1610 – Birth of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond; royalist soldier; and three times Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
1649 – New Ross town, Co Wexford, surrenders to Oliver Cromwell.
1680 – Birth of minister and church leader, John Abernethy, in Coleraine, Co Derry.
1745 – Death of Jonathan Swift. He was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for Whigs then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin.
1751 – Birth in Dublin of Charles Edward Jennings, commonly known as Brave Kilmaine. He was a true revolutionary and the greatest of famous Irish soldiers, who during the eighteenth century battled for France. A gallant and celebrated General, Philanthropist and a Baron, he was committed both to the cause of Irish independence and to France. A devoted friend to Theobald Wolfe Tone and a close confidant of Napoleon I, he is described as the only officer Bonaparte ever trusted completely.
1864 – At Battle of Cedar Creek, VA, Irish-born, Corporal John Walsh engaged in an action which won him the Medal of Honor. The battle was the decisive engagement of Major General Philip Sheridan’s Valley Campaigns of 1864 and was the largest battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley. Citation: “The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Corporal John Walsh, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 19 October 1864, while serving with Company D, 5th New York Cavalry, in action at Cedar Creek, Virginia. Corporal Walsh recaptured the flag of the 15th New Jersey Infantry.”
1896 – Birth of Kathleen Barry at 8 Fleet Street, in Dublin. She was the eldest of seven children, including Kevin Barry who was executed by the British government on 1 November 1920. Her parents Thomas and Mary (née Dowling) and her aunt Judith ran a prosperous dairy that included an eighty-six acre holding at Tombeagh, Hacketstown, Co Carlow and a retail outlet below the family home in Fleet Street.
1911 – The uilleann pipes are the national bagpipe of Ireland. They were only given the name by music scholar Grattan Flood, on this date, when he translated the expression ‘woollen pipes’ in Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’, back into Irish: ‘union pipes’ is the older name.
1913 – Irish historian, novelist and poet, Emily Lawless dies.
1922 – A Free State soldier is killed by sniper near Naas, Co Kildare. Another dies in an accidental shooting at Corporation Street, central Dublin.
1940 – Birth of actor, Michael Gambon, in Cabra, Co Dublin. Gambon has worked in theatre, television and film and has played the eponymous mystery writer protagonist in the BBC television serial The Singing Detective, Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV serial Maigret, and Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films after the death of actor Richard Harris who played the part in the first two Harry Potter films.
1955 – Archbishop McQuaid calls for an international football match against Yugoslavia in Dublin to be cancelled, but it goes ahead in front of a capacity crowd which was played at Dalymount Park. The protests arose out of the continued persecution of the Catholic Church in communist Yugoslavia, and were similar in tone to other protests held in Ireland over the previous seven years. The fact that the game went ahead with an attendance of around 21,400 has been read by some as a counter-protest against the forces of conservative Ireland, especially the public influence of archbishop McQuaid.
1968 – Derry Citizen’s Action Committee (DCAC – established 9 October 1968) organised an illegal sit-down at Guildhall Square as part of large civil disobedience campaign. The event passed off peacefully.
1969 – Thomas McDowell (45), a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was severely injured when a bomb he was planting exploded prematurely at a power station near Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. McDowell died from his injuries on 21 October 1969. McDowell was also a member of the Ulster Protestant Volunteers (UPV) a paramilitary style organisation formed by Ian Paisley.
1971 – A group of five Northern Ireland Members of Parliament (MPs) began a 48 hour hunger strike against Internment. The protest took place near 10 Downing Street in London. Among those taking part were John Hume, Austin Currie, and Bernadette Devlin.
1972 – William Craig, Leader of Ulster Vanguard, spoke at a meeting of right-wing Members of Parliament (MPs) at Westminster. He said that he could mobilise 80,000 men to oppose the British government: “We are prepared to come out and shoot and kill. I am prepared to come out and shoot and kill. I am prepared to kill, and those behind me will have my full support.”
1982 – Car mogul, John DeLorean, was arrested and charged with cocaine distribution. John DeLorean is a peripheral but very interesting character in the history of Ireland. Four years previously, he started the DeLorean Motor Company in the north of Ireland with the financial support of the Northern Ireland Development Authority to the tune of £80m in the hope it would bring 2,000 jobs to sectarian troubled Belfast. At the time, the Dublin government was disappointed it could not match the incentives provided by London.
