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1762 - Birth in Callan, Co. Kilkenny of Edmund Ignatius Rice, educator, philanthropist, and the founder of the Irish Christian Brothers' Order
1852 - The Magnetc Telegraph Company links Britain and Ireland via submarine telegraph cable. The company also operates lines from Donaghadee to Portpatrick, and connects major Irish cities, as far as Limerick, Killarney and Cork
1860 - Birth of Hugh Thomson, illustrator, in Coleraine, Co. Derry/Londonderry
1866 - Renegade Irish Fenians invade Ft. Erie Ontario from the US
1919 - Eamon DeValera begins his tour of the USA to raise money and support for the IRA's war against England
1958 - The Clean Air Act comes into force
1959 - Death of Arthur Sarsfield Ward, born in Birmingham of Irish parents William Ward and Mary Furey. Best known as Sax Rohmer, creator of the Dr Fu Manchu novels
1998 - The Irish and British Governments search for common ground on the parades crisis, amid growing indications that the summer marching season will push the North to the brink of open sectarian warfare
2000 - The controversial nomination of former Supreme Court judge Hugh O'Flaherty as a vice-president of the European Investment Bank is put on hold by the High Court.
1567 - The Ulster chieftain, Shane O'Neill, takes refuge with the MacDonnells, and is murdered by them at Cushendun, Co. Antrim. He is succeeded by Turlough Luineach O'Neill
1705 - The town of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh is virtually destroyed by an accidental fire. One hundred and fourteen families and their servants suffer severe losses, and the barracks of her Majesty (Queen Anne) sustains great damage, the total loss being computed at 7,911 pound 13 s. 4d. A memorial is presented to the Lord Lieutenant from the Provost and Corporation, asking for the benefit of a full collection from house to house throughout the Kingdom, and in all Cathedrals and Parish Churches. It sets forth that " they never in the late reign nor in this applied to their Majesties for any relief or reward for their services and sufferings (in 1641 and 1688-90) when they had to maintain many thousands of poor stript Protestants who came for protection. But now being poor, disconsolate and entirely ruined, so that they have neither house to go into, beds to lie on, nor wherewithal to buy bread, may it please your Grace to grant your Petitioners the benefit of a full collection."
1772 - An Act of Parliament allows Catholics to lease bogland
1774 - An act of the Irish parliament enables Catholics to testify their allegiance to the king
1866 - Renegade Irish Fenians surrender to US forces
1891 - A proposal for the penalty kick is accepted by the Football Association. It is the brainchild of Armagh's William McCrum and is championed by his colleague in the Irish Association, Jack Reid
1920 - Michael O'Hehir, sports commentator, is born in Dublin
1938 - Robert and Edward Kennedy, youngest sons of the American Ambassador to London, open the childrens zoo in Regents Park. Children are charged sixpence to watch chimpanzees have a tea party
1949 - The Ireland Act is passed in Westminster, declaring the special relationship of Irish citizens to the United Kingdom and guaranteeing Northern Ireland's status within the UK
1954 - Bovine TB Eradication Scheme begins
1954 - John Costello becomes premier of Ireland
1956 - Joan Littlewood's production of Brendan Behan's play The Quare Fella opens at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, gaining Behan international recognition for the first time
2001 - A record 75 coastal centres are awarded blue flags, but five top beaches, including Killiney and Tramore, lose the prestigious eco-symbol. Non-compliance with water quality and bathing water requirements also cost Keem beach in Mayo, Bray beach in Wicklow, and Lough Ennell their blue flags
2002 - It is announced that Progressive Democrats president Michael McDowell is to be appointed justice minister in the coalition cabinet
2002 - The World Cup football squad is officially welcomed to their new training camp in Chiba city in the coastal surburbs of southern Tokyo with a reception in a specially created Irish Village in the grounds of the team hotel
2002 - A labour court recommendation to resolve the pilots dispute is accepted by Aer Lingus management but the national carriers fleet will remain grounded, causing continued disruption for thousands of passengers.
