December 23

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1920 The Sinn Féin president, Éamon de Valera, returned to Ireland after an eighteen-month fund-raising tour of the United States.
  • 1920 The Act for the Better Government of Ireland created the states of Northern Ireland (six counties) and Southern Ireland (26 counties).
  • 1996 Sophie Toscan du Plantier (39), French film producer, was murdered outside her holiday home near Toormore, Schull, Co. Cork.
  • 1968 The 83 crew members of the USS Pueblo, held in captivity for eleven months after she was seized by the North Korean navy, were released when the US government agreed in writing that the vessel had been spying and offered an apology. The US then retracted the statement.
  • 1920 The Act for the Better Government of Ireland, which divided the country into two home rule states—Northern Ireland (six counties) and Southern Ireland (26 counties)—came into effect.
  • 1864 James O’Brien, County Longford-born Chartist leader who wrote revolutionary articles under the pen-name ‘Bronterre’, died in poverty in London.
  • 1967 South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first heart transplant at the Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town.
  • 1964 Desmond Ryan (71), secretary to Patrick Pearse and journalist, died.
  • 1958 Dorothy Macardle, republican, writer of Gothic fiction and historian, whose works notably include Tragedies of Kerry (1924), an account of Free State terror in Kerry during the Civil War, and the monumental The Irish Republic (1937, revised 1951), died.

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