#OTD in Irish History – 18 February:

675 – Death of Colmán of Lindisfarne, also known as Saint Colmán was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 661 until 664. Colman resigned the Bishopric of Lindisfarne after the Synod of Whitby called by King Oswiu of Northumbria decided to calculate Easter using the method of the First Ecumenical Council instead of his preferred Celtic method. After his resignation he retired to live on the island of Inishbofin in Galway where he founded a monastery.

1366 – The Statutes of Kilkenny are passed in an attempt to prevent Norman settlers becoming “more Irish than the Irish themselves”.

1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, is executed for high treason in the Tower of London; according to Shakespeare, he meets his death by being drowned in a butt of malmsey wine.

1817 – Confederate General Walter Paye Lane is born in Co Cork. Lane’s family emigrated when he was four. He eventually settled in Texas and became a strong proponent of secession. Prior to the Civil War, he fought with distinction in the Mexican War.

1948 – A coalition government takes over under Fine Gael’s John Aloysius Costello.

1921 – Brian Faulkner, the last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland who serves from 1971 to 1972, is born in Helen’s Bay, Co Down.

1922 – An Anti-Treaty IRA unit under Ernie O’Malley seizes an RIC barracks in Clonmel, taking 40 policemen prisoner and capturing 600 rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA leader Séamus Robinson closes down the Clonmel Nationalist newspaper over its support for the Treaty. Rory O’Connor has the Freeman’s Journal closed down for the same reason.

1922 – Joe Carr, amateur golfer, is born in Dublin.

1923 – Up to 1,000 Free-State troops drawn from Cahir, Cashel, Clonmel and Tipperary town encircle the area around the Glen of Aherlow and move in from all sides simultaneously in pursuit of Republican leader Dinny Lacey and his IRA column, which is billetted in the Glen. Lacey and one of his men are killed and many of his column are captured, having been surprised in two different safe-houses. Three of the Free-State troops are mortally wounded during the attack on the house. Lacey was the head of the IRA’s 2nd Southern Division and his death crippled the Republican’s cause in the Tipperary/Waterford area.

1935 – Ciaran Bourke of the Dubliners is born in Dublin.

1948 – Actress Sinead Cusack is born in Dalkey, Co Dublin. Her first acting roles were at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, before moving to London in 1975 to join the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has received two Tony Award nominations: once for Best Leading Actress in Much Ado About Nothing (1985), and again for Best Featured Actress in Rock ‘n’ Roll (2008)

1948 – Following the general election, Éamon de Valera’s Fianna Fáil is ousted from power for the first time in 16 years. John A. Costello is elected Taoiseach of a coalition government.

1964 – Death in Blackrock of novelist Maurice Walsh, author of the original story of The Quiet Man.

1975 – Birth of Keith Robert Gillespie in Larne, Co Antrim. He is a retired professional footballer who played as a winger. He began his career at Manchester United after winning the FA Youth Cup in 1992, before moving to Newcastle United, where he played in the UEFA Champions League. Gillespie also played in the Premier League for Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City and Sheffield United, helping the former win the Football League Cup in 2002. Towards the end of his career, he played for Glentoran in the Irish League and Longford Town in the League of Ireland.

1978 – Police in Northern Ireland arrest at least 20 people in connection with the La Mon entertainment complex explosion.

1981 – Birth of Ivan Sproule in Castlederg, Co Tyrone. He is a professional footballer currently playing for Linfield. Early in his career Sproule played for Omagh Town and Institute. He became a full-time professional in January 2005, after he signed for Scottish Premier League side Hibernian, just a month before his 24th birthday. He made a significant impact at Hibernian, scoring a hat-trick against Rangers and earning selection by the Northern Ireland national team.

1982 – General election in the Republic leads to a Fianna Fáil minority government; Haughey succeeds FitzGerald as Taoiseach.

1991 – The IRA explodes bombs in the early morning at both Paddington station and Victoria station in London.

1998 – A page in Irish history is written as Sinn Féin representatives walk into the Four Courts as plaintiffs rather than defendants. One journalist says “The last time Republicans walked in the front door of this building was during the Civil War when the Irregulars occupied the place”.

2000 – One of Waterford’s best loved theatrical personalities, Denny Corcoran, is announced as the 1999 winner of the Waterford Crystal WLR FM Arts and Entertainment Hall of Fame Award for his lifetime contribution to theatre and music in a career spanning over four decades.

2000 – The bodies of four soldiers tragically killed in a car accident in Lebanon are brought to the Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel.

2002 – Hospitals nationwide are forced to cancel admissions, postpone surgery and close outpatient clinics as the highly contagious winter vomiting virus spreads, striking patients and staff.

2003 – Singer Bono is nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. It is the second year in a row that he has been nominated.

2003 – Twelve men serving sentences in Mountjoy Prison in Dublin make Irish legal history when they become the first graduates of a new course on the very reason they’re behind bars – the law.

Image | Nuns Beach, Ballybunion, Co Kerry | Breaking Light Pictures

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