Today in Irish History – 15 November:

1777 – The Articles of Confederation, the first written constitution of the United States was adopted by the Continental Congress. A number of the Congress hailed from Ireland including Secretary of the Congress Charles Thomson who was born in Maghera, Co Derry in 1729. Thomson was the permanent Secretary of the Continental Congress for more than fifteen years. At least three signatories to the Declaration of Independence were Irish – James Smith, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton.

1881 – William Pearse, brother of Pádraig, was born in Dublin.

1894 – Dublin Biologist, Henry Horatio Dixon, confirmed that tree sap is pulled upwards by a form of intermolecular attraction. Until then, everyone incorrectly believed it was pumped up from the roots.

1920 – Three English officers were kidnapped and killed.

1922 – A seven-man Free State Army patrol, escorting a prisoner was ambushed at Ulverton road, Dalkey, Co Dublin. A Free State soldier and a civilian were killed in the action, in which shots were exchanged and two grenades were thrown by the Anti-Treaty fighters.

1923 – Birth of Tom Clifford, rugby player, in Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary.

1945 – Petrol for private cars goes on sale in the State again for the first time since before the War.

1951 – Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to Professor Ernest Walton of Trinity College, Dublin. Walton is the only Irishman to have won a Nobel Prize for Physics.

1958 – Screen idol Tyrone Power, descendant of Irish-born actor and comedian Tyrone Power (1795-1841) dies at age of 44 from a heart attack.

1968 – Córas Iompair Éireann (CIE) retires its last dray horse.

1981 – Death of Bridget ‘Brede’ Connolly. Born in Co Carlow, she played a pivotal role in the 1916 Rising by dispatching messages for James Connolly in the GPO.

1985 – Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) at Hillsborough Castle. It is considered to represent the most significant development in the relationships between Britain and Ireland since the partition settlement in 1920. The Agreement is an international treaty lodged at the United Nations and supported by the House of Commons and Dáil Éireann.

1998 – Bridget Dirrane, who was imprisoned with Kevin Barry and who canvassed for John F. Kennedy in the United States, celebrated her 104th birthday with news that she was to be featured in the new edition of the Guinness Book of Records. Earlier that year, Bridget received an honorary Master of Arts degree from NUI Galway which made her the oldest person in the world to be awarded a degree.

1999 – Gardaí ordered the cancellation of a lecture by British revisionist historian David Irving after 600 anti-fascists stage a protest at the University of Cork.

2000 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was placed in a political minefield on the abortion issue as a Dáil committee failed to agree on the way forward. He faced demands from the four Independents that a referendum on the issue be held.

2000 – The Northern peace process was plunged into crisis when Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams announced the party would mount a legal challenge to David Trimble’s ban on its ministers attending North South meetings.

2001 – Jacob’s Bakery celebrated its 150th anniversary with the launch of a book detailing its history, “Jacob’s Bakery – Limited Twiglets.” The author, Séamas Ó Maitiú, joked that the working title was Quaker Bakers go Crackers. The famous bakery was founded in 1851 by two Quaker brothers from Waterford, William and Rober Jacob.

2002 – The number of people on waiting lists for local authority houses was set to soar following government spending cutbacks. Fresh figures showed the number of applicants waiting for social housing reached 50,000 – a 25% increase in just three years.

2005 – The only remaining medal from the first All-Ireland, one of the rarest pieces of GAA memorabilia went up for auction at Sotheby’s in London.

Photo: Killary Harbour/An Caoláire Rua is a fjard located in the west of Ireland in the heart of Connemara which forms a natural border between counties Galway and Mayo.

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2 thoughts on “Today in Irish History – 15 November:

  1. Richard Howly (Howley)born in Ballintogher,Killenaule, Co. Tipperary in approx 1740 trained as a lawyer in the Middle Temple in London and was still at his London address at Devercux Court on 6 June 1773 (this was also the address of Wolfe Tone) from there he made his way to the USA and set up practice in Sunbury, Georgia. At a Court of the Common Pleas held in Charlestown Howly was given permission to practice this was approx. 1774 the next we hear of him as a member of the Continental Congress for the State of Georgia for 1778 and 1779 and representing the State as Governor in 1780. Thereafter he became a member of the Georgian Assembly and in 1782 made Attorney General for the State of Georgia. He died in December 1784 at Savannah, Georgia at the sge of 44.
    In the USA Richard Howly (Howley) is proported to have been born in Liberty County, Georgia this clearly is not correct and was born as stated above being one on eight children of Richard Howly and Catherine Bourke. He was also the brother of John Howley of Limerick who gave his name to Howley’s Quay as it still is today.

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