Today in Irish History – 21 April:

1738 – A Mr Lorimer, receiver of Sir Arthur Acheson (MP for Mullingar), is killed in a duel.

1816 – Daughter of an Irish father, Charlotte Brontë, eldest of the three Brontë Sisters and author of Jane Eyre, is born.

1871 – John Fitzpatrick, Labour leader and Irish nationalist is born in Athlone, Co Westmeath.

1874 – Walter Wilson, mechanical engineer, designer of cars and tanks, is born in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

1875 – Charles Stewart Parnell was first elected to the House of Commons, as a Home Rule League MP for Meath. During his first year Parnell mostly stayed quiet and watched. He first drew attention in 1876 when he said a group of Irish rebels called Fenians (accused of killing a police officer) did not kill anyone.

1879 – Birth of novelist Maurice Walsh in Listowel, Co Kerry.

1907 – The nationalist groups, Cumman na nGaedheal and Dungannon Clubs, combine to form the Sinn Féin League.

1916 – The first casualties of the EasterRising were on Good Friday in Co Kerry. Three Volunteers (Con Keating, Charlie Monahan and Donal Sheehan) drowned when their car plunged off a pier into the sea while they were on the way to Cahirciveen in order to set up radio communications with Sir Roger Casement and the German arms ship the Aud.

1916 – The Aud arrives at Banna Strand, Co Kerry, from Germany with 20,000 rifles for use of the Volunteers in the Easter Uprising; they are discovered by the British and the crew scuttles the ship. Roger Casement, who is following behind the Aud in a submarine, lands safely, but is captured later.

1920 – IRA prisoners began a hunger strike in Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London.

1922 – In Belfast, six people were killed. Fr Bernard Laverty (chair of the Belfast Catholic Protection Committee) sent a telegram to Winston Churchill saying that Catholics were “being gradually but certainly exterminated”.

1922 – Ulster Council of IRA met in Clones and agree that every division with territory inside the six counties would carry out operations in about two weeks. McDermott says that Collins sanctioned this policy. He goes on to say that “The aim of the new campaign was to make the government of the six counties as difficult as possible, rather than the overthrow of the state”.

1923 – An Anti-Treaty IRA captain, Martin Hogan, is abducted and killed in Dublin, his body is found in Drumcondra.

1948 – Birth of Clare Moylan in Dublin. She was an author, journalist and critic. Boylan began her career as a journalist at the Irish Press. Later in her career she edited the glossy magazine Image, before largely giving up journalism to focus on a career as an author and had several novels published. She lived in Co Wicklow with her husband Alan Wilkes. She died after a lengthy struggle with ovarian cancer, aged 58.

1970 – The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland is founded on this date, with Phelim O’Neill as leader.

1970 – Birth of Glen Hansard in Ballymun, Dublin. He is a songwriter, actor, vocalist and guitarist for Irish group The Frames, and one half of folk rock duo The Swell Season. He is also known for his acting, having appeared in the BAFTA-winning film The Commitments, as well as starring in the film Once, which earned him a number of major awards, including an Academy Award for Best Song and dozens of nominations between 2007–08.

1994 – ‘Guildford Four’ man, Paul Hill, wins his appeal against a conviction for an IRA murder in Northern Ireland.

1995 Father Ted was broadcast for the first time. A television programme offers to interview Father Ted Crilly. However Ted goes to extreme lengths to ensure the other members of the clergy on the island don’t interrupt his moment in the spotlight. Meanwhile Craggy Island hosts Fun Land, a fun fair to which Dougal is desperate to go. Ted takes the film crew to the fair, leading to a massive mess.

1998 – In its annual study, the International Institute of Management Development ranks Ireland as the 11th most competitive country in the world – ahead of global economic powers such as Japan, Germany and Britain.

1999 – Paddy McDonagh, a former Irish soldier caught transporting a massive bomb across the border on the day the Good Friday Agreement referendum votes are counted, is jailed for six years by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

1999 – An historic meeting between David Trimble and the Pope takes place in Rome; careful stage-management ensures there are no public photographs of the two men close together. Mr Trimble is the first unionist leader to meet a Pope.

2000 – Dissident republicans threaten fresh violence as Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams claim hope in Northern Ireland had plunged to an all time low.

2001 – The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland orders Levi’s to remove posters featuring semi naked models from bus shelters and near schools.

2002 – The IRA denies that it responsible for last month’s break-in at Special Branch offices in Belfast. The organisation also insists it is not involved in targeting politicians and said its ceasefire remains intact.

2015 – Death of Rugby star Jim McCarthy. Born in Cork, one of the heroes of Ireland’s 1948 Grand Slam winning team, McCarthy played 28 times for Ireland, making a try-scoring debut in the 1948 Championship opener away to France. He was ever-present during the campaign, forming a legendary back row combination with Bill McKay and Des O’Brien.

Photo: Inis Mór, Aran Islands, Co Galway

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