Today in Irish History – 13 March:

1784 – Reform Bill in Irish House of Commons.

1791 – Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man (part 1) – a reply to Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France and a major influence on Irish radicals – is published.

1846 – Ballinglass An Gorta Mór Evictions.

1856 – Birth of Patrick Nally in Balla, Co Mayo. An athlete, he was a major inspiration in the founding the GAA in 1884 by Michael Cusack. The Nally stand in Croke Park is named after him.

1888 – Birth of Patrick Moran. He was a grocer’s assistant, trade unionist and member of the Irish Republican Army executed in Mountjoy Prison along with five other men on 14 March 1921.

1913 – Birth of Joe Kelly in Dublin. He was a racing driver and motor trader.

1922 – George Bernard Shaw’s “Back to Methusaleh V” premieres in New York.

1923 – Three Republican prisoners from Wexford IRA units are executed in Wexford town.

1923 – Three other Republicans are executed, two in Cork and the other in Dublin. The Republican ‘government’ issues a statement announcing a period of mourning and forbidding all public entertainments such as sporting events while executions of their men continue.

1923 – A Free State soldier is killed in a gun attack at Glasson, near Athlone.

1923 – The bodies of two civilians are found at Morehill, Tallow on the Waterford/Cork border.

1939 – At-Swim-Two-Birds, a highly experimental novel by Flann O’Brien, is published in London. At Swim-Two-Birds is a 1939 novel by Irish author Brian O’Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien. It is widely considered to be O’Brien’s masterpiece, and one of the most sophisticated examples of metafiction. The novel’s title derives from Snámh dá Én (Middle Ir.: ‘Swim-Two-Birds’), a ford on the River Shannon, between Clonmacnoise and Shannonbridge, reportedly visited by the legendary King Sweeney, a character in the novel. The novel was included in TIME magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005.

1960 – Birth of Adam Clayton, bass player with U2.

1973 – Birth of Ballybeg Prim, one of the greatest racing dogs of all time in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

1979 – Ireland joins new European Monetary System (EMS).

1981 – Death of Patrick Hennessy. He was an industrialist, born in Co Cork. During the First World War he served in the British army, between 1914 and 1918, with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He started his career in 1920 with Henry Ford and Son in Cork.

1998 – Naval personnel question the crew of a British-registered flagship after a second day of intimidation of Irish trawlers off the South West coast.

1999 – Over 250,000 people pack the streets around the River Liffey in Dublin to witness the largest fireworks display ever seen in Ireland. The event marks the start of a five-day festival to mark St Patrick’s Day as well as the official launch of the Millennium celebrations.

2000 – A multi million pound seizure of drugs in Holland results in the arrest of John Cunningham, one of Ireland’s most prolific career criminals.

2001 – The Irish food industry is dealt a hammer blow as the United States and Canada ban Irish food imports, worth over £100 million a year, because of the foot and mouth scare.

2003 – Taoiseach Bertie gives his strongest indication yet that the US will be able to use Shannon Airport regardless of UN backing for war in Iraq.

2005 – On Adam Clayton’s birthday U2 are inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame by Bruce Springsteen.

Photo: Clogherhead, Co Louth, photo credit: Copter View

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