#OTD in Irish History – 28 April:

1714 – Sir Wentworth Harman, MP for Lanesborough, ‘coming in a dark night from Chapel-Izod, his coach overturning, tumbled down a precipice, and he dies in consequence of the wounds and bruises he received’.

1794 – The Reverend William Jackson was arrested in Dublin on this day in 1794. Jackson was born in Newtownards, Co Down, but spent much of his early life in England. He was a French spy trying to gain support from Irish nationalists to lead a rebellion against the British.

1846 – Birth of Wellesley C Bailey in Co Laois. He was the founder of international charity The Leprosy Mission. In India in the 1860s he witnessed the severe consequences of the disease and vowed to make caring for those with leprosy his life work. The Mission he established all those years ago is still active today.

1863 – American Civil War: Thomas Francis Meagher on Battle of Chancellorsville.

1864 – Birth of William Ellison, clergyman and the sixth director of the Armagh Observatory. On his appointment in 1918, he donated the original late nineteenth-century telescope to the Observatory – an 18-inch Newtonian reflector, made by the famous English telescope maker George Calver; for many years it was one of the largest telescopes in Ireland. During the 1920s and 1930s, Ellison and others used the telescope for observations of the planets and for taking spectral images of the stars, using a spectroscope to split the starlight into its constituent colours.

1875 – Teresa Kearney, better known as Mother Kevin, missionary and founder of Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Africa, is born in Knockenrahan, Co Wicklow.

1916 – Easter Rising, Day 5, British Reaction Escalates.

1921 – IRA Volunteer Patrick Ronayne of Greenhill, Mourneabbey, Mallow, Co Cork was executed at Cork Military Detention Barracks for his involvement in the failed Mourneabbey Ambush, where eight of his Volunteer comrades were killed.

1922 – Nicky Rackard, Wexford hurler, is born in Killane, Co Wexford.

1936 – The Daíl introduces a bill awarding pensions to the Connaught Rangers who mutinied in India in 1920.

1943 – Andrews resigns as Northern Ireland Prime Minister and is succeeded by Sir Basil Brooke, later Lord Brookeborough.

1958 – Aer Lingus service to North America inaugurated.

1969 – Terence O’Neill resigns as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. He is succeeded by Chichester Clark.

1975 – Liam McMillan (48), then a member of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), was shot dead by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the continuing feud between the OIRA and the INLA.

1977 – A series of personal attacks on one another by leading figures such as Enoch Powell, James Molyneaux, and Ian Paisley, illustrated the growing disagreement within unionism on the issue of the planned United Unionist Action Council (UUAC) strike.

1977 – Roy Mason, Secretary of State, announced that the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast was to receive an order worth some £70 million to construct two liquid gas carriers.

1981 – The private secretary of Pope John Paul II paid a visit to Bobby Sands in Long Kesh Prison, however, was unable to persuade him to end his hunger strike. Humphrey Atkins, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, stated that: ‘If Mr Sands persisted in his wish to commit suicide, that was his choice. The government would not force medical treatment upon him.’ In the United States, President Ronald Reagan, said that America would not intervene in the situation in Northern Ireland but he was ‘deeply concerned’ at events there.

1988 – A Thames Television documentary, Death on the Rock, about the deaths of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) members (Daniel McCann, Mairead Farrell, and Sean Savage) in Gilbraltar on 6 March 1988 was screened. Sir Geoffrey Howe, British Foreign Secretary, unsuccessfully tried to have the programme banned.

1992 – Death of artist, Francis Bacon. Born in Dublin, he was known for his bold, grotesque, emotionally charged and raw imagery.

1995 – There was a ceremony in Dublin to commemorate all Irishmen who died in the two world wars. The ceremony was attended by: Taoiseach John Bruton, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Patrick Mayhew, Security Spokesman of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Ken Maginnis, and leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) John Alderdice. Tom Hartley, Chairman of Sinn Féin (SF), also attended the ceremony.

1998 – Some 30 years after waiting on Éamon de Valera and literary luminaries of the day in the Great Southern Hotel in Galway, 57-year old Rita Gilligan from Bohermore was presented with an honorary MBE by UK Culture Secretary, Chris Smith, at London’s Hard Rock Cafe where she worked as a waitress for 27 years.

1999 – Ireland’s largest convoy packed with 200 tonnes of relief supplies for Kosovar refugees left Dublin for Albania.

2000 – It was announced that 100 free bicycles would be placed on the streets of Dublin for the Heineken Green Energy Weekend. The free bicycles would be placed outside Trinity College, outside Dublin Castle and at the top of Grafton Street and would be available to anyone wishing to cycle around the city to take in the atmosphere of the Festival.

2013 – Keith Hanley, singer from Charleville, Co Cork, won The Voice of Ireland.

Photo: Dublin Castle

#irishhistory #ireland #EasterRising

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