Today in Irish History – 24 February:

1582 – Pope Gregory XIII announces the new Gregorian calendar, replacing the Julian calendar.

1692 – The Treaty of Limerick is ratified by William of Orange.

1780 – A British Act opens colonial trade to Irish goods.

1797 – Birth in Dublin of writer, artist, musician and songwriter, Samuel Lover. To him is attributed the romantic proposal ‘Come live in my heart and pay no rent’.

1815 – Birth of Robert Fulton, the man credited with developing the first commercially successful steamboat dies in New York age 49. Fulton’s father emigrated from Ireland to Philadelphia.

1841 – John Philip Holland, inventor and developer of the modern submarine, born in Co Clare.

1850 – Paul Cullen is consecrated Catholic archbishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland.

1852 – George Moore, novelist, playwright and critic, is born in Ballyglass, Co Mayo.

1865 – Brigadier Thomas Francis Meagher is relieved of his command of the Irish Brigade under the instructions of Ulysses S. Grant. Meagher’s drinking had become a major impediment to his ability to lead his command.

1896 – Death of Irish-born Medal of Honor Recipient Patrick Henry Grace. Grace won his medal for bravery during the Korean Expedition of 1871.

1917 – Louisa Nelson is honoured with the medal for heroism during Easter Week 1916, by King George.

1920 – Dublin Metropolitan District is placed under a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m.

1923 – There are a number of ambushes and sniping attacks in Dublin. One Free State soldiers is killed in an exchange of fire at Cornmarket, another is shot in the thigh on Thomas Street and wounded.

1923 – A Civilian John Conway is shot dead at work.

1948 – Birth of Dermot Earley, Roscommon Gaelic footballer and GAA administrator, in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

1996 – The last occurrence of 24 February as a leap day in the European Union and for the Roman Catholic Church.

2000 – The Government calls for a full public inquiry into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

2000 – The North’s precarious peace process moves closer towards meltdown as Sinn Féin threatens to end their role as mediators with the IRA on decommissioning and warns of dissident republicans launching a renewed campaign of violence.

2000 – A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II stolen from Edinburgh University by three inebriated Trinity College students is returned.

2002 – The Catholic Church and Government clash over next week’s abortion referendum as a poll highlights confusion among voters. While bishops support the Government campaign for a Yes vote on the substantive issue of abortion, they question the future protection of the morning-after pill.

2003 – Iarnród Éireann announces that it will not proceed with its plan to charge commuters for parking at three DART stations in Dublin.

2013 – Death of Cornelius Joseph ‘Con’ Martin He was an Irish footballer. Martin initially played football with Dublin before switching codes and embarking on a successful soccer career, playing for, among others, Drumcondra, Glentoran, Leeds United and Aston Villa. Martin was also a dual international and played and captained both Ireland teams – the FAI XI and the IFA XI. In 1949 he was a member of the FAI XI that defeated England 2–0 at Goodison Park, becoming the first non-UK team to beat England at home.

Photo: Connemara, Co Galway, Geoff McGrath Photography

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