January 2015

History Selection

George Berkeley, bishop and philosopher, died January 1753
George Berkeley
died
 January 1753
George Petrie, artist, died January 1866
George Petrie
died
 January 1866
Percy French, songwriter, died January 1920
Percy French
died
 January 1920
Ernest Shackleton, explorer, died January 1922
Ernest Shackleton
died
 January 1922
William Butler Yeats, writer, died January 1939
William Butler Yeats
died
 January 1939
David Ervine, politician, died January 2007
David Ervine
died
 January 2007


Ireland in 2007

January: A police ombudsman's report in Northern Ireand confirmed that police had colluded with Loyalists in over a dozen murders during the Troubles.

January 2nd: Irish became the 23rd official language of the European Union.

January 3rd: Michael Butler Yeats, the politician son of W.B. Yeats, died aged 85.

January 8th: Death of PUP leader David Ervine.

January 15th: Death of actress Pauline Delaney.

January 28th: Sinn Féin voted to support the police of Northern Ireland for the first time in the party's history.

January 28th: Dublin Port Tunnel opened to all traffic.

Dublin Port Tunnel
Dublin Port Tunnel under construction
Skulduggery Pleasant
Skulduggery Pleasant
February 7th: Ireland beat San Marino 2 - 1 in the European Championship Qualifiers.

February 9th: Death of author Benedict Kiely.

February 20th: Share values in Dublin surged to a new record, with investors pushing the Irish stock market index above 10,000 for the first time.

March 7th: Elections held for Northern Ireland Assembly.

March 13th: The recording of an interview was released in which Peter Mandelson, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, criticised Tony Blair's policy towards Sinn Féin.

March 17th: 650,000 people celebrated St Patrick's Day in Dublin.

March 26th: Ian Paisley of the DUP and Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin held their first face-to-face talks.

April 3rd: Derek Landy's Skulduggery Pleasant was published. It would win the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

April 4th: Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and DUP leader Ian Paisley shook hands for the first time.

April 30th: President Mary McAleese dissolved the 29th Dáil.

May 3rd: The UVF and Red Hand Commando announced an end to all paramilitary operations.

May 3rd: Anne Enright's Booker Prize winning The Gathering was released.

May 8th: A new power-sharing government was formed in Northern Ireland, headed by Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness.

May 15th: Taoiseach Bertie Ahern became the first Irish leader to a joint session of the two chambers of the British Parliament.

May 16th: Taoiseach Bertie Ahern became the third longest-serving EU leader in office.

Powersharing meeting
Press conference at the Stormont Assembly building
Roisin McAliskey
Roisin McAliskey
May 22nd: Roisin McAliskey was rearrested on the request of the German authorities.

May 24th: Bertie Ahern's Fianna Fáil won an election in the Republic.

May 31st: Fianna Fáil opened negotiations with the Green Party.

June 14th: A coalition between Fianna Fáil and the Greens was announced.

June 25th: Charges were dropped against soldiers and police in the Pat Finucane case.

June 27th: Rotimi Adebari became Ireland's first black mayor, in Portlaoise.

July 9th : Former Tánaiste John Wilson passed away.

July 11th: Artist Patrick Scott was honoured as Saoi in Aosdána.

July 17th: The meeting between the North/South Ministerial Council included the DUP for the first time.

July 20th: The shoot-to-kill case in Northern Ireland was re-opened.

July 22nd: Padraig Harrington became the first Irish golfer to win the British Open in 60 years.

July 31st: Operation Banner came to an end in Northern Ireland.

August 6th: In Northern Ireland, the British Army's Headquarters Northern Ireland combined with the 38 (Irish) Brigade to create a single transitional headquarters.

August 30th: Death of Tom Munnelly, folk-song collector

September 16th: The All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was won by Kerry against Cork.

September 28th: Mysterious death of Irish-born Ciara Durkin, member of the Massachusetts National Guard, in Afghanistan.

Padraig Harrington celebrating his win
Padraig Harrington celebrating his win
Katy Ellen French
Katy Ellen French
October 5th: The film Garage was released.

October 22nd: The PIRA was blamed for the murder of Paul Quinn. (They would later be cleared by the IMC).

November 11th: The UDA announced that the Ulster Freedom Fighters were to be stood down at midnight.

November 13th: Death of Hugh Gibbons, Roscommon Gaelic footballer and Fianna Fáil TD.

December 6th: Death of Katy Ellen French, 24-year-old socialite and television personality.

December 14th: Death of Gene Fitzgerald, Fianna Fáil TD and MEP.

December 20th: Sean Hoey was found not guilty of the Omagh bombing.

December 26th: Death of Kit Ahern, Fianna Fáil TD.



Parnell Bridge in Cork, 1917
Parnell Bridge in Cork, 1917


Cork volunteers on parade
Cork volunteers on parade


Destruction in Cork
Destruction in Cork

Book Review

Maud Gonne: Ireland's Joan of Arc

Author:     Margaret Ward

Publisher: Thorsons

Date published: 1993

Maud Gonne: Ireland's Joan of Arc

Today, Maud Gonne is probably best known for two things: the unrequited love of W.B. Yeats, and being the mother of Seán MacBride, IRA commander, politician and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Yet Maud was republican campaigner in her own right. English-born, she conceived a hatred of English imperialism, and devoted her life to the defence of Irish freedom. At the same time she supported social causes, such as free school dinners, for poor children. Following her imprisonment by the British, she became a dogged supporter of political prisoners. Irish independence brought no end to her campaign, as she began to oppose conservative and repressive policies of the Free State. Her son led the party that brought Ireland to the status of Republic; Clann na Poblachta pushed for social reform, but found themselves blocked by the church.

