Today in Irish History – 12 November:

1798 – In the early morning hours on the day he is due to be executed, it is discovered that Wolf Tone has inflicted a deep wound in his neck; a French emigrant surgeon is called in, closes the wound and reports that, “as the prisoner had missed the carotid artery, he might yet survive, but was in the extremest danger.” Wolf Tone on hearing this prognosis is quoted as saying: “I am sorry I have been so bad an anatomist.”

1847 – Letter published in the Cork Examiner on The Great Hunger.

1872 – Birth of William George (Willie) Fay. He was an actor and theatre producer who was one of the co-founders of the Abbey Theatre. Fay was born in Dublin and attended Belvedere College., Dublin. He worked for a time in the 1890s with a touring theatre company in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. When he returned to Dublin, he worked with his brother Frank, staging productions in halls around the city. Finally, they formed W. G. Fay’s Irish National Dramatic Company, focused on the develop-ment of Irish acting talent.

1920 – Two IRA volunteers were killed in a gunfight in Ballymacelligott, near Tralee, County Kerry.

1929 – Birth of Grace Patricia Kelly. She was an American Academy Award-winning actress and Princess consort of Monaco. In April 1956 Kelly married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and became styled as Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco, and was commonly referred to as Princess Grace.

1934 – Birth of John McGahern, known primarily for his novel, The Dark.

1954 – Ellis Island closes.

1958 – Death of four time Boston Mayor James M Curley, Congressman and one term Governor of Massachusetts.

1971 – RTÉ bans several patriotic ballads including Dublin In The Green and The Patriot Game.

1998 – The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) announced it has made a commitment to an “act of decommissioning” within weeks. The announcement comes following the British Government decision to recognise the organisation’s ceasefire.

1998 – Prompted by the loss of more than £60m every year because of the negative impression created by the raucous vulgar nature of stag-hen parties in Temple Bar, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce announces plans to ban them.

2000 – Ógra Fianna Fáil votes to support blanket ban on abortion

Photo: Great Hunger Memorial in NYC

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