April 2016

History Selection

Sophie Bryant, mathematician
Sophie Bryant
Agnes Mary Clerke
Agnes Mary Clerke
Matilda Cullen Knowles
Matilda Cullen Knowles
Mary Ward
Mary Ward
Astronomer and botanist
Kathleen Lonsdale
Kathleen Lonsdale
Kathleen Antonelli
Kathleen Antonelli
Computer scientist

Ireland in 1970

January 5th: Death of Cyril Fagan, astrologer.

January 10th: A huge anti-apartheid demonstration took place as Ireland played South Africa in rugby union.

January 10th: Éamon and Sinéad de Valera celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

January 11th: Sinn Féin split into Provisional and Official wings over a disagreement on abstentionism.

February 1st: Northern Irish PM Chichester-Clark and Minister for Development Brian Faulkner met with British Home Secretary James Callaghn to discuss the economy.

February 8th: Death of Cahir Healy, nationalist politician.

March 24th: Birth of Sharon Corr, violinist with The Corrs.

Cyril Fagan, astrologer

Cyril Fagan, astrologer

Garda Richard Fallon

Garda Richard Fallon

March 29th: The Irish language pirate radio station Saor Raidió Chonamara began broadcasting.

April 3rd: Murder of Garda Richard Fallon in Dublin, the first policeman to die during the Troubles.

April 16th: Ian Paisley won a by-election in the House of Commons of Northern Ireland.

April 21st: The Alliance Party was founded in Northern Ireland.

April 22nd: Taoiseach Jack Lynch presented the budget, as the Minister for Finance, Charles Haughey, was injured.

May 4th: The Minister for Justice, Micheál Ó Móráin, resigned citing ill health. The Taoiseach attributed his resignation to the killing of Garda Fallon.

May 6th: The Arms Crisis occurred, when Minister for Finance Charles Haughey and Minister for Agriculture Neil Blaney were asked to resign by the Taoiseach, who accused them of attempting to import arms for the PIRA. Kevin Boland, Minister for Local Government, resigned in sympathy.

May 27th: Captain James Kelly, Albert Luykx and John Kelly were arrested on a charge of conspiracy to import arms.

May 28th: Haughey, Blaney, Luykx and Captain Kelly appeared in court over a conspiracy to import arms.

May 31st: Famous racehorse Arkle was put down at the early age of 13 after succumbing to arthritis.

June 4th: Kevin Boland was expelled from Fianna Fáil.

June 25th: Bishops met at Maynooth to lift the ban on Catholics attending Trinity College Dublin.

July 2nd: Neil Blaney was cleared of arms conspiracy charges.

Arkle and Pat Taaffe

Arkle and Pat Taaffe

An arrest during the Falls curfew

An arrest during the Falls curfew

July 3rd: The Falls Road Curfew was introduced.

August 2nd: Rubber baton rounds were introduced in Northern Ireland.

August 9th: The Galway-Aran Islands air service was launched.

August 21st: The SDLP was established in Northern Ireland. Its leader was Gerry Fitt and its deputy leader was John Hume.

September 1st: The New University of Ulster was presented with a Royal Charter by Elizabeth II.

September 26th: Serious trouble in Belfast when Protestant youths attacked the Catholic Unity Flats.

October 3rd: The US President Richard Nixon arrived in Ireland, to be greeted by Taoiseach Jack Lynch. An anti-Vietnam protest took place in Dublin.

October 4th: Mrs Nixon visited relatives in Co. Mayo, while another protest took place outside the US Embassy in Dublin.

October 13th: Survivors of the Apollo 13 spaceflight visited Dublin.

October 18th: Death of Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Irish language writer.

October 23rd: Charles Haughey, James Kelly, Albert Luykx and John Kelly were acquitted in the Arms Conspiracy Trial.

October 26th: The Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, said there would be no change in Fianna Fáil policy regarding Northern Ireland.


Nixon at Timahoe in October 1970

Nixon at Timahoe in October 1970

Cardinal Conway

Cardinal Conway

November 9th: The Irish School of Ecumenics was founded by Michael Hurley.

November 12th: Northern Ireland Housing Executive formed.

November 12th: Birth of Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, television presenter.

December 8th: Cardinal William Conway, head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, published a pamplet on the segregation in education in Northern Ireland.

December 15th: Aer Lingus took delivery of its first Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet.

December 30th: The financial cost of the disturbances and riots during 1969 and 1970 was estimated to be £5.5 million.

Passengers fleeing the sinking Titanic on the Carpathia

Passengers fleeing the sinking Titanic

Passengers fleeing the the sinking ship

Survivors on the Carpathia

Survivors on the Carpathia

Irish History on Film

The Titanic

Footage by British Pathé


Extract from a statement by

Colonel Eamon Broy

I.R.A. Intelligence Agent, Dublin Castle

Eamon Broy

The first intimation that a rising had started was conveyed to the Detective Office a couple of minutes after midday on Easter Monday by telephone from the Central Police Telephone Office in Dublin Castle. It stated that a party of Volunteers, accompanied by an ambulance corps and stretchers, had broken into and occupied. some buildings in Marrowbone Lane and that the buildings were being barricaded. By some strange error, on the following Saturday when the rising was over this same telephone message was again circulated to all police stations. There was an immediate concentration once more of an enormous British military force on Marrowbone Lane, only to find no activity whatever in that area, lit was then realised that the message was recirculated through a mistake. Soon further messages told of the occupation of the General Post Office, Jacob's biscuit factory, the Four Courts, Boland's Mills etc.

