Today in Irish History – 18 January:

1667 – Cattle exports to England are prohibited.

1671 – Catholic gentry present petition to Charles II.

1688 – Birth of Lionel Cranfield Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset, PC. He was an English political leader and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Dorset served twice as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, from 1731 to 1737 and again from 1751 to 1755. In 1739, at the foundation of the Foundling Hospital, he was one of that charity’s original governors. Sackville Street, the main thoroughfare in Dublin city, was named in his honour; while the name was changed to O’Connell Street in 1924, his name survives in nearby Sackville Place.

1779 – Cement Patent No. 1207 is issued to Sligo-man Bryan Higgins.

1811 – Charles Kean, actor, is born in Co Waterford.

1821 – Built by Henry Harris at a cost of £50,000, the Albany New Theatre opens in Hawkins Street, Dublin. It can accommodate up to 2,000 patrons. In August, George IV attends a performance and, as a consequence, a patent is granted. The name of the theatre is changed to the “Theatre Royal” to reflect its status as a patent theatre.

1831 – Daniel O’Connell is convicted of conspiracy.

1882 – On a successful speaking tour of America, the young Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, newly famous at home and abroad, visited 62-year-old Walt Whitman.

1914 – The Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union strike ends.

1923 – Republican leader Liam Deasy is captured by Free State troops in the Galtee Mountains. He is not executed after he signs an order calling for men under his command to surrender.

1923 – Three National Army soldiers are killed in action (six killed in two days).

1928 – Birth of Daniel Bradley, physicist, in Derry.

1930 – Breandán Ó hEithir, writer and broadcaster, is born in Cill Rónáin, Aran Islands.

1934 – Joseph Devlin, Irish nationalist dies.

1937 – Birth of John Hume, nationalist politician, in Derry.

1964 – Birth of Richard Dunwoody, jockey, in Belfast.

1978 – The European Court of Human Rights made its ruling on the case of alleged ill-treatment of internees during 1971. The case had been initially referred to the European Commission by the Irish government on 10 March 1976. On 2 September 1976 the European Commission on Human Rights decided that Britain had to answer a case of ill-treatment of internees and referred the matter to the European Court of Human Rights. The Commission found that the interrogation techniques did involve a breach of the Convention on Human Rights because they not only involved inhuman and degrading treatment but also torture. The European Court of Human Rights however decided that the Commission was wrong to use the word ‘torture’ but did agree that the internees had been subjected to ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’.

1985 – Death of Dublin-born actor Wilfrid Brambell, aka Old man Steptoe.

1997 – Death of Gerard Slevin, the Corkman who designed the EU flag.

1998 – The fourth revenge killing of a Catholic by LVF murder squads since ruthless warlord Billy Wright was gunned down, is committed in Maghera, Co Derry.

2000 – The improvement in the hospitality scene in Ireland is proven by the addition of 54 hotels and 27 restaurants to the prestigious Michelin Guide.

2001 – The right of Travellers to pursue their traditional lifestyle on their own land was yesterday rejected by the European Court of Human Rights.

2002 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern pays tribute to the former Fianna Fáil TD, Jim Tunney, who died yesterday. Mr Tunney, was a former minister of state and deputy in Dublin North-West for two decades. He also served a term as Lord Mayor of Dublin and was co-chairman of the British-Irish inter-parliamentary body. A stylish dresser, he always wore a flower in his lapel and was called the Yellow Rose of Finglas by friends and colleagues. He was 78.

2002 – Political history is made today as the Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrats coalition becomes the longest-serving government in the State. After taking office on 26 June 1997, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s minority government is serving its 1,666th day in office.

2002 – Rallies were held across Northern Ireland at 1.00pm to protest against Loyalist paramilitary death threats to postal workers and school staff and to call for an end to all paramilitary activity. The rallies took place in Belfast, Cookstown, Derry, Enniskillen, Newry, Omagh, and Strabane, and were attended by an estimated 25,000 people. Part of a resolution read out at the rallies stated: “we call on all those engaged in acts of sectarianism or paramilitary activity to stop”. The rallies were organised following the killing by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) of Catholic postman Daniel McColgan (20) on Saturday 12 January 2002.

2008 – After well over half a century, the Rev Dr Ian Paisley steps down as Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church He is succeeded by the Rev Ron Johnston.

Photo: Ashford Castle, Co Mayo

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