Today in Irish History – 4 January:

1581 – Birth of prolific scholar and church leader, James Ussher, in Dublin. He was the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625 and 1656. Most famous for his chronology that sought to establish the time and date of the creation as ‘the entrance of the night preceding the 23rd day of October… the year before Christ 4004’; that is, around 6 pm on 22 October 4004 bc according to the proleptic Julian calendar.

1921 – Martial law is extended to counties Clare, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford from this date. During the Easter Rising in 1916, Lord Wimborne, a cousin of Winston Churchill and then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, declared martial law to maintain order in the streets of Dublin. This was later extended both in duration and geographical reach to the whole of the country with the consent of the British government. Much of Ireland was declared under martial law by the British authorities during the Irish War of Independence. A large portion of Ireland was also under de facto martial law during the Irish Civil War.

1923 – A column of 65 Anti-Treaty fighters from Cork and Kerry IRA units, under Tom Barry, attacks Millstreet, Cork, under cover of darkness. They use 12 machine guns and take three National Army posts in the town, taking 39 prisoners and capturing one Lewis gun and 35 rifles. However they fail to take the main post in the Town Hall, held by 23 Free State soldiers. They withdraw after several hours – one party to Ballyvourney in Cork and the other to the Pap mountains in Kerry. Two Free State soldiers are killed and several more wounded. The National Army reports six Anti-Treaty fatalities and 19 wounded but the Republicans admit to only three wounded

1925 – Midleton, Co Cork born Nellie Cashman known variously as the ‘Angel of the Yukon’ and ‘Angel of the mining camp’ dies in Victoria British Columbia aged seventy-nine. Only five foot tall, Cashman’s support (monetary, spiritual, food) for Alaskan miners during the madness of Yukon Gold Rush years and others resulted in her induction into the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame.

1937 – Mick O’Connell, Kerry Gaelic footballer, is born on Beginish Island, Co Kerry.

1969 – A People’s Democracy march between Belfast and Derry was repeatedly attacked by loyalists. At Burntollet it was ambushed by 200 loyalists and off-duty police (RUC) officers armed with iron bars, bricks and bottles. The marchers claimed that police did little to protect them. When the march arrived in Derry it was broken up by the RUC, which sparked serious rioting between Irish nationalists and the RUC. That night, RUC officers went on a rampage in the Bogside area of Derry; attacking Catholic homes, attacking and threatening residents, and hurling sectarian abuse. Residents then sealed off the Bogside with barricades to keep the police out, creating “Free Derry”.

1975 – Eleanor Krott, Irish language scholar and lexicographer, dies.

1976 – The Ulster Volunteer Force shoots dead six Irish Catholic civilians in Co Armagh. The next day, gunmen shoot dead ten Protestant civilians nearby in retaliation.

1977 – Birth of guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist, Tim Wheeler, in Co Down. Wheeler is the frontman for the rock band Ash. He formed the band with Mark Hamilton and they were originally called Vietnam. He has written nearly all of their notable pieces such as “Oh Yeah”, “Shining Light”, “Girl From Mars”, “Kung Fu”, and “Goldfinger”.

1986 – Death of singer, bassist, instrumentalist, and songwriter, Phil Lynott. He first came to prominence as the frontman of Thin Lizzy.

1998 – The LVF appoints a new commanding officer to take over from murdered godfather Billy Wright and in a chilling warning vows it will do all in its power to wreck the teetering peace process.

1998 – The governments of Austria and Finland offer their countries as potential neutral grounds for the next wave of Northern Ireland peace talks.

1999 – Venerable Archdeacon Patrick Lyons, who, aged 105 years was the world’s oldest priest and who died on New Year’s Day, is laid to rest in the grounds of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Ballingarry, Co Limerick.

1999 – Europe is united with a common currency when the ‘euro’ debuts as a financial unit in corporate and investment markets. Eleven European Union (EU) nations (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain), representing some 290 million people, launched the currency in the hopes of increasing European integration and economic growth.

1999 – There was an attempted armed robbery of £500,000 from a Brinks-Allied van in Dalkey, Co Dublin. The raiders almost got away with the money stolen from the van when they rammed it with a truck. The getaway car stalled and was abandoned along with the money as the gang escaped. A man was injured when the raiders shot at him while hijacking his car. Mary Harney, Tánaiste, said that there was no distinction between Sinn Féin and the IRA, and called on the IRA to decommission its weapons.

2000 – Hundreds are evacuated as west and midland farmlands are flooded.

2000 – Top RTÉ broadcaster Maxi is set to win a host of new listeners in her new role as presenter/producer of Radio One’s Risin’ Time.

2002 – According to a new survey, two out of every three people in Northern Ireland aged between 18-25 say they have no meaningful contact with opposing communities while, generally, people feel more segregated than they did before the North’s first ceasefire in 1994.

2002 – Irishmen under 25 are the worst-hit by rising unemployment, according to the latest European Union figures.

2003 – A group of women begin an anti-war protest at a roundabout close to Shannon Airport against US Air Force landings there.

Photo: Loop Head coast road, Co Clare

#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.