#OTD in Irish History – 19 February:

1366 – Statutes of Kilkenny promulgated.

1887 – Ireland wins its first ever game in international soccer beating Wales 4-1 in Belfast. Prior to 1921 and the partition of the country, Ireland was represented by one national team.

1904 – Birth of writer, Muiris Ó Suilleabhain, on the Great Blasket Island, Co Kerry. Best known for his book, ‘Twenty Years A-Growing’.

1918 – The threatened closure of the Kynoch factory in Arklow, Co Wicklow has been averted following an intervention by John Redmond and his Irish Party colleagues. The factory employs 3,500 people and is a mainstay of the town’s economy.

1921 – Three British soldiers (privates) of the Oxford Regiment were found by IRA men, unarmed and wearing civilian clothes near Feakle, Co Clare. The soldiers said they were deserters but the IRA suspected they were spies, shot them and dumped their bodies near Woodford.

1923 – Anti-Treaty officer Thomas O’Sullivan, head of the local IRA battalion, is shot dead by Free State troops near Dingle, Co Kerry.

1939 – Éamon de Valera states his intention to preserve Irish neutrality in the event of a second world war.

1942 – Birth of artist and musician, Phil Coulter, in Co Derry. He has an international reputation as a successful songwriter, pianist, music producer, arranger and director. His success has spanned over four decades and he is one of the biggest record sellers in Ireland.

1974 – A Catholic civilian and a Protestant civilian were killed in a bomb attack on Trainor’s public house, near Loughgall, Co Armagh.

1981 – James Molyneaux, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), dismissed as ‘ludicrous’ claims by Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), that the UUP were conspiring to kill him.

1982 – The DeLorean Motor Company was put into receivership. The remaining jobs were lost when the factory in west Belfast closed in May 1982. The government had provided public funds of £80 million, most of these were lost with the collapse of the company.

1985 – The Irish government introduced legislation that allowed it to freeze the bank accounts of people believed to be holding funds on behalf of paramilitary organisations.

1987 – A general election in the Republic returns a Fianna Fáil government with Charles Haughey as Taoiseach.

1990 – A BBC programme on the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was shown as part of the ‘Panorama’ series. The programme highlighted the number of members of the UDR who had been convicted of serious offences. The programme sparked an intense debate on the future of the regiment: https://youtu.be/dsOXWNzTyY0

1992 – Joe Doherty, a former member of the IRA, was deported from the United States to Northern Ireland.

1994 – Taoiseach Albert Reynolds held a meeting with British Prime Minister, John Major in Downing Street, London.

1998 – The body of Kevin Conway (39), a Catholic civilian from Lurgan, Co Armagh, was discovered in a derelict farmhouse near Aghalee, Co Antrim. Conway had been abducted from his home on 17 February 1998 and was shot in the head. The RUC later blamed local IRA elements for the killing.

1998 – Two letter bombs were sent to the homes of Nationalists in the Ardoyne area of Belfast, and to the village of Toombridge, Co Antrim.

1999 – Agriculture Minister Joe Walsh launches an ambitious bid to cushion the impact on Ireland of huge cuts in EU beef subsidies as the deadline for sweeping CAP reforms nears.

1999 – The Northern Ireland Bar Council stated that it supported a United Nations call for a judicial inquiry into the killing of Pat Finucane on 12 February 1989.

1999 – Families of missing IRA murder victims plead with Sinn Féin leaders to use their influence with the IRA to find out where the dead are buried.

1999 – The hearing of an application by Sinn Féin for an injunction restraining the party’s expulsion from the Northern Ireland negotiations resumes at the High Court.

2000 – David Shayler, a former intelligence officer with MI5, alleged that British intelligence services believed that John Lennon, former member of the Beatles, had given funds to the IRA.

2000 – Four peacekeepers killed in an automobile accident in Lebanon – Privates Declan Deere, Brendan Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Murphy and John Lawlor – are laid to rest in their native towns.

2001 – According to the latest price survey, taxes make price of Irish cars highest in the EU.

2001 – A 4ft limestone rock is unveiled at the entrance to Villierstown in west Waterford which is famous for the heroic exploits and achievements of John Treacy. Weighing a massive eight and a quarter tons, the stone, which came from the nearby quarry at Cappagh, bears the surnames of all 84 families living in the village and the immediate surrounding townlands as of 1 January 2000.

2002 – At a meeting of Fermanagh District Council, Sinn Féin (SF) introduced a motion to have all Royal and military symbols removed from the council offices. The motion was rejected and a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) amendment to establish a sub-committee to consider ways of creating a neutral environment was accepted instead. SF had argued that the best place for the symbols was the local museum.

2002 – It was announced that Ronnie Flanagan, then Chief Constable of the PSNI, would be appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary. Flanagan had given notice of his resignation from the PSNI in November and was expected to stand down at the end of February.

2002 – The High Court in Belfast rejected an application to prevent police witnesses from giving evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry from behind screens. The action was taken on behalf of one of the families of those killed was an attempt to change the Inquiry’s decision to allow police evidence to be given from behind a screen.

2002 – As part of a nation-wide protest students in Northern Ireland gathered at the Northern Ireland Assembly building to protest about the continued poverty of those in third level education. Student demands included the abolition of tuition fees and the restoration of grants and benefit entitlements.

2003 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern says a second United Nations resolution before any military action against Iraq is a political imperative. But Mr Ahern is still refusing to state whether the Government will halt the use of Shannon Airport by the US military if the Bush administration undertakes unilateral action against Saddam Hussein without UN backing.

2013 – Charleville Castle’s King Oak tree was in the running for European Tree of the Year. This sprawling giant on the grounds of Charleville Castle in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Legend has it that there was a special connection between the tree and the Bury family, and that if one of the branches of the tree fell, a member of the family would die shortly afterwards. The majestic King Oak lost out to a tree in Hungary.

2015 – Death of lecturer and Labour Party politician, Frank Prendergast. He served for four years in Dáil Éireann, as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Limerick East. He also served two terms as Mayor of Limerick city. Prendergast was an Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU) official.

Image | Connemara, Co Galway | Trevor Dubber Photography

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