On this day

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Issue 1(Jan/Feb 2012), On this Day, Volume 20


5 1922Sir Ernest Shackleton, polar explorer, died suddenly in South Georgia as he prepared to lead a fourth expedition to the Antarctic.

7 1922Dáil Éireann approved the Anglo-Irish Treaty by 64 votes to 57.

16 1922Michael Collins, as chairman of the Provisional Government of Southern Ireland, formally accepted the transfer of power from the British at Dublin Castle.

10 1952An Aer Lingus Dakota aircraft, St Kevin, en route from Northolt (Middlesex) to Dublin, crashed in Snowdonia, Wales, killing all 23 (twenty passengers and three crew) on board. It was the first fatal crash in the airline’s fifteen-year history.

17 1992The IRA detonated a 500lb roadside bomb at Teebane Cross, between Cookstown and Omagh, Co. Tyrone, as a bus carrying workers from Karl Construction drove past. Eight workers were killed. The firm was engaged in work for the security forces.

18 1987T. Desmond Wilson, professor of modern history at UCD (1949–85) and editor of The Great Famine (1956) with Robert Dudley Edwards, died.

21 1922The Craig–Collins agreement promised an end to the ‘Belfast Boycott’—the ban on northern goods coming into the South—in return for Catholics intimidated out of the Belfast shipyards being allowed to return.

24 1862Myles Byrne, United Irishman who fought at Vinegar Hill in 1798 and later for France in the Napoleonic campaigns of 1804–15, died in Paris.

26 1942

Some six weeks after the US entered World War II, the first American troops stepped ashore at Belfast’s Dufferin Quay. By May of that year the number of American servicemen in Northern Ireland had reached 37,000.
1 1612
Conor O’Devany, Franciscan bishop of Down and Connor, and Fr Patrick O’Loughran of Donaghmore in the archdiocese of Armagh were hanged, drawn and quartered at George’s Hill, Dublin, for suspected association with the earl of Tyrone.
2 1922
James Joyce’s Ulysses was published in Paris by Sylvia Beach.
7 1812
Charles (John Huffam) Dickens, English novelist, was born in Landport, Portsmouth, the son of a clerk in the navy pay office.
8 1912
The British home secretary, Winston Churchill, shared the platform with John Redmond at a Home Rule meeting in Celtic Park, Belfast. The organisers had been refused the use of the Ulster Hall, where Churchill’s father, a quarter of a century earlier, had warned that Home Rule could come upon them ‘as a thief in the night’.
10 1932
The Army Comrades Association (ACA), latterly the National Guard or Blueshirts, was formed by Commandant Edward Cronin as a benevolent society for ex-members of the Free State Army.
11 1922
Four Ulster Special Constables and Commandant Fitzpatrick of the IRA were shot dead when the local IRA attacked the train in which they were travelling at Clones railway station, Co. Monaghan. The episode sparked off a fresh bout of intercommunal violence in Belfast, where the death toll that month was 44. (See pp 38–41.)
21 1922
Recruitment began into the police force of the Provisional Government. Patrick Joseph Kerrigan from County Mayo became the first member of the ‘Civic Guard’.
22 1972
In the wake of Bloody Sunday in Derry, the Official IRA bombed the officers’ mess of the Parachute Regiment in Aldershot, killing five female canteen workers, a gardener and a Catholic chaplain.
26 1962
The IRA announced the termination of their campaign, ‘Operation Harvest’, in Northern Ireland. Over a period of almost six years, twelve IRA volunteers and six RUC officers had been killed.

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