#OTD in Irish History – 8 October:

1822 – Birth in Dublin of Richard D’Alton Williams. He is educated at Carlow Academy and studies medicine at Saint Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin. He becomes a member of the Young Ireland movement and contributes poetry to The Nation under the pseudonym ‘Shamrock’. In 1848, he is tried for treason for articles he publishes in the Irish Tribune, but he is successfully defended by lawyer and fellow poet Samuel Ferguson.

1862 – At the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, “Little Phil” Sheridan is one of the key officers leading Union soldiers against the Confederate forces of Braxton Bragg. Sheridan’s parents, John and Mary Meenagh Sheridan, had emmigrated from Co Cavan. Sheridan’s diminutive stature of five feet five inches earned him the nickname “Little Phil”.

1949 – Edith Oenone Somerville, Irish novelist, dies in Castletownshend, Co Cork. In her late twenties, she meets her second cousin Violet Florence Martin who writes under the pseudonym Martin Ross. They become lifelong companions and literary partners, collaborating on a series of humorous novels about the rural Irish gentry. Their most important literary achievement is their novel The Real Charlotte which is published in 1894.

1959 – Birth of musician, Gavin Friday, in Dublin. He has co-written a number of songs with the U2 frontman, Bono, including the soundtrack to the Jim Sheridan movie ‘In the Name of the Father’. In 2005 Gavin Friday played Billy Hatchett in the Neil Jordan film Breakfast on Pluto based on Irish author Patrick McCabe’s book, which had been influenced by Friday’s album Shag Tobacco. On the soundtrack he sings “Wig Wam Bam” and “Sand”, a duet with Cillian Murphy.

1962 – Kerrygold butter is launched on the world market.

1965 – Birth of comedian and actor, Ardal O’Hanlon, in Co Monaghan. Best known for his roles in television sitcoms as Father Dougal McGuire in Father Ted and George Sunday in My Hero.

1974 – Seán MacBride, President of the International Peace Bureau, Geneva, Switzerland, and President of the Commission of Namibia, United Nations, New York, USA, is awarded a half-share of the Nobel Peace Prize.

1978 – Birth of rugby player and coach, Michael O’Driscoll, in Cork. He played for Munster in the Pro12 and Heineken Cup, and played internationally for Ireland. He was an integral, senior player for Munster, and captained the province numerous times, particularly during the 2008–09 season.

1998 – Minister for Defence, Michael Smith TD strongly defends his decision to close down six army barracks after several delegates stage a walk-out at the PDFORRA conference in Ennis, Co Clare.

1999 – Rosmoney Shellfish of Co Mayo is crowned as Ireland’s Best Oyster Grower in the 1999 BIM Guinness Quality Oyster Awards.

1999 – On the grounds of Belfast City Hall, a six-foot statue is dedicated to the memory of the late James Magennis. He is finally honoured in his native Belfast 54 years after he was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry during the Second World War.

2000 – Catholic bishops begin a three-day meeting in Maynooth during which they will attempt to reach agreement on the ordination of lay people as deacons.

2000 – More than 40,000 jubilant supporters turn out to welcome the victorious Co Kerry football team and the Sam Maguire Cup back to the Kingdom.

2001 – Northern Ireland’s political institutions are plunged into a new crisis as Ulster Unionists begin a phased withdrawal of ministers from the power-sharing executive.

2002 – Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams claims that the raid on his party’s Stormont offices last week is a plot to throw the peace process into crisis.

2002 – Catholic Bishops back the Nice Treaty, stating there is a stronger case for voting in favour than against.

2013 – Death of singer-songwriter and guitarist, Philip Chevron, in Dublin. He was a member of The Pogues, and was regarded as one of the most influential figures in Irish punk music.

Photo: Malahide Castle, Co Dublin

#irishhistory #ireland #irelandinspires

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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.

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