#OnThisDate in Irish History – 22 March:

Feast Day of Saint Darerca of Ireland, sister of Saint Patrick.

1686 – With the return of a Catholic monarchy – James II – payments to the Catholic hierarchy are authorised; Catholics are appointed to government positions; replacement of Protestant by Catholic soldiers intensifies.

1768 – Birth of writer, Melasina Trench, in Dublin.

1829 – Birth of soldier and engineer, Sir Richard Sankey, in Cashel, Co Tipperary.

1841 – The Irish Emigrant Society was founded in New York.

1848 – Birth of artist, Sarah Purser, in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. She famously said: ‘I went through the British aristocracy like the measles.’ She used her money wisely, most notably with a substantial investment in the Guinness brewery.

1912 – Birth of actor, Wilfrid Brambell, in Dublin.

1921 – Three members of the West Mayo IRA flying column attacked a four man RIC patrol at Clady. Three policemen were wounded and one was killed.

1921 – IRA volunteers in Fermanagh burned the homes and farms of ten local men who were members of the Ulster Special Constabulary. Two Special Constables were shot dead in their beds.

1922 – Irish Civil War Looms: The seeds continue to be sown for an Irish civil war. Rory O’Connor speaking in Dublin states that the Irish army is ‘in a dilemma, having the choice of supporting its oath to the Republic or still giving allegiance to the Dáil, which, it considers, has abandoned the Republic. The contention of the army is that the Dáil did a thing that it had no right to do.’ O’Connor would fight on the anti-Treaty side and be executed in December at the direction of his friend Kevin O’Higgins.

1923 – A fire fight takes place at Windgap on the Kilkenny Tipperary border between an IRA column and NA troops from Kilkenny sweeping the area. One NA soldier Vol. Brown is killed and press reports three ‘Irregulars’ also killed.

1929 – Sixty-six horses run in Irish Grand National Sweepstakes; Alike wins the race.

1954 – Death of Iseult Lucille Germaine Gonne. She was the daughter of Maud Gonne and Lucien Millevoye, and the wife of the novelist Francis Stuart. Iseult was not acknowledged as her mother’s daughter in Maud Gonne’s will when Gonne died in 1953. Iseult died a year later.

1969 – At a time when nationalist emotion was high in Ireland, Sean Dunphy topped the Irish charts with The Lonely Woods of Upton: https://youtu.be/YcTw639-DrY

1972 – Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Brian Faulkner, went to London to be informed of the introduction of ‘Direct Rule’.

1979 – Two members of the IRA assassinate Sir Richard Sykes, British ambassador to the Netherlands, and also his Dutch valet Krel Straub, outside his residence at The Hague, in Den Haag, Netherlands.

1981 – Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara began their Hunger strike in the H Blocks of Long Kesh Prison.

1981 – Brian Lenihan, Irish Foreign Minister, said that the on-going talks between the British and Irish governments could lead to a United Ireland in 10 years.

1983 – Belfast-born and Dublin-educated Chaim Herzog is elected president of Israel.

1984 – A new Prevention of Terrorism Act became law. The act allowed the Secretary of State to proscribe (declare illegal) organisations that were believed to be associated with terrorism. In addition to issue exclusion orders that prevent people from Northern Ireland travelling to other parts of the United Kingdom or from travelling from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland. The act allowed the RUC to arrest people without a warrant and to detain them for 48 hours, and a further five days on the authority of the Secretary of State.

1989 – The new Prevention of Terrorism Act became law and allowed the authorities to check bank accounts for paramilitary funds.

1998 – Unionist leaders launch a fresh bid to have Republicans excluded permanently from peace negotiations.

1998 – Garda Síochána discovered a large bomb, estimated at 1,300 pounds, in Dundalk, Co Louth, which was about to be transported to a target in Northern Ireland. Two men were arrested at the scene of the discovery. It was initially believed that the Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) was responsible for the bomb.

2000 – Over 2,000 student nurses walk out of hospital wards and lecture halls in a protest over tuition fees.

2001 – The Government declares a national emergency in a bid to contain the country’s first foot and mouth outbreak in 60 years.

2002 – The conviction of Paul Ward for the murder of Veronica Guerin, is quashed, at the Four Courts. Guerin was murdered in 1996, after gathering evidence on several major drug lords in Dublin.

Photo: A friend in need is a friend indeed #CoKerry

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