#OTD in Irish History – 9 January:

1642 – Thirty Catholics are killed by the Scottish garrison and English settlers at Island Magee, Co Antrim.

1794 – Birth of Frances Ball in Dublin. Known as Mother Mary Theresa, she was the foundress of the Irish Branch of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM). In 1822 she opened the first institution of the order in Ireland, in Rathfarnam House, four miles from Dublin. Mother Teresa decided to call the house ’Loreto’ after the village in Italy to which the Nazareth house of the Holy Family was said to have been miraculously transported.

1873 – John J. Flanagan, hammer-thrower and shot-putter, is born in Kilbreedy, Co Limerick.

1900 – Birth of Harry Kernoff in London, artist; resident of Dublin from the time he was 14 years old.

1904 – George Buchanan, poet, novelist and journalist, is born in Kilwaughter, Co Down.

1909 – Kildare-born, Ernest Shackleton, leading the Nimrod Expedition to the South Pole, plants the British flag 97 nautical miles (180 km; 112 mi) from the South Pole, the farthest anyone had ever reached at that time.

1909 – Birth of Patrick Peyton in Co Mayo. Also known as The Rosary Priest, was a Roman Catholic priest and promoter of the Rosary. Peyton is the founder of the post-World War II prayer movement called, ‘Family Rosary Crusade’. This campaign was harnessed by the CIA between 1958 and 1965 and was funded in order to combat leftist influence in Latin America, during the Cold War. Peyton once said that ‘The family that prays together stays together’ and ‘A world at prayer is a world at peace’.

1916 – Final evacuation from the ill-advised Gallipoli invasion which saw the death of 3,500-4,000 Irish soldiers fighting either in Australian, New Zealand or British uniform. An estimated 44,000 allied soldiers died. As with most Irish who fought in WWI, their sacrifice received scant recognition by parochial Irish government until 2010.

1922 – Éamon de Valera resigns as President.

1923 – Anti-Treaty IRA men burn the home of Free State Senator John Philip Bagwell at Marlfield, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, including the extensive library built up by his father, historian Richard Bagwell.

1929 – Brian Friel, playwright and author of Dancing at Lughnasa, is born near Omagh, Co Tyrone.

1949 – Birth of Liam Quinn (born William Joseph Quinn in San Francisco, U.S.), a former volunteer in the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) who killed London Metropolitan Police Constable Stephen Tibble at Charleville Road, Barons Court, London in February 1975. Tibble, who was off duty at the time, saw Quinn fleeing from the police after he had ran from a flat in Hammersmith, in which Quinn and fellow members of the Balcombe Street Gang had been preparing bombs. Tibble give chase on his motorbike and, while attempting to stop Quinn, was shot and killed. Quinn returned to the USA in the aftermath of the shooting and was extradited to the United Kingdom in February 1988 where he was jailed for life for murder. Quinn served 11 years before he was released, along with the rest of the Balcombe Street Gang, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. While with the IRA, Quinn was tagged with the nickname “Yankee Joe” because of his American origins.

1951 – The Northern and Southern governments agree on the running of the Great Northern Railway.

1952 – The Featherbed Motorbike Frame was patented. Born in Hillsborough, Co Down, Rex McCandless, a former motorcycle racer, designer and constructor, had been a successful motorcycle racer prior to the Second World War. During the war, he worked in the aviation industry. He had been working as a vehicle mechanic when in 1943, he went into business with his brother Cromie McCandless to repair vehicles for the Ministry of Supply. It was at this time that he built his own motorcycle which became the prototype for the successful featherbed frame adapted by the Norton Motorcycle Company.

1953 – Birth of republican writer and activist, Danny Morrison, in Belfast. He is also the secretary of the Bobby Sands Trust. Morrison came from a strongly republican family. His uncles had been jailed for their part in the IRA’s Northern Campaign in the 1940s; one of his uncles was Harry White, a prominent IRA man.

1962 – Birth of retired football player, and current analyst and commentator with RTÉ Sport, Ray Houghton, in Glasgow, Scotland. Houghton is particularly remembered by Irish fans for scoring two of the most important goals in the national team’s history, which resulted in 1–0 victories over England in Stuttgart at the 1988 European Championship, and Italy at the Giants Stadium in New Jersey at the 1994 World Cup. At club level Houghton is best remembered for his success in the Liverpool side of the late 1980s.

1969 – Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O’Neill, travelled to London to meet James Callaghan, British Home Secretary, to brief him on the growing violence in Northern Ireland.

1990 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Brooke, delivered a speech in Bangor, Co Down, in which he sought to break the political stalemate by seeking to encourage a fresh round of inter-party talks aimed at restoring devolved power to Northern Ireland. In particular he stressed that sufficient “common ground” existed for progress to be made and urged Unionist politicians to resume contact with the British government. Whilst reluctant to make any commitment to suspend the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) to allow for Unionists to engage in discussions, Brooke did hold out the promise that he would seek to work the AIA in a sensitive manner.

1996 – A debate opened in the House of Commons, Westminster on the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Bill which was drafted to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency Provisions (Northern Ireland) Act. The Bill contained a proposal on the videotaping of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) interviews.

1998 – Mo Mowlam, risks her political future in talks with loyalist paramilitaries inside Long Kesh prison in a desperate bid to save the troubled Northern Ireland peace process.

2000 – Boy band Westlife retains their place at the top of the charts to become the first act in more than a year to hang on at number one for longer than three weeks.

2001 – For the first time ever, electric power comes to the tiny islands of Inishgort and Inishlyre in Clew Bay.

2002 – Former soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, accepts the honour of being named the 71st Freeman of Dublin, following in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela and members of U2.

2002 – There were confrontations outside the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast, during the early afternoon. Disturbances and rioting quickly spread to other surrounding areas and there was serious rioting in Ardoyne during the evening and into the night. Catholic parents said that they had faced increased verbal abuse since Monday during their walks to and from the Holy Cross school and they were attacked while coming from school in the early afternoon. A Catholic mother claimed she was punched in the face as she walked home from the school with her child. Some PSNI officers said they arrived at a confrontation between a Protestant woman and a Catholic woman close to the school. The police moved to make an arrest but the person was protected by other residents. There was a report that some Loyalists had driven a car at the school gates in an attempt to enter the school. Police officers said they had to draw their weapons. Some school children had to be taken home through another school while a bus carrying other children was attacked on its way down the Ardoyne Road.

2012 – Singer, Bridie Gallagher, passes away at age 87. Known professionally as the ‘Girl from Donegal’, over a 50-year career she played everywhere from the Royal Albert Hall in London to Carnegie Hall in New York and Sydney Opera House. Born in Creeslough, Co. Donegal, Bridie Gallagher made her home in Belfast almost 60 years ago and it was there she was discovered by a Decca talent scout in 1956. Her first single for them – A Mother’s Love’s a Blessing – was an instant hit and within a few short years she was performing on Sunday Night at the London Palladium. The late 50s and 60s saw tens of thousands of Irish people emigrating. In Britain, America and Australia, Bridie had ready-made audiences who packed out the venues she played. In one particularly memorable show at the Albert Hall mounted police had to be used to hold back fans who blocked the surrounding streets.

2017 – Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister, resigned from office in protest over his power-sharing partner’s handling of a bungled green energy scheme.

2017 – Death of Dr TK Whitaker, once voted Irishman of the 20th century, aged 100. He was an economist and former public servant, credited with a pivotal role in the economic development of Ireland.

Photo: Downpatrick Head, Co Mayo, Photography by Jack Andrys

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