On this day

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, General, Issue 2 (March/April 2013), News, Volume 21


3 1998

Two friends, one a Catholic and the other a Protestant, were shot dead when LVF gunmen opened fire in the Railway Bar, Poyntzpass, Co. Armagh.

5 1953

Josef Stalin (74), Soviet dictator, died.

8 1973

The IRA mounted its first large bomb attack on central London at the Old Bailey. Two bombs exploded, killing one and injuring c. 240. Most of the nine-member IRA team were quickly arrested and imprisoned.

14 1923

Four Republicans—Charley Daly (26), Daniel Enright (23) and Timothy O’Sullivan (23) from Kerry, and Seán Larkin (26) from Derry, remembered as the Drumboe Martyrs—were executed on the orders of the Free State government at Drumboe Castle, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal.

18 1963

General Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough (93), Waterford-born commander of the British Fifth Army (1916–18) during the First World War, died.

19 1813

David Livingstone, Scottish explorer and medical missionary in Africa, born in Blantyre, near East Kilbride.

21 1963

Alcatraz, the prison on the island in San Francisco Bay, was closed, having been a maximum-security federal prison since 1934.

25 1943

Edmund Curtis (62), Professor of Modern History at Trinity College, Dublin (1914–39), and subsequently holder of the Lecky Chair of History at Trinity, died. Irish historical documents, 1172–1922, his collaboration with R.B. McDowell for the Irish Manuscripts Commission, was published that same year.

28 1973

Six men, including Belfast republican Joe Cahill, were arrested when the Irish navy intercepted the Claudia, carrying five tons of arms, off the Waterford coast.

29 1613

The city of Derry was granted a royal charter by King James I and renamed Londonderry, in the new county of Londonderry.

31 1913

Marjorie Hasler (c. 25), suffragist and prominent member of the Irish Women’s Franchise League (IWFL), founded in 1908 by Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and others as a militant suffrage group, died.



1 1863

Michael Doheny (58), Young Irelander and author of The felon’s track (1867), died.

2 2003

President George W. Bush arrived in Belfast for talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the future of Iraq and for informal talks with the pro-Belfast Agreement local parties and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Bush made four visits to Ireland, more than any of his predecessors but with minimum visibility.

3 1970

Garda Richard Fallon (42) was shot dead as he attempted to prevent a bank robbery by the republican splinter group Saor Éire in Arran Quay, Dublin. To date, 87 members of the Garda Síochána have been killed in the line of duty.

7 1973

John Charles McQuaid (77), archbishop of Dublin (1940–72), died.

10 1923

Liam Lynch, leader of the anti-Treaty IRA, was fatally wounded by Free State forces in the Knockmealdown Mountains.

10 1998

The Good Friday or Belfast Agreement on the future governance of Northern Ireland was signed by the main political parties, with the exception of the DUP, and by the British and Irish governments.

12 1923

The shadow of a gunman by Seán O’Casey had its première at the Abbey Theatre.

13 1953

Alice Milligan (87), writer and cultural revivalist, and younger sister of the folk-music collector Charlotte Milligan Fox, died.

14 1983

The inaugural meeting of Aosdána, an affiliation of creative artists established by the Arts Council in 1981, took place at the Bank of Ireland, College Green, Dublin.

27 1613

Belfast’s first charter, signed by King James I, established the city’s first corporation and enabled parliamentary representation. John Vessey was appointed the city’s first ‘sovereign’, the precursor of the modern lord mayor.

27 1953

Maud Gonne McBride (87), revolutionary and iconic figure in nationalist mythology, died.

28 1943

John Miller Andrews, prime minister of Northern Ireland, resigned. He was succeeded by Sir Basil Brooke.

Copyright © 2024 History Publications Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland | Tel. +353-1-293 3568