#OTD in Irish History | 8 March:

International Women’s Day

1574 – Captain William Martin lays siege to Gráinne Ní Mháille in Rockfleet castle.

1594 – English expedition sets out from Galway to kill pirate queen, Gráinne Ní Mháille (Grace O’Malley). Pádraig Pearse rewrote the lyrics to Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile as a rallying call to Irish nationalists leading up to the 1916 Easter Rising removing Séarlas Óg (Young Charles), referring to Bonnie Prince Charlie and dating to the third Jacobite rising of 1745-6, and replacing it with Gráinne Mhaol.

1697 – Birth of pirate, Anne Bonny, née Cormac, in Co Cork.

1702 – William III dies when his horse stumbles on a molehill; Anne accedes to the throne of Britain and Ireland.

1742 – William Crotty, outlaw of the Comeragh mountains, is tried in Waterford on this date and later hanged, drawn and quartered, having been betrayed by an associate named David Norris. The sentence of Crotty swiftly followed, his head was cut off and fixed to the County Goal as a warning to other highway robbers. But it is said he had the last laugh as his head was displayed over the area where the city’s milk was delivered. His rotting head infected the milk and many perished as a result. Crotty’s wife is said to have composed a ‘Caoine’, a mournful song, and sang it at his wake. After Crotty’s death she threw herself off the top of this cliff that bore his name.

1834 – General John O’Neill, Irish Fenian leader, is born.

1854 – Birth in Co Cork of Tom Horan, the greatest of the many top class Australian cricketers to be born in Ireland.

1903 – Charles Gavan Duffy, Young Irelander, is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.

1905 – Death of businessman, William Ford. Born in Ballinascarthy, Co Cork, he was the father of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford.

1909 – Birth of novelist, Francis MacManus, in Kilkenny.

1917 – Henry Ford received permission to expand his business in Cork to produce low price farm tractors.

1921 – Sir James Comyn, lawyer, is born in Dublin.

1923 – Four more Anti-Treaty IRA prisoners are killed in Kerry by National Army troops from Dublin. They are, as at Ballyseedy the day before, blown up by a mine, ostensibly while clearing a mined road, at Countess Bridge in Killarney. The dead are from IRA Kerry 2 Brigade. One man, Tadhg Coffey, escapes the massacre.

1924 – Birth of Seán McClory in Dublin, but spent his early life in Co Galway. He was an actor whose career spanned six decades and included well over 100 films and television series.

1925 – Paddy Devlin, socialist politician, is born in Belfast.

1942 – Death of Irish patriot, Mary MacSwiney.

1959 – Birth of actor, Aidan Quinn, in Chicago to Irish parents.

1966 – Nelson’s Pillar in Dublin is blown up.

1971 – Members of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) engaged in a gun battle with members of the Provisional IRA (PIRA). One man was killed. The feud between the two wings of the IRA had been developing ever since the Republic movement split on 11 January 1970.

1972 – Birth of Fergal O’Brien ‘The Baby Faced Assassin’ in Dublin. He is a professional snooker player. A member of snooker’s main tour since turning professional in 1991, O’Brien has been ranked within the world’s top 64 players since 1994, reaching his highest position, 9th, for the 2000/2001 season. He has won one ranking title – the 1999 British Open, where he defeated Anthony Hamilton 9–7 in the final – and reached two other major finals, notably in the 2001 Masters.

1973 – The IRA explodes two car bombs outside the Old Bailey courthouse in London, killing one person and injuring over two hundred. One of those convicted, nineteen year old Gerry Kelly escaped from Long Kesh Prison in 1983, but was recaptured in 1986. He went on to become a member of Sinn Féin’s negotiating team for the Good Friday Agreement, and also served as a Sinn Féin Assembly Member for North Belfast in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

1973 – A referendum was held on whether or not the people of Northern Ireland wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom. This referendum became known as the ‘Border Poll’. However, Nationalists boycotted the referendum and only 57 per cent of the electorate took part in the poll. It was not surprising therefore that, of those who took part, 98 per cent were in favour of maintaining the Union with Britain.

