Feast Day of Abbán moccu Corbmaic (also Eibbán or Moabba), a saint in Irish tradition. He was associated, first and foremost, with Mag Arnaide (Moyarney or Adamstown, near New Ross, Co Wexford) and with Cell Abbáin (Killabban, Co Laois). His cult was, however, also connected to other churches elsewhere in Ireland, notably that of his alleged sister Gobnait.
1618 – Richard Archdekin, Jesuit, educator and missioner to Ireland, is born in Louvain.
1640 – Charles I’s second Irish parliament meets.
1690 – French king Louis XIV sends troops to Ireland.
1789 – Francis Rawdon Chesney, soldier and explorer, is born in Annalong, Co Down.
1815 – William Reeves, Church of Ireland bishop and antiquary, is born in Charleville, Co Cork.
1828 – Patrick Cleburne, American Civil War Confederate General, is born in Cobh, Co Cork.
1839 – John B. Yeats, painter and father of William Butler and Jack B. Yeats, is born in Tullylish, Co Down.
1865 – Irish-born Martin Murphy, one of the greatest pioneers of early California, dies.
1865 – Baseball player Patsy Donovan is born in Cobh (then Queenstown) Co Cork. Donovan played major league baseball for a number of teams including the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals between 1892-1903 consistently hitting .300. He managed the Boston Red Sox seasons 1910 and 1911. Donovan persuaded the Red Sox to sign an up and coming player named George Ruth in 1914.
1907 – Death of John O’Leary. He was an Irish separatist and a leading Fenian. He studied both law and medicine but did not take a degree and for his involvement in the Irish Republican Brotherhood he was sentenced to twenty years’ penal servitude, of which five years were spent in English prisons, prior to his release and exile in January 1871. During his exile, he lived mainly in Paris, also visiting the USA, remained active in the IRB and its associated organisations, and wrote many letters to newspapers and journals.
1919 – Sinn Fein member Robert Barton escapes from Mountjoy Jail, courtesy of some excellent planning by Michael Collins which involved smuggling a file into the prison.
1921 – The IRA in Galway attacked the RIC barracks in Clifden. Two RIC constables were killed. The IRA column retreated to the Maam valley, where they ambushed British reinforcements at Munterowan and Screebe. The RIC burned several buildings in Clifden in reprisal for the attacks.
1922 – Speaking in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, Éamon de Valera states that if the Treaty is accepted, there will be civil war. Unfortunately he was right.
1922 – In the NI Parliament, Dawson Bates declared that “we are at war” with the IRA.
1922 – In Belfast, four people were killed and numerous people were injured by grenades.
1923 – National Army troops sweep the vicinity of Newport in County Mayo, resulting in some arrests.
1923 – A Free State sweep in County Wexford encounters an anti-Treaty column. One National Army soldier and two republicans are killed in the fire fight.
1923 – Anti-Treaty fighters explode a bomb at the Customs and Excise Offices in Dublin. One CID man is killed and another wounded.
1955 – Singer Ruby Murray scores five simultaneous hits in the British charts.
1959 – RTÉ interviews Ireland’s first bangarda, Mary Brown from Roscommon.
1960 – The P and O liner Canberra (45,000 tons) is launched in Belfast at a cost of £17,000,000.
1977 – Birth of Donal Óg Cusack. He is an Irish hurling coach, selector and former player. He has been coach and selector with the Clare senior team since 2015. Cusack is regarded as the greatest goalkeepers of his generation.
1981 – Birth of Andrew Patrick Bree. He is a breaststroke swimmer from Helen’s Bay, Co Down. He is a 2-time Olympian, having swum at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics.He represented Northern Ireland four times at the Commonwealths and placed fifth twice in the 200m breaststroke.
1981 – Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him. In order to secure his status as Irish political prisoner he was willing to fast til death, an event that would earn him a place in the annals of Irish history and in the hearts and minds of Irish republicans world wide. See Bobby Sands Trust for today’s entry: http://www.bobbysandstrust.com/writings/prison-diary
1988 – At Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast, a gunman kills three mourners and injures at least 50 people attending a funeral for IRA members Maireád Farrell, Daniel McCann, and Sean Savage executed in Gibraltar.
1991 – Members of Irish Gay & Lesbian Organisation march in NYC parade.
1995 – Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams meets President Bill Clinton for the first time.
1998 – In Washington, at the American/Ireland Fund dinner, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern bluntly tells Northern political leaders to display the courage necessary to make far-reaching compromises over the next fortnight to rescue the peace process from the dangers of failure
1998 – Beef exports from Northern Ireland are to resume after a three-year ban stemming from the BSE crisis.
2000 – Hundreds of sprigs of shamrock are airlifted from Ireland by the RAF to Irish regiments of the British Army around the world in accordance with a decree issued by Queen Victoria 100 years ago. It is exactly 100 years since the queen decrees that all Irish regiments of the British Army wear a shamrock in their head dress on St Patrick’s Day to commemorate the bravery of Irish troops during the Boer War.
2000 – Northern Secretary, Peter Mandelson, announces that more troop withdrawals are likely over the coming months
2001 – Kilmainham residents protest against a planned office development in the heart of an historic part of Dublin.
2001 – Irish Defense Minister Michael Smith, center, waves the Irish flag as he celebrates St. Patrick’s day with other Irish peacekeepers at Camp Shamrock near the southern village of Tibnine.
2003 – More than 1,500 performers create a Mardi-Gras atmosphere on the streets of Limerick for the 33rd International Marching Band Parade and Competition.
Photo: Northburg Castle is locally known as ‘Greencastle’, Co Donegal
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