1494 – Poynings lands at Howth and summons a parliament to Drogheda. He then campaigns in the north.
1566 – Birth of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, in England. Also known as the Great Earl of Cork, he was Lord Treasurer of the Kingdom of Ireland. Boyle was an important figure in the continuing English colonisation of Ireland (commenced by the Normans) in the 16th and 17th centuries, as he acquired large tracts of land in plantations in Munster in southern Ireland. Moreover, his sons played an important role in fighting against Irish Catholic rebellion in the 1640s and 1650s, assisting in the victory of the British and Protestant interest in Ireland.
1729 – William Conolly resigns as Speaker of the Irish House of Commons on grounds of ill-health. Sir Ralph Gore is elected unanimously in his place.
1823 – Birth of writer on religious and historical subjects, Sara Atkinson, in Athlone, Co Westmeath.
1875 – Kerry-born John Francis O’Sullivan is awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Indian Wars. His Citation reads: The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private John Francis O’Sullivan, United States Army, for gallantry in a long chase after Indians on 8 December 1874, while serving with Company I, 4th U.S. Cavalry, in action at Staked Plains, Texas. O’Sullivan is buried in Woodside, New York.
1881 – Charles Stewart Parnell and others are arrested for Land League activities.
1911 – Death of Sister Nivedita, born Margaret Elizabeth Noble, in Co Tyrone. She was a social worker, author, teacher and a disciple of Swami Vivekananda. She spent her childhood and early days of her youth in Ireland. From her father, and her college professor, she learned many valuable lessons like – service to mankind is the true service to God. She worked as school teacher and later also opened a school. She was committed to marry a Welsh youth who died soon after their engagement.
1922 – A Free State soldier is killed in an ambush of a troop lorry at Ulverton Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin.
1922 – Two Free State soldiers are killed in Kerry, one in Rathmore, the other in Abbeydorney.
1923 – A mass Hunger Strike is launched by 424 Republican prisoners in Mountjoy Gaol in protest at their continued detention after the war’s end. The strike is joined by up to 8,000 Republican prisoners in prisons and camps around the country.
1928 – The Dublin Gate Theatre Company produces its first play – Ibsen’s Peer Gynt – in the Peacock Theatre.
1940 – Mick Doyle, rugby player and coach, is born in Castleisland, Co Kerry.
1986 – Following long campaigns by residents associations, the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive took the decision to begin a phased demolition of most of the high-rise flats in the Divis area of Belfast and all of the high-rise flats in Rossville Street in Derry.
1990 – Two RUC officers were shot by the IRA in the center of Belfast. One of the officers died from his wounds two days later on 15 October 1990.
1993 – In the Dáil, Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, declined opposition requests for a debate on Northern Ireland. The reason given was the matter was at a delicate stage.
1993 – President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, stated that peace in Northern Ireland would come about as a result of “total demilitarisation” and was not a “prerequisite” for a peace process.
1994 – The Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) issued a statement which announced a ceasefire on behalf of all loyalist paramilitaries. The statement noted that “The permanence of our cease-fire will be completely dependent upon the continued cessation of all nationalist/republican violence”.
1997 – British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, paid a visit to Northern Ireland. At Castle Buildings in Stormont, Belfast, Blair held meetings with representatives of all the political parties including a delegation from Sinn Féin, led by Gerry Adams. Away from cameras Blair had shook the hand of Adams and other members of Sinn Féin. At the Conswater shopping centre in Belfast a group of 60 Loyalists heckled the Prime Minister who had to be rushed out of the centre by security staff. Blair also met with John Hume, Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), in Derry and David Trimble, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), in Craigavon.
1998 – Farmers, furious over the collapse in cattle prices, stage an overnight sit-in protest at the Department of Agriculture and Food in Dublin and warn much tougher action will be taken.
1999 – Death of poet and Irish translator, Michael Hartnett, in Dublin. A member of Aosdána, Hartnett was best known for his collection of poems, A Farewell To English (1975). Born in Limerick, he was one of the most significant voices in late 20th-century Irish writing and has been called “Munster’s de facto poet laureate”.
2000 – Joseph O’Connor (26), believed to have been a member of the rIRA, was shot dead in Ballymurphy, west Belfast. Most commentators blamed the PIRA for the killing and speculated on the possibility of a Republican paramilitary feud.
2002 – Three Irish tourists are among 25 people still unaccounted for following a massive bomb blast which ripped through two packed bars on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
2006 – A momentous day in Northern Irish politics as parties from both sides of the divide come together to sign the St Andrews in relation to the devolution of power to Northern Ireland. The agreement resulted from multi-party talks held in St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, from 11 October to 13 October 2006, between the two governments and all the major parties in Northern Ireland, including the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin. It resulted in the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the formation (on 8 May 2007) of a new Northern Ireland Executive and a decision by Sinn Féin to support the Police Service of Northern Ireland, courts and rule of law.
Photo: “The Fairytale Castle of Lough Key”, Castle Island on Lough Key, Boyle, Co Roscommon, Gareth Wray Photography, garethwray.com
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