1988 – The British government introduced broadcasting restrictions (‘broadcasting ban’) on those organisations proscribed in Northern Ireland and Britain. British Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, announced restrictions on the broadcasting of direct statements by members of specific proscribed organisations. The organisations affected were: Sinn Féin (SF), Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) and the Ulster Defense Association (UDA), including Gerry Adams’ voice. The restrictions also applied to individuals who were canvassing support for the named organisations. Media organisations eventually used a number of methods to try to overcome the effects of the ban. One approach was to employ actors to mimic the voices of those being interviewed.
1989 – After serving 15 years in prison, the “Guildford Four”: Gerard ‘Gerry’ Conlon, Patrick ‘Paddy’ Armstrong, Carole Richardson and Paul Hill are released in what is considered to be one of the biggest-ever miscarriages of justice in Britain. Paul Hill was held in custody pending a hearing in another case but was released later. The court decided that the original confessions had been fabricated by the police. John May was later appointed to head an inquiry into the circumstances of the Maguire family and the ‘Guildford Four’. However, no police officers were ever prosecuted for their part in the fabrication of confessions.
1991 – Seán Kelly wins the (Giro di Lombardia) Tour of Lombardy for the third time.
1993 – James Molyneaux, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), held a meeting in London with British Prime Minister, John Major, and repeated his party’s opposition to the Hume-Adams Initiative. Major told the House of Commons that he “knew nothing” of the details of the Hume-Adams Initiative. British Home Secretary, Michael Howard, signed an ‘exclusion order’ which banned President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, from entering Britain. Adams had been invited by Tony Benn, a Member of Parliament (MP), to address a meeting at Westminster, London.
1997 – A number of newspapers carried further leaked memos from an unknown civil servant in the Department of Foreign Affairs about Mary McAleese, Fianna Fáil candidate for President. The Irish government announced that there would be a Garda Síochána investigation into the leaks.
1998 – Discussions between British Prime Minister Tony Blair, David Trimble and Martin McGuinness fail to break the deadlock on the surrender of arms.
1998 – Justice Minister John O’Donoghue imposes tough new visa rules to curb the arrival of Slovakian gypsies, following an influx of 1,600 in search of asylum in Britain in just two months.
1998 – Agriculture Minister Joe Walsh admits that the Irish beef crisis, which has seen prices collapse to a 25-year-low, could deteriorate even further.
1999 – On the first day of their historic industrial action, thousands of striking nurses take to the picket lines.
1999 – A joint Garda Síochána / RUC investigation uncovered a cross-Border money-laundering operation located in a bureau de change. Gardaí recovered more than £1 million in cash and as much as £100 million is believed to have been laundered from drug trafficking and other crimes over the last six years for gangs operating in Belfast and Dublin.
1999 – George Mitchell chaired talks that formed part of the review of the Good Friday Agreement in the US Ambassador’s residence of Winfield House in Regent’s Park, London. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Mandelson, held talks in Dublin with Minister for Foreign Affairs, David Andrews. Both men said they were “very optimistic” about the prospects for the outcome of the Mitchell Review of the Agreement.
2000 – The Dalai Lama meets with fellow Nobel peace laureate John Hume MP at the Ulster Hall, Belfast. The Buddhist spiritual leader is in Belfast for three days at the invitation of the World Community for World Peace.
2000 – A fourth man is arrested in connection with the Omagh bombing.
2001 – British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, were to hold a meeting to discuss the latest setbacks in the peace process. The two leaders are attending a European Union summit in Belgium. The High Court in Belfast rejected an attempt by James Cooper, chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), to have the result of the election in the Fermanagh / South Tyrone seat on 7 June 2001 declared invalid. The judge in the case decided that the number of votes cast after the official closing time of 10.00pm (22.00BST) would not have materially affected the outcome of the election. The case had been heard on 17 September 2001.
2001 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern becomes the latest target of the anthrax scare sweeping the country after a letter containing an unidentifiable white powder is sent to Government Buildings in Dublin.
2001 – The dying wish of IRA volunteer Patrick Maher is fulfilled when his remains are brought from Sarsfield Barracks to his native Co Limerick for burial with full military honours. Mr Maher, 32, was executed after his alleged part in the rescue of IRA man Seán Hogan from a heavily guarded train in Knocklong in May 1919, which resulted in the death of RIC man Peter Wallace. Mr Maher had always protested his innocence.
2003 – Mother Teresa is beatified by Pope John Paul II.
2004 – Care International aid worker Margaret Hassan is kidnapped in Iraq. Margaret Hassan, also known as “Madam Margaret”, was an Irish aid worker who had worked in Iraq for many years until she was abducted and murdered by unidentified kidnappers in Iraq in 2004, at the age of 59. Her remains have never been recovered.
Photo: Dunguaire Castle, Co Galway, Tommy Hannon Landscape Photography
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