1798 - Government reinforces Gorey and Bunclody, Co. Wexford. Rebels decide to attack Gorey
1836 - Barry Edward O'Meara, surgeon to Napoleon, dies in London
1878 - Sinéad de Valera, née Flanagan; teacher and writer, is born in Balbriggan, Co. Dublin
1919 - The Local Government Act provides for proportional representation at local authority elections
1963 - Pope John XXIII dies the age of 81. He is succeeded by Pope Paul VI
1972 - A Protestant march against the creation of "no-go" areas in Londonderry ends in a bloody battle on the Craigavon Bridge. Soldiers use rubber bullets and water cannon to control the crowd when the so-called "Tartan gangs" at the tail end of the march begin to throw bottles and stones at the Army
1974 - Michael Gaughan dies on hunger strike at Parkhurst Prison in England
1991 - Three IRA gunmen are shot dead by British soldiers as they drive through the village of Coagh, Co. Tyrone. Their car is hit by a hail of bullets, before crashing and bursting into flames
1998 - In a landmark ruling on army hearing disability cases immediately interpreted as a disaster for soldiers with noise-induced deafness the High Court lays down a compensation marker of £1,500 per 1% loss of hearing
1998 - The Prince of Wales meets with the political spokesmen for loyalist paramilitary groups at a garden party hosted by Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam. The Prince also meets victims of terrorist violence and presents others with MBEs. The event at Hillsborough Castle is attended by 2,500 people including Gary McMichael and David Adams of the Ulster Democratic Party. The garden party, which Sinn Féin leaders had refused to attend because of the Prince's links to the Parachute Regiment, is the highlight of his hectic two-day visit. Representatives of the DUP are also present less than a week after party leader Ian Paisley brands the Queen a "parrot"
2000 - Twelve people are injured, none seriously, when gas tanks explode at the rear of Cronin's restaurant, in Killarney, Co Kerry
2000 - Cathal Crumley, a former IRA prisoner faces unionist anger as he prepares to become the first Sinn Féin Mayor in Ireland since 1920
2000 - Security chiefs in the North come under fire after further reductions in troop levels following the increased threat posed by the Real IRA
2000 - Cash-conscious councillors in the North refuse to sponsor Michael Flatley's Feet of Flames concert in Belfast next month
2000 - Almost half the mainline train drivers threaten to resign rather than face the possibility of legal action for striking or accepting the company's new pay deal and conditions
2001 - It is announced that the Irish immigration authorities are to open special visa offices in Bejing and Moscow. The move is aimed at speeding up the entry of Chinese and Russian workers and students to Ireland
2002 - Residents of east Belfast begin clearing up following another night of sectarian violence that saw armed gunmen on the streets of the city. Tension remains high in the area around the nationalist Short Strand enclave as both communities brace themselves for a fresh bout of sectarian violence
2002 - The Dublin mini-marathon, the largest gathering of its kind in the world, attracts nearly 40,000 women from all over the country and various parts of the world.
In the liturgical calendar, June 3 is the feast day of St. Kevin, also known as Coemgen and Kevin of the Angels. He is the patron of blackbirds, the archdiocese of Dublin and Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.
1487 - Thomas FitzGerald, Kildare's brother, accompanies Simnel's army of German mercenaries and some Irishmen to England on this date
1651 - Ireton, Oliver Cromwell's son-in-law, lays siege to Limerick city. By October, Limerick is in Ireton's hands. Ireton dies of the plague shortly afterwards
1731 - Allegedly, the date when the robbery of the Golden Lyon's cargo takes place at Ballyheige Co. Kerry. Owned by the Danish East India Company, the ship had become stranded near Ballyheige, Co. Kerry. Its valuable cargo is moved into a house and guarded by troops, but 'About twelve or one in the night a number of men broke into the house at Ballyheige where the money chests were kept, wounded three of the Danes and carried it off.' Eventually, about ten of the robbers are apprehended and charged, and approximately £7,524 2s is recovered
1798 - In Co. Wexford, Government troops march south out of Gorey. Rebels from Carrigrew move north, they attack and defeat Government forces at Tubberneering. Government forces withdraw north. Rebels occupy Gorey
1798 - Lord Edward Fitzgerald dies at Newgate prison from wounds sustained in the course of his arrest
1820 - Henry Grattan, the moving force behind the Irish Parliament at College Green before it was dissolved by the Act of Union, dies and is buried - against his wishes - in Westminster Abbey
1864 - Neilí Ni Bhriain, Irish Gaelic League activist, is born
1886 - Months of serious rioting begin in Belfast on this date
1909 - Charlotte Grace O'Brien, Irish social reformer dies
1909 - Robert Dudley Edwards, historian, is born in Dublin
1952 - Ciaran Fitzgerald, rugby player, is born in Galway
1957 - John Treacy, athlete, is born in Villierstown, Co. Waterford
1978 - Belfast flute player James Galway reaches no. 10 in the British charts with Annies Song
1980 - John Tunley, Protestant Irish nationalist, is assassinated
1998 - A collection of 15 documents, one from George Yeats, the other 14 hand-written missives signed by WB Yeats is sold by fine art auctioneers Christie's for over £5,500; a second collection of 12 letters, including eight signed by WB Yeats, and one by Ezra Pound sells for £5,585
1998 - Amid strict security, His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent makes a courtesy visit to Lifeboat Stations in Cork and Kerry in his role as President of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
1999 - Around 4,000 jobs are threatened in the Irish transport sector, support services and manufacturing industry after defeat is conceded in the fight to save duty free sales
2001 - It is announced that a previously unknown and heavily re-worked draft of one of the closing chapters of James Joyce's epic novel, Ulysses, is set to fetch up to £1.2 million at auction in London next month.
