#OTD in Irish History | 17 January:

1649 – Marquis of Ormond James Butler and the confederates sign a peace treaty which grants toleration for Catholics in exchange for troops.
1814 – One of the earliest references to ‘Irish Stew’ is in ‘The Devil’s Drive: An unfinished Rhapsody’ by Lord Byron: “The Devil return’d to hell by two, And he stay’d at home till five; When he dined on some homicides done in ragoût, And a rebel or so in an Irish stew….”
1815 – Marie-Louise O’Murphy, famous courtesan, dies in Paris. The family of Marie-Louise O’Murphy was of Irish origin, settled in Normandy recently. The presence of her paternal grandfather Daniel Murphy is attested in Pont-Audemer at the end of the 17th century. Militant of the Jacobite army, he followed the deposed King James II of England to his exile in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye; in consequence all the Catholic regiments who remained loyal to the King were sentenced to death in absentia by the new English government.
1820 – Birth of novelist and poet, Anne Brontë. She was the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. Anne’s father, Patrick Brontë (1777-1861), was born in a meagre two-room cottage in Emdale, Loughbrickland, Co Down.
1856 – Death of Irish journalist, dictionary compiler and author of Dictionary of Dates, Joseph Haydn.
1860 – Birth of playwright, folklorist, founder of The Gaelic League and the first president of Éire, Douglas Hyde, in Castlerea, Co Roscommon.
1861 – Death of dancer and courtesan, Lola Montez (Marie Gilbert), in New York. She was born in Grange, Co Sligo.
1866 – Death of George Petrie, folk music collector who is credited with preserving many of Ireland’s irreplaceable harp tunes.
1873 – T.C. Murray, playwright, is born in Macroom, Co Cork.
1897 – Birth of trade union activist, lecturer, leader, Lily Kempson, the last surviving participant in the Easter Rising, in Co Wicklow.
1920 – West Waterford Brigade commanded by George Lennon attacked Ardmore RIC barracks.
1923 – Three National Army soldiers are killed in action.
1964 – The Campaign for Social Justice (CSJ) is formed. It is the forerunner of the civil rights movement and begins a programme of publicising what it sees as widespread discrimination, in a number of areas of life, against Catholics in Northern Ireland.
1971 – At an Ard Fheis in Dublin, Sinn Féin ended the 65 year abstentionist policy and agreed that any elected representative could take their seat at the Dáil, Stormont or Westminster parliaments. It was this issue that caused the split between the Official and Provisional movement in Republicanism.
1972 – Seven men who were being held as internees escaped from the prison ship HMS Maidstone in Belfast Lough.
1974 – Hugh Logue, a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) Assemblyman, gave a speech at Trinity College, Dublin in which he said that the Council of Ireland was “the vehicle that would trundle Unionists into a united Ireland”.
1975 – The IRA’s ceasefire came to an end. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Merlyn Rees, said that he would not be influenced by arguments supported by the bomb and the bullet.
1975 – Public Records 1975 – Released 1 January 2006: Document entitled ‘Terms for Bi-lateral Truce’ which appears to be a list of 12 terms required by the IRA before a bi-lateral truce would be entered into with the British government. The date of the document is uncertain but may have been delivered to the British government sometime between 17 January 1975 and 10 February 1975.
1976 – Two Catholic civilians, Sarah O’Dwyer (47) and James Reid (47), were killed in a bomb attack on Sheridan’s Bar, New Lodge Road, Belfast. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.
1976 – Seamus O’Brien (25), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the IRA who alleged that he had been an informer.
1980 – Dunmurry Train Explosion: A PIRA bomb prematurely detonated on a passenger train near Belfast, killing three and injuring five (including the bombers).
1989 – Douglas Hogg, a British Home Office Minister, made a number of comments to the effect that he was critical of a “number of solicitors in Northern Ireland who are unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA”. On 12 February 1989, Patrick Finucane, a Belfast solicitor who had represented a number of Republicans, was shot dead by Loyalists.
1991 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Brooke, met with representatives of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) at Westminster. The SDLP objected to aspects of the arrangements for proposed talks on the future of Northern Ireland. Specifically the SDLP criticised the fact that Brooke would determine the point in the talks at which representatives of the government in the Republic of Ireland would be invited to attend.
1992 – Teebane Bombing: A PIRA landmine killed eight Protestant men and wounded six others at Teebane Crossroads near Cookstown, Co Tyrone. The men had been working for the British Army at a base in Omagh and were returning home on a minibus. The PIRA said that the men were legitimate targets because they had been “collaborating” with the “forces of occupation”. Shortly thereafter, Peter Brooke (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland) appeared on the Irish RTÉ Late Late Show and was persuaded to sing “Oh My Darling, Clementine”. Unionists accused him of gross insensitivity for agreeing to do so.
1994 – Sinn Féin issued a document, ‘Setting the Record Straight’, which contradicted British government accounts of contacts between Sinn Féin and representatives of the government. The British government was later to retract its account of the meetings.
1996 – The British and Irish Governments met with Sinn Féin at Stormont. The meeting was for preparatory talks. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, and Tánaiste, Dick Spring, again said that all-party talks would begin by the end of February 1996.
1996 – A British television news programme, Channel 4 News, carried a report which presented evidence that soldiers, other than those of the Parachute Regiment, had opened fire on those taking part in the civil rights march on ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Derry on 30 January 1972. It was suggested that members of the Royal Anglian Regiment could have been responsible for the deaths of three of the 14 victims. Relatives of the victims renewed their call for a fresh inquiry into the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’.
2000 – Galway city centre is brought to a standstill as hundreds of student nurses take to the streets to protest at plans to charge them to finish their nursing courses.
2000 – A pair of King Billy’s gloves, worn during the battle of the Boyne, and the dress worn by Sinéad de Valera at the second inauguration ceremony of her husband, President Éamon de Valera, are unlikely companions in The Way We Wore, a permanent exhibition of the clothing and jewellery worn by Irish people from the 1760s to the 1960s which opens at the National Museum, Collins Barracks.
2002 – Richard Haass, a special advisor to the US President, held another round of talks with political representatives during his second day in Belfast. He met representatives of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and held talks with President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams. Haass said that he and Adams had “agreed to disagree” on the issue of policing.
2002 – An early day motion was signed by 37 Members of Parliament (MPs) representing all the main political parties asking the government to ensure that Sinn Féin members sign the parliamentary code of conduct and register of members’ interests. Under current rules those MPs who do not take their seats do not have to declare business interests or sign up to the MP’s code of conduct.
2012 – Death of the editor of the Sunday Independent, Aengus Fanning; aged 69 years old. The Tralee man began editing the Sunday Independent in 1984. He was survived by his wife Anne and three sons. In a statement, the chief executive of Independent News and Media, Gavin O’Reilly, described him as “possibly the greatest and most instinctively brilliant editor that Irish journalism has ever produced”. He said that Mr Fanning will be a huge loss to Irish journalism, but an even bigger loss to his family.
Image | Blackrock Castle, Co Cork
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