Today in Irish History – 29 November:

1330 – Edward III, on attaining his majority, executes Mortimer on this date and banishes his own mother, Isabella. This revolutionizes the political situation in Ireland and England.

1338 – Birth of Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, jure uxoris 4th Earl of Ulster and 5th Baron of Connaught, KG. He was the third son, but the second son to survive infancy, of Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was so-called because he was born at Antwerp. His efforts to secure an effective authority over his Irish lands were only moderately successful; and after holding a parliament at Kilkenny, which passed the celebrated Statute of Kilkenny in 1367, he dropped the task in disgust and returned to England.

1521 – William Rokeby, Archbishop of Dublin, dies.

1641 – The Battle of Julianstown: Rory O’More defeats government troops marching to raise the siege of Drogheda.

1729 – Birth of Charles Thomson (b. Gorteade townland, Maghera parish, Co Derry). He was a Patriot leader in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and the secretary of the Continental Congress (1774-1789) throughout its existence.

1740 – Edward Sewell, a “couple-beggar” – i.e. a clergyman who conducts illegal marriages involving Catholics and Protestants – is hanged at Stephen’s Green.

1783 – Ulster Volunteers’ parliamentary reform bill is rejected by the Irish Parliament at College Green.

1895 – Death of Denny Lane, Young Irelander, author and poet.

1898 – Birth of novelist C.S. Lewis in Belfast.

1901 – Death of Thomas Clarke Luby (b. in Dublin). He was an Irish revolutionary, author, Journalist and one of the founding members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

1922 – A Free State soldier is killed in an ambush at Rearcross, Limerick.

1944 – County Dublin awarded a coat of arms by the Chief Herald of Ireland.

1993 – The Conservative government has come under attack in the Commons over the revelations it has had secret contacts with the IRA.

1998 – IRA leaders are on the brink of making a goodwill gesture which could kick-start the stalled North peace process.

1999 – Pressure grows on the Provisional IRA to hand over weapons in the wake of Northern Ireland’s first power sharing Government in 25 years.

2000 – Death of The Hon. Mr. Justice Liam Hamilton. He was educated at C.B.S. Michelstown, University College Dublin and King’s Inns. He was called to the Bar in 1956 and won the John Brooke Scholarship for the best final year student. He was called to the Inner Bar in 1968. On retirement as Chief Justice, he was appointed to the enquiry into the Dublin, Monaghan and Dundalk bombings in 1976, but stepped down on health grounds.

2001 – Death of Mic Christopher. He was an Irish singer-songwriter, best known for his posthumously-released debut album Skylarking’. Mic Christopher was born in the Bronx, New York to Irish parents, Harry Christopher from Dublin and Vaun Heaney from Sixmilecross. They moved back to Dublin in 1972 and together with an all-Irish school upbringing in Coláiste Chilliain Clondalkin, Christopher started to play traditional Irish music with school groups until he was about fifteen years old when he started busking. On 18 November 2001 in Groningen, the Netherlands, after he had played his set, Christopher was found unconscious, having apparently struck his head on some steps following a fall. On arrival at a local hospital, he was found to have lapsed into a coma as a result of severe swelling to the brain. He never regained consciousness and died on 29 November 2001, aged 32.

2002 – Hurling in Cork is thrown into chaos after the county’s senior squad goes on strike.

Photo: 19th century schoolhouse which lay in ruin, near Grange, Co Sligo, as well as the cave up high on the mountain called Benwisken; it is known as Diarmuid and Grainne’s cave, Ireland Photography by Scott McGregor

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