#OTD in Irish History – 17 November:

1814 – Joseph Finegan, a Confederate general in the American Civil War, is born in Clones, Co Monaghan.

1852 – Sligo-born Brigadier Michael Corcoran’s Irish Legion is mustered into the Federal service; it is involved in the defense of Washington D.C.

1869 – For nearly 150 years, the Suez Canal has played a vital role in world trade and in giving the nations of the Middle East something else to fight over. It opened today, in 1869, after a ten-year construction project overseen by Frenchmen Ferdinand de Lesseps. But that effort wouldn’t have been possible without Francis Chesney from Annalong, Co Down. It was Chesney who, in 1830, compiled and submitted the report that showed the feasibility of the project and when Lesseps greeted him in Paris in 1869, he was gracious enough to recognise his debt, calling Chesney the ‘Father of the Suez Canal’.

1893 – Death of George A. Osborne. He was an Irish composer and pianist. He was born in Limerick and left Ireland at the age of nineteen, thereafter dividing his time between England and France. While in Paris, he studied under Johann Peter Pixis, François-Joseph Fétis and Friedrich Kalkbrenner. In 1843, Osborne settled permanently in London, where he held directorships of the Philharmonic Society and the Royal Academy of Music.

1907 – Death of Admiral Sir Francis Leopold McClintock or Francis Leopold Mcclintock KCB. He was an Irish explorer in the British Royal Navy who is known for his discoveries in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

1920 – RIC sergeant James O’Donoghue was assassinated by IRA volunteers in White Street in Cork city.

1922 – The Irish Free State begins the executions of seventy-seven anti-Treaty republican prisoners.

1922 – Four Anti-Treaty IRA men from Dublin, who were captured with weapons in Co Wicklow, are shot by firing squad.

1922 – An IRA fighter, Phillip Kilgam is killed in an exchange of fire in Manorhamilton, Leitrim.

1930 – The first Irish Hospital Sweepstakes draw takes place; three Belfast men share a prize of £208,792. The Irish Hospitals’ Sweepstake was a lottery established in the Irish Free State in 1930 as the Irish Free State Hospitals’ Sweepstake to finance hospitals. The Public Charitable Hospitals (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1930 was the act that established the lottery; as this act expired in 1934, in accordance with its terms, the Public Hospitals Acts were the legislative basis for the scheme thereafter.

1940 – Birth of singer and folk musician, Luke Kelly in Dublin. Kelly was a founding member of the band The Dubliners.

1953 – The remaining human inhabitants of the Blasket Islands, Co Kerry were evacuated to the mainland. Many of the descendants currently live in Springfield, Massachusetts and some former residents still live on the Dingle peninsula, within sight of their former home.

1968 – A policy of civil disobedience was adopted by the Nationalist Party at its annual conference.

1974 – Erskine Childers, fourth President of Ireland, dies. In a lengthy and distinguished career as a TD, Childers role in cabinet included Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, Minister for Transport and Power and Minister for Health. His father Robert Erskine Childers was executed by Irish Government forces in the Civil War.

1981 – The RUC announced that it was cancelling all holiday leave for its officers.

1986 – Peter Robinson, deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), defied a ban and marched in Portadown with other members of Ulster Resistance in paramilitary style uniforms.

1994 – Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and his Fianna Fáil ministers were forced to resign ending the coalition Government of Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party. On 19 November 1994, Fianna Fáil elected Bertie Ahern as the new party leader. A new government was formed on 15 December 1994.

1995 – Following the change in the law regarding remission of sentence for paramilitary prisoners, 83 people were released from jails in Northern Ireland. The law was changed on 7 November 1995.

1996 – A report in the Sunday Tribune claimed that the IRA were effectively observing a ceasefire while they engaged in contacts with the British government. Unionist parties maintained their stated position that decommissioning of IRA weapons would have to take place before Sinn Féin could be involved in any talks.

1997 – Lee Clegg, a member of the Parachute Regiment, began his third appeal at the High Court in Belfast against his sentence for the murder of Karen Reilly (16) on 30 September 1990. Clegg had been released from prison in 1995 having served two years of a life sentence for the murder and had been accepted back into the British Army.

1998 – The government accepted that the Loyalist Volunteer Force ceasefire was genuine thus making it possible for LVF prisoners to be considered for early release.

1999 – Christian churches reject idea of elections on the sabbath day as a means of trying to increase voter turnout.

1999 – The IRA issued a short statement saying it was committed to peace and acknowledged that the Good Friday Agreement would contribute to a lasting peace. It endorsed the leadership of Sinn Féin in the negotiations and agreed to nominate a representative to enter discussions with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).

1999 – The owners of the first cars to be called for inspection under the new National Car Test receive notification in the post.

2001 – An £8.5 million annual pay deal for local politicians is to be finalised before Christmas, giving them a salary for the first time.

Photo: Cobh, Co Cork, Sean Patrick Allen Photography

#ireland #history #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.