Today in Irish History – 29 April:

1653 – Birth of John Whally, necromancer and charlatan.

1665 – Birth of James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde and an ancestor of Princess Diana. The Dublin-born Irish general becomes one of the most powerful men in the Tory administration, governing England in the early part of the 18th century – from 1710 to 1714.

1680 – The first stone of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham is laid by the Duke of Ormond.

1707 – Death of dramatist, George Farquhar. Born in Derry, he is noted for his contributions to late Restoration comedy, particularly for his plays The Recruiting Officer (1706) and The Beaux’ Stratagem (1707).

1758 – Wide Streets Commission for Dublin is appointed by the Irish Parliament.

1769 – Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, soldier and statesman, is born in Dublin.

1803 – Paul Cullen, prelate, is born in Prospect, Co Kildare.

1849 – The brig Hannah transported emigrants to Canada during Án Gorta Mor. She is known for the terrible circumstances of her 1849 shipwreck that set out for Quebec City from Newry, Co Down on 3rd April.

1874 – Conal O’Riordan (pseudonym ‘F. Norris Connell), writer and theatre manager, is born in Dublin.

1916 – Pearse orders surrender of the Easter Rising rebels on this date. Approximately 64 rebels have been killed, 132 crown forces, and 230 civilians. 2,500 people have been wounded; the centre of Dublin has been devastated by the shelling.

1916 – Martial law in Ireland is lifted and the rebellion is officially over with the surrender of Irish nationalists to British authorities in Dublin.

1916 – Death of Michael Joseph O’Rahilly, ‘The O’Rahilly’, a republican who took part in the Easter Rising, during which he was killed in the fighting.

1921 – The West Waterford Flying Column under George Lennon ambushed a train carrying British troops at the Ballylynch level crossing. One Volunteer was wounded and two British military were killed in a fire-fight.

1938 – Birth of Ray McSharry, Fianna Fáil politician and EU Commissioner.

1941 – Birth of Jonah Barrington, squash player, in Cornwall; a student at Trinity in the late 1950s/early 1960s, it’s where he started to play squash; one of the greatest squash players of all time, he is considered to be the father of the modern professional game.

1954 – Kevin Moran, football player for Dublin Gaelic, Manchester United, Sporting Gijon, Blackburn Rovers and Republic of Ireland, is born in Dublin.

1957 – Daniel Day-Lewis, best actor Oscar winner for My Left Foot, is born.

1998 – Triple Olympic champion Michelle De Bruin comes out fighting in response to the most serious drugs-linked threat to her glittering swimming career.

1991 – The Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) (acting on behalf of all loyalist paramilitaries) announced a ceasefire lasting until 4 July. This was to coincide with political talks between the four main parties (the Brooke-Mayhew talks).

1999 – Governor General of Australia, Sir William Deane, is to be conferred with an honorary degree at Trinity, and is the guest of honour at the first state dinner held at Dublin Castle under President Mary McAleese’s term.

2001 – The Irish Council for Civil Liberties celebrates the 25th anniversary of its foundation.

2001 – Des O’Malley pledges his co-operation to a new inquiry into the Arms Crisis of 1970 and challenges Charles Haughey to do the same. Mr O’Malley strongly defends his role as Justice Minister during the turbulent events surrounding the most controversial trial in the State’s history.

2001 – A monument is unveiled in Inniscarra, Co Cork, in honour of an Ulster chief who could have changed the history of Europe if he hadn’t been killed in battle. Chief of Fermanagh, Aodh Mag Uidhir (Hugh Maguire) is shot dead during an ambush in 1600 at Carrigrohane before the Battle of Kinsale the following year, which sees the last struggle for an independent Gaelic Ireland fail. “Maguire was a great strategist, and some believe that had he survived, the result of the Battle of Kinsale might have been different, changing the course of European history. He was the Rommel of the 1600s,” says Seán O´ Ceallacháin of the Hugh Maguire Commemoration Committee.

2003 – Thornton’s Restaurant in Dublin ranks 25th in Restaurant magazine’s latest list of the top 50 restaurants in the world.

Photo credit: 1916 Easter Revolution in Colour

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