Today in Irish History – 21 August:

1693 – Death of Patrick Sarsfield (b. in Lucan), created the first Earl of Lucan, Irish Jacobite and soldier, belonged to an Anglo-Norman family long settled in Ireland. His father Patrick Sarsfield married Anne, daughter of Rory (Roger) O’Moore, who organised the Irish Rebellion of 1641. The family was of Norman origin (by this time, known as “Old English”) and possessed an estate with an income of £2000 a year. Patrick, who was a younger son, entered Dongan’s Regiment of Foot on 6 February 1678.

1791 – Birth of the word ‘quiz’ (allegedly and disputed). Richard Daly, a theatre proprietor in Dublin, makes a bet that within 48 hours he can introduce a new word into the English language. After the evening performance, Mr. Daly distributes cards to all the staff with the word written on it, and instructs them to write it on walls all over the city. Thus ‘quiz’ enters the language.

1861 – Birth of Frederick Crawford. Crawford is one of the lesser known figures in Ulster Unionist history but one who was hugely influential because of his involvement in what is known as the Larne gun running incident when he was responsible for smuggling over 25,000 guns into the North on the night of 24 April 1914.

1855 – Last ever Donnybrook Fair, held in Dublin since 1204. The general uproar of the annual event results in its suspension.

1879 – A Vision of the Virgin Mary is witnessed by 15 villagers in Knock, Co Mayo.

1882 – Birth in Gloucester of Arthur Luce, a professor of philosophy and fellow of Trinity College in Dublin for 65 years.

1911 – Irish Women’s Suffrage Federation is formed.

1920 – Birth in Belfast of Rinty Monaghan, world flyweight boxing champion.

1922 – One Free State soldier is killed in an ambush at Blessington, County Wicklow. Four more are wounded in an ambush near Enniscorthy, County Wexford. Free State troops occupy Bandon and Dunmanway, County Cork without resistance.

1959 – Death of Denis Devlin. He was, along with Samuel Beckett and Brian Coffey, one of the generation of Irish modernist poets to emerge at the end of the 1920s. He was also a career diplomat.

1970 – The Social Democratic and Labour Party is founded with Gerry Fitt as leader.

1978 – RTÉ broadcasts Eddie Macken on Boomerang winning the Aga Khan trophy.

1982 – Paul Hewson (Bono) marries his high-school sweetheart Alison Stewart at a ceremony in Raheny, Dublin.

1983 – A train from Tralee failed near Cherryville Junction and was run into from the rear by a train from Galway. Seven passengers die in the crash and another passenger later dies from their injuries.

1998 – A salmonella alert is issued following the deaths of five elderly people in two separate outbreaks at a hospital and home for the aged in Co Galway.

2000 – Two men are shot dead in broad daylight as an all-out war erupts between rival loyalist terror gangs in Belfast.

2000 – The Catholic hierarchy confirms it is actively considering allowing lay people to be ordained deacons in a bid to cope with the shortage of priests.

2001 – Sinn Féin warns British prime minister Tony Blair he should take note of a poll which found the vast majority of British people believe the North should no longer be part of Britain.

2001 – Unionists withhold their endorsement of the Government’s new implementation plan for future policing arrangements in Northern Ireland.

2002 – Celestica Electronics sheds half of its workforce of 500 at Swords, Co Dublin.

2014 – Death of radio and television broadcaster for BBC Northern Ireland, Gerry Anderson. Born in Co Derry, he was renowned for his unique style and somewhat unusual sense of humour. Anderson often referred to himself on his show, as “Turkey Neck”, “Puppet Chin” or “Golf Mike Alpha”.

2014 – Death of Fianna Fáil politician and former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds. Born in Roscommon, he was the last head of government not to have previously had a family member in the Dáil.

Photo: Dunlewy Church in the Poisoned Glen, Co Donegal, Dallan D Doherty Photography

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