#OTD in 1981 – Bobby Sands was elected to Westminster in the Fermanagh/South Tyrone by-election, while on hunger strike in Long Kesh Prison, as MP for the constituency.

Shortly after the beginning of the strike, Frank Maguire, the Independent Republican MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, died suddenly of a heart attack, precipitating the April 1981 by-election. The sudden vacancy in a seat with a nationalist majority of about five thousand was a valuable opportunity for Bobby Sands’ supporters to unite the nationalist […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Bobby Sands was elected to Westminster in the Fermanagh/South Tyrone by-election, while on hunger strike in Long Kesh Prison

Shortly after the beginning of the strike, Frank Maguire, the Independent Republican MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, died suddenly of a heart attack, precipitating the April 1981 by-election. The sudden vacancy in a seat with a nationalist majority of about five thousand was a valuable opportunity for Bobby Sands’ supporters to unite the nationalist […]

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1981 – IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands wins a seat in the British parliament in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election.

Shortly after the beginning of the strike, Frank Maguire, the Independent Republican MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, died suddenly of a heart attack, precipitating the April 1981 by-election. The sudden vacancy in a seat with a nationalist majority of about five thousand was a valuable opportunity for Bobby Sands’ supporters to unite the nationalist […]

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1916 – Deputy Irish Party leader John Dillon pleads with Asquith in British parliament to stop the executions.

‘This series of executions is doing more harm than any Englishman in this House can possibly fathom.’ [Dillon makes mention of the shooting of Mr Sheehy-Skeffington.] ‘Horrible rumours which are current in Dublin, and which are doing untold and indescribable mischief, maddening the population of Dublin, who were your friends and loyal allies against this […]

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1969 – Bernadette Devlin is elected MP for Mid Ulster, standing as the Independent Unity candidate; at 21 years old, she is Britain’s youngest ever female MP and the third youngest MP ever.

Bernadette Devlin was elected to Britain’s Parliament on the “Unity” ticket, as MP for the Mid-Ulster constituency. The election followed the death of Ulster Unionist Party Member of Parliament for Mid Ulster, George Forrest, and Devlin found she was running against Forrest’s widow on the Unionist ticket. At 21, Devlin was the youngest woman ever […]

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1914 – The British House of Commons passes the third Home Rule Bill granting a form of self-government to Ireland.

The bill passed with a majority of 77 votes but would never come into effect. Loyalist opposition delayed implementation of self-government and the onset of World War I forced further postponement. By the time the war ended, Ireland had seen the 1916 Rising, the execution of its leaders. In December 1918, Sinn Féin would win […]

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1949 – The Republic of Ireland withdraws from the British Commonwealth. The British Parliament recognises the declaration but asserts sovereignty over the six northern counties.

The twenty-six counties of Ireland withdrawal from the British Commonwealth is recognised officially by Britain becomes the independent Republic of Ireland. The Ireland Act 1949 passed by the House of Commons recognised the withdrawal. Photo: Dublin bunting to celebrate Republic of Ireland 1949.

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Today in Irish History – 18th April:

1608 – Sir Cahir O’Doherty of Inishowen revolts and sacks Derry. 1689 – Siege of Derry begins. 1690 – Five regiments of Irishmen sail for France and form the nucleus of France’s Irish Brigade. 1768 – Daniel Murray, Archbishop of Dublin, is born in Arklow, Co. Wicklow. 1778 – William Bunbury, MP for Co. Carlow, […]

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