Today in Irish History – 24 September:

1661 – Faithful Tadpole is admitted as a clerical vicar choral of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.

1786 – Birth of Charles Bianconi, Irish passenger-car entrepreneur.

1798 – United Irishman, Bartholomew Teeling, is hanged in Dublin.

1801 – James Moore O’Donell, former MP for Ratoath, is killed in a duel with Major Denis Bingham in a feud over Co. Mayo politics.

1857 – Death of Westmeath born Victoria Cross winner John Alexander during the Battle of Lucknow in India. Alexander had been awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery during the Crimean War. His citation reads: “On 18 June 1855 after the attack on the Redan at Sebastopol, Crimea, Alexander went out from the trenches under very heavy fire and brought in several wounded men. On 6 September, when he was with a working party in the most advanced trench, he went out under heavy fire and helped to bring in a captain who was severely wounded.”

1880 – Mayo agent, Captain Charles Boycott, was sent to a ‘moral Coventry.’ He described his plight in a letter to The Times: “…people collect in crowds upon my farm and order off all my workmen. The shopkeepers have been warned to stop all supplies to my house. My farm is public property, I can get no workmen to do anything, and my ruin is openly avowed as the object of the Land League unless I throw up everything and leave the country”.

1892 – Death of Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore. Born in Ballygar, Co Galway, he was a composer and bandmaster who lived and worked in the United States after 1848. Whilst serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, Gilmore wrote the lyrics to the song “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, the tune he took from an old Irish antiwar folk song, “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye”. This was published under the name Louis Lambert.

1896 – F Scott Fitzgerald was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota the son of Edward and Mary McQuillan Fitzgerald. an Irish Catholic family. Fitzgerald’s most famous work The Great Gatsby opens with:

Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her;
If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
Till she cry “Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
I must have you!”

1921 – Speaking in Dundee, Winston Churchill threatened war if the Dáil refused to accept the British offer.

1921 – During rioting in Belfast, a grenade was thrown at a loyalist mob advancing towards a nationalist area. Two were killed and over twenty injured.

1922 – The Free State evacuates its garrison at Newport, Co Mayo due to the intense guerrilla activity in the area.

1944 – Birth of poet, author, and professor, Eavan Boland in Dublin. She helped develop Arlen House, a feminist publishing company. She is currently a professor at Stanford University, where she has taught since 1996. Her work deals with the Irish national identity, and the role of women in Irish history.

1959 – Ireland’s first Ban Garda recruit – woman police-officer – is introduced to RTÉ listeners.

1966 – Birth of blogger, Stefan Molyneux, in Athlone. Molyneux’s areas of interest include anarcho-capitalism, atheism, secular ethics, right-libertarianism, cryptocurrencies, and familial relationships. He is a self-published author and has spoken at libertarian conferences and on podcasts. Molyneux formerly worked in the software industry.

1998 – Garda Commissioner Pat Byrne admits that the Real IRA leaders who ordered the Omagh bombing will probably never be prosecuted.

1998 – First Minister David Trimble and his deputy Séamus Mallon are divided over the set-up of the Assembly’s power-sharing Executive.

2000 – Boy band Westlife makes British pop history by becoming the first act to have six consecutive number one singles.

2015 – Death of Judge Paul Carney. Born in Dublin, he was a judge of the Irish High Court and the presiding judge of its criminal division, the Central Criminal Court. He was regarded as a leading expert on Irish criminal law and presided over murder and rape trials since his appointment to the High Court in 1991. Carney, as the “listing judge” of the criminal division of the High Court and the only judge permanently assigned to the Central Criminal Court, heard seven out of every 10 rape cases and over half of all murder trials in the State. His views on many issues were controversial, and his insistence upon wigs being worn and titles used in public courtrooms that he was serving in resulted in his being rebuked by his superiors.

Photo: St Enoch’s Church, Killinick Parish, Co Wexford

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