1718 – Birth of John Gore, Baron Annal, lawyer, politician and Chief Justice of the King’s Bench from 1764 to 1784.
1836 – Texas declares its independence from Mexico at a meeting in Washington on the Brazos, Texas. At the time, at least ten Irish-born soldiers were fighting at the Alamo (23 Feb-6 March) with Davy Crockett (Irish extraction). All would die four days later.
1871 – William Gladstone gave his first speech in the House of Commons on Home Rule.
1880 – Death of Sir John Benjamin Macneill FRS, an eminent Irish civil engineer of the 19th century, closely associated with Thomas Telford. His most notable projects were railway schemes in Ireland. He was born near the town of Dundalk, Co Louth.
1888 – Birth of military historian and journalist, Cyril Bentham Falls, in Dublin.
1914 – Pádraig Pearse gave a Commemoration address for Robert Emmet in Brooklyn, New York. Emmet was executed by the British in 1803 for this part of a rebellion against British rule in 1803. Pearse was executed by the British in 1916 for his part in the Easter Rising.
1920 – British Intelligence double agent John Charles Byrnes aka Jameson is killed by Michael Collins’s Squad.
1921 – IRA fighters from the 2nd Cork Brigade and 2nd Kerry Brigade laid landmines near Millstreet. Thirteen British soldiers were killed and fifteen wounded when the landmines were exploded under their lorry.
1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA smuggled weapons from Germany to Helvic Head, Co Waterford.
1923 – Anti-Treaty IRA officers in North Tipperary, Paddy Ryan Lacken and Seán Gaynor are captured by the Free State.
1948 – Birth of guitarist, Rory Gallagher, in Donegal.
1971 – Lieutenant-General, Harry Tuzo, replaced Vernon Erskine-Crum who had been appointed General Officer Commanding of the British Army in Northern Ireland on 4 February 1971, but suffered a heart attack and died on 17 March 1971.
1977 – An English businessman, Donald Robinson (56), was shot dead by the IRA at his place of work near University Street, Belfast.
1977 – The BBC programme ‘Tonight’ carried out an investigation into interrogation techniques employed at Castlereagh holding centre. This programme subsequently led Amnesty International to conduct its own investigation which was published in June 1978. The reaction to the programme also led to the publication of the Bennett Report from the British government which was published in March 1979. Both these reports were critical of the methods used to interrogate people suspected of paramilitary involvement.
1979 – Birth of Damien Duff in Ballyboden, Dublin. He is a retired professional footballer who played predominantly as a winger. Duff played international football for the Republic of Ireland for 14 years, winning 100 caps between 1998 and 2012. He played at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and captained the country at UEFA Euro 2012.
1979 – Death of hurler Christy Ring, one of the greatest hurlers of all time, played as a right wing-forward for the Cork senior team. Ring won eight All-Ireland medals, nine Munster medals and three National Hurling League medals. Come counties all both great and small who boast a hurling king
Can one tonight hold candlelight to Cork’s own Christy Ring?
1981 – Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him. In order to secure his status as Irish political prisoner he was willing to fast til death, an event that would earn him a place in the annals of Irish history and in the hearts and minds of Irish republicans world-wide. See Bobby Sands Trust for today’s recording: http://www.bobbysandstrust.com/writings/prison-diary
1981 – Republican prisoners decided to call off the ‘blanket protest’ so as not to detract attention from the hunger strike.
1983 – The Northern Ireland Assembly passed a motion urging the British government to do all in its power to stop the proposed inquiry into the Northern Ireland conflict by the Political Committee of the European Parliament. The Rapporteur was Mr N.J. Haagerup. The report was drawn up and passed by the European Parliament on 29 March 1982. The Assembly also established a Security and Home Affairs Committee.
1990 – A meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) took place in London.
1992 – President of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, announced that he was breaking his country’s links with the IRA.
1994 – The European Commission recommended continuation of its 15 million ecu support for the International Fund for Ireland (IFI).
1995 – A RUC officer, James Seymour, died nearly 22 years after being shot by the IRA, outside Coalisland RUC base, Co Tyrone. He had been shot on 4 May 1973 and was paralysed and partly comatose since the incident.
1996 – Death of historian, Thomas P. O’Neill.
1998 – The Kerry Bog Pony receives its ‘passport’, from Weatherbys, which proves pedigree and opens up sales opportunities worldwide. The passport contains height, breeding details and blood type.
1999 – Death of ‘Dusty Springfield’ (Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien). Of all the female British pop artists of the 1960s, she made one of the biggest impressions on the American market. Owing to her distinctive sensual sound, she was one of the most notable white soul artists. Catherine came from a family originally from Tralee, Co Kerry, that included a number of journalists.
2001 – In measures adding to the effects of Ireland’s countrywide lock up, the United States bans Irish meat, and the Philippine government returns 1,000 plus boxes of processed Irish beef just 24 hours after France bans Irish livestock.
2001 – Bill Whelan (born in Limerick) received the Lifetime Achievement Award from IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation), presented by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at Dublin Castle. While he is best known for his Riverdance composition, Whelan has been involved in many ground-breaking projects in Ireland since the 1970s. As a producer he has worked with U2 (on their War album), Van Morrison, Kate Bush, The Dubliners, Planxty, Andy Irvine and Davy Spillane, Patrick Street, Stockton’s Wing and fellow Limerickman Richard Harris.
2001 – Three farms in Monaghan and one in Louth were sealed off in a bid to stop the spread of foot and mouth disease. America banned the import of any Irish meat following France’s lead, and the Philippine government ordered that 1,000 boxes of Irish beef be returned.
2001 – The massive beef and lamb slaughtering facility at Kildare Chilling — capable of processing almost 2,000 animals a day was closed as a precautionary measure against spreading foot and mouth disease.
2002 – John Reid, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, delivered a speech at the New University of Ireland in Galway in which he called on Nationalists to reassure Unionists that ‘what matters is a peaceful, just, democratic, and richly diverse island, not an ancient constitutional struggle’.
2002 – Thomas Shaw, the last veteran in Ireland of the First World War, died at the age of 102. Shaw, who was from Belfast, joined the 16th battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles (RIR) in 1916. He had enlisted earlier at the age of 15 when he lied about his age. However his brother, who was a Military Policeman, met him by accident while in France and had him sent home. He rejoined the RIR at the end of the Battle of the Somme. Shaw saw action at Messines, Ypres, and Passchendaele. He returned to Belfast in April 1919.
2004 – Death of sportsman, Cormac McAnallen, who was born in Dungannon, Co Tyrone. He played Irish football at senior inter-county level for Tyrone, as well as at club level for Eglish St. Patrick’s. McAnallen died suddenly, aged 24. Despite his relatively short career, he won almost every honour in the game. He was often captain of successful teams, and was known as a particularly inspirational captain.
Photo: Cottage on Aran Islands, Co Galway, Susan Stockton Photography
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