March 24

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1972 Following the resignation of the Northern Ireland prime minister, Brian Faulkner, and his cabinet over the transfer of security to Westminster, Prime Minister Edward Heath announced that the Northern Ireland government would be suspended and replaced by direct rule from Westminster, with William Whitelaw as secretary of state.
  • 1922 Uniformed police officers broke into the home of Catholic publican Owen McMahon in north Belfast and shot him dead, along with four of his sons and one of his employees.
  • 1980 Oscar Romero, archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated as he celebrated Mass by a right-wing group led by a former mayor. His death provoked an international outcry for reform in El Salvador.
  • 1972 Following the refusal of Brian Faulkner and his cabinet to accept the transfer of security to Westminster, Prime Minister Edward Heath announced the suspension of the Northern Ireland government, to be replaced by direct rule from London. William Whitelaw took up office as the first secretary of state for Northern Ireland a week later.
  • 1968 The Aer Lingus Viscount St Phelim plunged into the sea near Tuskar Rock, Co. Wexford, with the loss of 61 lives.
  • 1968 An Aer Lingus Viscount, St Phelim, with 57 passengers and a crew of four, en route from Cork to London, crashed into the sea off Tuscar Rock, Co. Wexford. There were no survivors.
  • 1922 In the early hours of the morning uniformed men, either RIC or Ulster Special Constabulary, broke into the home of Owen MacMahon, a Catholic publican, off the Antrim Road in Belfast and murdered him, four other members of his family and a sixth man. Two more members of the family were wounded.
  • 1909 John Millington Synge, playwright, died.
  • 1874 Erich Weisz, known as Harry Houdini, escape artist, illusionist and stunt performer, born in Budapest, Hungary.

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