In the liturgical calendar, June 4 is the feast day of St. Cronan the Tanner, a disciple of St. Kevin of Glendalough. It is also the feast day of St. Berriona, an Irish woman who lived a holy life in Cornwall.
1646 - Eoghan Rua O'Neill, a superb military strategist, defeats Robert Munros Scottish army at Benburb in Co. Tyrone. The victory is celebrated by Pope Innocent X with a Te Deum in Rome
1686 - Richard Talbot, the Earl of Tyrconnell, appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland, (the first Catholic to hold the position since the Reformation) becomes Commander-in-Chief of the Irish army
1795 - An Act provides for the establishment of a Catholic seminary
1798 - Defeat of the rebels at New Ross, Co. Wexford
1798 - The Reverend William Steel Dickson, a Presbyterian minister and United Irishmen supporter is arrested and imprisoned without trial
1868 - James Connolly is born of Irish parents in Edinburgh
1880 - Birth in Dublin of William Thomas Cosgrave, the first President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State
1886 - Alasdair Mac Cába, pro-Treaty nationalist, politician, and founder of the Educational Building Society, is born in Ballymote, Co. Sligo
1899 - Margaret Anne Cusack (Sister Mary Francis Clare), the 'Nun of Kenmare,' dies in Leamington, Warwickshire, England
1916 - Death of Listowel man Lord Kitchener
1920 - Cornelius Ryan, war correspondent and author of The Longest Day, The Last Battle and A Bridge Too Far, is born in Dublin
1921 - The first sitting of the Northern Ireland Parliament takes place
1932 - Birth of Christy Brown, paraplegic painter and writer. His book Down All the Days and the film My Left Foot are based on his life
1960 - Birth of singer Dominic Kirwan
1968 - Robert Kennedy is seriously injured in shooting after victory speech
2000 - British Prime Minister Tony Blair issues an apology to the Guilford Four 11 years after they had been released from prison where they each spent 15 years on a trumped up conviction
2001 - Hopes that the £200 million a year Egyptian market for Irish beef would re-open shortly receive a major set back. The authorities in Cairo decide to extend for another four months the import ban they imposed on EU beef after the BSE crisis late last year
2002 - Former US President Bill Clinton travels to Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, to open a £3m peace centre named after him in recognition of his special role in helping the divided Norths community towards the Good Friday Agreement. The centre is built on the site of the 1987 Remembrance Sunday bombing
2003 - Relics of one of the best loved and admired saints, St Anthony of Padua, arrive in Ireland for a special tour of churches in Dublin and Carlow. The remains, contained in a statue of the Franciscan monk, are received at Fairview Church by Cardinal Desmond Connell and the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto.
