#OTD in Irish History | 22 February:

1772 – On the first occasion of his attendance after the death of his only child (a daughter), Thomas Eyre, MP for Fore, dies in the House of Commons – ‘suddenly taken with an apoplectic fit and dropt down dead in his place’.

1797 – The last invasion of England: Small French force commanded by Irishman William Tate lands in Wales.

1832 – The first burial, that of eleven-year-old Michael Carey who died of tuberculosis (consumption) from Francis Street, Dublin, in Glasnevin Cemetery in a section of the cemetery known as Curran’s Square. Daniel O’Connell founded the Cemetery as he wanted it to be a burial ground for anyone regardless of their religion or status in life. Michael Carey has a plain stone which marks the site of his resting place (next to the original gate of the cemetery). It bears the inscription: ‘Beneath lie the remains of Michael – the beloved son of Michael Carey of Francis St who was the first ever interred in this cemetery 22nd February 1832’.

1833 – John Kyan of Co Wexford was the inventor of the ‘kyanising’ process for preserving wood. The process attracted great attention. Scientist, Michael Faraday, chose it as the subject of his inaugural lecture at the Royal Institution of Great Britain on his appointment as Fullerian professor of chemistry.

1886 – At Ulster Hall in Belfast, Lord Randolph Churchill gives his destructive speech which includes the incendiary comment, ‘Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right.’ The speech instills fear of rule by Roman Catholics in Dublin and incites militant loyalists.

1893 – Peadar O’Donnell, novelist, editor of the newspaper An Phoblacht (The Republic) and social reformer, is born in Co Donegal.

1900 – Birth of short story writer, Seán Ó Faoláin, in Cork city. He was elected Saoi of Aosdána in 1986. He served as director of the Arts Council of Ireland from 1956 to 1959, and from 1940 to 1990 was a founder member and editor of the Irish literary periodical The Bell. The list of contributors to The Bell included many of Ireland’s foremost writers, among them Patrick Kavanagh, Patrick Swift, Flann O’Brien, Frank O’Connor and Brendan Behan.

1901 – Death of George Francis FitzGerald, an Irish professor of ‘natural and experimental philosophy’ (i.e., physics and chemistry) at the Trinity College in Dublin, during the latter quarter of the 19th century.

1921 – Birth of painter, Cecil King, in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow.

1921 – The bodies of three British soldiers killed by the IRA are found near Woodford, Co Galway. There has long been discussion whether the three were deserters or spies.

1922 – Birth of Joe Carr, one of Ireland’s finest golfers and probably greatest ever amateur player is born in Dublin.

1922 – Michael Collins secretly authorised the formation of a specially paid unit of seventy IRA volunteers, known as the Belfast City Guard, to protect districts from loyalist attack. It operated until August 1922.

1923 – Nicholas Williams, a member of the Free State militia the Citizens Defence Force, is found shot dead in a field on Hollybank Road, Dublin.

1941 – Australian Prime Minister Menzies on the Irish Question: Fascinating diary entry by Australian PM on discussions he had with Churchill regarding Éamon de Valera and Irish neutrality: (Winston) Enjoys hatred, and got a good deal of simple pleasure out of saying what he thought of de Valera, who is (inter alia) a murderer and perjurer. (N.B. There is a growing passion on this subject here, and we may as well get ready for squalls. After all, why should the British people, (and the Australian) be prejudiced and perhaps defeated by this fantastic Southern Irish neutrality?). I endeavoured vainly to get his (Winston Churchill’s) mind on the question of the ultimate solution of Ireland. War? Federal Union? Should the Dominions offer to intervene?

1965 – Birth of jockey, Kieren Francis Fallon, in Crusheen, Co Clare. He is an Irish professional flat racing jockey and has been British Champion Jockey six times. He is widely considered the greatest flat jockey of his generation and one of the greatest ever.

1972 – IRA bomb kills six at Aldershot barracks in Surrey, including five women and a Roman Catholic army priest; 19 people are injured and one of these victims dies later. This bomb was thought to be an attempted retaliation against the regiment who had carried out the ‘Bloody Sunday’ (30 January 1972) killings.

1973 – Death of novelist and short story writer, Elizabeth Bowen. Bowen was born at 15 Herbert Place in Dublin and baptised in the nearby St Stephen’s Church on Upper Mount Street. Her parents, Henry Charles Cole Bowen and Florence (née Colley) Bowen later brought her to Bowen’s Court at Farahy, near Kildorrery, Co Cork, where she spent her summers.

