Today in Irish History – 22 November:

1773 – Lord John Beresford, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland, is born in Dublin.

1830 – Justin McCarthy, politician, novelist and historian, is born in Cork.

1869 – Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, Fenian, contests and wins a Tipperary by-election in abstentia, but is declared ineligible as a convicted felon.

1912 – Birth in Dublin of poet, dramatist and lawyer, Donagh MacDonagh, son of 1916 Easter Rising Leader, Thomas MacDonagh.

1919 – Birth of Máire Drumm in Newry, Co Down. She was the vice president of Sinn Féin and a commander in Cumann na mBan. She was killed by loyalists while recovering in Belfast’s Mater Hospital.

1921 – Birth of prolific writer, Brian Cleeve, whose published works include twenty-one novels and over a hundred short stories. He was also an award-winning broadcaster on RTÉ television.

1923 – IRA prisoner, Andrew Sullivan, dies on hunger strike in Mountjoy Gaol in Dublin.

1963 – Death of C. S. Lewis (Clive Staples Lewis born in Belfast), known to his friends as Jack. He was an Irish academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, and Christian apologist. He is also known for his fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy.

1963 – The first Roman Catholic president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

1974 – Hugh Callaghan, Patrick Hill, Robert Hunter, Noel McIlkenny, William Power and John Walker, known as “The Birmingham Six” are arrested and taken into custody in connection with the pub bombings the prior day.

1975 – Drummuckavall Ambush: Three British Army soldiers (James Duncan, Peter McDonald and Michael Sampson) were killed and one soldier was wounded when the PIRA attacked a watchtower in Drummuckavall, Crossmaglen, South Armagh.

1980 – Death of painter and illustrator, Norah McGuinness. Born in Derry, she trained at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and at Chelsea Polytechnic in London before spending the 1920s working in Dublin as a book illustrator and stage designer. There was a retrospective of her work in the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College Dublin in 1968, and in 1973 the college awarded her an honorary doctorate.

1982 – Birth of actress, Fiona Glascott, in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary. She was nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in Film/TV for 2003’s Goldfish Memory. On film, Glascott has appeared in Omagh, Goldfish Memory (IFTA nomination – Best Supporting Actress 2003), Crushproof, Pete’s Meteor, This Is My Father, and The Duel. She appeared in the 2009 CBS television movie Miss Irena’s Children. She also starred in Torstein Blixfjord’s 2012 short film Bird in a Box, alongside Brian d’Arcy James.

1990 – Margaret Thatcher resigned as British Prime Minister.

1995 – James Bond films were in trouble and the series were in poor shape by the end of the Roger Moore days and in 1986 Pierce Brosnan, the man from Co Navan, was asked to save the day – alas, he was under contract to play Remington Steele. However, he finally got his first mission in 1995 with Goldeneye, which premiered in the UK on this date – it was the most popular Bond film for decades and rejuvenated the series.

1998 – Security forces in Northern Ireland brace themselves as fears grow over a new bomb-blitz alert, the first since the Omagh massacre.

1999 – The North’s politicians are given an ultimatum when the British Government warns it will pull the plug on the planned Stormont institutions if the IRA fails to decommission its arms.

1999 – A timetable for the transfer of power to an inclusive Northern Ireland executive is outlined to the House of Commons.

2000 – Blockades by taxi drivers brings the threat of serious confrontation with gardaí, mainline train services are paralysed by strike, and secondary schools are again closed.

2000 – Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams meets with Bertie Ahern on the forth-coming Irish Budget.

2005 – Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany.

2008 – YouTube hosts the largest ever live broadcast, YouTube Live.

2013 – Death of Tom Gilmartin. Born in Grange, Co Sligo, he was a businessman, whistleblower and pivotal Mahon Tribunal witness whose testimony concerning planning and political corruption ‘rocked Ireland. His was a crucial role in ending the political career of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

2013 – Death of Father Alec Reid. Born in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, he was a Catholic priest noted for his facilitator role in the Northern Ireland peace process, a role BBC journalist Peter Taylor subsequently described as ‘absolutely critical’ to its success. In the late 1980s Reid facilitated a series of meetings between Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader John Hume, in an effort to establish a ‘Pan-Nationalist front’ to enable a move toward renouncing violence in favour of negotiation. Reid then acted as their contact person with the Irish Government in Dublin from a 1987 meeting with Charles Haughey up to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. In this role, which was not public knowledge at the time, he held meetings with various Taoisigh, and particularly with Martin Mansergh, advisor to various Fianna Fáil leaders.

Photo: North Antrim Coast

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