Today in Irish History – 30 December:

1691 – Robert Boyle, pioneer chemist and physicist dies.

1820 – Birth of author, Mary Anne Sadlier. Born Mary Anne Madden in Cootehill, Co Cavan, Sadlier published roughly sixty novels and numerous stories. She wrote for Irish immigrants in both the United States and Canada, enouraging them to attend mass and retain the Catholic faith. In so doing, Sadlier also addressed the related themes of anti-Catholicism, the Great Hunger, emigration, and domestic work. Her writings are often found under the name Mrs. J. Sadlier.

1830 – William Lewery Blackley, cleric and social reformer, is born in Dundalk, Co Louth.

1839 – Birth of poet and playwright, John Todhunter, in Dublin. He wrote seven volumes of poetry, and several plays.

1841 – Birth of newspaper owner, editor and scholar, Francis Brinkley, in Co Meath. He resided in Japan for over 40 years, where he was the author of numerous books on Japanese culture, art and architecture, and an English-Japanese Dictionary. He was also known as Frank Brinkley or as Captain Francis Brinkley, and was the great-uncle of Cyril Connolly.

1920 – Martial law was extended to Counties Clare, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford.

1932 – William Francis Thomas Deegan, important supporter of Irish Culture and Customs and all things Irish, is born.

1975 – Mark Clinton, the Minister for Agriculture, notifies Trinity College that all future state funds for veterinary medicine would be allocated to University College.

1990 – Fergal Caraher, a member of Sinn Féin, was shot and killed and his brother wounded when British Army troops opened fire on their car at a check point at Cullyhanna, Co Armagh.

1997 – Key files from the Department of Defence, the Department of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General relating to the Arms Crisis of 1970 are discovered to be missing from the State archives.

1997 – Thousands of loyalists pack the streets of Portadown for the funeral of LVF commander Billy Wright.

2002 – To mark the 400th anniversary of the exodus of the O’Sullivan Beare clan from West Cork to Leitrim, a group of 40 people begins walking the entire 260-mile route which will take them through 11 counties and about two weeks to complete.

2006 – Saddam Hussein is executed. The commander of the US forces responsible for the capture of Hussein is Army Col. James Hickey whose parents hail from Co Sligo.

2007 – Death of Frank Winder. He was a professor of biochemistry, a naturalist, and one of Ireland’s leading rock climbers in the 1950s and 1960s.

Photo: Glenoe, Co Antrim

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