#OTD in Irish History – 8 December:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. If it falls on a week day, Roman Catholic schoolchildren get a holiday and in recent times, it has become the custom to go Christmas shopping in the city.

1757 – Rotunda Hospital opened in Dublin.

1831 – Death of James Hoban, the Kilkenny architect who designed the White House.

1860 – Birth of Amanda McKittrick Ros, a novelist born in Drumaness, Co Down. She published her first novel ‘Irene Iddesleigh’ at her own expense in 1897. She wrote poetry and a number of novels. Her works were not read widely, and her eccentric, over-written, circumlocutory writing style is alleged by some critics to be some of the worst prose and poetry ever written.

1881 – Birth in Longford of Padraig Colum playwright, poet and novelist.

1896 – Death of Isabella Maria Susan Tod, Irish women’s rights activist.

1922 – Liam Mellows, Rory O’Connor, Joseph McKelvey and Richard Barrett, Irish patriots – one from each of the four provinces – are executed by the Free State forces.

1921 – Contentious Cabinet Discussion on Treaty. Seven members of Dail Cabinet meet to discuss the Treaty. Minutes of the discussion state that: “(T)he following members declared in favour of recommending it to the Dáil: – A. Griffith, M. Collins, R. Barton, W. Cosgrave, K O’Higgins (no vote). Mr Griffith would recommend document on basis of its merits – the remaining members on basis of signature. The following declared against recommending Treaty to Dáil: President DeValera, Cathal Brugha and A. Stack.” The stage was being set for a vicious Irish Civil War.

1922 – Death of Rory O’Connor. He was an Irish republican activist. He is best remembered for his role in the Irish Civil War 1922-1923, which led to his execution. O’Connor was born in Dublin in 1883 and in his youth he worked as a railway engineer in Canada. After his return to Ireland, he became involved in Irish nationalist politics, joined the Ancient Order of Hibernians and was interned after the Easter Rising in 1916.

1922 – Death of Liam (William Joseph) Mellows, often spelled ‘Liam Mellowes’. He was an Irish Nationalist and Sinn Féin politician. Born in England, Mellows grew up in Co Wexford. He was active with the IRB and Irish Volunteers, and participated in the Easter Rising in Co Galway, and the War of Independence. Elected as a TD to the First Dáil, he rejected the Anglo-Irish Treaty and was captured by pro-Treaty forces during the Irish Civil War. Mellows was executed by Free State forces in 1922.

1922 – Death of Richard Barrett (Dick Barrett). He was a prominent Irish Republican Army volunteer who was executed during the Irish Civil War in 1922. Barrett was born in Hollyhill, Cork in 1899. He was educated at a local national school and went on to become a teacher. He was an IRA brigade staff officer and occasionally acted as brigade commandant of the West Cork Brigade during the War of Independence. Dick also managed to organise fund-raising activities for comrades ‘on the run’. In 1920 he was appointed quartermaster of the West Cork Brigade: after the Crossbarry Ambush. Dick was arrested March 1921 and imprisoned in Cork jail, later being sent to Spike Island, Co Cork. He escaped during the truce of 1921 by row boat alongside Moss (Maurice) Twomey, Tom Crofts and Bill Quirke.

1922 – Death of Joe McKelvey. He was an Irish Republican Army officer who was executed during the Irish Civil War. He participated in the Anti-Treaty IRA’s repudiation of the authority of the Dáil (civil government of the Irish Republic declared in 1919) in March 1922 and was elected to the IRA Army Executive. In April 1922 he helped command the occupation of the Four Courts in defiance of the new Irish Free State. This action helped to spark the Irish Civil War, between pro and anti Treaty factions. McKelvey was among the most hardline of the anti-Treaty republicans and briefly, in June 1922, became IRA Chief of Staff.

1933 – Death of John Joly (born in Bracknagh, Co Offaly). He was an Irish physicist, famous for his development of radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer. He is also known for developing techniques to accurately estimate the age of a geological period, based on radioactive elements present in minerals.

1939 – Birth of Belfast flutist, Sir James Galway. Sir James has publicly stated on several occasions that he plays the flute – not the flaut.

1944 – Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) set up. It is a statutory corporation of the Irish state, answerable to the Irish Government and responsible for most public transport in the Republic of Ireland and, jointly with its Northern Ireland counterpart, the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company, between the Republic and Northern Ireland. The company is headquartered at Heuston Station, Dublin. It is a statutory corporation whose members (the Board) are appointed by the Minister for Transport.

1945 – John Banville, novelist, is born in Wexford.

1966 – Birth of Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor. She is an Irish singer-songwriter. She rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra and achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a cover of the song “Nothing Compares 2 U”. Since then, she has regularly courted controversy with her outspokenness, shorn head, and views on religion, women’s rights, war and her own sexuality, and recent social media posts, while still maintaining a singing career.

1980 – Haughey and Thatcher meet in Dublin and agree to consider ‘the totality of relationships within these islands’.

1999 – The Government implements a 32-year old law banning the sale of turkeys, ducks and geese at livestock marts.

2002 – Gardaí recover €100,000 in coins stolen from the Pennies from Heaven charity.

2002 – Hundreds of anti-war demonstrators march on Shannon airport in protest at the continued use of the airport by the US Air Force in preparation for possible war in the Gulf.

Image | Trim Castle, Trim, Co Meath | Fiachra Mangan Photography

#irishhistory #ireland #irelandinspires

 

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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.