#OTD in Irish History – 19 February:

1366 – Statutes of Kilkenny promulgated.

1887 – Ireland wins its first ever game in international soccer beating Wales 4-1 in Belfast. Prior to 1921 and the partition of the country, Ireland was represented by one national team.

1904 – Birth of writer, Muiris Ó Suilleabhain, on the Great Blasket Island, Co Kerry. Best known for his book, ‘Twenty Years A-Growing’.

1921 – Three British soldiers (privates) of the Oxford Regiment were found by IRA men, unarmed and wearing civilian clothes near Feakle in Clare. The soldiers said they were deserters but the IRA suspected they were spies, shot them and dumped their bodies near Woodford.

1923 – Anti-Treaty officer Thomas O’Sullivan, head of the local IRA battalion, is shot dead by Free State troops near Dingle, Co Kerry.

1939 – Éamon de Valera states his intention to preserve Irish neutrality in the event of a second world war.

1942 – Birth of artist and musician, Phil Coulter, in Co Derry. He has an international reputation as a successful songwriter, pianist, music producer, arranger and director. His success has spanned over four decades and he is one of the biggest record sellers in Ireland.

1981 – James Molyneaux, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), dismissed as ‘ludicrous’ claims by Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), that the UUP were conspiring to kill him.

1982 – The DeLorean Motor Company was put into receivership. The remaining jobs were lost when the factory in west Belfast closed in May 1982. The government had provided public funds of £80 million, most of these were lost with the collapse of the company.

1985 – The Irish government introduced legislation that allowed it to freeze the bank accounts of people believed to be holding funds on behalf of paramilitary organisations.

1987 – A general election in the Republic returns a Fianna Fáil government with Haughey as Taoiseach.

1992 – Joe Doherty, a former member of the IRA, was deported from the United States to Northern Ireland.

1999 – Agriculture Minister Joe Walsh launches an ambitious bid to cushion the impact on Ireland of huge cuts in EU beef subsidies as the deadline for sweeping CAP reforms nears.

1999 – Families of missing IRA murder victims plead with Sinn Féin leaders to use their influence with the IRA to find out where the dead are buried.

1999 – The hearing of an application by Sinn Féin for an injunction restraining the party’s expulsion from the Northern Ireland negotiations resumes at the High Court.

2000 – David Shayler, a former intelligence officer with MI5, alleged that British intelligence services believed that John Lennon, former member of the Beatles, had given funds to the IRA.

2000 – Four peacekeepers killed in an automobile accident in Lebanon – Privates Declan Deere, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Murphy and John Lawlor – are laid to rest in their native towns.

2001 – According to the latest price survey, taxes make price of Irish cars highest in the EU.

2001 – A 4ft limestone rock is unveiled at the entrance to Villierstown in west Waterford which is famous for the heroic exploits and achievements of John Treacy. Weighing a massive eight and a quarter tons, the stone, which came from the nearby quarry at Cappagh, bears the surnames of all 84 families living in the village and the immediate surrounding townlands as of 1 January 2000.

2002 – At a meeting of Fermanagh District Council, Sinn Féin (SF) introduced a motion to have all Royal and military symbols removed from the council offices. The motion was rejected and a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) amendment to establish a sub-committee to consider ways of creating a neutral environment was accepted instead. SF had argued that the best place for the symbols was the local museum.

2003 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern says a second United Nations resolution before any military action against Iraq is a political imperative. But Mr Ahern is still refusing to state whether the Government will halt the use of Shannon Airport by the US military if the Bush administration undertakes unilateral action against Saddam Hussein without UN backing.

2015 – Death of lecturer and Labour Party politician, Frank Prendergast. He served for four years in Dáil Éireann, as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Limerick East. He also served two terms as Mayor of Limerick city. Prendergast was an Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU) official.

Photo: Classiebawn Castle, Mullaghmore, Co Sligo, Photography by Vincent Van der Pas

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