The New York Times and in the past has included such famous landmarks as the Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru and the Aztec site of Teotihuacan in Mexico City.

1999 – UFF “godfather” Johnny Mad Dog Adair is released from the Long Kesh Prison.

1999 – The Pro-Agreement parties resume talks with former US Senator George Mitchell during the second week of his review of the Good Friday Agreement.

1999 – Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern begins his official visit to Russia.

2000 – Roy Keane, Pauline McLynn and Samantha Mumba are among the stars who are honoured at the Millennium Irish Post Awards held at the Millennium Brittania Hotel in Grosvenor Square.

2001 – Following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, as many as 15,000 Irish people are stranded in the US and Canada awaiting flights to Ireland.

2001 – The Irish government declares a national day of mourning; schools, businesses and shops are shut down in an unprecedented gesture of sympathy following Tuesday’s attack on the World Trade Center.

Photo: Bloody Foreland, Co Donegal

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