On this day

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 2012), On this Day, Volume 20

5 1972
Dermot Ryan became the first Catholic archbishop since the Reformation to attend a service in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.

6 1812
Charles Graves, bishop and mathematician who was instrumental in the establishment of a commission to edit and publish the Brehon Laws, born in Dublin.

8 1987
Eleven were killed and a further 63 injured when an IRA bomb exploded at the war memorial in the centre of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, on Remembrance Day.

12 1952
The body of Patricia Curran (19), daughter of Mr Justice L. Curran, was discovered in the grounds of the family home in Whiteabbey, Belfast. She had been stabbed 37 times. Iain Hay Gordon (21), a Scottish-born RAF technician, was later found guilty of her murder but insane. The Northern Ireland court of appeal squashed his conviction in December 2000.

13 1712
Sir William Robinson, architect of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham (1680–4), Marsh’s Library and James and Charles Forts in Kinsale Harbour, died.

17 1922
Four ‘irregulars’, James Fisher, Peter Cassidy, John F. Gaffney and Richard Twohig, were executed in Kilmainham gaol, the first of 77 Republicans executed by the Free State authorities during the Civil War.

22 1912
Donagh McDonagh, poet, playwright, broadcaster and son of the revolutionary Thomas McDonagh, born in Dublin.

24 1922
Erskine Childers (52), anti-Treaty republican, arrested a fortnight earlier and found to be in possession of a revolver (a present from Michael Collins), was executed by a Free State Army firing squad while awaiting appeal.

25 1987
Canon James McDyer, social campaigner and community leader associated with Gleann Cholm Cille, Co. Donegal, died.

27 1812
John Dunlap, printer and publisher, who founded the first American daily newspaper, the Pennsylvania Packet (1771), later the North American and United States Gazette, and printer of the Declaration of Independence (1777), died in Philadelphia.

3 1972
The Offences Against the State (Amendment) Bill was passed by Dáil Éireann by 69 votes to 22. Fine Gael dropped its opposition to the bill after two bombs exploded in the centre of Dublin, killing two men and injuring over a hundred others, two days previously.

5 1922
The Irish Free State Constitution Act and the Consequential Provisions Act received the royal assent; the king approved T.M. Healy as governor-general designate of the Free State. Saorstát Éireann (the Irish Free State) came into existence the following day.

6 1982
Seventeen people, including eleven British soldiers, were killed by an INLA bomb at the Droppin’ Well public house in Ballykelly, Co. Derry.

7 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.

11 1862
The Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, during which the Irish Brigade secured its reputation for gallantry with a suicidal charge against impregnable Confederate defences, began. The four-day engagement ended in victory for General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

12 1862
Joseph Bruce Ismay, businessman, chairman of the White Star Line (1899–1913) and controversial Titanic survivor, born in Crosby, Lancashire.

20 1812
Children’s and household tales, the first collection of folk tales by the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, was published. Their Irish elf tales, largely a translation of Fairy legends and traditions of the south of Ireland by Corkman Thomas Crofton Croker, appeared in 1826.

28 1972
A teenage boy and girl were killed and nine others were injured when a car bomb exploded in Belturbet, Co. Cavan.


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