1981 – A Catholic civilian, Patrick Trainor (28), was found shot dead on waste ground off Glen Road, Andersonstown, Belfast. Trainor had been killed by the IRA who alleged that he was an informer.

1984 – Birth of rugby player, Thomas John ‘Tommy’ Bowe, in Co Monaghan. He plays on the wing for the Ulster and the British and Irish Lions. In March 2012, after four years with Ospreys in Swansea, Wales, Bowe returned to Ulster for the 2012/13 season.

1989 – The Fair Employment Agency was criticised when it was revealed that Protestants were under-represented in its senior or operations staff.

1992 – Proinsias de Rossa together with five other Workers’ Party Teachta Dáil (TDs) walked out of a party meeting in Dublin. The men later announced that they were forming a new organisation. Initially the new party was called New Agenda but the name was changed on 28 March 1992 to Democratic Left. The split occurred when De Rossa failed to get an assurance from the Workers’ Party that the organisation had ended its links with the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA).

1993 – Joe Hendron, a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) Member of Parliament (MP), together with his election agent, were found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices by an election court. The action was brought following allegations of misconduct during the 1992 Westminster election in west Belfast. The court did order a re-run of the election.

1995 – Death of Dublin man Johnny Carey, aged 76, soccer international, and one of Manchester United’s great captains.

1995 – Taoiseach John Bruton and British PM John Major unveil a ‘Framework Document’ for a path to peace in Northern Ireland. The ‘Framework for Accountable Government’ proposed a single-chamber Assembly elected by proportional representation and containing 90 members.

1998 – Republicans take to the streets in the first of a series of demonstrations in protest at Sinn Féin’s suspension from the Northern Ireland peace talks.

1998 – Opposition parties are claiming the Government may have breached the Constitution by allowing planes carrying US troops to refuel at Shannon Airport over recent weeks.

1998 – Neil Jordan, director of The Butcher Boy, is awarded a Silver Bear for best director at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival.

1998 – Cross-border cooperation between the Irish Marine Emergency Services and the Northern Ireland Coastguard is put to the test as emergency teams from the Ambulance Service, the RUC, Irish Marine Emergency Service, the Coastal Rescue Teams and others join forces for a spectacular drill on Carlingford Lough.

1998 – Criminal and security sources confirm that the man believed to have masterminded the Omagh bomb massacre has escaped the country on a false Irish passport.

1998 – A former Dublin-based financier, Patrick Gallagher, claimed in a newspaper that he had given former Taoiseach, Charles Haughey, £375,000 in 1979.

1999 – Labour Party TD Pat Upton dies of a massive heart attack.

1999 – The Northern Ireland Assembly agreed to set its annual running cost at £36.8 million.

2001 – Authorities begin placing a massive security cordon on sea and airports and along the 300-mile border with Northern Ireland in a determined bid to prevent animals infected with foot and mouth disease from entering the country.

2001 – President Mary McAleese launches the Manchester Irish Festival and a website to provide a record of Irish family histories.

2001 – The British Government unveils a £12 million aid package for victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

2002 – A unique record of the life and times of Irish emigrant families throughout the world is launched by President Mary McAleese in Manchester. This first ever social history of emigrant activity will be set down by descendants and will detail the difficulties, frustrations and ultimate successes of ancestors in their adopted lands.

2010 – The RIRA were blamed for detonating a car bomb outside a courthouse in Newry, heavily damaging the guardhut. This was the first successful car bomb attack in the North of Ireland since 2000.

2011 – Enniskillen-born artist TP Flanagan passes away at the age of 80. For more than 60 years he shaped the face of landscape painting in Northern Ireland and was known internationally for his rural scenes of his native Fermanagh and Sligo. With his stunning watercolours and intricate brush strokes, he is described ss one of the most successful artists of his generation. Poet Seamus Heaney, who dedicated his 1969 poem Bogland to Flanagan, pays tribute saying ‘he was a teacher and a friend’ whose work held a ‘deep personal significance.’

2012 – Death of comedian and actor, Hugh Francis ‘Frank’ Carson. Born in Belfast, he is best known on television in series such as The Comedians and Tiswas. He was a member of the entertainment charity the Grand Order of Water Rats.

Image | Trim Castle, Co Meath | Breaking Light Pictures

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