Today in Irish History – 10 January:

1751 – Cornelius Bolton, politician, Volunteer and improving landlord is born. He was a very progressive landlord and was very interested in helping his tenants progress.

1814 – Aubrey Thomas De Vere, a poet who adapted early Gaelic tales, is born in Co Limerick. He helped the Celtic revival encouraging the study of Celtic legend and Celtic literature.

1873 – Birth of Jack O’Neill. He was a catcher in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1902–03), Chicago Cubs (1904–05) and Boston Beaneaters (1906). He batted and threw right-handed. A native of Co Galway, O’Neill was one of four major league brothers.

1887 – Death of Mitchelstown, Co Cork born, John Roach, who became the most prominent shipbuilder in America during and after the civil war.

1922 – Arthur Griffith is elected President of the Irish Free State. Éamon de Valera resigned the previous day.

1923 – Two Anti-Treaty IRA officers are killed in a skirmish with Free State troops near Spelsherstown, Co Wexford.

1941 – Death of painter, Sir John Lavery, in Kilkenny. Best known for his portraits, Belfast-born Lavery attended the Haldane Academy in Glasgow, Scotland, in the 1870s and the Académie Julian in Paris in the early 1880s.

1952 – An Aer Lingus aeroplane, the St Kevin, crashes in Wales with the loss of 23 lives. It is the airline’s second fatal crash.

1960 – Birth of former politician, Brian Cowen, in Tullamore, Co Offaly. He served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 7 May 2008 to 9 March 2011. He was head of a coalition government led by Fianna Fáil which until 23 January 2011 had the support of the Green Party and independent TDs.

1969 – Civil rights leaders in Northern Ireland defying police orders, refuse to abandon their planned march through Newry, Co Down.

1984 – Death of politician, Seán MacEntee. In a career that spanned over forty years as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála, MacEntee was one of the most important figures in post-independence Ireland. He served in the governments of Éamon de Valera and Seán Lemass in a range of ministerial positions, including Finance, Industry, Commerce and Health. He introduced a protectionist policy that is now considered a failure. He served as Tánaiste of Ireland from 1959 to 1965. At the time of his death, he was the last surviving member of the First Dáil.

1992 – The IRA exploded a small bomb, estimated at 5 lbs, that was concealed in a briefcase and left approximately 300 metres from Downing Street in London.

1993 – Albert Reynolds, Taoiseach, nominated Gordon Wilson to become a member of the Seanad. Wilson had been injured, and his daughter killed, in the Enniskillen bomb on 8 November 1987.

2000 – The Lodge and Spa at Inchydoney Island, Clonakilty, Co Cork, is the AA Hotel of the Year.

2002 – A new chapter in Irish literary history is written with the publication of The Last Tango in Ibiza, which was penned by first-time authors who include a nun and several grannies.

2003 – Farmers drive 300 tractors into the city and hold a two-hour rally in front of Government Buildings at Merrion Square.

2003 – Feared loyalist paramilitary chief Johnny Mad Dog Adair is arrested and sent back to jail. Adair will not now be released from prison until January 2005.

2012 – Journalist, Mary Raftery, passes away after a short illness. She was 54. Well known for her work on the ‘States of Fear’ documentary series that revealed the extent of physical and sexual abuse suffered by children in the Irish childcare system, she also produced and directed the ‘Prime Time Investigates: Cardinal Secrets’ programme which led to the establishment of the Murphy Commission of Investigation into child sex abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese. Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty International Ireland said Ms Raftery’s work transformed Ireland. Without the work that Mary did as a journalist (on the abuse of children), I don’t think much of this would have surfaced.”

2015 – Death of Jim Hogan. He was a distance runner who competed for both Ireland and Great Britain. He was born in Croom, Co Limerick. Hogan’s athletic career saw him compete for Ireland at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and for Great Britain at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. He won the marathon title at the 1966 European Championships.

2015 – Death of anaesthetist, Mary Beatrice (Maeve) Hillery. She was the wife of Patrick Hillery, who was President of Ireland from 1976 to 1990. Maeve Finnegan was educated at University College Dublin where she studied medicine. It was there she met her future husband, Patrick Hillery, who was also studying medicine. The couple married on 27 October 1955. Together they had a son, John, and a daughter, Vivienne, who died after a long illness in 1985, shortly before her eighteenth birthday. Patrick later served in a number of political roles, including Foreign Minister and European Commissioner. After the completion of his term as EC Commissioner in 1976, he contemplated leaving politics and returning to medicine. Instead, Hillery was asked to become the sixth President of Ireland. Patrick died on 12 April 2008.

Photo: Creevelea Abbey, Co Leitrim

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