August 16

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1921 Sinn Féin members who were returned in the election to the parliament of Southern Ireland under the terms of the Government of Ireland Act constituted themselves as the Second Dáil Éireann.
  • 1819 In the Peterloo Massacre, St Peter’s Fields, Manchester, eighteen were killed when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 who had gathered to demand parliamentary reform.
  • 1982 Patrick Connolly, the Republic of Ireland’s attorney general, resigned after a man was arrested in his home and charged with two murders. Taoiseach Charles Haughey referred to the events as ‘grotesque, unprecedented, bizarre and unique’, which led Conor Cruise O’Brien to coin the term ‘GUBU’.
  • 1977 Elvis Presley (42), rock-and-roll singer, actor and descendant of eighteenth-century immigrant William Presley from Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow, died in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 1917 The Battle of Frezenberg Ridge, part of the Battle of Passchendaele. In a disastrous attack on the German strongpoint the mostly nationalist 16th (Irish) Division and the unionist 36th (Ulster) Division suffered c. 4,000 casualties.
  • 1911 Patrick Francis Moran, Carlow-born archbishop of Sydney since 1884 and the first Australian cardinal (1885), died.
  • 1766 Lady Nairne, Scottish songwriter and song-collector and one-time resident of Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, born in Perthshire.
  • 1962 Frank Gallagher (69), journalist, author and republican, who was the first editor of the Irish Press (1931–5), died.
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