Today in Irish History – 25 February:

1570 – Elizabeth I is excommunicated by Pope Pious V. Pope Pius V issued a papal bull in 1570, called Regnans in Excelsis, declaring ‘Elizabeth, the pretended Queen of England and the servant of crime’ to be a heretic and releasing all her subjects from any allegiance.

1852 – Death of Thomas Moore, popular poet and editor of Irish Melodies.

1877 – Birth of Thomas ‘Tom’ Crean in Annascaul, Co Kerry. He was an Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer. He was a member of three major expeditions to Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, including Captain Scott’s 1911–13 Terra Nova Expedition.

1891 – Edward ‘Ned’ Daly is born in Limerick. Daly was commandant of Dublin’s 1st battalion during the Easter Rising of 1916, the youngest man to hold that rank and the youngest executed in the aftermath.

1921 – The IRA Cork Number One Brigade led by Dan ‘Sandow’ O’Donovan at Coolavokig, Co Cork, a British Major, Grant, was killed, eight soldiers were wounded.

1921 – A British review stated that two British soldiers (excluding RIC personnel) had been killed in the preceding week, the lowest total so far for a week in 1921. The review listed ten ambushes in the preceding seven days. Seven people had been killed as spies by the IRA during the week.

1928 – Death of William O’Brien. He was an Irish nationalist, journalist, agrarian agitator, social revolutionary, politician, party leader, newspaper publisher, author and Member of Parliament (MP.) in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. He was particularly associated with the campaigns for land reform in Ireland during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as well as his conciliatory approach to attaining Irish Home Rule.

1934 – Ireland’s first ever World Cup match takes place in Dublin. The Irish draw with Belgium 4-4.

1937 – The Imperial Airways flying boat Cambria is delivered to Shannon to begin the first trans Atlantic air service.

1947 – The worst snow blizzard in living memory hits Ireland.

1950 – Birth of Neil Jordan in Co Sligo. His is an Irish filmmaker and novelist. He won an Academy Award (Best Original Screenplay) for The Crying Game. He also won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival for The Butcher Boy.

1952 – Joey Dunlop, motorcycle racer, is born in Armoy, Co Antrim.

1957 – Birth of Raymond Peter McCreesh in St. Malachy’s Park, Camlough, So Armagh. He was an Irish Republican hunger striker and a volunteer in the South Armagh Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

1964 – Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) dethroned Sonny Liston in the Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston world heavyweight boxing title, Ali’s 20th pro boxing fight and first heavy-weight title.

1991 – Birmingham Six on verge of freedom. An announcement by the Director of Public Prosecution, Alan Green, says their convictions can no longer be considered safe and satisfactory. Hugh Callaghan, Patrick Hill, Gerard Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, William Power and John Walker were all jailed in 1975 for an IRA attack on two pubs in Birmingham in November 1974 in which 21 people died.

1998 – Security is stepped up in both Belfast and Derry amid fears the cities are targeted for a new wave of bombing attacks.

2000 – The faltering peace process in the North suffer a double body blow with a bomb blast at an army base in Derry and a threat by the Progressive Unionists to withdraw support for the Good Friday Agreement.

2001 – British supermarket chains draw up contingency plans to source supplies of fresh meat in Ireland if the ban on livestock transport is not lifted.

2001 – It is announced that the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator, is for sale. The historic property at Carhan just outside Caherciveen, where O’Connell was born on 6 August 1775, is being put on the market by his descendants, a local family of O’Connells.

2003 – The number of Catholics worldwide has exceeded one billion for the first time, according to figures released by the Vatican.

2003 – North American Airlines and Miami Airlines, both charter troop carriers for the US military, end stopovers at Shannon because of recent security breaches.

2003 – The Minister for Justice Michael McDowell and the Northern Secretary Paul Murphy hold two hours of talks in Dublin. The talks centre on cross border co-operation and anti terrorist measures.

2003 – Death of Thomas Francis O’Higgins. He was an Irish Fine Gael politician, barrister and judge, who was Chief Justice of Ireland and a member of the European Court of Justice. Tom O’Higgins was born in Cork in 1916, and came from the influential political family of O’Higgins. He was the son of Thomas F. O’Higgins and the nephew of Kevin O’Higgins.

2006 – Dublin riots: A series of riots occurred in Dublin, precipitated by a proposed controversial march down O’Connell Street of a unionist demonstration, organised in part by Willie Frazer of Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR). The disturbances began when members of the Garda Síochána attempted to disperse a group of counter-demonstrators who were blocking the route of the proposed march on O’Connell Street. Some local youths joined forces with the counter-demonstrators, and the situation escalated. Fourteen people were hospitalised.

2011 – In the Irish general election, the Fianna Fáil led government suffers the worst defeat of a sitting government since the formation of the Irish state in 1921.

Photo: Abbey ruins, Rock of Cashel, Co Tipperary

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