Feast Day of Saint Mac Cairthinn, also Macartan, a very early generation of saints in Ireland and is recognised as the first Bishop of Clogher. He is known as Saint Patrick’s ‘Strong Man’ for his dedication and faithfulness.
1603 – James VI of Scotland comes to the throne of England, as James I, following the death of Elizabeth I on this date.
1796 – The Insurrection Act imposes curfews, arms searches, and the death penalty for oath-taking.
1829 – Catholic Emancipation: The Parliament of the United Kingdom passes the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829, allowing Catholics to serve in Parliament.
1866 – Birth in Co Cork of light-heavyweight boxing champion, Jack McAuliffe.
1909 – Death in Dublin of John Millington Synge. The plays of Irish peasant life on which his fame rests are written in the last six years of his life. In 1904, Synge, Yeats and Lady Gregory found the famous Abbey Theatre. Two Synge comedies, The Well of the Saints (1905) and The Playboy of the Western World (1907), are presented by the Abbey players. The latter play creates a furor of resentment among Irish patriots stung by Synge’s bitter humour.
1920 – Tom Crean, seaman and Antarctic explorer from Annascaul, Co Kerry, retired from the Royal Navy, after almost 27 years of service. While serving aboard the Fox, in April 1919, Crean had suffered a serious fall, causing a bad head injury, which would have lasting effects on his eyesight. Almost a year later, whilst serving on the Hecla, Tom Crean was declared medically unfit to serve, because of his defective vision, and the giant Irishman retired on medical grounds.
1921 – A bomb was thrown at a group of soldiers at Westport, Co Mayo. British reprisals took place that night throughout West Mayo.
1922 – McMahon killings: In Belfast, policemen break into the home of a Catholic family and shoot all eight males inside, killing six.
1923 – Anti-Treaty IRA executive meets in Co Tipperary to discuss the war’s future. Tom Barry proposes a motion to end the war, but it is defeated by 6 votes to 5. Éamon de Valera is allowed to attend, after some debate, but is given no voting rights.
1926 – Birth of Desmond Connell in Phibsboro, Co Dublin. He is an Irish cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. He is a former Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland. He is one of a number of senior clergy to have been heavily criticised for inaction and for making misleading statements in connection with clerical sex abuse in Dublin.
1945 – Birth of actor Patrick Malahide; born Patrick G. Duggan, to Irish parents living in England.
1958 – Dawson Stelfox, architect and mountaineer, is born in Belfast.
1968 – An Aer Lingus plane, the St. Phelim, crashes into the sea near Tuskar Rock, Co Wexford, with the loss of all 61 passengers and crew.
1970 – Birth of Sharon Corr in Dundalk, Co Louth. She is a singer-songwriter, violinist and television personality. She is best known as a member of The Corrs, which she co-founded in 1990 with her elder brother Jim and younger sisters Caroline and Andrea.
1972 – Stormont parliament and government are suspended and direct rule from London is introduced; William Whitelaw becomes Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
1995 – For the first time in 25 years, Britain halts all routine army patrols in Belfast.
1998 – The Prison Service in Northern Ireland confirms that five Loyalist Volunteer Force prisoners are now on hunger strike at Long Kesh prison to protest a security crackdown following the savage murder of loyalist remand prisoner David Keys.
1999 – Anti-blood sports groups call on Minister Silé de Valera to refuse to renew a licence to the country’s last remaining stag hunt.
2000 – Dubliners face traffic chaos as the bus drivers’ dispute threatens to escalate into an all out strike.
2002 – Twenty-one whales are rescued after stranding themselves on a Kerry beach; with the other whales forming a circle around her, rescuers are thrilled to observe one of the whales giving birth minutes after being pulled back out to safety.
2003 – Veteran actor Peter O’Toole is awarded an honorary Oscar for a career which has spanned more than 40 years.
2010 – President Mary McAleese pays tribute to fallen Irish at Gallipoli while on a state trip to Turkey in what is being seen as the first official recognition of the huge loss of Irish lives in the first World War.
2016 – Kerry County Museum paid €10,600 at auction to buy a Treasure Island-style map drawn by Sir Roger Casement to show where he had buried gold and other valuables after landing at Banna Strand on Good Friday 1916.
Photo: Inistioge, Co Kilkenny, Sabrina O’Brien Photography
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