Today in Irish History – 12 November:

1798 – In the early morning hours on the day he is due to be executed, it is discovered that Wolf Tone inflicted a deep wound in his neck; a French emigrant surgeon was called in, closed the wound and reported that, “as the prisoner had missed the carotid artery, he might yet survive, but was in the extremest danger.” Wolf Tone on hearing this prognosis is quoted as saying: “I am sorry I have been so bad an anatomist.”

1847 – Letter published in the Cork Examiner on The Great Hunger.

1872 – Birth of William Fay. He was an actor and theatre producer who was one of the co-founders of the Abbey Theatre. Fay was born in Dublin and attended Belvedere College, Dublin. He worked for a time in the 1890s with a touring theatre company in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. When he returned to Dublin, he worked with his brother Frank, staging productions in halls around the city. Finally, they formed W.G. Fay’s Irish National Dramatic Company, focused on the develop-ment of Irish acting talent.

1920 – Two IRA volunteers were killed in a gunfight in Ballymacelligott, near Tralee, Co Kerry.

1929 – Birth of Grace Kelly. She was an American Academy Award-winning actress and Princess consort of Monaco. In April 1956 Kelly married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, and became styled as Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco, and was commonly referred to as Princess Grace.

1934 – Birth of John McGahern, known primarily for his novel, The Dark.

1954 – Ellis Island closes.

1958 – Death of four-time Boston Mayor James M Curley, Congressman and one term Governor of Massachusetts.

1971 – RTÉ bans several patriotic ballads including Dublin In The Green and The Patriot Game.

1998 – The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) announced it has made a commitment to an “act of decommissioning” within weeks. The announcement comes following the British Government decision to recognise the organisation’s ceasefire.

1998 – Prompted by the loss of more than £60m every year because of the negative impression created by the raucous vulgar nature of stag-hen parties in Temple Bar, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce announces plans to ban them.

2000 – Ógra Fianna Fáil votes to support blanket ban on abortion

2008 – Waterford Crystal unveiled the new 3.7 m (12ft) wide, 5,386kg (11,875lb) ball that would drop in New York’s Times Square on New Year’s eve in 2009. It was covered in 2,668 brilliant crystals made in Ireland.

Photo: Hill of the O’Neill, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, Hibernia Landscapes by Stephen Wallace

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