Today in Irish History – 11 November:

1171 – Henry II holds his court in Dublin from this date to 2 February 1172.

1718 – Birth of Thomas Waite, MP and Under Secretary for the Civil Department: pillar of the Irish administration 1747-80.

1841 – Death of The Venerable Mother Catherine Elizabeth McAuley at Stormanstown House, Dublin. She was an Irish nun, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831. The Order has always been associated with teaching, especially in Ireland, where the nuns taught Catholics (and at times Protestants) at a time when education was mainly reserved for members of the established Church of Ireland.

1865 – Sentenced to fourteen years hard labour for treason, Irish nationalist and Fenian Charles Kickham is incarcerated in Pentonville Prison. He was released in 1869, partly due to ill-health. Kickham was a contributor to the Irish People, the organiser of the Fenian movement, the Irish Republican Brotherhood which the English authorities deemed seditious. He also authored a number of novels including the critically acclaimed Knocknagow. Suffering from ill-health, he was released from prison in 1869.

1873 – Birth of Daniel Daly, double Medal of Honor winner in Glen Cove, NY.

1880 – Ned Kelly, Australian bushranger and son of Tipperary transportee, is hanged in Melbourne.

1887 – Birth of John M. Hayes in Murroe, Co Limerick; priest and founder of Muintir na Tíre.

1918 – End of World War I. More than 200,000 Irish troops fought in the British army over the four years of conflict. An estimated 30,000 Irishmen died during the war.

1919 – First edition of the Irish Bulletin was produced by Dáil Éireann’s Department of Publicity. It was to be produced every few days from this date onward and became very important in getting the Irish side of events known to a wide audience.

1922 – Republican head of propaganda, Robert Erskine Childers, is captured by the Free State at the house of Robert Barton in Annamoe, Co Wicklow.

1922 – A civilian is shot dead by Free State patrol on Queen Street, Dublin.

1923 – Birth of F.S.L. Lyons, historian and biographer, in Co Derry.

1925 – George Bernard Shaw Wins Nobel Prize for Literature. Born in Dublin in 1856, Shaw is the only person to receive both a Nobel Prize in Literature and an Oscar (1938), for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaptation of his play of the same name).

1938 – Death of Mary Mallon, also known as Typhoid Mary. Born in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, she was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected some 53 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. She was forcibly isolated twice by public health authorities and died after nearly three decades altogether in isolation.

1941 – Birth of Eddie Keher, Kilkenny hurler and winner of six All-Ireland medals.

1966 – Birth of actress and model, Alison Doody in Dublin. After making her feature film debut with a small part in Bond film A View to a Kill (1985), she went on to play Nazi-sympathising archaeologist Elsa Schneider, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Other roles include Siobhan Donavan in A Prayer for the Dying (1987), Charlotte in Taffin (1988) and Rebecca Flannery in Major League II (1994).

1987 – The Cliffs of Moher are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in Co Clare. They rise 120 metres (390 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head and reach their maximum height of 214 metres (702 ft) just north of O’Brien’s Tower, eight kilometres to the north. Their sheer cragginess is mightily impressive. They were one of Ireland’s biggest tourist draw in 2006, with one million visitors. In cinema, the cliffs have appeared in several films: they doubled as the ‘Cliffs of Insanity’ in ‘The Princess Bride’ (released on this date in 1987), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), and Leap Year (2010). The cliffs are mentioned in the Martin Scorsese film Bringing Out the Dead (1999) and are noted in the 2008 documentary Waveriders as the location of a large surfing wave known as “Aileens”.

1997 – Mary McAleese inaugurated as President of Ireland.

1998 – Paddy Clancy, Irish folk musician dies.

1999 – The peace process is on a knife-edge after Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble fails to get his Assembly members to support the latest proposals for a route to devolution.

1999 – Dublin confirms itself as Europe’s most vibrant music capital as an estimated 300 million people tune in to the sixth MTV Europe Music Awards live from The Point.

2000 – A massive fault on an ESB 110kv powerline results in a nationwide power surge, triggering the automatic shutdown sequence at the State’s only oil refinery.

2002 – IRA intelligence-gathering in Belfast is smashed open by one of the biggest police investigations in Northern Ireland in the last decade.

2002 – A huge temple, once surrounded by about 300 huge posts made from an entire oak forest, is discovered directly beneath the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.

2004 – Mary McAleese inaugurated as President of Ireland for second term.

2007 – The UDA issued a statement declaring an end to its armed campaign. The statement noted that they would retain their weapons but put them “beyond use”.

Photo: Carrigafoyle Castle, Ballylongford, Co Kerry

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