Today in Irish History – 25 April:

1185 – Henry II sends his son John to Ireland; John lands at Waterford on this date to assert control over Hugh de Lacy, but he fails to achieve this. Henry still suspects that de Lacy wants to be king of Ireland.

1681 – Count Redmond O’Hanlon (outlawed chief) is shot dead by his foster-brother.

1707 – Thomas Erle, MP for Cork city, commands the centre at the Battle of Alamanza and loses his right hand on this date; David Dunbar, later MP for Blessington, is wounded and captured in the same battle, and John Upton, later MP for Co. Antrim, distinguishes himself.

1819 – Vere Foster, philanthropist and educationist, is born in Copenhagen; he is the inventor of copy books used in schools throughout Ireland until the 1950s.

1861 – William Ford, who crossed the Atlantic from Ireland by steerage, marries fellow country woman Mary O’Hern. Their son Henry Ford, pioneered the mass manufacturing of the automobile.

1877 – Ralph Henry Byrne, architect, is born in Dublin.

1882 – Kilmainham Treaty signed by Charles Stewart Parnell and British Government.

1916 – Easter Rebellion: The United Kingdom declares martial law in Ireland.

1918 – Irish Labour Party declares one-day strike in protest over conscription act. Anglo-Irish agreements on defence, finance and trade (25 April) end the ‘Economic War’: the ‘Treaty’ ports are ceded by Britain; the Irish Government pays £10 million to settle financial claims; both sides repeal penal duties on imports.

1920 – IRA ambushed and killed two RIC men near Upton, Co Cork.

1923 – Three Anti-Treaty prisoners are executed in Tralee.

1923 – A National Army officer, Peter McNicholas, is killed in an ambush near Kiltimagh, Mayo.

1923 – A Free State Lieutenant, Beehan, is shot dead in an ambush near Castleisland, Kerry, while escorting two Civic Guards.

1938 – Anglo-Irish agreements on defence, finance and trade end the ‘Economic War’: the ‘Treaty’ ports are ceded by Britain; the Irish Government pays £10 million to settle financial claims; both sides repeal penal duties on imports.

1946 – Birth of Peter Sutherland; in 1981, he becomes Ireland’s youngest ever Attorney-General in the Fine Gael–Labour coalition government. In 1997, he becomes chairman of BP and when BP merges with Amoco in 1998 he becomes non-executive chairman of the new company. BP Amoco has a market value of about $40 billion. Sutherland is also on the boards of ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd., Investor AB and Eriksson. He is chairman of the Overseas Development Council in Washington and the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and awards in Europe and America.

1976 – About 10,000 people attend the Easter week commemorative rally at the GPO, convened by the Provisionist IRA, despite government prohibition.

1998 – The first ever mass demonstrations against immigration laws and racism take place in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. At the same time, protests are staged by Irish people outside embassies all over Europe and the United States. Dublin edges close to a standstill as more than 1,000 protesters march from St Stephen’s Green to the GPO.

1999 – The RUC strongly denies fresh claims of police collusion and cover-up in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings that claims 33 lives in the Republic 25 years ago.

2003 – Sinéad O’Connor announces her retirement from the music business.

2015 – Death of Hurling coach Tommy Maher. Fr Maher, regarded as perhaps the most influential coach in the game, took Kilkenny to seven All-Irelands in 18 seasons, the last of which was in 1975 – the year of current Kilkenny manager Brian Cody’s first senior All-Ireland as a player – a feat made all the more remarkable by the presence in those same years of the great Tipperary team of the 1960s, the Cork three-in-a-row side of the 1970s and within Leinster a frequently menacing Wexford.

Photo credit: 1916 Easter Revolution in Colour

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