#OTD in Irish History – 10 January:

1751 – Cornelius Bolton, politician, Volunteer and improving landlord is born. He was a very progressive landlord and was very interested in helping his tenants progress.

1814 – Aubrey Thomas De Vere, a poet who adapted early Gaelic tales, is born in Co Limerick. He helped the Celtic revival encouraging the study of Celtic legend and Celtic literature.

1873 – Birth of Jack O’Neill. He was a catcher in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1902–03), Chicago Cubs (1904–05) and Boston Beaneaters (1906). He batted and threw right-handed. A native of Co Galway, O’Neill was one of four major league brothers.

1887 – Death of Mitchelstown, Co Cork born, John Roach, who became the most prominent shipbuilder in America during and after the civil war.

1922 – Arthur Griffith is elected President of the Irish Free State. Éamon de Valera resigned the previous day.

1923 – Two Anti-Treaty IRA officers are killed in a skirmish with Free State troops near Spelsherstown, Co Wexford.

1941 – Death of painter, Sir John Lavery, in Kilkenny. Best known for his portraits, Belfast-born Lavery attended the Haldane Academy in Glasgow, Scotland, in the 1870s and the Académie Julian in Paris in the early 1880s.

1952 – An Aer Lingus aeroplane, the St Kevin, crashes in Wales with the loss of 23 lives. It is the airline’s second fatal crash.

1960 – Birth of former politician, Brian Cowen, in Tullamore, Co Offaly. He served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 7 May 2008 to 9 March 2011. He was head of a coalition government led by Fianna Fáil which until 23 January 2011 had the support of the Green Party and independent TDs.

1969 – Civil rights leaders in Northern Ireland defying police orders, refuse to abandon their planned march through Newry, Co Down.

1971 – Members of the IRA carried out an early form of ‘punishment attack’ by tarring and feathering four men who were accused of criminal activities in Catholic areas of Belfast. ‘Punishment beatings’, and ‘punishment shootings’ (where people were shot in the knee or elsewhere on the body with intent to wound but not kill) were to become a continuous feature of the conflict in Northern Ireland and were used by both Republican and Loyalist paramilitary groups.

1984 – Death of politician, Seán MacEntee. In a career that spanned over forty years as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála, MacEntee was one of the most important figures in post-independence Ireland. He served in the governments of Éamon de Valera and Seán Lemass in a range of ministerial positions, including Finance, Industry, Commerce and Health. He introduced a protectionist policy that is now considered a failure. He served as Tánaiste of Ireland from 1959 to 1965. At the time of his death, he was the last surviving member of the First Dáil.

1990 – The room being used by the Stevens Inquiry, into allegations of collusion between Loyalist paramilitaries and the security forces, was destroyed by a fire. The room was in an RUC station in Belfast. A later RUC investigation concluded that the fire was an accident. Many commentators felt it unlikely that the fire was simply a coincidence. On 17 April 2003, Stevens wrote in the summary report of his third inquiry: “This incident, in my opinion, has never been adequately investigated and I believe it was a deliberate act of arson.”

1992 – The IRA exploded a small bomb, estimated at 5 lbs, that was concealed in a briefcase and left approximately 300 metres from Downing Street in London.

1993 – Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, nominated Gordon Wilson to become a member of the Seanad. Wilson had been injured, and his daughter killed, in the Enniskillen bomb on 8 November 1987.

1994 – Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, said that the Irish government would provide continuing clarification of the Downing Street Declaration.

1997 – There was a series of 20 bomb alerts throughout Belfast leading to major disruption. The IRA issued a statement in the Andersonstown News warning informers that “action” would be taken against them.

1997 – Ken Maginnis, Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Security Spokesperson, called on the Department of the Environment to remove an IRA memorial to Sean South and Feargal O’Hanlon who had been killed by the RUC in 1957.

1998 – Terence Enwright (28), a Catholic civilian who was a cross-community worker, was shot dead by the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) outside a night club in Belfast. Enwright was a highly respected community worker who had saved scores of young people from paramilitary ‘punishment’ attacks and had steered many others away from involvement in paramilitary groups. Enwright was also married to a niece of President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams.

2000 – The Lodge and Spa at Inchydoney Island, Clonakilty, Co Cork, is the AA Hotel of the Year.

2002 – A new chapter in Irish literary history is written with the publication of The Last Tango in Ibiza, which was penned by first-time authors who include a nun and several grannies.

2002 – The Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast, was closed for the day following the disturbances the previous day. Catholic parents and Protestant residents of Glenbryn estate held separate meetings to discuss the situation. Some other schools in the area closed early following fears about the safety of pupils.

2003 – Farmers drive 300 tractors into the city and hold a two-hour rally in front of Government Buildings at Merrion Square.

2003 – Feared loyalist paramilitary chief, Johnny Mad Dog Adair, is arrested and sent back to jail. Adair will not now be released from prison until January 2005.

2012 – Journalist, Mary Raftery, passes away after a short illness. She was 54. Well known for her work on the ‘States of Fear’ documentary series that revealed the extent of physical and sexual abuse suffered by children in the Irish childcare system, she also produced and directed the ‘Prime Time Investigates: Cardinal Secrets’ programme which led to the establishment of the Murphy Commission of Investigation into child sex abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese. Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty International Ireland said Ms Raftery’s work transformed Ireland. Without the work that Mary did as a journalist (on the abuse of children), I don’t think much of this would have surfaced.”

2015 – Death of Jim Hogan. He was a distance runner who competed for both Ireland and Great Britain. He was born in Croom, Co Limerick. Hogan’s athletic career saw him compete for Ireland at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and for Great Britain at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. He won the marathon title at the 1966 European Championships.

2015 – Death of anaesthetic, Mary Beatrice (Maeve) Hillery. She was the wife of Patrick Hillery, who was President of Ireland from 1976 to 1990. Maeve Finnegan was educated at University College Dublin where she studied medicine. It was there she met her future husband, Patrick Hillery, who was also studying medicine. The couple married on 27 October 1955. Together they had a son, John, and a daughter, Vivienne, who died after a long illness in 1985, shortly before her eighteenth birthday. Patrick later served in a number of political roles, including Foreign Minister and European Commissioner. After the completion of his term as EC Commissioner in 1976, he contemplated leaving politics and returning to medicine. Instead, Hillery was asked to become the sixth President of Ireland. Patrick died on 12 April 2008.

Photo: Creevelea Abbey, Co Leitrim | dr_urbanus (Martin) | Flickr

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