#OTD in Irish History | 16 May:

587 – St Brendan the Navigator, early transatlantic voyager, dies. In the Liturgical calendar, today is St Brendan’s Feast Day.

1907 – Birth of Robert Tisdall, gold medalist in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1932 Olympics.

1916 – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the French Third Republic sign the secret wartime Sykes-Picot Agreement partitioning former Ottoman territories such as Iraq and Syria.

1920 – ‘Soviets’ are proclaimed in 13 Co Limerick creameries, including Knocklong.

1921 – Two IRA men are killed in an attempted ambush of an RIC patrol at Barrowhouse, Co Kildare.

1926 – In response to the signing of the Boundary Agreement between Great Britain and Ireland in December 1925, Sinn Féin held a meeting in March 1926 to discuss the future of the party. Failing to reach an agreement, Éamon de Valera resigned as leader and took rapid steps to establish a new national movement. On 16 May 1926, the inaugural meeting of Fianna Fáil was held in La Scala theatre in Dublin. Among the founding members were Seán Lemass, Gerry Boland, Countess Markievicz and Frank Aiken.

1927 – ‘A’ Reserve established by Oglaigh na hÉireann – the Irish Defence Forces.

1929 – The first Academy Awards ceremony was held in Hollywood. Dublin-born, Cedric Gibbons was one of the original 36 founding members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and oversaw the design of the Academy Awards statuette in 1928, a trophy for which he himself would be nominated 39 times, winning 11.

1938 – The Department of Justice bans Photography magazine because of ‘attention given to the female nude’.

1945 – Éamon de Valera responds to Winston Churchill’s victory speech during which Churchill took one last jab at Irish neutrality.

1953 – Birth of actor, Pierce Brosnan in Navan, Co Meath.

1955 – Birth of footballer and manager, Páidí Ó Sé, in Ceann Trá, Co Kerry. Ó Sé played as a right half-back for Kerry, with eight All-Irelands to his name as a player and two All-Irelands as a manager, in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, he was one of the most decorated names in the sport and was one of the most recognisable faces in the country. He was one of five men to win eight All-Ireland football medals (the other four were on the same team), and one of two men to win multiple All Irelands as a player and a manager. Before his sudden death in 2012, he was involved in tours with The Gathering Ireland 2013.

1959 – Death of Elisha Scott. Born in Belfast, she was a football goalkeeper who most notably played for Liverpool from 1912 to 1934 (still holding the record as their longest-serving player).

1967 – Birth of actor, Brían Francis O’Byrne in Mullagh, Co Cavan. Best known for his work in the United States.

1968 – In the Stormont by-election in the city of Derry, the Ulster Unionists retained the seat.

1974 – A Catholic civilian, Maureen Moore (21), was shot dead by a Loyalist paramilitary gunman as she stood at the corner of Stratheden Street and Edlingham Street, New Lodge, Belfast.

1974 – Day 2 of the UWC Strike: The effect of the strike deepened with the engineering sector of the economy being the hardest hit. The use of intimidation (or ‘persuasion’ as the Loyalist paramilitaries preferred to call it) had a significant impact on the number of people who managed to get to work. The strike began to have a number of effects on the farming sector with uncollected, or unprocessed milk having to be dumped and fresh food not reaching shops. The Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC) issued a list of ‘essential services’ which were to be allowed to operate as normal and also issued a telephone number for anyone engaged in such work. The UWC also ordered public houses to close. There was an outbreak of sectarian rioting.

1986 – President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, spoke at a seminar in Amsterdam, Holland. Adams criticised the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) saying that it secured the partition of the six counties of Northern Ireland.

1997 – Tony Blair visits Northern Ireland and gives the go ahead for exploratory contacts between government officials and Sinn Féin.

1997 – Chief Constable of the RUC, Ronnie Flanagan, said that all those Loyalist paramilitary organisations represented by the Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) had broken their ceasefire since it was declared in October 1994.

1998 – Larry O’Toole, a prominent member of Sinn Féin, was shot and injured during a First Holy Communion church service for local children in Ballymun, Dublin. O’Toole’s son, Lar, was also shot by the gunman who was chased out of the church and later caught by a number of the pursuers.

1998 – There was a rally held in Lurgan, Co Armagh, in support of the ‘No’ campaign. At the rally a message was read out from James Molyneaux, former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), who said that he would be voting against the Good Friday Agreement.

1999 – Members of Justice for the Forgotten, the campaign group representing families of those killed in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings on 17 May 1974, held a wreath-laying ceremony in Dublin. The group called for a full public inquiry into the bombings.

1999 – Around 800 residents from the Garvaghy Road area of Portadown, Co Armagh, held a meeting at which Brendán Mac Cionnaith, spokesperson of the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition and independent councillor in Portadown, rejected rumours that a deal had been done to resolve the disputed Drumcree parade.

2000 – An Post officially launches a set of four 30p postage stamps in honour of flamboyant writer and wit, Oscar Wilde.

2001 – Proposals to locate the first wind farm off the country’s west coast are unveiled. The £100 million project is to be located off the north Kerry coast on the southern tip of the Shannon estuary and is to involve the construction of between 20 and 30 wind turbines.

2001 – The United States designates the Real IRA, a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army, as a “foreign terrorist organisation,” a legal term that brings financial and other sanctions. Under US law, any assets the Real IRA has in the United States are frozen, it is illegal to support the organisation and Real IRA members are not eligible for US visas.

2002 – Iarnród Eireann’s first female train driver, Teresa Carey from Kerry, begins her career driving the Cork-Heuston train.

2007 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern becomes the third longest-serving EU leader in office as France’s Jacques Chirac officially steps down.

Image | St Brendan the Navigator Monument | Cahersiveen, Co Kerry

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