#OTD in Irish History – 21 April:

1738 – A Mr Lorimer, receiver of Sir Arthur Acheson (MP for Mullingar), is killed in a duel.

1816 – Birth of author of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë, daughter of an Irish father and eldest of the three Brontë Sisters.

1871 – Birth of Labour leader and Irish nationalist, John Fitzpatrick, in Athlone, Co Westmeath.

1874 – Birth of mechanical engineer, designer of cars and tanks, Walter Wilson, in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

1875 – Charles Stewart Parnell was first elected to the House of Commons, as a Home Rule League MP for Meath. During his first year Parnell mostly stayed quiet and watched. He first drew attention in 1876 when he said a group of Irish rebels called Fenians (accused of killing a police officer) did not kill anyone.

1879 – Birth of novelist, Maurice Walsh, in Listowel, Co Kerry.

1907 – The nationalist groups, Cumman na nGaedheal and Dungannon Clubs, combine to form the Sinn Féin League.

1916 – The first casualties of the Easter Rising were on Good Friday in Co Kerry. Three Volunteers (Con Keating, Charlie Monahan and Donal Sheehan) drowned when their car plunged off a pier into the sea while they were on the way to Cahirciveen in order to set up radio communications with Sir Roger Casement and the German arms ship the Aud.

1916 – Sir Roger Casement arrived in Tralee Bay, Co Kerry on board a German U-boat.

1920 – IRA prisoners began a hunger strike in Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London.

1922 – In Belfast, six people were killed. Fr Bernard Laverty (chair of the Belfast Catholic Protection Committee) sent a telegram to Winston Churchill saying that Catholics were “being gradually but certainly exterminated”.

1922 – Ulster Council of IRA met in Clones and agree that every division with territory inside the six counties would carry out operations in about two weeks. McDermott says that Collins sanctioned this policy. He goes on to say that ‘The aim of the new campaign was to make the government of the six counties as difficult as possible, rather than the overthrow of the state’.

1923 – An Anti-Treaty IRA captain, Martin Hogan, is abducted and killed in Dublin, his body is found in Drumcondra.

1948 – Birth of author, journalist and critic, Clare Moylan, in Dublin. Boylan began her career as a journalist at the Irish Press. Later in her career she edited the glossy magazine Image, before largely giving up journalism to focus on a career as an author and had several novels published. She lived in Co Wicklow with her husband Alan Wilkes. She died after a lengthy struggle with ovarian cancer, aged 58.

1969 – The Ministry of Defence in London announced that British troops would be used in Northern Ireland to guard key public installations. The announcement was made in response to a request from the Northern Ireland government. The troops to be used were ones already stationed in the region.

1970 – The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland is founded on this date, with Phelim O’Neill as leader. The founders of the party were attempting to appeal to Catholics and Protestant to unite in support of moderate policies. Oliver Napier became leader of the party in 1972.

1970 – Birth of Glen Hansard in Ballymun, Dublin. He is a songwriter, actor, vocalist and guitarist for Irish group The Frames, and one half of folk rock duo The Swell Season. He is also known for his acting, having appeared in the BAFTA-winning film The Commitments, as well as starring in the film Once, which earned him a number of major awards, including an Academy Award for Best Song and dozens of nominations between 2007–08.

1975 – Three Catholic civilians, two brothers and a sister, were killed by a booby-trap bomb in a house in Killyliss, near Dungannon, Co Tyrone. The attack was claimed by the Protestant Action Force (PAF), which was a covername used by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

1975 – British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, spoke to a press conference in Saudi Arabia and stated that the British government would not meet with Irish TDs to discuss the hunger strike. Thatcher went on to say: ‘We are not prepared to consider special category status for certain groups of people serving sentences for crime. Crime is crime is crime, it is not political.’

1981 – British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher spoke to a press conference in Saudi Arabia and stated that the British government would not meet with TDs to discuss the hunger strike. Thatcher went on to say: ‘We are not prepared to consider special category status for certain groups of people serving sentences for crime. Crime is crime is crime, it is not political.’

1989 – Three Loyalists were arrested in Paris, France, as they were in the process of giving parts from a Shorts Aircraft Company Blowpipe missile to a South African embassy official. The incident revived claims of links between the then South African Government and Loyalist paramilitaries.

