#OTD in Irish History – 11 February:

In the Liturgical calendar today is the Feast Day of St Gobnait, also known as Gobnat or Mo Gobnat, a medieval, female saint whose church was Móin Mór, later Bairnech, in the village of Ballyvourney (Baile Bhuirne), Co Cork. She was associated with the Múscraige and her church and nunnery lay on the borders between the Múscraige Mittine and Eóganacht Locha Léin.

1177 – John de Courcy’s army defeats the native Dunleavey Clan in Ulster. The English establish themselves in Ulster.

1774 – Death of Jacob Poolem antiquary, in Growtown, Co Wexford.

1784 – Sylvester O’Halloran co-founded the Limerick County Infirmary and the Royal College of Surgeons.

1858 – The Miracle of Lourdes takes place when St Bernadette – Bernadette Soubirous – has her first vision of the Virgin Mary.

1896 – Oscar Wilde languishes in Jail as his play Salomé opens in Paris at Théâtre de l’Oeuvre. Salome is a one-act play, originally written in French, based on the biblical tale of Salome who asks for the head of John the Baptist on a platter as a reward for dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils.

1901 – Birth of socialist politician, Roddy Connolly (James Connolly’s son), in Dublin.

1920 – Commandant Seamus (Jim) O’Brien, IRA Brigade Commander, shot dead by RIC outside his shop in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow.

1921 – James Murphy died in Mater Hospital, Dublin. Before the end, he declared that he and Kennedy were shot by their Auxiliary captors. A court of inquiry was held, and Captain W L King, commanding officer of F Company ADRIC, was arrested for the killings.

1921 – IRA fighters from the 3rd Cork Brigade made an attack on a troop train at Drishabeg, near Millstreet, Co Cork. One British soldier was killed, five were wounded and fifteen were captured but later released. The IRA also seized arms and ammunition.

1922 – IRA volunteers stopped a group of USC constables on a train in Clones, Co Monaghan (a short distance into Southern territory). A gunfight began in which one IRA officer and four USC were killed. The remaining USC constables were captured.

1923 – The Father of Government minister Kevin O’Higgins is shot dead by Republicans at the family home in Stradbally, Co Laois. The house is also burnt down. O’Higgins had taken a hard-line against the anti-Treaty rebels, including sanctioning the execution of Rory O’Connor, the best man at his wedding. Higgins himself would be assassinated by the IRA in 1927.

1923 – Athlone Waterworks is badly damaged by a Republican bomb.

1923 – A civilian carter, James Finlay is shot dead by anti-Treaty fighters near Tullamore, Co Offaly.

1926 – Rioting greets the Abbey Theatre performance of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars because of what is viewed as anti-Irish sentiment. Yeats tells the audience ‘You have disgraced yourselves again’.

1936 – The Daunt Rock Rescue.

1948 – John Costello succeeds Éamon de Valera as Taoiseach of Ireland.

1967 – Birth of musician, former radio producer, voice actor, voiceover artist and radio presenter, Paul McLoone, in Co Derry. Best known for being the original co-creator and also co-writer of the very popular and highly successful Irish comedy sketch series, Gift Grub and who is also the lead vocalist/frontman of the Irish pop-punk/new-wave band The Undertones.

1971 – Death of singer and collector of Irish ballads, Delia Murphy. Born in Co Mayo, she recorded her only LP, The Queen of Connemara, in 1962, for Irish Prestige Records, New York, on the cover of which her name appears alongside the LP title.

1974 – Two Catholic civilians were shot (Thomas Donaghy and Margaret McErlean) as they arrived for work in Glenville Road, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. They were killed by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a covername used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

1980 – Birth of sportsman, Cormac McAnallen, in Co Tyrone. He played football at senior inter-county level for Tyrone, as well as at club level for Eglish St. Patrick’s. McAnallen died suddenly in his sleep on 2 March 2004, aged 24, from an undetected heart condition.

1980 – Two RUC officers (Joseph Rowe and Winston Howe) were killed in a land mine attack at Rosslea, Co Fermanagh.

1986 – An off-duty RUC officer and a Catholic civilian were killed in an IRA gun attack on the Talk of the Town bar in Maguiresbridge, Co Fermanagh.

1992 – After Charles Haughey’s resignation as Taoiseach, he is succeeded by Albert Reynolds on this date.

1992 – British Prime Minister, John Major, and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Brooke, held meetings with the leaders of the main political parties in Northern Ireland to discuss the security situation.

1997 – An International Urgent Alert was issued by Amnesty International on the case of Roisín McAliskey who was six months pregnant and was imprisoned pending a decision about extradition to Germany.

1998 – The mother of Stephen Restorick, the last British soldier killed in Northern Ireland, says she is ‘saddened’ by the decision of a member of John Hume’s party to boycott a memorial service in the Co Armagh village where her son died.

1999 – A new report on the death of Belfast solicitor, Patrick Finucane, who had represented a number of Republicans, claimed that there was collusion between Loyalist paramilitaries and British security forces in his death on 12 February 1989. More than 1,100 lawyers signed a petition calling for an independent judicial inquiry into the killing. The appeal for the inquiry was also supported by Amnesty International.

2000 – Direct rule was reinstated and the Northern Ireland Assembly suspended by new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Mandelson, citing insufficient progress on decommissioning.

2001 – The RUC uncovered a ‘bomb factory’ in a block of flats in a Loyalist area of north Belfast. A significant amount of explosives and component parts for making pipe-bombs were seized during raids of three flats in Ross House in the Mount Vernon area. Police later linked the find to the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

2002 – Geraldine Finucane the widow of Belfast solicitor, Pat Finucane, killed on 12 February 1989, criticised the British government for a delay in considering her appeal for an independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of her husband. In November 2001, John Reid, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced that an international judge would be appointed to decide if an independent public inquiry into her husband’s death was necessary. However this decision was criticised as a delay tactic by the government.

2002 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, John Reid, travelled to Washington, DC, for meetings with members of the Bush administration. During a media briefing he called on Sinn Féin to take up its seats in the Northern Ireland Policing Board: ‘The whole community has to take its part and its responsibilities in supporting the police service – and that includes Republicans.’

2003 – Dissident republicans opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland warn of new bomb attacks.

2007 – Amarantine won Enya her fourth Grammy when it was awarded the Best New Age Album award at The 49th Annual Grammy Awards.

Image | Carrick-A-Rede, Co Antrim | Steven Hanna Photography

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