February 18

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1921 Brian Faulkner, the sixth and last prime minister of Northern Ireland (3/1971–3/1972) and the only one to have been educated in the Irish Free State, born in Helen’s Bay, Co. Down, the son of a shirtmaker.
  • 1920 Timothy Quinlisk, a Catholic ex-soldier and former member of Sir Roger Casement’s Irish Brigade, was executed by the IRA as a British spy in Ballyphehane, Co. Cork. Most IRA executions (66) during the War of Independence occurred in that county.
  • 1992 In what became known as the ‘X Case’, the attorney-general obtained an injunction preventing a fourteen-year-old rape victim from travelling to Britain for an abortion.
  • 1967 Robert Oppenheimer (62), theoretical physicist who played a key role in the Manhattan Project, the World War II project that developed the first nuclear weapons, died.
  • 1948 John A. Costello (Fine Gael) was elected taoiseach in the first interparty government.
  • 1564 Michelangelo (88), archetypal Renaissance man, died in Rome.
  • 1516 Mary Tudor, queen of England and Ireland (1553–8), who was responsible for the first of the English plantations in Ireland (in counties Laois and Offaly), born, the only child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.

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