#OTD in Irish History | 14 April:

1661 – Birth of scientist, archaeologist, physician and MP, Sir Thomas Molyneux, in Dublin. He was the first to assert that the Giant’s Causeway was a natural phenomenon.

1859 – Death of novelist, Sydney, Lady Morgan, née Owenson. Born in Dublin, she is best known as the author of The Wild Irish Girl.

1836 – Birth of handballer, Pat Kirby, in Tuamgraney, Co Clare.

1886 – Birth of socialist politician and trade unionist, Jack Beattie, in Belfast.

1912 – The Titanic, the world’s largest ship built at Belfast’s Harland and Wolfe, hits an iceberg at 23:40.

1917 – Birth of actress, Valerie Hobson, in Larne, Co Antrim.

1919 – Limerick Soviet commenced general strikes in protest against English militarism in Ireland; for three weeks in April, the city’s Trades Council took over the entire running of the city, published their own newspapers and issued their own currency. The Soviet received worldwide publicity and was seen by the British government as a major threat to their power in Ireland.

1920 – Detective Constable Harry Kells of DMP ‘G’ Division was mortally wounded by IRA.

1920 – After large demonstrations and a general strike in support of prisoners, 90 were released. In Milltown Malbay a group of RIC and Army shot at a crowd who were celebrating the prisoners’ release, killing three and wounding nine.

1921 – Sir Arthur Vicars was assassinated in Kilmorna, Co Kerry by the IRA.

1922 – Led by Rory O’Connor, forces against the Anglo-Irish Treaty seized the Four Courts in Dublin. The provisional government later attacked the garrison, which started the civil war.

1923 – Deputy IRA Chief of Staff, Austin Stack, was captured by Free State troops near Ballymacarbry. He was carrying a document accepting a proposal by the Catholic Bishop of Cashel to end the war by calling a ceasefire and dumping arms.

1923 – Free-State forces converged on a ruined castle at Castleblake, Co Kilkenny after receiving information that it was being used as a dugout by the Republicans. Free State Lieutenant Kennedy called on the occupants to surrender and fired three shots through the door. A grenade was thrown from inside the shelter, mortally wounding Lieutenant Kennedy. Free-State troops then rushed the building. Two republican fighters (Ned Somers and Theo English) were killed in the firefight and several others were captured.

1923 – A 62-year-old woman, Bridge Geoghegan, was shot dead accidentally by republican guerrillas in Ballybay, Co Monaghan. A weapon discharged when they arrived at her house demanding food and shelter.

1932 – Ernest Walton was a physicist and Nobel laureate for his work with John Cockcroft with ‘atom-smashing’ [focusing a proton beam on lithium and busting its nucleus] done at Cambridge University in 1932, and so became the first person(s) in history to artificially split the atom. The era of accelerator-based experimental nuclear physics was born.

1933 – Birth of former rally driver, Paddy Hopkirk, in Belfast. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College in Co Kildare from 1945–1949 before attending Trinity College, Dublin until 1953. He was awarded the MBE Honour in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list. In early 2016 Paddy became the IAM RoadSmart Mature Drivers Ambassador.

1952 – Birth of drummer, Simon Crowe, in Dublin. is one of the current drummers for the new wave band The Boomtown Rats. The original name of the Boomtown Rats was the ‘Nightlife Thugs’. The name Boomtown Rats was taken from a novel entitled Bound for Glory by Woody Guthrie.

1952 – Birth of Mickey ‘Ned’ O’Sullivan in Kenmare, Co Kerry. He is a GAA football manager and former player. He played football with his local club Kenmare and was a member of the Kerry senior inter-county team at various times from 1972 until 1980. O’Sullivan captained Kerry to the All-Ireland title in 1975 and later served as manager of both the Kerry and Limerick senior football teams.

1972 – The PIRA exploded twenty-four bombs in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. There was also fourteen shootouts between the PIRA and security forces.

1972 – Public Records 1972, Released 1 January 2003: Current Situation Report No 118 by A.W.Stephens, Head of Defence Secretariat 10 at the Ministry of Defence, providing details of security incidents during the previous 24 hours in Northern Ireland.

1972 – Limerick-born, Terry Wogan, launched his first radio show on BBC Radio 2. He had previously hosted successful shows on RTÉ.

1982 – The RUC carried out a raid on the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) headquarters in Belfast. The raid uncovered ammunition and gun parts. Four leading members of the UDA were arrested. At this time the UDA was not a ‘proscribed’ organisation. It was only declared illegal on 10 August 1992.

1983 – Inaugural meeting of Aosdána in The Old Parliament House, Dublin.

1991 – Bishop Desmond Tutu, from South Africa, attended an Anglican conference in Newcastle, Co Down. Tutu said that Sinn Féin should be invited to attend the forthcoming talks on the future of Northern Ireland.

1992 – A British Army recruiting sergeant died after being shot by the INLA in Derby, England. This was the first killing by the INLA in Britain since March 1979.

1994 – A Catholic Civilian, Teresa Clinton (34), was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters, a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association, during a gun attack on her home, off Ormeau Road, Belfast. Her husband had been a former Sinn Féin election candidate.

1994 – The UFF carried out another gun attack and wounded of two Catholic civilians.

1994 – The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) offered to clarify, for the benefit of SF, specific points related to the Downing Street Declaration (DSD).

1995 – The RUC discovered 40 weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition which were believed to belong to the Ulster Volunteer Force. The cache was found in Holywood, Co Down. Three men were arrested following the discovery. A second cache of arms was later found in the town.

1997 – There was an arson attack on St Peter’s Catholic church in Stoneyford, Co Antrim. The chapel was badly damaged by the fire.

1997 – The IRA was believed to be responsible for a ‘punishment’ beating attack on a man in Derry. The man subsequently went into hiding.

1997 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, referred the case of Patrick Kane to the Court of Appeal. Kane had been convicted of, and was serving a life sentence for, the murder of corporals Derek Wood and David Howes on 19 March 1988.

1998 – Irish authorities released nine IRA prisoners from Portlaoise Prison. On their release the prisoners pledged their ‘complete support’ for the leadership of Sinn Féin. The releases were criticised by Unionists and by the Garda Representative Association.

1998 – Patrick J. Kennedy, son of Edward and nephew of JFK, unveils a commemorative plaque and declares the fully refurbished and redecorated White House Hotel in Kinsale open once more.

1998 – Poll results indicate that Unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland will have equal representation on a power sharing executive if the 1997 General Election results are repeated.

1999 – Liz O’Donnell, Irish Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, acknowledged that the Hillsborough Declaration would not be the basis for resolving the decommissioning impasse.

2001 – There was a bomb explosion at a Post Office delivery depot in north London at 11.28pm. There had been no warning of the bomb but no one was injured in the explosion which caused ‘minor damage to the building at The Hyde in Hendon. The rIRA was thought to have been responsible for the attack.

2003 – An international survey rates Dublin as one of the safer cities in the world. At 18 in the rankings, it is well ahead of many other cities.

Image | Connemara, Co Galway | Fiachra Mangan Photography

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