#OTD in Irish History | 18 February:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Colmán of Lindisfarne, also known as St Colmán (he was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 661 until 664). Colman resigned the Bishopric of Lindisfarne after the Synod of Whitby called by King Oswiu of Northumbria decided to calculate Easter using the method of the First Ecumenical Council instead of his preferred Celtic method. After his resignation he retired to live on the island of Inishbofin in Galway where he founded a monastery.

1366 – The Statutes of Kilkenny are passed in an attempt to prevent Norman settlers becoming ‘more Irish than the Irish themselves’.

1478 – George, Duke of Clarence, is executed for high treason in the Tower of London; according to Shakespeare, he meets his death by being drowned in a butt of malmsey wine.

1516 – Birth of Mary I, Queen of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death. Her executions of Protestants led to the posthumous sobriquet ‘Bloody Mary’. She was the only child of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon to survive to adulthood. Furthering the Tudor conquest of Ireland, under Mary’s reign English colonists were settled in the Irish Midlands. Queen’s and King’s Counties (now Counties Laois and Offaly) were founded, and their plantation began. Their principal towns were respectively named Maryborough (now Portlaoise) and Philipstown (now Daingean).

1817 – Birth of, Confederate General Walter Paye Lane, in Co Cork. Lane’s family emigrated when he was four. He eventually settled in Texas and became a strong proponent of secession. Prior to the Civil War, he fought with distinction in the Mexican War.

1921 – Birth of, Brian Faulkner, the last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland who served from 1971 to 1972, in Helen’s Bay, Co Down.

1922 – An Anti-Treaty IRA unit under Ernie O’Malley seizes an RIC barracks in Clonmel, taking 40 policemen prisoner and capturing 600 rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA leader Séamus Robinson closes down the Clonmel Nationalist newspaper over its support for the Treaty. Rory O’Connor has the Freeman’s Journal closed down for the same reason.

1922 – Birth of amateur golfer, Joe Carr, in Dublin.

1923 – Up to 1,000 Free-State troops drawn from Cahir, Cashel, Clonmel and Tipperary town encircle the area around the Glen of Aherlow and move in from all sides simultaneously in pursuit of Republican leader Dinny Lacey and his IRA column, which is billetted in the Glen. Lacey and one of his men are killed and many of his column are captured, having been surprised in two different safe-houses. Three of the Free-State troops are mortally wounded during the attack on the house. Lacey was the head of the IRA’s 2nd Southern Division and his death crippled the Republican’s cause in the Tipperary/Waterford area.

1935 – Birth of musician, Ciarán Bourke, in Dublin. He was one of the original founding members of The Dubliners.

1948 – A coalition government takes over under Fine Gael’s John Aloysius Costello.

1948 – Birth of stage, television and film actress, Sinead Cusack, in Dalkey, Co Dublin. Her first acting roles were at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, before moving to London in 1975 to join the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has received two Tony Award nominations: once for Best Leading Actress in Much Ado About Nothing (1985), and again for Best Featured Actress in Rock ‘n’ Roll (2008).

1948 – Following the general election, Éamon de Valera’s Fianna Fáil is ousted from power for the first time in 16 years. John A. Costello is elected Taoiseach of a coalition government.

1964 – Death in Blackrock of novelist Maurice Walsh, author of the original story of The Quiet Man.

1973 – Two Catholic civilians were shot dead by Loyalists in a gun attack on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast.

1975 – Airey Neave was appointed as the Conservative Party’s spokesman on Northern Ireland.

1978 – Police in Northern Ireland arrest at least 20 people in connection with the La Mon bombing.

1978 – Vice-President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, was charged with membership of the IRA. On 6 September 1978 Adams was freed when the Judge hearing the case ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove that he was a member of the IRA.

1982 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Prior, announced that a full public inquiry would take place into the matters surrounding the Kincora Scandal. The Kincora Boys’ Home was a boys’ home in Belfast, that was the scene of serious organised child sexual abuse, causing a scandal and attempted cover-up in 1980, with credible allegations of state collusion.

1982 – General election in the Republic leads to a Fianna Fáil minority government; Haughey succeeds FitzGerald as Taoiseach.

1986 – A Catholic civilian, Francis Bradley (20), was shot dead by undercover British soldiers at the back of a farmhouse, near Toome, Co Derry.

1986 – The government in the Republic of Ireland announced its intention to sign the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism. The Republic signed the Convention on 24 February 1986.

1990 – In a radio interview Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Brooke, stated that whilst there would be not be a complete suspension of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) to allow for talks to begin, it might be possible to use gaps in the Anglo-Irish Conference for political negotiations to take place.

1991 – The IRA exploded bombs in the early morning at both Paddington station and Victoria station in London. An inadequate warning was given and one person was killed and over 40 people injured in the attacks.

1997 – Former Chief Constable of the RUC, John Hermon, launched his autobiography Holding the Line. At the launch, Hermon denied that there had ever been a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy by the security forces during the 1980s. Hermon also criticised the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the Downing Street Declaration.

1997 – The State Department in the United States confirmed that it had issued a visitors visa to Sean O’Callaghan, who was an former IRA informer.

1998 – Sinn Féin brought a High Court action in Dublin to try to prevent the party from being expelled from the multi-party talks. The action was eventually to fail and SF was expelled from the talks.

1998 – David Adams, a cousin of President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, was awarded £30,000 in damages against the RUC for injuries he received when he was assaulted by several officers. David Adams suffered a broken leg, two fractured ribs, a punctured lung and multiple cuts and bruises after he was arrested in 1994. Adams was arrested when the RUC prevented an attempt to kill a senior detective.

1998 – The Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) published a video entitled Policing the Police which highlighted a number of complaints against the RUC in relation to their policing of controversial parades in Nationalist areas. One clip showed Rosemary Nelson, then a solicitor based in Lurgan, Co Armagh, who alleged she was physically and verbally abused by RUC officers when she tried to speak to them about their handling of a Nationalist demonstration against an Orange Order parade down the Garvaghy Road, Portadown. Nelson claimed that the RUC officers had called her a ‘Fenian f*cker’ and had told her to ‘f*ck off’ when she had asked for an officer’s number. Rosemary Nelson was killed by Loyalist paramilitaries on 15 March 1999 amid claims of security force collusion in her death.

1999 – It was revealed that the cost of policing the dispute over the Orange Order Drumcree parade was £10,000 per day.

1999 – In the Republic of Ireland the Independent Radio and Television Commission banned an advertisement for the Irish Catholic newspaper from being broadcast on two local radio stations.

2000 – One of Waterford’s best loved theatrical personalities, Denny Corcoran, was announced as the 1999 winner of the Waterford Crystal WLR FM Arts and Entertainment Hall of Fame Award for his lifetime contribution to theatre and music in a career spanning over four decades.

2000 – The bodies of four soldiers tragically killed in a car accident in Lebanon are brought to the Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel.

2002 – Hospitals nationwide are forced to cancel admissions, postpone surgery and close outpatient clinics as the highly-contagious winter vomiting virus spreads, striking patients and staff.

2002 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, travelled to London for talks with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. It is believed that the two prime ministers discussed political progress in Northern Ireland and focussed on the issues of demilitarisation, decommissioning and the forthcoming parades season.

2003 – Singer Bono is nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. It is the second year in a row that he has been nominated.

2003 – Twelve men serving sentences in Mountjoy Prison in Dublin make legal history when they become the first graduates of a new course on the very reason they’re behind bars – the law.

Image | Nuns Beach, Ballybunion, Co Kerry | Breaking Light Pictures

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