Today in Irish History – 16 December:

1653 – English Interregnum: The Protectorate, Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

1780 – John Beresford is appointed Chief Commissioner of Revenue.

1838 – Birth of racehorse owner and breeder, John Gubbins, in Kilfrush, Co Limerick. For fifty years, the first loves of the big, bluff Co Limerick horseman, John Gubbins, were hunting and steeplechasing. Then, from Morganette, a plating class mare who was wrong in the wind, he bred an Irish Derby winner, trained for him by Samuel Darling Snr. She also foaled Galtee More, the Triple Crown hero of 1897, and Ard Patrick, the Derby winner of 1902. A martyr to gout, John Gubbins died of bronchitis in 1906. His final instructions were, ‘As I aspired to breed fast horses, please see that my hearse is pulled at speed on my final journey.’

1867 – Birth of, Amy Wilson Carmichael, in Millisle, Co Down. She was a Protestant Christian missionary in India, who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavur. She served in India for 55 years without furlough and wrote many books about the missionary work there.

1920 – The American Committee for Relief in Ireland is founded in New York to provide support for those affected by the War of Independence. The purpose of the ACRI was ‘to devise and consider ways and means of relieving the acute distress due to the recent (1920) occurrences in that country.’

1920 – IRA fighters ambushed British troops at Kilcommon Cross, Co Tipperary. Four British soldiers were killed and three wounded.

1921 – Anglo-Irish Treaty is passed in the British House of Commons (401 support, 58 oppose) and House of Lords (166 support, 47 oppose)

1922 – Arthur Griffith and his ministers assume their seat of government at Dublin Castle.

1922 – The Free State post in Carrickonshannon is attacked and taken by anti-Treaty fighters. One FS soldier and one civilian, are killed. Four Lorries and a large quantity of arms are taken.

1922 – Two anti-Treaty fighters are killed in Co Carlow.

1922 – A civilian Eric Wolfe, is taken from his trap by unknown gunmen near Kinsale, Cork and killed by multiple gunshots.

1922 – Free State troops come upon what they describe ass a ‘large body of Irregulars’ near Ballingarry, Co Tipperary. They report that two killed and eleven taken prisoner, with two of their troops wounded.

1922 – Free State troops near Carrick On Suir shoot dead a civilian, Patrick Martin, who approaches them with a revolver.

1930 – In Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath, you’ll fine one of world’s strangest, but most ingenious buildings. It’s the unique ‘jelly mould’ whiskey warehouse, built by Irish engineer, James Waller. Formed only from arches of canvas-covered in cement; it is basically a huge concrete tent. It’s a quick, cheap and easy style of construction, with no internal support, it can be used for everything from henhouses to aircraft hangars. Completed on this date, it has recently generated a lot of interest as a future solution to housing issues in Africa.

1939 – Bernard Noël ‘Banjo Barney’ McKenna of the Dubliners is born.

1966 – Birth of professional golfer, Paul McGinley, in Dublin. He has won four events on the European Tour. At the 2002 Ryder Cup, he famously holed a ten-foot putt on the 18th hole in his match against Jim Furyk at The Belfry which won the Ryder Cup for Europe. He was the winning captain of Europe in the 2014 Ryder Cup (and the first Irishman to captain Europe’s Ryder Cup side).

1969 – Swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Michelle de Bruin (née Smith) is born in Rathcoole, Co Dublin.

1971 – Death of Richard Mulcahy. He was a politician, army general and commander in chief, leader of Fine Gael and Cabinet Minister. He fought in the 1916 Easter Rising, served as Chief of Staff of the IRA during the War of Independence and was commander of the Pro-Treaty forces in the Irish civil war.

1979 – Four British Army soldiers were killed by a PIRA landmine near Dungannon, Co Tyrone. Another British Army soldier was killed by a PIRA landmine near Forkill, Co Armagh.

1983 – Security forces rescued Don Tidey, who had been kidnapped by the IRA. During the rescue at Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, there was a gun battle and an Irish soldier and a Garda cadet killed.

1987 – ‘Fairytale of New York’ by the Pogues and Kirsty McColl reaches no. 2 in the UK charts.

1997 – Tom Parlon is elected President of the Irish Farmers’ Association.

1998 – More than 250 guests pay tribute to Gay Byrne at a surprise farewell party.

1999 – Padraic Wilson, a senior republican tipped to represent the IRA in disarmament talks, is given an early release from Northern Ireland’s top security Long Kesh Prison.

2002 – The 15 European Union Agriculture Ministers begin talks on the future of EU fish quotas amid calls for the toughest cutbacks ever.

Photo: Winter at Gougane Barra, Co Cork, Tony O’Connell Photography

#irish #history #Ireland #OTD

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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.