Today in Irish History – 16 May:

587 – St. Brendan the Navigator, early transatlantic voyager, dies. In the liturgical calendar, today is St. Brendan’s Feast Day.

1907 – Birth of Robert Tisdall, gold medalist in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1932 Olympics.

1920 – ‘Soviets’ are proclaimed in 13 Co Limerick creameries, including Knocklong.

1921 – Two IRA men are killed in an attempted ambush of an RIC patrol at Barrowhouse, Co Kildare.

1926 – Éamon de Valera founds Fianna Fáil and holds its first public meeting.

1927 – ‘A’ Reserve established by Oglaigh na hÉireann – the Irish Defence Forces.

1938 – The Department of Justice bans Photography magazine because of ‘attention given to the female nude’.

1945 – Éamon de Valera responds to Churchill’s victory speech during which Churchill took one last jab at Irish neutrality.

1952 – Birth of Pierce Brosnan in Navan, Co Meath.

1959 – Death of Elisha Scott (born in Belfast), an Irish football goalkeeper who most notably played for Liverpool from 1912 to 1934 (still holding the record as their longest-serving player).

1997 – Tony Blair visits Northern Ireland and gives the go ahead for exploratory contacts between government officials and Sinn Féin.

2000 – An Post officially launches a set of four 30p postage stamps in honour of flamboyant writer and wit, Oscar Wilde.

2001 – Proposals to locate the first wind farm off the country’s west coast are unveiled. The £100 million project is to be located off the north Kerry coast on the southern tip of the Shannon estuary and is to involve the construction of between 20 and 30 wind turbines.

2001 – The United States designates the Real IRA, a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army, as a “foreign terrorist organisation,” a legal term that brings financial and other sanctions. Under US law, any assets the Real IRA has in the United States are frozen, it is illegal to support the organisation and Real IRA members are not eligible for US visas.

2002 – Iarnród Eireann’s first female train driver, Teresa Carey from Kerry, begins her career driving the Cork-Heuston train.

2007 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern becomes the third longest-serving EU leader in office as France’s Jacques Chirac officially steps down.

Photo: St. Brendan the Navigator, Cahirciveen, Co Kerry, photo credit: Stair na hÉireann

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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.