In the liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Abbán moccu Corbmaic. He was associated, first and foremost, with Mag Arnaide (Moyarney or Adamstown, near New Ross, Co Wexford) and with Cell Abbáin (Killabban, Co Laois). His cult was, however, also connected to other churches elsewhere in Ireland, notably that of his alleged sister Gobnait.
1618 – Richard Archdekin, Jesuit, educator and missioner to Ireland, is born in Louvain.
1640 – Charles I’s second Irish parliament meets.
1690 – French king Louis XIV sends troops to Ireland.
1789 – Birth of soldier and explorer, Francis Rawdon Chesney, in Annalong, Co Down.
1815 – William Reeves, Church of Ireland bishop and antiquary, was born in Charleville, Co Cork.
1828 – Birth of American Civil War Confederate General, Patrick Cleburne, in Cobh, Co Cork.
1839 – John B. Yeats, painter and father of William Butler and Jack B. Yeats, was born in Tullylish, Co Down.
1865 – Death of one of the greatest pioneers of early California, Martin Murphy, dies.
1865 – Baseball player Patsy Donovan is born in Cobh (then Queenstown) Co Cork. Donovan played major league baseball for a number of teams including the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals between 1892-1903 consistently hitting .300. He managed the Boston Red Sox seasons 1910 and 1911. Donovan persuaded the Red Sox to sign an up and coming player named George Ruth in 1914.
1907 – Death of separatist and a leading Fenian, John O’Leary. He studied both law and medicine but did not take a degree and for his involvement in the Irish Republican Brotherhood he was sentenced to twenty years’ penal servitude, of which five years were spent in English prisons, prior to his release and exile in January 1871. During his exile, he lived mainly in Paris, also visiting the USA, remained active in the IRB and its associated organisations, and wrote many letters to newspapers and journals.
1919 – Sinn Fein member, Robert Barton, escapes from Mountjoy Jail, courtesy of some excellent planning by Michael Collins which involved smuggling a file into the prison.
1921 – The IRA in Galway attacked the RIC barracks in Clifden. Two RIC constables were killed. The IRA column retreated to the Maam valley, where they ambushed British reinforcements at Munterowan and Screebe. The RIC burned several buildings in Clifden in reprisal for the attacks.
1922 – Speaking in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, Éamon de Valera states that if the Treaty is accepted, there will be civil war. Unfortunately he was right.
1922 – In the NI Parliament, Dawson Bates declared that ‘we are at war’ with the IRA.
1922 – In Belfast, four people were killed and numerous people were injured by grenades.
1923 – National Army troops swept the vicinity of Newport in Co Mayo, resulting in some arrests.
1923 – A Free State sweep in Co Wexford encountered an anti-Treaty column. One National Army soldier and two republicans were killed in the fire fight.
1923 – Anti-Treaty fighters explode a bomb at the Customs and Excise Offices in Dublin. One CID man is killed and another wounded.
1955 – Singer Ruby Murray scores five simultaneous hits in the British charts.
1959 – RTÉ interviews Ireland’s first bangarda, Mary Brown from Roscommon.
1960 – The SS Canberra (45,000 tons) was launched in Belfast at a cost of £17,000,000.
1976 – Harold Wilson, British Prime Minister, announced that he was resigning as leader of the Labour Party and thus as Prime Minister. On 5 April 1976 James Callaghan succeeded Wilson.
1977 – Birth of Donal Óg Cusack. He is an Irish hurling coach, selector and former player. He has been coach and selector with the Clare senior team since 2015. Cusack is regarded as the greatest goalkeepers of his generation.
1979 – The committee headed by English judge, Harry Bennett, which was set up to investigate allegations of ill-treatment of people held in interrogation centres in Northern Ireland, published its report (Bennett Report, Cmnd 7497). The report found that there were instances where there was medical evidence of injuries sustained in police custody which were not self-inflicted. The report made a number of suggestions and the Labour government undertook to implement two major recommendations. The first that closed-circuit television cameras should be installed in interview rooms and the second that those being detained should have access to their solicitor after 48 hours in custody. When the Conservative Party came to power in May 1979 the new government implemented most of the remaining recommendations in the report.
1981 – Birth of swimmer, Andrew Bree. He is a breaststroke swimmer from Helen’s Bay, Co Down. He is a 2-time Olympian, having swum at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics.He represented Northern Ireland four times at the Commonwealths and placed fifth twice in the 200m breaststroke.
1981 – Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him. In order to secure his status as Irish political prisoner he was willing to fast til death, an event that would earn him a place in the annals of Irish history and in the hearts and minds of Irish republicans world-wide. See Bobby Sands Trust for today’s entry: http://www.bobbysandstrust.com/writings/prison-diary
1988 – At Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast, a gunman kills three mourners and injures at least 50 people attending a funeral for IRA members Maireád Farrell, Daniel McCann, and Sean Savage executed in Gibraltar. A Loyalist gunman, Michael Stone, launched a grenade and gun attack on mourners. Three people were killed and 50 injured. The whole episode was recorded by television news cameras. The police and the army had withdrawn to avoid any confrontation with the mourners. Stone was chased to a nearby motorway were he was attacked by a number of mourners. The police arrived in time to save his life. The main loyalist paramilitary groups denied any involvement with Stone. One of those killed, Kevin Brady, was a member of the IRA. https://youtu.be/f9tyEa6QWHY?list=UUsZwnXU736fX6TiARnntw7Q
1991 – Members of the LGBT march in the NYC St Patrick’s Day parade.
1994 – John Wheeler, NIO Security Minister, turned down a request from the Bloody Sunday Justice Group for a new inquiry into the killings in Derry on 30 January 1972. A new Inquiry was eventually announced on 29 January 1998.
1995 – Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams, meets President Bill Clinton for the first time.
1998 – In Washington, at the American/Ireland Fund dinner, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern bluntly tells Northern political leaders to display the courage necessary to make far-reaching compromises over the next fortnight to rescue the peace process from the dangers of failure
1998 – Beef exports from Northern Ireland are to resume after a three-year ban stemming from the BSE crisis.
1999 – Ronnie Flanagan, Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), announced that David Phillips, Chief Constable of Kent, had been asked to oversee the investigation into the murder of Rosemary Nelson. He also invited the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to assist. Both these moves were viewed as an attempt to try to counter calls by Nationalists for an independent international inquiry into the events surrounding the death of Nelson. Although the FBI initially became involved in the case it later withdrew.
2000 – Hundreds of sprigs of shamrock are airlifted from Ireland by the RAF to Irish regiments of the British Army around the world in accordance with a decree issued by Queen Victoria 100 years prior. It was exactly 100 years since the queen decreed that all Irish regiments of the British Army wear a shamrock in their head-dress on St Patrick’s Day to commemorate the bravery of Irish troops during the Boer War.
2000 – Northern Secretary, Peter Mandelson, announces that more troop withdrawals are likely over the coming months
2001 – Kilmainham residents protest against a planned office development in the heart of an historic part of Dublin.
2001 – Irish Defense Minister Michael Smith, center, waves the Irish flag as he celebrates St. Patrick’s day with other Irish peacekeepers at Camp Shamrock near the southern village of Tibnine.
2003 – More than 1,500 performers create a Mardi-Gras atmosphere on the streets of Limerick for the 33rd International Marching Band Parade and Competition.
Photo: Northburg Castle is locally known as ‘Greencastle’, Co Donegal
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