Today in Irish History – 25 September:

In the Liturgical calendar, it is the Feast day of Saint Finbarr (c. 550-c. 620). He was Bishop of Cork in the 6th century and patron saint for the city and Diocese of Cork. Possibly born near Bandon, and originally named “Lochan,” he is said to have studied in Co Kilkenny where he was renamed “Fionnbharr” (Fairhead in Irish) for the colour of his hair.

1697 – During William III’s reign, Catholic clergy are banished by Act of Parliament.

1782 – Birth of Charles Robert Maturin, also known as C. R. Maturin in Dublin. He was a Protestant clergyman (ordained in the Church of Ireland) and a writer of Gothic plays and novels. His best known work is the novel Melmoth the Wanderer. He was descended from Huguenots who found shelter in Ireland, one of whom was Gabriel Jacques Maturin who became Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin after Jonathan Swift in 1745.

1819 – George Salmon, mathematician and professor of divinity, is born in Cork.

1880 – Viscount Mountmorres is killed near Clonbur, Co Galway.

1917 – Thomas Ashe dies in the Mater Hospital in Dublin from the combined effects of a hunger strike and forced feeding at Mountjoy Jail.

1920 – In revenge for previous actions by the Black and Tans, a small group of men from the East Mayo Brigade hijacked a train and drove it past the barracks at Ballaghaderreen whilst firing at the building. The attack took the crown forces by surprise but there are no casualties.

1921 – In Belfast, an IRA volunteer was killed by a loyalist mob, one civilian was killed by a stray RUC bullet, and one civilian was killed by a grenade thrown into his home.

1957 – Shamrock Rovers are the first Irish team to play in European soccer competition. It was an interesting debut as they are hammered by a pre-Munich Manchester United. The Busby Babes slammed six goals past Rovers without reply in Dublin. Rovers acquitted themselves much better in the return leg in Manchester losing just 3-2. Less than five months later, most of the Manchester United team was wiped out at Munich including Dubliner Liam Whelan. Whelan who did not play against Rovers. United greats to feature in the Dublin game included Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor, Bobby Charlton and Roger Byrne. Only Charlton would survive Munich.

1961 – Ronnie Whelan, Home Farm, Liverpool, Reading and Republic of Ireland footballer, is born in Dublin.

1962 – An international rescue operation took place in a gale whipped Atlantic in an attempt to find survivors from a chartered Super Constellation aircraft which went down 500 miles off the coast of Ireland when three of it’s four engines failed, 55 of the crew and passengers were rescued out of the total of 78 on board.

1964 – Birth of Maria Doyle Kennedy (born Maria Josephine Doyle) is an award-winning and critically acclaimed composer, singer, songwriter, musician, theatre artist, orchestrator and educator from Dublin, Ireland. As an actress she is probably best known for her role as Queen Katherine of Aragon in the award winning The Tudors.

1983 – Long Kesh Prison Escape: Thirty-eight IRA prisoners, armed with six handguns, hijack a prison meals lorry and smash their way out of of Long Kesh prison, 19 succeed in escaping. It is the largest prison escape since World War II and in British-ruled history.

1996 – The last of the Magdalene Asylums closes in Ireland.

1999 – Sam Tamsanguan from Wilton’s Restaurant in London wins the world oyster opening championship title at the 45th annual Galway Oyster Festival.

1999 – Protestant civil rights marchers blatantly defy a Belfast City Council ban to lay a wreath at the cenotaph to the victims of the Troubles during the so-called Long March.

2000 – Sonia O’Sullivan wins a silver medal in the 5,000 meters at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia

2002 – Saying “He is no longer acceptable in our organisation,” Loyalist chief Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair is dumped by the leadership of the paramilitary Ulster Defence Association.

2005 – Two months after announcing its intention to disarm, the IRA gives up its weapons in front of independent weapons inspectors. The decommissioning of the group’s substantial arsenal took place in secret locations in the Republic of Ireland. One Protestant and one Catholic priest as well as officials from Finland and the United States served as witnesses to the historic event. Automatic weapons, ammunition, missiles and explosives were among the arms found in the cache, which the head weapons inspector described as “enormous.”

2015 – Death of goalkeeper and manager Pat Dunne (born in Dublin). He was part of the Shamrock Rovers team which won the League of Ireland, FAI Cup, Shield, Leinster Senior Cup and Dublin City Cup in the 1963-64 season before playing for Manchester United. Dunne also won five caps for Ireland and played in the World Cup play-off against Spain in Paris in 1965. He also played in Ireland’s first ever game at U23 level, in 1966, against France.

Photo: Slea Head, Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry, Glen McClure Photography

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