#OTD in Irish History – 22 January:

1761 – Birth of Henry Welbore Agar (Ellis), 2nd Viscount Clifden, perhaps the only person to sit consecutively in four different Houses of Parliament – the two in Ireland and the two in England.

1856 – Alfred Godley, classical scholar and writer, is born in Ashfield, Co Cavan.

1879 – Death of Nevill Coghill. Born in Drumcondra, Co Dublin, he was a recipient of the Victoria Cross (awarded posthumously), the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Coghill was twenty-five years old and a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot (later the South Wales Borderers), British Army, during the Zulu War.

1879 – Death of Anthony Durnford. Born in Co Leitrim, he was an Irish career British Army officer of the Royal Engineers who served in the Anglo-Zulu War. Breveted colonel, Durnford is mainly known for his heroic presence at the defeat of the British Army by the Zulus at the Battle of Isandlwana. In the 1979 film Zulu Dawn, which depicted the battle of Isandlwana, Durnford was portrayed by Burt Lancaster.

1901 – Queen Victoria dies; Edward VII accedes to the throne.

1903 – The world’s longest pipeline, The Goldfields Pipeline – a pipeline and dam project that delivers potable water from Mundaring Weir in Perth to communities in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields, particularly Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie was turned on. The pipeline continues to operate today, supplying water to over 100,000 people in over 33,000 households as well as mines, farms and other enterprises. The scheme was devised by Castletown, Co Meath-born, Charles Yelverton (C.Y.) O’Connor, who oversaw its design and most of the construction project. O’Connor had to deal with widespread criticism on a belief that the scope of the engineering task was too great and that it would never work.

1913 – Birth of William Conway in Belfast. He was a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland from 1963 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1965. He was head of the Catholic Church in Ireland during the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

1923 – Three Anti-Treaty IRA men are executed in Dundalk, having been captured on 7 January.

1925 – Birth of radical economist, Raymond Crotty, in Co Kilkenny.

1930 – Birth of writer, musician and film maker, Éamon de Buitléar. He was managing director of Éamon de Buitléar Ltd., a company which specialises in wildlife filming and television documentaries. Son of aide-de-camp to the then President of Ireland, Douglas Hyde, Éamon grew up in a house of Irish language speakers in Wicklow. He began his working career in Garnett and Keegan’s and Helys, selling fishing gear and shotguns. It was there where he first met Seán Ó Riada. A 4 km circular walk Slí de Buitléar or The De Buitléar Way on Bray Head commemorates his life and work, calling out notable flora and fauna in the area. It was inaugurated in May 2014 by his wife Lailí.

1950 – Birth of Irish historian, Paul Bew, in Belfast. He has worked at Queen’s University Belfast since 1979, and is currently Professor of Irish Politics, a position he has held since 1991.

1967 – Eleanor McEvoy is born in Dublin. She is one of Ireland’s most accomplished contemporary singer/songwriters. McEvoy composed the song Only A Woman’s Heart, title track of A Woman’s Heart, the best-selling Irish album in Irish history.

1972 – Éamon ‘Ned’ Broy, agent for Michael Collins, and later Commissioner of the Garda Síochána, passed away.

1972 – An anti-internment march was held at Magilligan strand, Co Derry, with several thousand people taking part. As the march neared the internment camp it was stopped by members of the Green Jackets and the Parachute Regiment of the British Army, who used barbed wire to close off the beach. When it appeared that the marchers were going to go around the wire, the army then fired rubber bullets and CS gas at close range into the crowd. A number of witnesses claimed that the paratroopers (who had been bused from Belfast to police the march) severely beat protesters and had to be physically restrained by their own officers. John Hume accused the soldiers of ‘beating, brutalising and terrorising the demonstrators’. There was also an anti-internment parade in Armagh.

1972 – The Republic of Ireland signs a treaty of accession to the European Economic Community.

1974 – Eighteen Loyalist protestors were forcefully removed from the front benches of the Assembly. It took eight RUC officers to carry Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), to steps outside the Assembly building.

1974 – Harry West succeeded Brian Faulkner as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

1976 – Two members of the RUC were killed by a booby-trap bomb in Donegall Pass RUC base, Belfast. No group claimed responsibility.

