April 17

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1971 Tailors’ Hall, Back Lane, Dublin, reopened after restoration. The sole survivor of Dublin’s old guild halls, it was the meeting-place of the Catholic Committee’s ‘Back Lane Parliament’ in December 1792.
  • 1969 Bernadette Devlin (21, Unity candidate) won the Mid-Ulster Westminster by-election to become the youngest-ever MP in the House of Commons.
  • 1917 Jane Barlow (60), writer, whose Irish idylls went into eight editions, died.
  • 1970 Ian Paisley (Protestant Unionist) won his first election, taking the Bannside seat in Stormont in a by-election following the elevation of former prime minister Terence O’Neill to the peerage.
  • 1961 The Bay of Pigs Invasion. An attempt by a CIA-trained force of c. 1,300 Cuban exiles to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro was repelled by Cuban forces.
  • 1923 Dan Breen, whose exploits during the War of Independence led to a bounty of £10,000 for his capture and who opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty (1921), was captured by Free State forces. Imprisoned, he embarked on a series of hunger and thirst strikes.
  • 1974 After a three-day public hearing, Minister for Local Government James Tully ruled that the new Central Bank building in Dublin’s Dame Street, designed by Sam Stephenson, would have to be reduced in height by 30ft.
  • 1984 The 294-day Libyan hostage crisis began when Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher was fatally wounded by a burst of machine-gun fire from within the Libyan Embassy in London during a protest by a Libyan opposition group.

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