Today in Irish History – 8 March:

1574 – Captain William Martin lays siege to Gráinne Ní Mháille in Rockfleet castle.

1594 – English expedition sets out from Galway to kill pirate queen, Gráinne Ní Mháille.

1700? – Year is uncertain, but it is on this date that Anne Bonny, née Cormac, pirate, is born in Co Cork.

1702 – William III dies when his horse stumbles on a molehill; Anne accedes to the throne of Britain and Ireland.

1742 – William Crotty, outlaw of the Comeragh mountains, is tried in Waterford on this date and later hanged, drawn and quartered.

1770 – Mary Anne McCracken, radical and philanthropist, is born in Belfast.

1834 – General John O’Neill, Irish Fenian leader, is born.

1854 – Birth in Co Cork of Tom Horan, the greatest of the many top class Australian cricketers to be born in Ireland.

1903 – Charles Gavan Duffy, Young Irelander, is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.

1909 – Francis MacManus, novelist, is born in Kilkenny.

1921 – Sir James Comyn, lawyer, is born in Dublin.

1923 – Four more Anti-Treaty IRA prisoners are killed in Kerry by National Army troops from Dublin. They are, as at Ballyseedy the day before, blown up by a mine, ostensibly while clearing a mined road, at Countess Bridge in Killarney. The dead are from IRA Kerry 2 Brigade. One man, Tadhg Coffey, escapes the massacre.

1925 – Paddy Devlin, socialist politician, is born in Belfast..

1942 – Mary MacSwiney, Irish patriot, dies.

1959 – Aidan Quinn, film actor, is born in Chicago of Irish parents.

1966 – Nelson’s Pillar in Dublin is blown up.

1973 – The IRA explodes two car bombs outside the Old Bailey courthouse in London, killing one person and injuring over two hundred. One of those convicted, nineteen year old Gerry Kelly escaped from Long Kesh Prison in 1983, but was recaptured in 1986. He went on to become a member of Sinn Féin’s negotiating team for the Good Friday Agreement, and also served as a Sinn Féin Assembly Member for North Belfast in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

1998 – The Loyalist Volunteer Force pledges full backing for DUP leader Ian Paisley in his opposition to the Stormont talks process.

1999 – Pressure on Sinn Féin and the IRA to make a start on decommissioning is stepped up as the Irish and British Governments sign four new treaties in Dublin providing for the implementation of the main elements of the Good Friday Agreement.

2000 – Following a round of meetings in Belfast involving Foreign Minister Brian Cowen; Northern Secretary Peter Mandelson, and the principal pro Agreement parties, the two governments are to assess the situation before the St Patrick’s Day summit in the White House next week. All the parties are now looking towards President Clinton to broker a deal that will break the impasse in the peace process.

2001 – Retired Archbishop of Tuam, the Most Rev Joseph Cunnane, dies after a long illness at the Bon Secours Hospital.

2002 – Car owners are to benefit from new regulations which will oblige insurers to give two-week’s notice of any cost changes when renewing policies.

2006 – An original copy of the Proclamation of Independence picked up on O’Connell Street in 1916 has been donated to the National Museum of Ireland.

Image | Lough Corrib, lake in Counties Galway and Mayo | George Karbus Photography

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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.