1333 - William de Burgh, Earl of Ulster -'the Brown Earl'-is assassinated by his own knights, John de Logan and two of the de Mandevilles, at Le Ford, Belfast. The background is one of intrigue among Norman-Irish lords: William has driven de Mandeville out of Ulster and has starved his own kinsman, Walter de Burgh, to death at Northburgh Castle. His death is followed by a rising of the de Mandevilles and de Logans, allied with the Gaelic Irish of Ulster
1592 - Red Hugh O'Donnell, son of the Earl of Tyrconnell makes a dramatic escape from the Record Tower and returns to Co. Donegal and the leadership of his Clan
1739 - John Scott, Earl of Clonmel; 'Copper-Faced Jack'; Chief Justice, is born in Co. Tipperary
1763 - William Simms, a founder and secretary of the United Irishmen, is born
1790 - Edmund Butler, 11th Viscount Mountgarret and former MP for Co. Kilkenny, fights a duel with a Counsellor Bushe during which Bushe is seriously injured in the stomach
1798 - General Needham reaches Arklow in Co. Wexford and immediately begins digging trenches
1798 - Rebellion breaks out in Ulster: Henry Joy McCracken issues proclamation calling United Irishmen in Ulster to arms
1800 - Ordination of the first priests at St Patrick's College, Maynooth. The college was founded in 1795 as the National Seminary for Ireland
1871 - Joseph Shanahan, missionary bishop in Africa, is born near Templederry, Co. Tipperary
1880 - Birth of William Thomas Cosgrave - Irish statesman and father of Liam Cosgrave*. A member of Sinn Féin, he fought in the Easter Rebellion and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Freed a year later, he was elected to the British Parliament in 1918 but protested British rule by refusing to take his seat. He helped organize an independent Irish Assembly, the Dáil Éireann in 1919. Minister for local government in the revolutionary cabinet, Cosgrave supported the 1921 treaty with Great Britain that set up the Irish Free State. After the deaths of Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, he was elected president and served from 1922 to 1932. He was opposition leader of his Fine Gael, or United Ireland Party from 1932 until his resignation in 1944
1882 - In Liverpool, Mayo native-son and hero, Michael Davitt, advocates land nationalization in preference to peasant proprietorship
1898 - Birth of Dame Ninette de Valois, Wicklow-born founder of the Royal Ballet
1913 - Birth in Dublin of Patrick Campbell, author and broadcaster; he wrote sixteen books, including Life in Thin Slices, Rough Husbandry and How to Become a Scratch Golfer (he was one himself)
1940 - Willie John McBride, Ireland and Lions rugby captain, is born in Toomebridge, Co. Antrim
1968 - Following a major victory in the California presidential primary Senator Robert Kennedy addresses his supporters in a ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He leaves the ballroom through a service area to greet supporters working in the hotel's kitchen. In a crowded kitchen passageway, Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, opens fire with a .22 caliber revolver and shoots Kennedy in the head at close range. He is rushed to The Good Samaritan Hospital where he dies the next day.
1982 - Caitlin Maude, Irish language activist dies.
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St. Jarlath, first Abbot-Bishop of Tuam.
*Liam Cosgrave was Taoiseach from 1973 to 1977
1420 - A parliament meets at Dublin
1546 - England signs Peace of Andres with Ireland and Scotland
1705 - Francis Flood, grandfather of Henry Flood, is expelled from the House of Commons for abuses against Agmondisham Cuffe MP, Cuffe's tenants and others in Co. Kilkenny
1766 - The Tumultuous Risings Act, against the Whiteboys, is passed
1798 - Father James Coigly is executed by hanging at Pennington Heath. A member of the United Irishmen, he had been arrested in Margate, England as he was about to embark for France. Papers found on his person indicate that his intention is to invite the French Directory to land an army in England. He is found guilty of high treason
1798 - In Wicklow, the Rebels burn Carnew; in Ulster, they take Larne and the Larne garrison retreats to Carrickfergus. The Rebels take Ballymena and Randalstown and then attack Antrim. They also attack Maghea in Co Derry
1861 - Death of Patrick Brontë from Ballynaskeagh, Co Down, father of Emily, Charlotte, Anne and Bramwell
1866 - Irish Fenians raid Pigeon Hill, Quebec
1892 - Birth of Irish statesman, Kevin Christopher O'Higgins in Stradbally, Co. Laois. He attempted severe repression of the Irish Republican Army in the years of the Irish Troubles following the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921. A man of intellectual power, he is described as a soul incapable of remorse or rest and - by William Butler Yeats - a great man in his pride confronting
1899 - Birth in Dublin of Elizabeth Bowen, novelist and short-story writer. Acclaimed for her fictional representations of Anglo-Irish "Big House" life, she is best known in Ireland for her novel The Last September
