Today in Irish History – 25 January:

1356 – The 1st Earl of Desmond dies; Kildare is his replacement as justiciar.

1533 – England’s King Henry VIII, Lord of Ireland and ‘self declared’ King of Ireland (1541) marries Anne Boleyn after divorcing Catherine of Aragon.

1627 – Robert Boyle, physicist, chemist and alchemist, is born in Lismore, Co Waterford. Boyle is largely regarded today as the first modern chemist, and therefore one of the founders of modern chemistry, and one of the pioneers of modern experimental scientific method.

1777 – The Earl of Buckinghamshire, who eventually conceded free trade and some relief from the Penal Laws to Catholics and Dissenters, is sworn in as Lord Lieutenant.

1831 – Edmund Hogan, Jesuit and scholar, is born in Cork.

1852 – Birth of Nevill Coghill in Drumcondra, Co Dublin. He was a recipient of the Victoria Cross (awarded posthumously), the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Coghill was twenty-five years old and a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot (later the South Wales Borderers), British Army, during the Zulu War.

1877 – Birth of the leader of the alcohol free 1916 Rising, Canon Patrick Murphy, in Whitehill, Kilmore, Co Wexford. Murphy is a little known figure in Irish history, but he provided a truly fascinating oral account of the 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy in an interview in 1955.

1915 – Birth of Ewan MacColl. He was a folk singer, songwriter, communist, labour activist, actor, poet, playwright and record producer. His song “Dirty Old Town”, inspired by his home town of Salford in Lancashire, England, became a folk-revival staple and was recorded by the Dubliners (1968), the Clancy Brothers (1970) and the Pogues (1985).

1923 – One Free State soldier and one Anti-Treaty fighter are killed in two separate skirmishes in Co Kerry.

1924 – Charles McCarthy, trade unionist, is born in Cork.

1924 – Tomás Mac Giolla, republican and socialist, and later, Workers’ Party leader, is born near Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

1972 – General Ford, Commander of Land Forces in Northern Ireland, put Andrew MacLellan, Commander 8 Infantry Brigade, in overall command of the operation to contain the civil rights march planned for 30 January 1972.

1980 – Mother Teresa is honoured with India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.

1997 – Sinn Féin announced its list of candidates for the general election, with Martin McGuinness, Vice-President of SF, to stand in Mid-Ulster and Gerry Adams, President of SF, to stand in west Belfast.

1998 – Relatives of those killed on ‘Bloody Sunday’ called on the British government to establish a full, independent inquiry into the killings on 30 January 1972.

1998 – The Irish Seaspray plant in Lettermore, Co Galway is extensively damaged after two explosions rip through the facility and start a major fire.

1999 – The Government descends into chaos over allegations that European Commissioner Pádraig Flynn received a donation of £50,000 ten years ago and that the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, knew about it.

1999 – Ireland’s first day centre for refugees is opened in Dublin by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

2001 – The new Northern Ireland Secretary, Dr. John Reid, pledges to carry forward the Good Friday Agreement.

2001 – Thousands gather in Ballinamallard, Co Fermanagh for the funerals of rally champion Bertie Fisher and two of his children, Emma, and Mark – also a renowned driver.

2013 – Death of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe. He was an Irish police detective working for the Garda Síochána. He was attached to Dundalk Garda Station in Co Louth, and was fatally shot in Bellurgan, Co Louth (near Jenkinstown) by an armed gang of five people during a robbery on a credit union. He was the first garda to be shot dead in the line of duty since 1996, and was afforded a full state funeral.

2013 – Death of of Kevin Heffernan (Heffo’s Army). Regarded as one of the greatest Gaelic footballers of all-time, Heffernan made his debut during the 1948 championship and was a regular member of the starting fifteen, as a left corner-forward for the Dublin senior team, until his retirement after the 1962 championship. During that time he won one All-Ireland medal, four Leinster medals and three National League medals. An All-Ireland runner-up on one occasion, Heffernan captained the team to the All-Ireland title in 1958. In retirement from playing Heffernan became involved in coaching and team management. As Dublin manager he revived the county team and steered them to three All-Ireland titles between 1974 and 1983.

2017 – John Moore, from Clontarf, Co Dublin, was arrested after criminal damage, with a hammer, was caused to the grave of former president and Taoiseach Éamon de Valera. Moore was ordered to stay away from Glasnevin Cemetery, as well as, having no contact with the de Valera family, and not possessing any assets belonging to the family.

Photo: Dunluce Castle, Co Antrim, Stair na hÉireann Photography

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