Today in Irish History – 28 October:

1659 – Birth of Nicholas Brady, Anglican divine and poet, born in Bandon, Co Cork. He received his education at Westminster School and at Christ Church, Oxford; he graduated from Trinity College, Dublin.

1758 – Edward Moore, 5th Earl of Drogheda and former MP for Dunleer, drowns with his son Edward, chaplain to the House of Commons, en route from England to Dublin.

1867 – Birth of social worker, author, teacher and a disciple of Swami Vivekananda, Sister Nivedita, born Margaret Elizabeth Noble in Co Tyrone. She spent her childhood and early days of her youth in Ireland. From her father, and her college professor, she learned many valuable lessons like – service to mankind is the true service to God. She worked as school teacher and later also opened a school. She was committed to marry a Welsh youth who died soon after their engagement.

1875 – Death of William Howard Glover, composer and music critic.

1893 – Thirty years after the action, Tipperary born Captain John Lonergan, Company A, 13th Vermont Infantry is awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the second day of Gettysburg. Citation: Place and date: At Gettysburg, Pa., 2 July 1863. Entered service at: Burlington, Vt. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 28 October 1893. Citation: Gallantry in the recapture of 4 guns and the capture of 2 additional guns from the enemy; also the capture of a number of prisoners.

1901 – Birth of Eileen Shanahan in Dublin. She was one of the small number of Irish women poets. Her best-known poem, The Three Children (Near Clonmel), was included in the Oxford Book of Irish Verse (1958).

1905 – George Bernard Shaw’s “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” is first performed in New York; though it had previously been performed in London, it had been censored, and the American performance was the first on the public stage. The New York police arrested everyone concerned, cast and crew, but it seems only the house manager of the theatre was actually charged. Seen as one of Shaw’s finest works by many, the play has been revived in 1907, 1918, 1922, 1976 and 2010.

1907 – Birth of John Harold Hewitt in Belfast. He was the most significant Irish poet to emerge before the 1960s generation of poets that included Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon and Michael Longley. He was appointed the first writer-in-residence at Queen’s University Belfast in 1976. His collections include The Day of the Corncrake (1969) and Out of My Time: Poems 1969 to 1974. He was also made a Freeman of the City of Belfast in 1983, and was awarded honorary doctorates the University of Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast.

1909 – Birth in Dublin of Sir Francis Bacon, painter.

1922 – The Irish Civil War claimed the first life of a Garda when Garda Henry Phelan is shot dead in Mullinahone, Co Tipperary when he was mistaken for his brother, a former member of the RIC.

1922 – Three Free State soldiers are killed.

1922 – Two Free State soldiers die in hospital in Limerick. One mortally wounded by a grenade attack in Limerick City on the 24th, another accidentally shot by another soldier cleaning a Thompson submachine gun.

1944 – Birth of radio and television broadcaster for BBC, Gerry Anderson in Co Derry. 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”.

1958 – The State Opening of Parliament is televised for the first time.

1976 – Máire Drumm was the vice president of Sinn Féin and a commander in Cumann na mBan. She was assassinated by loyalists while recovering in Belfast’s Mater Hospital.

1988 – Birth of Devon Michael Murray, an Irish actor known for playing Seamus Finnigan in the ‘Harry Potter’ films. Before ‘Harry Potter’, Murray had played Christy in ‘This is My Father’, Malachy in ‘Angela’s Ashes’, and Geoffrey in ‘Yesterday’s Children’.

1999 – Ulster Unionist and Sinn Féin politicians grapple with a new formula designed to break the deadlock in the peace process.

2000 – Athlete Sonia O’Sullivan returns to her hometown of Cobh and is presented with the Freedom of The Town.

2001 – Republican sources claim the IRA has destroyed up to 300 weapons in its first act of decommissioning.

2004 – Death of Jimmy McLarnin, born in Hillsborough, Co Down. He was a Canadian professional boxer who became two-time welterweight world champion and an International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee. BoxRec ranks McLarnin as the 11th best pound-for-pound fighter of all-time, the second best Canadian boxer of all-time (after Sam Langford) and the greatest welterweight of all-time (ahead of the great Henry Armstrong).

2015 – Death of Peter Francis Barrett at the age of 59. He was the Bishop of Cashel and Ossory in the Church of Ireland from 2002 to 2006. Barrett, previously Dean of Waterford from 1998 to 2002, was elected as Bishop of Cashel and Ossory in the Church of Ireland on 4 November 2002 and consecrated at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin on 25 January 2003. He resigned in 2006 following the breakdown of his marriage. He and another woman moved to England, but their relationship eventually broke down and he returned to Ireland.

Photo: Ballintoy Harbour, Co Antrim, Roger Bradley Photography

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