1900 - Patricia Lynch, children's author, is born in Cork
1921 - George V opens the first Northern Ireland Parliament. James Craig becomes Northern Ireland's first Prime Minister
1925 - Death of Matt Talbot. With the help of a priest friend, Matt overcomes chronic alcoholism and models his life on that of the monks, who lived in Ireland in the 6th and 7th centuries. It is a tough programme of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. He gives away most of his wages every week to the poor at home and abroad. He is also keenly aware of his fellow workers struggle for social justice. A loyal member of Ireland's Transport and General Workers Union, a Union leader, Stephen McGonagle, describes him as "a beacon of light to Irish workers". After a life of heroic perseverance, he dies suddenly on the way to Mass. A candidate for canonization, his statue stands at the south end of the Liffey, by the bridge named after him
1952 - Birth of Liam Neeson (William John Neeson) in Ballymena, Co. Antrim
1999 - Michelle de Bruin, the swimmer who propelled her way into the history books at the last Olympic games by winning four medals, three gold, loses her appeal against a four-year ban for a doping offence
1999 - British Prime Minister Tony Blair urges an immediate Downing Street meeting in a fresh bid to end the disarmament deadlock threatening the future of the Northern Ireland peace process
2001 - At the RTÉ Radio Centre, President Mary McAleese unveils a sculpture by Galway-based artist John Behan to celebrate the 75th anniversary of radio in Ireland
2002 - An imposing white limestone statue created by Cork sculptor Ken Thompson in honour of St. Patrick is unveiled by celebrated author Brian Keenan and blessed by the Bishop of Clogher, Most Rev Joseph Duffy at Europes only island pilgrimage location, St Patricks Purgatory in Lough Derg, Co, Donegal.
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St. Colman.
The Celtic League
This organization publishes the annual Celtic Calendar. To order your own copy, visit: The Celtic League.
Somewhat sporadic, but they often highlight an important date in Irish history. To visit, please click: Irish Abroad.
The Wild geese
They update Irish history weekly. To visit their keydates page, please click: The Wild Geese.
We also refer to an assortment of references. Among them are the Books of Days - see right margin on this page.
Sun, Apr 12, 2015
Called whin in the north and gorse in the east, furze was once a symbol of wealth and fertility of land as is emphasized by the saying: "gold under furze, silver under rushes and famine under heather."
As indigenous to the early summer landscape as rhododendrons, it is despised by farmers because of its invasive properties; but in the past, it had many good uses.
It ignites quickly, so it was used for starting the fire: it was also used for cleaning the chimney, tilling the soil, dyeing wool and fabric, and as a flavouring for whiskey (which may have improved its rating with the farmers!). It had medicinal powers and its magical powers were undisputed in preventing the good people from stealing the butter on May day. And, at mid-summer, blazing branches were carried round the herd to bring good health to the cows for the coming year.
Resources: Doon Mayo
and Farmers Journal
Click for More Culture Corner.
Not tied to a particular year, this colorful and entertaining journal can be used year after year and features a significant Irish fact for every day of the year. 32 full-color photos.
Click here for Irish Book of Days.
Illuminated Celtic Book of Days
by Louis De Paor
It helped me a great deal in finding out about Celtic traditions, folklore, and many other things! Amazon Reviewer.
Click here for Celtic Book of Days
An Irish Woman's Book of Days
While it's out of print, new and used copies of the 112-page hardcover edition are readily available.
Click here for Irish Woman's Book of days
The Course of Irish History
by Moody & Martin
Concise but comprehensive, highly selective but balanced and fair-minded, critical but constructive and sympathetic. A distinctive feature is its wealth of illustrations.
Click here for Irish History.
Ireland Since The Famine
A full-scale study of the political and social history of Ireland since 1850. The political evolution of the Irish Nation forms the basis of the book. "Will remain for many years an essential standby for every student of the subject" Robert Blake, The Sunday Times.
Click here for Since the Famine.
by Tim Pat Coogan
Eamon De Valera is still a major influence on Ireland - a towering presence whose shadow yet falls over Irish life. He played a major part in the 1916 Rising, the troubled Treaty negotiations and the Civil War; some of today's problems are his legacy. But De Valera, or "Dev", was a political mastermind who also achieved some incredible feats which ensured his place in history, including the Irish Constitution, formation of Ireland's largest political party - Fianna Fáil, and the formation of the Irish Press Group.
Click here for DeValera