1991 – The United Kingdom census was held with information being collected across Northern Ireland. Unlike the situation in 1981 there was no protest against the census by Republicans. When the religion report was published in 1993 it showed that the total population was 1,577,836. The breakdown of the main denominations was: 605,639 Catholic; 336,891 Presbyterians; 279,280 Church of Ireland; and 59,517 Methodists. A large number of people did not provide information on religion with 7.3 per cent not stating a denomination and 3.8 per cent stating ‘none’ to the religion question. Later analysis revealed that the likely size of the Catholic population was approximately 41.5 per cent.

1993 – Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, travelled to the United States). While in Boston he said that the suggestion of a ‘peace envoy’ was ‘not appropriate at present’.

1994 – Northern Ireland Lord Chief Justice, Sir Brian Hutton, quashed the conviction of Paul Hill for the murder of a former British soldier in 1974. Hutton declared that the conviction was ‘unsafe and unsatisfactory’.

1995 – Father Ted was broadcast for the first time. A television programme offers to interview Father Ted Crilly. However Ted goes to extreme lengths to ensure the other members of the clergy on the island don’t interrupt his moment in the spotlight. Meanwhile Craggy Island hosts Fun Land, a fun fair to which Dougal is desperate to go. Ted takes the film crew to the fair, leading to a massive mess.

1996 – Leader of Fianna Fáil, Bertie Ahern, criticised the Irish government’s approach to Northern Ireland. He placed some of the blame for the ending of the IRA’s ceasefire on Taoiseach, John Bruton. The criticism placed strain on the bipartisan approach to Northern Ireland in the Dáil.

1997 – The IRA issued a series of hoax bomb warnings in central London which caused widespread disruption. A group of men claiming to be members of the Irish People’s Liberation Organisation (IPLO) carried out a robbery on the office of a Credit Union in Newry.

1998 – A Catholic civilian, Adrian Lamph (29), was shot dead by the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) at the council yard where he worked in Portadown, Co Armagh. Lamph was the first victim of the conflict since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. He had lived on the Garvaghy Road in the mainly Protestant town of Portadown. He left a partner and a 2-year-old son.

1998 – The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) held the first of a series of anti-Agreement rallies in the run up to the referendum. The 32 County Sovereignty Committee issued a statement rejecting the Agreement as ‘fundamentally undemocratic, Anti-Republican and unacceptable’.

1998 – The Celtic Tiger phenomenon continued with the Republic of Ireland being ranked 11th in a league table of the world’s 20 most competitive economies, ahead of both Japan and Britain.

1998 – The Freedom of Information Act, which allows access to personal information held by public bodies, came into effect in the Republic of Ireland. In the light of the Good Friday Agreement the GAA came under renewed pressure to remove the rule from its constitution which excluded members of the security forces in Northern Ireland from joining the organisation.

1998 – In its annual study, the International Institute of Management Development ranks Ireland as the 11th most competitive country in the world – ahead of global economic powers such as Japan, Germany and Britain.

1999 – Paddy McDonagh, a former Irish soldier caught transporting a massive bomb across the border on the day the Good Friday Agreement referendum votes are counted, is jailed for six years by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin.

1999 – An historic meeting between David Trimble and the Pope takes place in Rome; careful stage-management ensures there are no public photographs of the two men close together. Mr Trimble is the first unionist leader to meet a Pope.

1999 – The Belfast Telegraph carried a report which claimed that RUC sources believed that Éamon Collins had been killed by IRA members from south Armagh. The RUC sources said that it was unclear if the killing had been sanctioned by the leadership of the IRA

2000 – Dissident republicans threaten fresh violence as Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams claim hope in Northern Ireland had plunged to an all time low.

2001 – The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland orders Levi’s to remove posters featuring semi naked models from bus shelters and near schools.

2001 – A Catholic civilian, Christopher O’Kane (37), was shot dead near to his home in Tullyally, Derry. It was believed that Republican paramilitaries carried out the killing although no organisations claimed responsibility.

2002 – The IRA denies that it responsible for last month’s break-in at Special Branch offices in Belfast. The organisation also insists it is not involved in targeting politicians and said its ceasefire remains intact.

2015 – Death of Rugby star Jim McCarthy. Born in Cork, one of the heroes of Ireland’s 1948 Grand Slam winning team, McCarthy played 28 times for Ireland, making a try-scoring debut in the 1948 Championship opener away to France. He was ever-present during the campaign, forming a legendary back row combination with Bill McKay and Des O’Brien.

Image | Rock of Cashel, Co Tipperary

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