Gonne's personal life suffered as she attempted to balance her political activities with the social requirement for a woman to be respectably married. Her first child, by French nationalist Lucien Millevoye, died young and threw Gonne into a storm of grief. A believer in the supernatural, she supposedly had sex next to the child's coffin in the hope that he would reincarnate. She never admitted admitted publicly that the resulting child, Iseult, was hers. An unhappy marriage to John MacBride left her with a bitter custody over her fourth child, Seán. From this relationship arose Yeat's depiction MacBride, in his famous poem Easter, 1916: 'A drunken, vain-glorious lout / He had done most bitter wrong / To some who are near my heart'.



Why Justice Cannot Be Done

(Extracts)

THE CAMPAIGN FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Civil Rights image

CAMPAIGN FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE IN NORTHERN IRELAND

CASTLEFIELDS, DUNGANNON, CO. TYRONE

13th April, 1964

The Right Honourable Sir Alec Douglas Home, M. P.,
10 Downing Street,
LONDON.

Dear Prime Minister,

During your recent visit to Northern Ireland, you indicated that discrimination could be dealt with by law ; and that the rights of the minority could be protected by recourse to the courts, under the terms of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920.

This organisation has irrefutable evidence of discrimination by Local Authorities, in the allocation of houses and jobs in certain areas in Northern Ireland.

In the light of your remarks, we engaged the services of Solicitors and Counsel to investigate the possibility of having these acts of discrimination examined in a Court of Law.

We have now been advised by Senior and Junior Counsel : . . . . . “that the discrimination practiced by Local Authorities is not capable of review by the courts under the terms of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, or any other Statutory Provisions”.

We assume that your statement was made with some consideration of the legal position ; and in the circumstances, we would be obliged if you would refer us to the specific provisions which you had in mind.

Yours respectfully,

BRIAN GREGORY, Secretary.



Letter formally acknowledged 21st April, 1964

May 8, 1964

10 DOWNING STREET,
WHITEHALL.

Dear Sir,

The Prime Minister has asked me to reply to your letter of April 13 asking for a reference to the provisions he had in mind in the course of some remarks made during his visit to Northern Ireland. The provisions are section 5 of the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which prohibits the Parliament of Northern Ireland from making laws interfering with religious equality, and section 8 (6), which prohibits religious discrimination in the exercise of the executive powers granted to the Governor of Northern Ireland. I should add, having regard to your letter, that these provisions were relevant in the context of the remarks made by the Prime Minister in the course of replies to questions put at a press conference.

Yours truly,

M. H. M. REID

The Secretary,

Campaign for Social Justice.



13th April, 1964

The Right Honourable Sir Alec Douglas Home, M. P.,
10 Downing Street,
LONDON.

Dear Prime Minister,

During your recent visit to Northern Ireland, you indicated that discrimination could be dealt with by law ; and that the rights of the minority could be protected by recourse to the courts, under the terms of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920.

This organisation has irrefutable evidence of discrimination by Local Authorities, in the allocation of houses and jobs in certain areas in Northern Ireland.

In the light of your remarks, we engaged the services of Solicitors and Counsel to investigate the possibility of having these acts of discrimination examined in a Court of Law.

We have now been advised by Senior and Junior Counsel : . . . . . “that the discrimination practiced by Local Authorities is not capable of review by the courts under the terms of the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, or any other Statutory Provisions”.

We assume that your statement was made with some consideration of the legal position ; and in the circumstances, we would be obliged if you would refer us to the specific provisions which you had in mind.

Yours respectfully,

BRIAN GREGORY, Secretary.

Letter formally acknowledged 21st April, 1964



2nd June, 1964

The Right Honorable Sir Alec Douglas Home, M.P.,
10 Downing Street,
LONDON.

Dear Prime Minister,

Thank you for your letter of May 8 in which you state that Section 5 of the Government of Ireland Act provides against religious discrimination in enactments of the Northern Ireland Parliament and Section 8 (6) prohibits religious discrimination in the exercise of executive powers granted to the Government of Northern Ireland. This legislation does not, however, appear to prevent dlscrimination in the exercise of powers conferred or duties imposed by Acts of the Northern Ireland Parliament; and in particular it does not appear to give any redress against discriminatory acts by local authorities in the exercise of their powers.

It is this latter matter which is of most immediate concern in Northern Ireland. As we have stated in previous correspondence, we believe there is clear evidence that certain local authorities in exercising their functions have discriminated against people on the grounds of religion. We would be pleased to have your advice as to whether there is any existing legal process whereby persons in Northern Ireland can bring such cases of alleged religious discrimination before the Courts, and secure redress in the event of the allegations being established. If such provision is not at present available, we would like to know whether your Government would be prepared to initiate legislation, whether by way of amendment to the Government of Ireland Act or otherwise, which would enable cases of alleged religious discrimination by public authorities to be examined by the Courts and to be rectified where proved.

Yours respectfully,

BRIAN GREGORY, Secretary.

Letter formally acknowledged 4th June, 1964



24th June, 1964

The Right Honorable Sir Alec Douglas Home, M. P.,
10 Downing Street,
LONDON.

Dear Prime Minister,

While appreciating the demands which are made upon a Prime Minister’s time, may we state with all courtesy that we are most anxious to have a considered reply to our letter of the 2nd instant, which you acknowledged on the 4th instant.

We feel sure that you recognise the importance of the issues raised in our letter, and we trust that the delay in replying thereto is in some measure occasioned by the necessity of giving full consideration to these issues.

Yours respectfully,

BRIAN GREGORY, Secretary.