#OTD in Irish History – 24 February:

1582 – Pope Gregory XIII announces the new Gregorian calendar, replacing the Julian calendar.

1692 – The Treaty of Limerick is ratified by William of Orange.

1721 – Birth of physician and politician, John McKinly, in Ireland (Ulster). He emigrated to Wilmington, Delaware in 1742 and was a veteran of the French and Indian War. McKinly served in the Delaware General Assembly, was the first elected President of Delaware, and for a time was a member of the Federalist Party.

1780 – A British Act opens colonial trade to Irish goods.

1797 – Birth of writer, artist, musician and songwriter, Samuel Lover, in Dublin. Lover produced a number of Irish songs, of which several – including The Angel’s Whisper, Molly Bawn, and The Four-leaved Shamrock – attained great popularity. He also wrote novels, of which Rory O’Moore (in its first form a ballad), and Handy Andy are the best known, and short Irish sketches which, with his songs, he combined into a popular entertainment called Irish Nights or Irish Evenings.

1809 – London’s Drury Lane Theatre burns to the ground, leaving Dublin-born owner Richard Brinsley Sheridan destitute.

1815 – Birth of Robert Fulton, the man credited with developing the first commercially successful steamboat dies in New York age 49. Fulton’s father emigrated from Ireland to Philadelphia.

1841 – Birth of inventor and developer of the modern submarine, John Philip Holland, in Co Clare.

1850 – Paul Cullen is consecrated Catholic archbishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland.

1852 – Birth of novelist, playwright and critic, George Moore, in Ballyglass, Co Mayo.

1865 – Brigadier Thomas Francis Meagher is relieved of his command of the Irish Brigade under the instructions of Ulysses S. Grant. Meagher’s drinking had become a major impediment to his ability to lead his command.

1896 – Death of Irish-born Medal of Honor Recipient Patrick Henry Grace. Grace won his medal for bravery during the Korean Expedition of 1871.

1917 – Louisa Nolan is honoured with the medal for heroism during Easter Week 1916, by King George.

1920 – Dublin Metropolitan District is placed under a curfew from midnight to 5:00 a.m.

1923 – There are a number of ambushes and sniping attacks in Dublin. One Free State soldiers is killed in an exchange of fire at Cornmarket, another is shot in the thigh on Thomas Street and wounded.

1923 – A civilian John Conway is shot dead at work.

1948 – Birth of Dermot Earley, Roscommon footballer and GAA administrator, in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

1969 – An election to the Stormont parliament was held. The main feature of this election was the fragmentation of the Unionist party into ‘Official Unionist’ and ‘Unofficial Unionist’. Of the 39 unionist candidates returned in the election 27 were in support of the policies of Northern Ireland Prime Minister, Terence O’Neill, while 12 were against or undecided.

1979 – Two Catholic teenagers, Martin McGuigan (16) and James Keenan (16), were killed by the IRA in a remote controlled bomb explosion at Darkley, near Keady, Co Armagh. It is believed that the two teenagers were mistaken in the dark for a British Army foot patrol.

1982 – The British government indicated that it would amend laws in Northern Ireland relating to homosexual acts to bring them into line with laws in Britain. On 22 October 1981, the European Court ruled that Britain was discriminating against homosexuals by treating homosexuality as a crime in Northern Ireland.

1987 – The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) announced the establishment of a ‘task force’ to produce an alternative to the Anglo-Irish Agreement. The Unionist Task Force reported on 2 July 1987.

1988 – Two members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) were killed by a remote controlled bomb in Belfast. The attack was carried out by the IRA.

1993 – British Prime Minister John Major, held a meeting with President of the United States, Bill Clinton, in Washington, D.C. Major later stated that he found Clinton’s proposal of a ‘peace envoy’ to be unhelpful, but was in favour of a representative undertaking a ‘fact-finding’ visit to Northern Ireland.

1993 – Enya was awarded the Grammy for Best New Age Album, ‘Shepherd Moons’ at the 35th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles, CA.

1994 – A Protestant civilian, Jack Smyth (23), was shot dead by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) as he worked as a doorman at a public house on the Lisburn Road, Belfast.

1996 – The last occurrence of 24 February as a leap day in the European Union and for the Roman Catholic Church.

1997 – The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) announced its list of candidates for the forthcoming general election. Bertie Ahern, leader of Fianna Fáil addressed a public meeting in south Belfast and told the audience that any new IRA ceasefire could not be ‘conditional or tactical’.

1998 – The Garda Síochána uncovered a 250 lb bomb in Co Cavan which was being prepared for transportation to a target in Northern Ireland. It was believed that the bomb was the work of the CIRA.

1998 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, announced the appointment of a new Parades Commission containing seven members. Among the new members were two people with a background in the Loyalist tradition, Glen Barr and Tommy Cheevers. Mowlam stated that she couldn’t find anyone from a Republican working-class base to balance the two appointments.

1998 – A representative of the IRA contacted the BBC in Northern Ireland to state that the IRA had not been involved in recent bomb attacks and also to deny that there was a split in the organisation.

1999 – Colm Murphy (48), from Co Armagh, was charged at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin in connection with the Omagh bombing on 15 August 1998. He was also charged with membership of an unlawful organisation.

1999 – Education Minister, John McFall, announced that £51 million would be made available for childcare in Northern Ireland.

1999 – Clannad was awarded the Grammy for Best New Age Album, ‘Landmarks’ at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA.

1999 – The Chieftains were awarded the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album, ‘Long Journey Home’ at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, held at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA.

2000 – The Government calls for a full public inquiry into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

2000 – The North’s precarious peace process moves closer towards meltdown as Sinn Féin threatens to end their role as mediators with the IRA on decommissioning and warns of dissident republicans launching a renewed campaign of violence.

2000 – A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II stolen from Edinburgh University by three inebriated Trinity College students is returned.

2002 – President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, gave an interview on RTÉ in which he stated that Sinn Féin recognised that the Defence Forces were the only legitimate army in the Republic of Ireland. Adams’ statement was prompted by the criticism levelled at Sinn Féin by Michael McDowell, Irish Attorney General, when he said that a party with loyalties to the IRA had no place in the Dáil.

2002 – The Catholic Church and Government clash over next week’s abortion referendum as a poll highlights confusion among voters. While bishops support the Government campaign for a Yes vote on the substantive issue of abortion, they question the future protection of the morning-after pill.

2003 – Iarnród Éireann announces that it will not proceed with its plan to charge commuters for parking at three DART stations in Dublin.

2013 – Daniel Day-Lewis wins Best Actor for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ at the 85th Academy Awards. Lewis is now the only actor in Academy Awards history to have won three best actor awards.

2013 – Death of footballer, Con Martin. Martin initially played football with Dublin before switching codes and embarking on a successful soccer career, playing for, among others, Drumcondra, Glentoran, Leeds United and Aston Villa. Martin was also a dual international and played and captained both Ireland teams – the FAI XI and the IFA XI. In 1949 he was a member of the FAI XI that defeated England 2–0 at Goodison Park, becoming the first non-UK team to beat England at home.

Image | Cahir Castle, Co Tipperary | By The Craft Granary

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