1737 – Launch of the Belfast News Letter, now the oldest surviving newspaper in Ireland or Britain, and one of the oldest in the world.
1729 – Death of dramatist, essayist and publisher Sir Richard Steele, the Dubliner who founded The Tatler and The Spectator.
1789 – Marguerite Power Farmer Gardiner, Countess of Blessington; author, is born near Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
1814 – Birth of James O’Flanagan, author, in Fermoy, Co Cork.
1830 – Dublin Zoo opened.
1830 – The “Wild Colonial Boy” is shot dead in a gun battle with police at Cambelltown, Sydney. Contrary to the popular song, “The Wild Colonial Boy” was John Donohue, transported from Ireland in 1824.
1856 – Birth of Irish Nationalist Party leader John Redmond in Ballytrent, Co Wexford.
1861 – The 10th Tennessee Infantry Regiment enters Confederate service. Company D was known as the Rebel Sons of Erin because so many of them were Irish. The regiment was led by Randall McGavock whose parents had emigrated from Ireland in the 1820s. McGavock features strongly in the memoirs of Galway born Patrick Griffin, who entered service as a seventeen year old and was a loyal aide and friend to McGavock. Song of The Irish Brigade: http://youtu.be/aWB7_o6x6DA
1864 – Roger Casement, British consular official and Irish nationalist, is born in Sandycove, Co Dublin.
1870 – Isaac Butt founds the Home Government Association; Home Rule is now the objective of constitutional nationalists.
1913 – Protest by locked-out workers leads to serious riots in Dublin. Shops are looted and attempts made to tear up tram lines.
1920 – Two RIC men were killed in an ambush by East Mayo and South Sligo IRA brigades, at Ratra near Frenchpark, Co Roscommon. One volunteer died in the action; Black and Tans mutilated his body and dragged it through the streets of Ballaghaderreen.
1922 – A civilian, Livingstone Cooke, is shot dead by gunmen thought to be anti-Treaty IRA men, at Old Blackrock Road, Cork City.
1949 – Birth of politician, Alasdair McDonnell, in Cushendall, Co Antrim. He is a member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and was the Member of Parliament for Belfast South from 2005–2017. He was also a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland for Belfast South from 1998 until 2015. He was Leader of the SDLP from 2011–15.
1971 – A number of Loyalist Defence Associations came together and formed the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). The UDA was to quickly become the largest of the Loyalist paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland. The smaller Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), which was responsible for many sectarian killings, was considered a cover name for the UDA. Indeed, the UDA was a legal organisation between 1971 and 11 August 1992 when it was finally proscribed.
1971 – The IRA exploded a series of bombs across Northern Ireland injuring a number of people.
1975 – Five Protestant civilians (all Orangemen) were killed and seven were wounded in a gun attack on Tullyvallen Orange Hall near Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh. One of the Orangemen was an off-duty RUC officer, who returned fire. The attack was claimed by the South Armagh Republican Action Force (SARAF), who said it was retaliation for “the assassinations of fellow Catholics in Belfast”.
1976 – Blanket protests began in Long Kesh prison, in protest at the end of special category status. The term ‘blanket protest’ comes from the protesters refusal to wear prison uniforms, instead wrapping blankets around themselves.
1981 – Northern Ireland’s first religiously integrated secondary school, Lagan College, opened. The integrated school movement was mainly driven by the desire of parents to have schools which would provide the opportunity for greater cross community contact amongst young people.
1991 – A delegation of politicians from the United States arrived in Northern Ireland for a fact-finding visit. Tom Foley, Democrat Party member and Speaker of the House of Representatives, led the delegation. Foley called on Americans not to provide financial support for NORAID (Irish Northern Aid Committee). Foley also refused to meet representatives of Sinn Féin until it had renounced the use of violence.
1999 – Van Morrison beomes the first inductee to The Hot Press Irish Music Hall of Fame.
1999 – Five-year-old triplets Jake, Melissa and Denis Doherty from Knockanes, Headford, Co Kerry, arrive for their first day at school in Knockanes National School.
2000 – The number of people out of work falls to an 18-year low.
2000 – The resumption of normal train services to Westport, Co Mayo is celebrated with a platform party. Bemused but delighted passengers are greeted with delicacies and glasses of champagne laid on by the local Atlantic Coast Hotel, one of hundreds of establishments in the Mayo region hit financially by the 10 week rail stoppage.
2002 – Hugh Orde, Northern Ireland’s new chief constable vows to crack down on paramilitary “godfathers” who have orchestrated a series of unsolved sectarian murders.
Photo: Kylemore Lough, Connemara, Co Galway
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