1777 – Sir Philip Crampton, surgeon, is born in Dublin.
1848 – First unveiling of the Irish Tricolour by Thomas Francis Meagher at 33 the Mall in Waterford city. He was an Irish nationalist and leader of the Young Irelanders in the Rebellion of 1848.
1864 – Archbishop Paul Cullen issues a pastoral for St. Patrick’s Day denouncing Fenianism.
1916 – Robert Monteith arrives at Munich Hospital to visit Roger Casement. They discussed the German offer of arms. Casement drew up two memorandums on how to land the arms and Monteith took these back to Berlin on 8th March. The documents he wrote suggested that Casement and two men from Zossen would land in Ireland via submarine to organise the landing of the arms.
1918 – An inquest has been held into the death of Bridget Doyle, a native of Borris, Co Carlow, whose body has been found in a lodging house in Cork alongside the dead bodies of her two new-born children. Ms Doyle, unmarried, had been employed until recent months at Coolmore House in Carrigaline. In evidence provided to the coroner, Mr Timothy West, who works as a coachman at Coolmore, confessed to having intimate relations with Ms Doyle as a result of which she had become pregnant. He claimed that he had offered to marry her, but that she had rejected him. However, Sgt Flanagan, who conducted the examination, accused Mr West of leaving this ‘fine girl’ at the ‘mercy of the world’.
1918 – The SS Kenmare, part of the fleet of the Cork Steampacket Company, was sunk without warning in Irish waters, apparently from a torpedo fired from a German submarine. Of the crew of 35, only six have been saved. The vessel was en route from Liverpool to Cork when it was struck. Most of the crew were in their bunks asleep when they were awoken by a loud explosion that shattered the ship from end to end. It sank in less than two minutes.
1920 – Birth of novelist and children’s writer, Éilis Dillon, in Galway.
1921 – The Lord Mayor of Limerick, George Clancy, his predecessor, Michael O’Callaghan, and another prominent nationalist, Joseph O’Donoghue, are killed by policemen in Limerick during curfew hours.
1922 – Birth of folk singer, Patrick Clancy, in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary. Best known as a member of the group The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.
1922 – In Belfast, four people were shot dead (three civilians and one IRA volunteer).
1923 – Nine Republican prisoners are taken from Ballymullen Barracks in Tralee to Ballyseedy Cross, ostensibly to clear a mined road. They are then tied together around the landmine, which is then detonated by National army troops at Ballyseedy, Co Kerry.
1933 – Birth of football player, Jackie Blanchflower, in Belfast. He graduated from Manchester United’s youth system and played for the club on 117 occasions, before his career was cut short due to injuries sustained in the Munich air disaster. He was the younger brother of Danny Blanchflower, the captain of the Tottenham Hotspur side that dominated English football in the early 1960s.
1934 – The first US Ambassador to Ireland Frederick A. Sterling finishes his mission in Ireland. Sterling first presented his credentials in 1927.
1957 – Fianna Fáil returns to government winning 78 seats in the sixteenth Dáil. Fianna Fáil would win majorities in the elections of 1961, 1965, 1966. Éamon de Valera would remain as Taoiseach until 1959, when he would hand power over to Seán Lemass.
1965 – Following the liturgical changes of the Second Vatican Council, Mass in Ireland is read for the first time in the English and Irish languages.
1967 – Birth of flat jockey, Kevin Manning, in Co Kildare.
1977 – Birth of former rugby player, Ronan O’Gara, in San Diego, California. He played fly-half for both Ireland and Munster. He is Ireland’s second most-capped player (128) behind Brian O’Driscoll (133) and the fourth most-capped in rugby history. O’Gara has captained Munster and the British and Irish Lions and won four Triple Crowns with Ireland and two Heineken Cups with Munster. O’Gara now coaches Top 14 team Racing 92 in Paris, where he lives with his wife and five children.
1985 – The song ‘We Are the World’ receives its international release.
1993 – The IRA exploded a large bomb, estimated at 500 lbs, in Main Street in Bangor, Co Down. Four Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were injured in the explosion. The cost of the damage was later estimated at £2 million. The blast came five days after Patrick Mayhew, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, delivered a speech in the town. There was another large explosion in the same street in Bangor on 21 October 1992.
1997 – Billy Wright, a leading Loyalist figure from Portadown, was sentenced to seven years for threatening a witness. At the same trial Dale Weathered and Trevor Buchanan were sentenced to seven and eight years respectively for their part in a paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack.
1988 – The IRA confirmed that the three people shot dead by SAS forces in Gibraltar were members of an active service unit.
1999 – A human chain is formed around the Central Bank in Dublin to highlight the campaign to cancel unpayable Third World debt for the millennium. Over 400 people take part in the ceremony organised by Trocaire, Jubilee 2000 and the One World Network of Students in Ireland. Similar events are held in as many as 50 other countries across the world.
2002 – The family of Belfast solicitor, Pat Finucane, killed on 12 February 1989, said they were ‘insulted’ by a British government’s offer of compensation of £10,000. The British government had been ordered to pay compensation by the European Court of Human Rights because the government had failed to carry out a proper investigation into his killing. Finucane’s widow said her family had not sought compensation but had requested a full independent judicial inquiry.
2005 – Calling the story of the Irish in America ‘an important part of the history of our country’, President George W. Bush proclaims March as Irish-American Heritage Month.
2009 – Two British Army soldiers were shot dead and two more seriously injured during a gun attack at Massereene Barracks in Co Antrim. The Real IRA claimed responsibility. These were the first British military fatalities in the north of Ireland since 1997.
Photo: Thatched cottage near Ballybofey, Co Donegal, Lisa DP Photography
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