October 27

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1981 Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald announced a ‘constitutional crusade’ to remove ‘sectarian elements’ in the law and constitution of the Republic.
  • 1980 The first hunger strike in the Maze Prison began when seven prisoners refused to take food in support of their demand to wear their own clothing. In mid-December they were joined by 23 additional prisoners.
  • 1914 Poet Dylan Thomas, son of a schoolteacher, born in Swansea.
  • 1915 Ernest Shackleton abandons his ship Endurance, trapped in ice in the Antarctic since the previous January. Born in Kildare, Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was intended to explore the oceans around the southernmost continent. It failed, but the abandonment of the ship led to one of the most famous feats of navigation and exploration in history, culminating in an 800-mile voyage with a select group, including Kerryman Tom Crean, which landed on South Georgia in May 1916 and ensured the rescue of the rest of the crew of the Endurance, a journey detailed in his laconic memoir South.

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