Today in Irish History – 10 February:

1800 – The House of Lords votes for the Act of Union which sees Ireland lose its own parliament, direct rule is imposed on Ireland and “the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland” is created.

1844 – Daniel O’Connell is convicted of ‘conspiracy’, fined and sentenced to 12 months in prison.

1852 – William O’Brien, writer and nationalist, is born in Mallow, Co Cork.

1865 – Sentenced to fourteen years hard labour for treason, Irish nationalist and Fenian Charles Kickham is incarcerated in Pentonville Prison. He was released in 1869, partly due to ill-health. Kickham was a contributor to the Irish People, the organiser of the Fenian movement, the Irish Republican Brotherhood which the English authorities deemed seditious. He also authored a number of novels including the critically acclaimed Knocknagow. Suffering from ill-health, he was released from prison in 1869.

1889 – Richard Piggott is exposed as forger of ‘Times’ Phoenix Park letters.

1907 – Death of Dublin-born journalist, Sir William Howard Russell.

1922 – IRA volunteers attacked a USC patrol in Clady, Co Tyrone. One constable was shot dead.

1923 – Republican officer Tom Barry, after contacts with some former IRA comrades on the Free State side, proposes that the Anti-Treaty IRA call a truce. Liam Lynch turns down the idea.

1923 – It is reported that tax collectors in Leitrim are refusing to collect taxes in the county, saying it is too dangerous. They are told to resume collection or be sacked within 3 weeks. The County is 50,000 pounds in arrears due to uncollected rates.

1923 – Republicans shoot dead a civilian James Gallagher in Gweedore, Donegal. He had previously fired at an IRA party raiding his house.

1923 – Republicans open fire on Free State troops as they are leaving Mass in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, killing one civilian. Separately a National Army lieutenant is killed in an action near Scartaglen, Co Kerry along with a civilian. Three anti-Treaty fighters are wounded.

1923 – In Cork city a civilian, Michael Cusack, is mortally wounded in an attack on the city Courthouse

1926 – Danny Blanchflower, footballer, is born in Belfast.

1965 – The Lockwood Committee Report on higher education in Northern Ireland is published.

1994 – Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) member and self-confessed participant in more than thirty killings, Dominic “Mad Dog” McClinchey dies in a hail of bullets while making a phone call in Drogheda. No one was ever convicted of his murder.

1998 – It is feared that a new wave of tit-for-tat sectarian terror will hit the North after the murder of Robert Dougan, a leading loyalist, outside a textile company near Belfast.

1998 – Suspected SLVF leader, Mark “Swinger” Fulton, survives a murder attempt in Portadown, Co. Armagh.

1998 – Northern Secretary Mo Mowlam and Ulster Unionist security spokesman Ken Maginnis agree to bury the hatchet in their bitter personal row, which threats to overshadow the Stormont talks process.

1998 – Republican and security sources in the North clash amid allegations that IRA members behind the murder of top Belfast drugs dealer Brendan Campbell and fears it could lead to Sinn Fein’s expulsion from the Stormont talks.

1999 – Bertie Ahern’s minority Coalition suffers another blow to its stability when Fianna Fáil backbencher, Beverly Cooper-Flynn, chooses to back her father, Padraig Flynn, rather than the Government in a crucial Dáil vote.

1999 – A potential major tragedy is averted when over 100 mine-workers are lifted to safety after a fire 1,150 feet below the ground at Tara Mines, Navan.

2000 – David Trimble meets with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin

2002 – Children from Belfast’s troubled Holy Cross school arrive in Connemara for what promises to be a welcome break. The three-day holiday is a gift from the proprietor of Peacockes Hotel at Maam Cross in Galway.

2003 – A dissident republican bomb attack on Enniskillen prompts calls for the British government to put on hold any plans to scale down army installations in the North.

2011 – Six confirmed dead as plane crashes at Cork airport. The Manx 2 airline flight from Belfast to Cork overturned and caught fire while making a third attempt to land. The twin turboprop plane was due to arrive in Cork at about 9.45am. There was heavy fog in the area at the time.

2011 – A painting by Irish-born artist, Francis Bacon, sells at auction at Sotheby’s in London for £23 million (€27.2 million) – more than three times the pre-sale low estimate. The triptych, Three Studies For A Portrait Of Lucian Freud, was painted in 1964 and shows Bacon’s friend and fellow artist with a variety of facial expressions. The painting was sold by a private collector and was bought by an anonymous buyer in the packed saleroom after seven minutes of intense bidding by more than 10 people from four different continents.

Photo: Connemara Mountains, Co Galway

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