#OTD in Irish History – 18 September:

1830 – Sir Frederick Matthew Darley is born in Co Wicklow to an eminent Irish legal family. He was called to the Bar at the King’s Inn in 1853. Although he had a relatively successful career, he opted to emigrate to Australia in 1862 where he would go on to become the sixth Chief Justice of New South Wales, an eminent barrister, a member of the New South Wales Parliament, a Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales, and a member of the British Privy Council.

1846 – James Standish O’Grady, novelist, is born in Castletownbere, Co Cork.

1851 – Death of Anne Devlin, in The Liberties, Dublin. She was an Irish republican who acted as housekeeper to Robert Emmet and who was also a cousin of two leading United Irish rebels, Michael Dwyer and Arthur Devlin.

1867 – The Escape that Sparked the Manchester Martyrs: Thomas Kelly and Timothy Deasy are rescued in a Fenian attack on a police van in Manchester during which a police sergeant is shot dead.

1889 – Kathleen Behan, née Kearney, ‘Mother of All the Behans’ and folk singer is born in Dublin.

1890 – Death of actor and playwright, Dion Boucicault. Born in Dublin, famed for his melodramas, by the later part of the 19th century, he had become known on both sides of the Atlantic as one of the most successful actor-playwright-managers then in the English-speaking theatre.

1898 – Fashoda Incident: Lord Kitchener’s ships reach Fashoda, Sudan.

1911 – Birth of Irish ufologist and politician, Brinsley Le Poer Trench, 8th Earl of Clancarty.

1914 – The Home Rule Act becomes law, but is delayed until after World War I.

1922 – Three National Army troops are killed in an ambush near Nenagh, Co Tipperary as they were about to enter a Church for Mass.

1936 – Birth of Tom McBride, also known as ‘Big Tom’, in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan. He is a country music singer, guitarist, and saxophone player. Established since 1966, he is currently front man of the Irish showband Big Tom and The Mainliners. He is affectionately known as ‘Ireland’s king of country music’.

1941 – Seán McCaughey is convicted of kidnapping Stephen Hayes, a former IRA chief of staff, on 30 June. Stephen Hayes claims to have been ‘court martialled’ and tortured by the IRA.

1964 – Death of dramatist and memoirist, Sean O’Casey, in England. A committed socialist, he was the first Irish playwright of note to write about the Dublin working classes.

1973 – British Prime Minister, Edward Heath, gave a media interview where he said that if the Northern Ireland Assembly failed to establish a power-sharing Executive by March 1974 then the best option would be to integrate Northern Ireland fully into the United Kingdom (UK).

1986 – The International Fund for Ireland was established by the British and Irish governments. The fund was designed to support economic developments in Northern Ireland and the border counties in the Republic of Ireland. The initial £36 million for the fund was donated by the United States (which gave the bulk of the money), Canada, New Zealand and, since 1988, the European Community Commission.

1993 – An interview with Vice-President of Sinn Féin, Martin McGuinness, was published in the Guardian. McGuinness stated that any political settlement should be decided by the people of Ireland and spoke of the “right to self-determination of the Irish people”.

1994 – The Observer carried a report of an interview with Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds. Reynolds was reported as saying that the unification of Ireland would not come about “in this generation”.

1999 – A rally in Belfast against the reform of the RUC proposed by the Patten report was addressed by a former chief constable of the force, Sir John Hermon. He warned against pushing the report’s recommendations through the British parliament before the Northern Ireland Assembly was properly in place.

2004 – Northern Ireland’s rival Protestant and Catholic parties are being left to find common ground on their own, after three days of intensive high-level talks failed to come up with a deal to revive power-sharing government in the province.

2013 – Hundreds of hard-line protesters opposed to ongoing austerity measures clashed with gardaí in Dublin.

Photo: Ducketts Grove, Co Carlow, © Aoife Mac Photography

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