Today in Irish History – 10 March:

1478 – John De La Pole, the Duke of Suffolk, is appointed lieutenant of Ireland for 20 years on this date, but does not take office.

1653 – Sir Phelim O’Neill is executed by Parliament forces in Dublin, after refusing to state that Charles I authorized the 1641 rebellion.

1807 – Birth of James Fintan Lalor in Raheen, County Laois. He was an Irish revolutionary, journalist, and “one of the most powerful writers of his day.” A leading member of the Irish Confederation (Young Ireland), he was to play an active part in both the Rebellion in July 1848 and the attempted Rising in September of that same year. Lalor’s writings were to exerted a seminal influence on later Irish leaders such as Michael Davitt, James Connolly, Pádraig Pearse, and Arthur Griffith.

1810 – Birth in Belfast of Sir Samuel Ferguson, Celtic scholar and a poet best known for his rendering of Irish legends in English verse.

1883 – Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha, writer under the pseudonym ‘An Seabhac’ and promoter of the Irish language is born in Dingle, Co Kerry.

1888 – Birth in Dublin of William Joseph Shields, aka Barry Fitzgerald, actor.

1894 – Ireland collects its first ever Triple Crown, defeating Wales in Belfast.

1923 – A civilian suspected of Republican sympathies is shot dead on Donore Avenue Dublin by Free State Intelligence officers.

1923 – Another Republican prisoner, Seamus Taylor is taken from Kenmare jail, in Co Kerry to Ballyseedy woods by National Army troops and shot dead.

1932 – IRA prisoners in the Free State are released.

1947 – Birth of Donal Lunny, the founder of Planxty, the Bothy Band, and Moving Hearts.

1966 – Death of Frank O’Connor, poet and novelist.

1971 – Fighting erupts between Official and Provisional IRA in Belfast.

1980 – Formation of the Irish Army Ranger Wing (ARW, Sciathán Fianóglach an Airm).

1998 – After five wildly inaccurate missiles are fired with little warning at a police station in Armagh city, police accuse republicans of attempting mass murder. 100 people — many pensioners — are forced to flee their homes. Fortunately, no-one is killed or injured.

2000 – Harland and Wolff’s last hope of saving the Belfast shipyard appear doomed after it is confirmed that Cunard’s £433 million contract to build the Queen Mary 2 has gone to French rivals.

2002 – Former Circuit of Ireland rally champion Frank Meagher is killed in a driving accident in Co Tipperary, between Cloneen and Mullinahone.

2003 – The National Aquatic Centre opens in Abbotstown, Dublin. The water-park with its eight different fun rides and attractions is one of the most hi-tech in Europe and the pool complex is one of the most advanced Olympic standard facilities in the world.

2003 – Tobacco manufacturers Gallaher announces a range of increases which sees the cost of several popular brands rise to nearly €6 for a packet of 20 cigarettes.

2005 – Death of Irish comedian Dave Allen (born David O’Mahoney in Dublin.) Allen was an irreverent comic who found fame in the UK, regularly poking fun at the political and religious establishment.

Photo: Mourne Mountains, Co Down, Mac Creative Photography

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