Today in Irish History – 14 April:

1661 – Birth in Dublin of Sir Thomas Molyneux, scientist, archaeologist, physician and MP; first to assert that the Giant’s Causeway is a natural phenomenon.

1848 – In Dublin, the tricolour national flag of Ireland is presented to the public for the first time by Thomas Francis Meagher and the Young Ireland Party.

1886 – Jack Beattie, socialist politician and trade unionist, is born in Belfast.

1912 – The Titanic, the world’s largest ship built at Belfast’s Harland and Wolfe, hits an iceberg.

1917 – Birth of actress Valerie Hobson in Larne, Co Antrim.

1919 – Limerick Soviet commences general strike in protest against English militarism in Ireland; for three weeks in April, the city’s Trades Council takes over the entire running of the city, publishes their own newspapers and issues their own currency. The Soviet receives worldwide publicity and is seen by the British government as a major threat to their power in Ireland.

1920 – Detective Constable Harry Kells of DMP “G” Division mortally wounded by IRA.

1920 – After large demonstrations and a general strike in support of the prisoners, all 90 were released. In Milltown Malbay a group of RIC and Army shot at a crowd who were celebrating the prisoners’ release, killing three and wounding nine.

1921 – Sir Arthur Vicars was assassinated in Kilmorna Co Kerry by IRA.

1922 – Led by Rory O’Connor, forces against the Anglo-Irish Treaty seize the Four Courts in Dublin. The provisional government later attacks the garrison, which starts the civil war.

1923 – Austin Stack, Deputy IRA Chief of Staff, is captured by Free State troops near Ballymacarbry. He is carrying a document accepting a proposal by the Catholic Bishop of Cashel to end the war by calling a ceasefire and dumping arms.

1923 – Free-State forces converge on a ruined castle at Castleblake, County Kilkenny after receiving information that it was being used as a dugout by the Republicans. Free State Lieutenant Kennedy calls on the occupants to surrender and fires three shots through the door. A grenade is thrown from inside the shelter, mortally wounding Lieutenant Kennedy. Free-State troops then rush the building. Two republican fighters(Ned Somers and Theo English) are killed in the firefight and several others captured.

1923 – A 62 year old woman Bridge Geoghegan is shot dead accidentally by republican guerrillas in Ballybay Monaghan. A weapon discharged when they arrived at her house demanding food and shelter.

1836 – Pat Kirby, handballer, is born in Tuamgraney, Co Clare.

1952 – Birth of drummer, Simon Crowe in Dublin. is one of the current drummers for the new wave band The Boomtown Rats. The original name of the Boomtown Rats was the “Nightlife Thugs”. The name Boomtown Rats was taken from a novel entitled Bound for Glory by Woody Guthrie.

1952 – Birth of Mickey ‘Ned’ O’Sullivan in Kenmare, Co Kerry. He is a GAA football manager and former player. He played football with his local club Kenmare and was a member of the Kerry senior inter-county team at various times from 1972 until 1980. O’Sullivan captained Kerry to the All-Ireland title in 1975 and later served as manager of both the Kerry and Limerick senior football teams.

1972 – The PIRA exploded twenty-four bombs in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. There was also fourteen shootouts between the PIRA and security forces.

1972 – Terry Wogan launches his first British radio show.

1983 – Inaugural meeting of Aosdána in The Old Parliament House, Dublin.

1998 – Patrick J. Kennedy, son of Edward and nephew of JFK, unveils a commemorative plaque and declares the fully refurbished and redecorated White House Hotel in Kinsale open once more.

1998 – Poll results indicate that Unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland will have equal representation on a power sharing executive if the 1997 General Election results are repeated.

2003 – An international survey rates Dublin as one of the safer cities in the world. At 18 in the rankings, it is well ahead of many other cities.

Photo: Castle Island, Lough Key, Boyle, Co Roscommon

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