December 07

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1521 Columba/Colmcille, Irish abbot and missionary to Scotland, where he founded the monastery of Iona (AD 563), born in Gartan, Co. Donegal.
  • 1979 Charles J. Haughey defeated George Colley (44 votes to 38) to become leader of Fianna Fáil; he was elected Taoiseach on 11 December.
  • 1985 Robert Graves, poet, novelist, critic and classicist whose autobiographical Good-bye to all that (1929) was one of the most influential and best-selling books about the First World War, died.
  • 1979 Charles J. Haughey defeated George Colley (44 votes to 38) for the leadership of the Fianna Fáil Party. He was elected taoiseach four days later.
  • 1941 A Japanese task force of over 350 planes launched a massive surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, wrecking or sinking four US battleships and over a dozen other ships, destroying almost 200 aircraft and inflicting over 3,000 casualties.
  • 1922 Seán Hales TD was shot dead in Dublin and Padraic Ó Maille, leas ceann comhairle of Dail Éireann, was wounded. The following morning, in retaliation, the government executed Rory O’Connor, Liam Mellows, Joseph McKelvey and Richard Barrett, all of whom had been imprisoned since the fall of the Four Courts in June that year.
  • 1916 David Lloyd George replaced H.W. Asquith as prime minister in Britain’s coalition government.
  • 1867 ‘Song’ by T.D. O’Sullivan, which soon became known as ‘God Save Ireland’, the anthem of Irish nationalists until 1916, was published in The Nation.
  • 1817 William Keogh, Conservative and Independent Irish Party MP and judge who was a special commissioner at the trials of the Fenians (1865), born in Galway.
  • 1817 William Bligh (63), Royal Navy officer and colonial administrator, best remembered for his role in the mutiny on the Bounty (1789), died.
  • 1972 A referendum—with a 50.7% poll—lowered the minimum age for voting from 21 years to 18 and deleted the reference to the special position of the Catholic Church in the Constitution.
  • 1972 Jean McConville (37), a widow with ten children, was abducted from her home in the Lower Falls area of Belfast and murdered by the IRA.

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