On this day

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Issue 2(March/April 2012), On this Day, Volume 20


4 1972
Two people were killed and a further 136 were injured when the Provisional IRA bombed the Abercorn Restaurant in Belfast.

9 1932
The seventh Dáil Éireann assembled. Eamon de Valera formed the first Fianna Fáil government with the backing of the Labour Party.

11 1812
William Wallace, violinist and composer, born in Waterford, the son of a Scottish bandmaster.

24 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.

24 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.

25 1942
In the wake of the arrival of American forces in Northern Ireland, the northern command of the IRA, under its new commander, Hugh McAteer, resolved to take action ‘by sabotage of war industries and enemy military objectives by a semi-military force’.

25 1987
Lord Justice Gibson, of the Northern Ireland judiciary, and his wife were killed by an IRA car-bomb as they drove across the border to link up with an RUC escort.

26 1932
Sir Horace Plunkett (78), pioneer of agricultural cooperation and first president of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (1894), died.

27 1972
Eight people, seven of them young girls, died when fire destroyed the offices of Noyek’s timber merchants in Parnell Street, Dublin.

29 1912
Captain Robert Falcon Scott (43) died in Antarctica whilst returning from his expedition to the South Pole.


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