Detectives who had accompanied the marching parties of Volunteers in the usual manner began to return to the office all with the same story the Volunteers had broken into so-and-so building. The Chief Commissioner, Colonel Edgeworth-Johnstone, ordered all members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police off the streets and into barracks. Members of the Detective force sat around the dining-room and compared notes of their experiences. One member of the force always suspected of being rather timid and never associated with a sense of humour, described how he marched after a party of Volunteers to St. Stephen's Green. "When I saw them", he said, "going into St. Stephen's Green and pulling up the shrubs planted by Sir John Ross with such ceremony a couple of years ago, I thought it was time to cease to accompany the Volunteers". (Sir John Ross, former Commissioner of the D.M.P., was a keen horticulturist and had been invited to plant the first shrub in 1913 by the St Stephen's Green authorities).

Numerous messages arrived from the Central Police Telephone office regarding buildings occupied by the Volunteers; and shooting in various areas. A report came in about the shooting of Constable O'Brien, who tried to close the gate of the Upper Castle yard, and of the death of Seán Connolly in an attack on the Castle. Later a message came about the capture of the 'Evening Mail' office from the Irish Volunteers by British forces, which ended by saying: "they are now carrying out the dead". It was a bit of a shock to hear that some of the Volunteers who had marched so often through the streets were now "the dead", probably some of them under twenty years of age. It was a grim reminder that death was now in the midst of these cheerful young men. Once again, as in l642, 1798, 1803 and 1867, Irish forces failed to take Dublin Castle.

The trains continued to pass up and down Gt. Brunswick St. for over an hour after the rising had commenced, adding their noise to the sounds of rifle fire. The detectives were prepared to defend their building, armed as they were. with .32 Automatic pistols. They had the same faith in . these practically worthless weapons as one would now have in Thompson guns. We junior members; had never been! served out with any firearms. Gradually Dublin members of the British Army home on leave1 some armed with rifles and some without any weapons, began to drift in to the Detective Office. One of them with a name like Pat Murphy and with a large moustache, was a sapper and told us he was an "engineer" on every possible occasion. The soldiers who had rifles were placed at upstairs windows to defend the building in case of attack, but no occasion ever occurred for any of them to fire a shot. British Army headquarters got to hear of our garrison and a couple of times each day demanded lists of the army members present, sometimes by regiments, other times by ranks. Every new enquirer appeared to require the names under some new form of listing. Joe Cavanagh, a detective officer who bad got the job of compiling some of the lists, facetiously suggested to the Chief. Inspector that the soldiers should be measured for height, as sooner or later some 'Brass hat' would think of a list according to height, nearly every other form of classification being by that time exhausted. On one of these occasions Joe Cavanagh took the chief Inspector along the line of soldiers, supplying such items as, "This is Corporal Jones of the Buffs", "This is Private Kelly of the Dublin Fusiliers", and coming to Pat Murphy, "Pat, here, is an engineer". This evoked loud laughter as Pat had made no secret of the importance of his calling.

Many members of the public called at the Detective Office during the week, mostly seeking information about relatives who had failed to return home from their outings on the Bank Holiday. All condemned the rising, which was, as a matter of fact, most unpopular during that week and for a couple of weeks afterwards. Several loyal citizens of the old Unionist type called to enquire: why the British Army and the police had not already ejected the Sinn Féiners from the occupied buildings. Whilst a number of that type were present a big uniformed D.M.P. man, a Clare man, came in. He told us of having gone to his home in Donnybrook to assure himself of the safety of his family. He saw the British Army column which had landed at Kingstown (now Dunlaoghaire) marching through Donnybrook. "They were singing", he said, "but the soldiers that came in by Ballsbridge didn't do much singing. They ran into a few Irishmen who soon took the singing out of them". We laughed at the loud way he said it and the effect on the loyalists present. One morning about the middle of Easter Week a field gun appeared outside our barrack on the Trinity College side of the road. A large crowd of sightseers soon collected, men, women and children. Some of the men, wearing mufflers, obviously ex-British soldiers, with "Old Bill" or large moustaches, were advising the soldiers as how best to remove stone sets from the carriageway in order to provide a hole for the gun trailer. The whole attitude of the crowd was like what it would be if observing a steamroller steamrolleror a fire engine. We got tired of watching at the windows waiting to sea a gun firing real shells and so resumed card playing inside. After some time there was a swishing sound in the Street and we heard the crowd scampering as fast as it could. On looking out we saw one of the artillery men lying on the road where he had been killed by a bullet fired from the corner building of Bachelor's Walk. Apparently. the gun was about to be fired at that building. The field gun was taken down Tara St. and we heard it firing from the Butt Bridge area later on.

One could see some bizarre sights from the windows during that week: corner-boys wearing silk hats, ladies from the slums sporting fur coats, a cycling corps of barefooted young urchins riding brand new bicycles stolen from some of the shops, and members of the underworld carrying umbrellas. One citizen was carrying a large flitch of bacon on his back, with another walking behind cutting off a piece at bacon with a large knife. Although the detectives, in common with the whole D.M.P. force, were by Commissioner's orders confined to barracks, members of the housebreaking squad were revolted at the sight of so much stolen property being flaunted before their eyes. They sallied out and soon filled the cells at College St. police station with prisoners who could not be dealt with until the following week when the courts were opened. Meanwhile the prisoners regaled the police with a day and night concert from their places. of confinement. During the arrests of these prisoners bullets were striking the walls round about the area.