#OTD in Irish History – 13 March:

1592 – Trinity College, Dublin, officially the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth I, on the site of the confiscated Priory of All Hallows, was founded. The college was founded by Queen Elizabeth I as the ‘mother’ of a new university, to civilise Dublin. It was modelled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and Cambridge, but unlike these other ancient universities, only one college was ever established; as such, the designations ‘Trinity College’ and ‘University of Dublin’ are usually synonymous for practical purposes. It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, as well as Ireland’s oldest surviving university.

1784 – Reform Bill in Irish House of Commons.

1791 – Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man (part 1) – a reply to Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France and a major influence on Irish radicals – is published.

1846 – Ballinlass An Gorta Mór Evictions: Seventy-six tenant farmers and their families (three hundred people in total) were evicted from their homes in the small village of Ballinglass, Co Galway.

1856 – Birth of athlete, Patrick Nally, in Balla, Co Mayo. He was a major inspiration in the founding the GAA in 1884 by Michael Cusack. The Nally stand in Croke Park is named after him.

1888 – Birth of Patrick Moran in Co Roscommon. He was a grocer’s assistant, trade unionist and member of the Irish Republican Army executed in Mountjoy Prison along with five other men on 14 March 1921.

1913 – Birth of racing driver and motor trader, Joe Kelly, in Dublin.

1918 – John Dillon, MP for East Mayo, has been unanimously elected to replace the late John Redmond as leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party.

1922 – George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Back to Methusaleh V’ premieres in New York.

1922 – Michael Collins addressed a mass meeting at the Grand Parade in Co Cork.

1923 – Three Republican prisoners from Wexford IRA units are executed in Wexford town.

1923 – Three other Republicans are executed, two in Cork and the other in Dublin. The Republican ‘government’ issues a statement announcing a period of mourning and forbidding all public entertainments such as sporting events while executions of their men continue.

1923 – A Free State soldier is killed in a gun attack at Glasson, near Athlone.

1923 – The bodies of two civilians are found at Morehill, Tallow on the Waterford/Cork border.

1939 – At Swim-Two-Birds, a novel by writer Brian O’Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien. It is widely considered to be O’Brien’s masterpiece, and one of the most sophisticated examples of metafiction.

1960 – Birth of bass player with U2, Adam Clayton, in Oxford.

1973 – Birth of Ballybeg Prim, one of the greatest racing dogs of all time in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

1974 – Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave, made a statement in the Dáil in which he said that the position of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom could not be changed except with the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland.

1975 – Two people died as a result of a Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gun and bomb attack on Conway’s Bar, Greencastle, Belfast. One of those killed was a Catholic civilian, and the other was a member of the UVF who died when the bomb he was planting in the pub exploded prematurely.

1979 – Ireland joins new European Monetary System (EMS).

1981 – Death of Patrick Hennessy. He was an industrialist, born in Co Cork. During the First World War he served in the British army, between 1914 and 1918, with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He started his career in 1920 with Henry Ford and Son in Cork.

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 entry: http://www.bobbysandstrust.com/writings/prison-diary

1986 – It was announced that additional British Army soldiers would be sent to Northern Ireland to support the RUC. The move was the result of Unionist protests against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).

1986 – In the High Court in Glasgow, Scotland, two men were sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for attempting to acquire arms for the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

1990 – The Irish Supreme Court upheld the appeal of Dermot Finucane and James Clarke against extradition to Northern Ireland. The two men had escaped from Long Kesh Prison, on 25 September 1983. The decision caused uproar among Unionist politicians and the British Government.

1992 – The Garda Síochána uncovered a number of weapons in Co Donegal.

1994 – Heathrow Airport was closed for two hours following a third IRA mortar attack. None of the mortars exploded. The mortars had been concealed underground and were fired from a wooded area close to the perimeter fence. There had been two previous attacks on 9 March 1994 and 11 March 1994.

1997 – The IRA carried out a bomb attack in the Short Strand area of east Belfast and injured a British soldier and a RUC officer.

1997 – Twenty Republicans were warned by the RUC that their names were on a list found in the possession of a man suspected of being a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The man was arrested during an attempted post office robbery in the Village area of Belfast.

1997 – The British Home Office announced that Roisín McAliskey, then being held in prison awaiting a decision about extradition, would be allowed to keep her baby in the mother and baby unit of Holloway Prison.

1998 – Naval personnel question the crew of a British-registered flagship after a second day of intimidation of Irish trawlers off the South West coast.

1999 – Over 250,000 people pack the streets around the River Liffey in Dublin to witness the largest fireworks display ever seen in Ireland. The event marks the start of a five-day festival to mark St Patrick’s Day as well as the official launch of the Millennium celebrations.

2000 – A multi million pound seizure of drugs in Holland results in the arrest of John Cunningham, one of Ireland’s most prolific career criminals.

2001 – The Irish food industry is dealt a hammer blow as the United States and Canada ban Irish food imports, worth over £100 million a year, because of the foot and mouth scare.

2002 – There was a series of events in the White House in Washington, DC, to mark the celebrations leading to St Patrick’s Day. The leaders of the three main political parties in Northern Ireland attended, however Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), stayed away from the event because he did not wish to be photographed alongside President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams. Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, presented US President, George Bush, with a bowl of shamrocks. Ahern dismissed comments earlier in the day by David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). At a morning debate Trimble had renewed his criticism of the Republic of Ireland. He described the recent abortion referendum as ‘a sectarian exercise’ and a ‘sectarian vote’.

2003 – Taoiseach Bertie gives his strongest indication yet that the US will be able to use Shannon Airport regardless of UN backing for war in Iraq.

2005 – On Adam Clayton’s birthday U2 are inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame by Bruce Springsteen.

Image | Connemara, Co Galway | RX70 Photography

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