1973 – A British soldier guarding a polling station in the lower Falls area of Belfast was shot dead by the IRA.

1973 – The IRA exploded two car bombs in London and injured over 200 people. (One person in the vicinity died a sudden death due to a heart problem; listed in appendix to Sutton.) One of the bombs had been planted at the ‘Old Bailey’ court in London. Two other car bombs were diffused. Nine people were found guilty of the bombings on 14th November 1973. Among those found guilty was Gerry Kelly. Kelly was later to become a leading member of Sinn Féin and played a role in the negotiations that led to the Goody Friday Agreement on 10th April 1998.

1977 – Eight members of the SAS were each fined £100 in a Dublin court for carrying guns without a certificate. The men had been found in the Republic of Ireland and were arrested.

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

1988 – A car believed to belong to those killed in Gibraltar was found in Marbella and was discovered to contain 140 lbs of high explosives.

1989 – The IRA killed two soldiers and injured six others in a landmine explosion on the Buncrana Road near Derry. The Emergency Provision Act was renewed in the House of Commons.

1992 – The Céide fields in Ballycastle, Co Mayo, date back 5,500 years, making them the world’s oldest field systems, with a complex of walls, houses and tombs, protected beneath a bog and is the largest Stone Age site on the planet. The visitor centre won Ireland’s most prestigious architectural award, the RIAI Triennial Gold Medal for 1992-1994, presented by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland on this date.

1993 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, welcomed the speech made by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dick Spring, on 5 March 1993. Mayhew said that Spring was someone he could ‘do business with’.

1995 – British Home Secretary, Michael Howard, lifted exclusion orders against 16 people. The orders were made under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

1995 – The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) announced that security barriers in Belfast city centre would be removed.

1998 – The Loyalist Volunteer Force pledges full backing for DUP leader Ian Paisley in his opposition to the Stormont talks process.

1999 – Pressure on Sinn Féin and the IRA to make a start on decommissioning is stepped up as the Irish and British Governments sign four new treaties in Dublin providing for the implementation of the main elements of the Good Friday Agreement.

1999 – First Minister Designate, David Trimble, reacted angrily to Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam’s, announcement extending the deadline for the creation of the Northern Ireland Executive until Easter week (2 April 1999). Sinn Féin also criticised the delay.

1999 – On International Women’s Day, President, Mary McAleese, said ‘skewed, twisted and unhealthy’ thinking and teaching about the role of women over generations had left an obstacle course of impediments to their equal treatment. A special debate in Parliament Buildings, Stormont, was among many events to mark the day on both sides of the Border.

1999 – It was disclosed that the RUC had advised Gerry Adams of a threat to his life from dissident Republicans.

2000 – Following a round of meetings in Belfast involving Foreign Minister Brian Cowen; Northern Secretary Peter Mandelson, and the principal pro Agreement parties, the two governments are to assess the situation before the St Patrick’s Day summit in the White House next week. All the parties are now looking towards President Clinton to broker a deal that will break the impasse in the peace process.

2001 – British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, held new talks in Belfast with the political parties. It appeared that the two governments were resigned to being unable to achieve any breakthrough deal before the British general election. However the two men hoped for an interim agreement to keep the peace process alive.

2001 – Retired Archbishop of Tuam, the Most Rev Joseph Cunnane, dies after a long illness at the Bon Secours Hospital.

2002 – Car owners are to benefit from new regulations which will oblige insurers to give two-week’s notice of any cost changes when renewing policies.

2006 – An original copy of the Proclamation of Independence picked up on O’Connell Street in 1916 has been donated to the National Museum of Ireland.

2013 – Death of politician, John O’Connell. Born in Dublin, he was first elected as a Labour Party Teachta Dála (TD) in 1965 and was returned at each election until 1987, latterly for Fianna Fáil after a time as an independent. He served in Seanad Éireann from 1987 to 1989, when he was again elected to the Dáil. He then served until he retired in 1993. He also served as Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann from 1981 to 1982, as Minister for Health (1992–1993) and as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1979 to 1981.

Image | Clonmacnoise, Co Offaly | Fiachra Mangan Photography

#irishhistory #ireland #irelandinspires

Posted by

Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.