1977 – Two people were found shot dead in a burning car in the Shankill area of Belfast; they had been killed by Loyalist paramilitaries.

1987 – Birth of professional footballer, Shane Long, in Gortnahoe, Co Tipperary. He plays as a striker for Southampton and the Republic of Ireland national team. He also played hurling for Tipperary in his early life.

1992 – Brian Nelson, who had operated as a British Army agent and a Ulster Defence Association (UDA) intelligence officer, pleaded guilty to five charges of conspiracy to murder and 14 charges of possessing information useful to terrorists. Nelson was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. His decision to plead guilty meant that the security services did not have to justify their actions in court.

1993 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, travelled to Dublin for informal talks with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dick Spring. Mayhew agreed to informal discussions with the Irish government in advance of any new political talks in Northern Ireland.

1995 – Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dick Spring, said that the issue of the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons should not be allowed to become an obstacle to all-party talks.

1998 – Chief Constable of the RUC, Ronnie Flanagan, stated that the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) were involved in the recent killings of three Catholics. This despite the fact that the UFF was supposed to be on ceasefire. The UFF is a pseudonym used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). David Adams, a spokesman for the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), denied that the UFF were behind the recent killings. There were calls for the UDP to be expelled from the multi-party talks.

1998 – Further evidence of Ireland’s growing modern technological base was confirmed when Dell Computer announced plans to create 3,000 new jobs in Limerick city and Bray, Co Wicklow, over the next three years in an £180m expansion plan.

1998 – It is announced that up to 1 million ounces of high-grade gold have been discovered in a mine in Co Monaghan that will result in the country’s biggest ever gold mine going into production in two years time.

1999 – Pop concerts can be held at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, without the need for planning permission, the Supreme Court decides in a unanimous decision.

1999 – The RUC announced that seven security bases along the Co Fermanagh border would be closed.

1999 – Lindsay Robb, a Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) prisoner and former member of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) team that engaged in talks leading to the Good Friday Agreement, was the first LVF prisoner to be given early release.

2002 – It is announced that one of the British Army’s main bases in Northern Ireland is to close and its 500 soldiers moved back to Britain. Ebrington barracks in the Waterside area of Derry is expected to be cleared by the end of next year.

2002 – Two packages, each containing a single bullet, which were addressed to representatives of Nationalist resident groups were intercepted by postal workers at Mallusk, Co Antrim. The parcels were addressed to Gerard Rice, representative of the Lower Ormeau Concerned Community in Belfast, and Breandan Mac Cionnaith, representative of the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition in Portadown, Co Armagh. Both men were prominent in protests against Loyal Order parades in their areas.

2002 – A suspected pipe-bomb was found outside the home of Alex Maskey (SF), Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). The device was later declared an ‘elaborate hoax’.

2002 – Colm Murphy (49) was found guilty at the Special Criminal Court (three judges sitting without a jury) in Dublin, of conspiracy to cause an explosion. He was the first person to be convicted in relation to the Omagh Bombing on 15 August 1998. Murphy was originally from south Armagh but had a home in Co Louth. Murphy was sentenced on Friday 25 January 2002 to 14 years in prison.

2002 – David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meeting with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Trimble warned that the peace process was in danger of being undermined. He claimed that the government had ‘bent the rules’ to allow Sinn Féin Members of Parliament (MPs) office facilities at Westminster. Trimble also advised Blair against amnesties for IRA members who were ‘on the run’.

2003 – Amid much fanfare and brouhaha, quads Kelly, Katie, Shannon and Amy Murphy return to Cork’s Erinville Maternity Hospital for their first birthday celebration.

2011 – Brian Cowen resigns as party leader of Fianna Fail. He remained Taoiseach until the election. Mr Cowen told reporters at his 2pm press conference in Dublin the decision would allow Fianna Fail to “elect a new leader and fight [the election] in a united and determined manner, free from internal distraction.”

2017 – A police officer is shot and injured by a dissident republican in Crumlin Road, Belfast.

Image | Ross Castle, Co Kerry | Chano Sanchez Photography

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