#OTD in Irish History | 10 February:

1800 – The House of Lords votes for the Act of Union which sees Ireland lose its own parliament, direct rule is imposed on Ireland and ‘the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland’ is created.

1842 – Birth of astronomer and writer, Agnes Mary Clerke, in Skibbereen, Co Cork. In 1885, she published her best known work A Popular History of Astronomy during the Nineteenth Century, which has received recognition beyond the time it was written. The lunar crater Clerke is named after her. In 2002, the retired astronomy lecturer Mary Brück wrote a book on her, Agnes Mary Clerke and the Rise of Astrophysics.

1844 – Daniel O’Connell was convicted of ‘conspiracy’, fined £2,000 and sentenced to 12 months in prison. He had hosted ‘monster’ meetings with fellow Catholics, discussing the best way to achieve a peaceful separation of Ireland from Britain.

1846 – Birth of admiral and politician, Lord Charles Beresford, in Curraghmore, Co Waterford.

1860 – Birth of George Lambert in Markethill, Co Armagh. He was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

1885 – The cream cracker was manufactured commercially by Jacob’s bakery, however, it was first invented by Joseph Haughton, in his Dublin home.

1889 – Richard Piggott, who had a long-standing hatred of Charles Stewart Parnell, is exposed as forger of ‘Times’ Phoenix Park letters. Parnell was cleared of any involvement in the Phoenix Park murders.

1907 – Death of Dublin-born journalist, Sir William Howard Russell.

1922 – IRA volunteers attacked a USC patrol in Clady, Co Tyrone. One constable was shot dead.

1923 – Republican officer Tom Barry, after contacts with some former IRA comrades on the Free State side, proposes that the Anti-Treaty IRA call a truce. Liam Lynch turns down the idea.

1923 – It is reported that tax collectors in Leitrim are refusing to collect taxes in the county, saying it is too dangerous. They are told to resume collection or be sacked within 3 weeks. The County is 50,000 pounds in arrears due to uncollected rates.

1923 – Republicans shoot dead a civilian James Gallagher in Gweedore, Co Donegal. He had previously fired at an IRA party raiding his house.

1923 – Republicans open fire on Free State troops as they are leaving Mass in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, killing one civilian. Separately a National Army lieutenant is killed in an action near Scartaglen, Co Kerry along with a civilian. Three anti-Treaty fighters are wounded.

1923 – In Cork city a civilian, Michael Cusack, is mortally wounded in an attack on the city Courthouse

1926 – Birth of footballer, Danny Blanchflower, in Belfast.

1964 – Birth of chef, Richard Corrigan, in Dublin. He is Chef/Patron of Corrigan’s Mayfair, Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill, Bentley’s Sea Grill in Harrods in London, and Virginia Park Lodge in Virginia, Co Cavan.

1965 – The Lockwood Committee Report on higher education in Northern Ireland is published. The committee, which didn’t include any Catholics, recommended locating a ‘New University of Ulster’ in the small town of Coleraine. A major day of protest was organised on 18 February, in an attempt to sway political opinion and a convoy of 2,000 vehicles protested at the government buildings at Stormont. Back in Derry, citizens were encouraged to mark the protest with a two-minute silence, and pubs were closed for the day.

1972 – Two British soldiers were killed in a land mine attack near Cullyhanna, Co Armagh.

1972 – An IRA member was shot dead during an exchange of gunfire with RUC officers.

1973 – Two members of the IRA were killed in a premature explosion near Strangford, Co Down.

1977 – Those members of the IRA who were arrested at the end of the Balcombe Street siege in London were convicted of six murders.

1980 – Betty Williams, one of the founding members of the Peace People, resigned from the organisation for family reasons.

1990 – A RUC patrol came under gunfire on the Shankill Road, Belfast. The shooting incident was attributed to the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) which, it was claimed, was resentful of the work of the Stevens Inquiry.

1990 – Chief Constable of the RUC, Hugh Annesley, issued a strategy document for the future of the RUC.

1992 – The British government sent an extra battalion of British Army troops to Northern Ireland.

1993 – Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, nominated Gordon Wilson to become a member of the Seanad. Gordon Wilson had been injured, and his daughter killed, in the Enniskillen bomb on 8 November 1987.

1994 – Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) member and self-confessed participant in more than thirty killings, Dominic ‘Mad Dog’ McClinchey dies in a hail of bullets while making a phone call in Drogheda. No one was ever convicted of his murder.

1996 – Taoiseach John Bruton, announced that the Irish Government was breaking off ministerial contact with Sinn Féin in the light of the IRA bombing in London on 9 February 1996.

1997 – The IRA left a large bomb on the outskirts of Strabane, Co Tyrone. The bomb was defused by the British Army. Ed Turner, Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) mayor of Strabane, said that in light of the attempted bombing he would not be recommending anyone to invest in the town. His statement drew criticism from Nationalists. President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, sent a fax to British Prime Minister, John Major,  requesting talks between Sinn Féin and the British government.

1998 – It is feared that a new wave of tit-for-tat sectarian terror will hit the North after the murder of Robert Dougan, a leading loyalist, outside a textile company near Belfast.

1998 – Suspected SLVF leader, Mark ‘Swinger’ Fulton, survives a murder attempt in Portadown, Co. Armagh.

1998 – Northern Secretary Mo Mowlam and Ulster Unionist security spokesman Ken Maginnis agreed to bury the hatchet in their bitter personal row, which threatened to overshadow the Stormont talks process.

1998 – Republican and security sources in the North clash amid allegations that IRA members behind the murder of top Belfast drug dealer Brendan Campbell and fears it could lead to Sinn Féin’s expulsion from the Stormont talks.

1999 – Bertie Ahern’s minority Coalition suffered another blow to its stability when Fianna Fáil backbencher, Beverly Cooper-Flynn, chose to back her father, Padraig Flynn, rather than the Government in a crucial Dáil vote.

1999 – A potential major tragedy is averted when over 100 mine-workers are lifted to safety after a fire 1,150 feet below the ground at Tara Mines, Navan.

2000 – David Trimble met with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin

2002 – Children from Belfast’s troubled Holy Cross school arrive in Connemara for what promises to be a welcome break. The three-day holiday was a gift from the proprietor of Peacock’s Hotel at Maam Cross, Co Galway.

2003 – A dissident republican bomb attack on Enniskillen prompts calls for the British government to put on hold any plans to scale down army installations in the North.

2011 – Six confirmed dead as plane crashes at Cork airport. The Manx 2 airline flight from Belfast to Cork overturned and caught fire while making a third attempt to land. The twin turboprop plane was due to arrive in Cork at about 9.45am. There was heavy fog in the area at the time.

2011 – A painting by Irish-born artist, Francis Bacon, sells at auction at Sotheby’s in London for £23 million (€27.2 million) – more than three times the pre-sale low estimate. The triptych, Three Studies For A Portrait Of Lucian Freud, was painted in 1964 and shows Bacon’s friend and fellow artist with a variety of facial expressions. The painting was sold by a private collector and was bought by an anonymous buyer in the packed saleroom after seven minutes of intense bidding by more than 10 people from four different continents.

2018 – Mary Lou McDonald is confirmed as the new leader of Sinn Féin. Some 2,000 delegates gathered in Dublin, to attend a special conference and see McDonald succeed Gerry Adams, who led the party for almost 35 years.

Image | Assaranca Waterfall, Co Donegal | Fiachra Mangan Photography

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