1594 – Birth of historian and genealogist, James Ware, in Dublin.
1624 – Birth in Dublin of John Stearne, founder and first president of the College of Physicians.
1651 – Death of Henry Ireton, Cromwell’s Son-in-Law. Henry Ireton was effectively Cromwell’s Commander-in-Chief in Ireland. Shortly after the Siege of Limerick ended (27 October) Ireton took ill, allegedly of the plague.
1852 – Aeneas Coffey, inventor of the Coffey Still, dies.
1873 – Birth in Co Cork of Celtic scholar, Osborn Joseph Bergin.
1885 – Birth of chemist and physicist, Thomas Andrews, in Belfast. He was a longtime professor of chemistry at Queen’s University of Belfast.
1895 – Death of zoologist, photographer and army surgeon, George Edward Dobson. Born in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, he was an expert on small mammals. He was a member of several scientific societies, the Royal Society, the Linnean Society of London and the Zoological Society of London. He was a corresponding member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and of the Biological Society of Washington.
1920 – IRA members and brothers Patrick and Harry Loughnane were abducted and killed by Black and Tan Auxiliaries at Kinvara, Co Galway.
1926 – Rugby player, Karl Mullen, is born in Courtown Harbour, Co Wexford.
1955 – Saor Uladh (Free Ulster) a splinter group of the IRA, attacks the police barracks in Rosslea, Co Fermanagh.
1972 – A bomb exploded at 1.25 am outside the rear exit door of the Film Centre Cinema, O’Connell Bridge House during a late night showing of a film. The bomb went off in the laneway connecting Burgh Quay with Leinster Market injuring 40 people, some quite seriously, including facial, leg and critical bowel wounds. There were 156 patrons and three employees inside the cinema at the time of the blast, although there were no fatalities. The force of the explosion hurled customers out of their seats and onto the floor. There was much panic as people, fearing a second bomb would explode in their midst, rushed to escape from the crowded cinema. Shops and buildings in the immediate vicinity received extensive damage.
1972 – RTÉ Journalist Kevin O’Kelly is imprisoned for contempt of court arising out of an interview with then Provisional IRA chief Séan MacStiofáin. Mr O’Kelly had refused to identify his interviewee in court.
1976 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Roy Mason, said that the region might be left behind by ‘the tide of devolution’.
1978 – Deputy Governor of Crumlin Road Prison, Albert Miles, was shot dead by the IRA outside his home in Evelyn Gardens, Belfast. This was one of a series of attacks on prison officers.
1986 – Scientists say that the 40,000 hexagonal stone columns are the result of erupted lava cooling approximately 60 million years ago, however, we all know that the Giant’s Causeway is part of a bridge built by the warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill so that he could fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. Two million visitors per year visit the remains of the world’s first ogre-built international highway, and on this date it became a UNESCO World heritage site.
1995 – In a constitutional vote, a tiny majority vote to revoke the ban on divorce in Ireland. The final tally showed 50.3% in favour. 49.7% opposed the change, a majority of 9,114 out of a total 1.6 million votes cast. Divorce had been banned in Ireland for fifty-eight years. While all the major political parties campaigned (although not very vigorously) for a “Yes” vote, the “No” vote was energised by support from Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.
1996 – David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), criticised President Mary Robinson, for not following “the proper protocol” when arranging visits to Northern Ireland.
1998 – Prime Minister Tony Blair makes a historic address to the House of the Oireachtas. Blair’s mother was from Ballyshannon, Co Donegal received an enthusiastic response from a packed house. Blair opened by mangling the Irish language for which he apologised.
1999 – Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), said that there was ‘no intelligence basis’ for the view that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was planning to return to violence.
Photo: Doolin, Co Clare, Pierre Leclerc Photography
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