|On this Day: October|
|1st||1600 - Robert Grave,
Church of Ireland Bishop, drowned together with his family at Dublin
1812 - English balloonist James Sadler started a balloon flight from Belvedere House in an attempt to cross the Irish Sea.
|2nd||1601 - Beginning of
Siege of Kinsale.
1649 - Beginning of the Siege of Drogheda.
1957 - The Voluntary Health Insurance Board as launched.
|3rd||1691 - Treaty of
1938 - Britain's last remaining forts in the twenty-six counties were handed back to Ireland.
1970 - US President Nixon arrived in Ireland.
1975 - Businessman Tiede Herrema was kidnapped by the IRA.
|4th||1857 - Grand Opening of St. Mary's Cathedral in Kilkenny.|
|5th||1968 - Police in Derry baton-charged a civil rights march.|
|6th||1980 - Mella Carroll became Ireland's first female high court judge.|
|7th||1843 - A proclamation was issued from Dublin Castle banning a Monster Meeting at Clontarf called by Daniel O'Connell.|
Seán MacBride was awarded a half-share of the Nobel Peace
2002 - Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams claimed that the raid on his party’s Stormont offices last week was an attempt to destabilise the peace process.
|9th||1878 - St Mary's Cathedral in Tuam was consecrated.|
|10th||1773 - The Offerlane
Blues, a Volunteer corps, was founded.
1918 - The RMS Leinster was sunk by a German submarine with the loss of around 500 lives.
1977 - Mairéad Corrigan and Betty Williams won the Nobel Prize for Peace.
|11th||1649 - Sack of Wexford by Cromwell's forces.|
Battle of Tory Island.
1867 - The final convict ship to transport convicts to Australia, the Hougoumont, took 62 Fenians on board.
1975 - Canonization of Oliver Plunkett.
1984 - The IRA killed five people in an attack on a Brighton hotel during the Conservative Party Conference.
|13th||1994 - Loyalist paramilitary groups announced a ceasefire.|
|14th||1318 - Battle of
Faughart, at which Edward Bruce was defeated.
1791 - The Society of United Irishmen formed in Belfast.
1866 - St Peter's Church, later to become a cathedral, opened in Belfast.
|15th||1842 - The Nation newspaper was first printed in Dublin.|
|16th||1678 - Proclamations
against Catholic clergy and schools in Ireland were issued.
1961 - Cork airport opened.
|17th||1171 - Henry II
landed at Waterford with an army.
1886 - John Dillon announced his 'Plan of Campaign' for Irish tenants against unfair rents.
|18th||1382 - Death of
James Butler, 2nd Earl of Ormond and three times Lord Justice of Ormond.
1880 - Ballycastle railway opened between Ballymoney and Ballycastle.
1881 - The Irish National Land League issued their 'No Rent' manifesto.
|19th||1649 - New Ross fell
to the English Parliamentarian forces.
1745 - Death of Jonathan Swift.
1795 - The brigs Trevor Totty and Nonpareil ran into trouble while crossing the Irish sea, reuslting in around 200 deaths.
1881 - The Irish National Land League was declared illegal.
|20th||1794 - Col. John
Gustavus Crosbie killed Sir Barry Denny in a duel related to the Kerry
2002 - The Irish people endorsed the Nice Treaty in a referendum.
|21st||1803 - Thomas Russell, co-founder of the Society of United Irishmen, was hanged at Downpatrick Gaol.|
|22nd||1884 - Alice
Walkington became the first woman to be awarded a degree in Ireland.
1976 - President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh resigned over the Emergency Powers Bill.
|23rd||1641 - Beginning of
an attempted coup d'etat by the Irish Catholic gentry against the
1831 - George Joseph Plunket Browne was consecrated as first Bishop of the new Roman Catholic Diocese of Galway.
1911 - 70,000 Unionists marched against Home Rule.
1970 - Charles Haughey, James Kelly, Albert Luykx and John Kelly were acquitted of conspiracy to import arms.
|24th||1990 - The IRA forced three men to act as suicide bombers, resulting in seven deaths.|
|25th||1650 - Battle of
1920 - The Lord Mayor of Cork, Thomas MacSwiney, died on hunger strike in Brixton Prison.
|26th||1878 - Founding meeting of the Mayo Tenants Defence Association.|
|27th||1645 - Archbishop
Malachy Ó Caollaidhe killed after attempted to recover Sligo
from Scottish Covenanters.
1651 - Hugh Dubh O’Neill surrendered Limerick.
1697 - Lightning struck Athlone castle, causing the arsenal to explode and unleashing a devastating fire.
1913 - James Larkin of the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union was sent to prison for seditious language.
|28th||1958 - The State
Opening of Parliament was televised for the first time.
1976 - Sinn Féin vice president Máire Drumm was assassinated by loyalists.
|29th||1816 - The Wildgoose Lodge murders, during which eight people burned to death.|
|30th||1939 - More than two dozen air-raid sirens were tested across Dublin.|
|31st||1845 - An emergency
meeting of the British cabinet was held to discuss the potato failure
1920 - District-Inspector Philip Kelleher was shot dead in the Greville Arms Hotel, Granard. As a reprisal, British forces entered the town and destroyed its main businesses including the hotel.
1973 - Three IRA prisoners escaped from Mountjoy Prison in a hijacked helicopter.
1996 - The first Irish language TV station, Teilifís na Gaeilge (TnaG), was launched.
Image from History
The Irish Horse
Commandant Aherne rides Duhallow at Dublin Horse Show, c. 1944
The Dublin Horse Show was first held in 1864, and has been associated with the Royal Dublin Society since 1868. Calling August the 'Great Month of the Horse', the 1944 edition of The Irish Horse called the Show 'Ireland's great social event. It is of world-renown.[...] Preparations for this event start at the beginning of the year, when invitations are issued to foreign Governments to be represented in the International Military Jumping Contests. Approximately 1,000 horses are exhibited at the Show annually[...] Apart from its social aspect, Dublin Horse Show is essentially a sale, and few horses appear at Dublin Show a second year'.
Bachelor's Button, 1899
Bred in Co. Meath, Bachelor's Button is described as 'one of the greatest stayers in the early years of the present century.[...] He was the sole conquerer of Pretty Polly in England.
Author: Thomas Cahill
How the Irish Saved Civilization
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Date published: 1995
When the Dark Ages settled on Europe in the fifth century, the learning of past ages was threatened with destruction. With Rome torn apart and ancient libraries lost, the 'isle of saints and scholars' took on the role of preserving and copying manuscripts from both pagan and Christian writers. It was the time of St Patrick, and the spread of Christianity in Ireland led to the setting up of monasteries that welcomed scholars from throughout Europe. Irish monks left the island to travel across the continent, setting up monasteries. This was a Golden Age for Ireland.
Cahill traces the work of Irish scribes in preserving and enhancing ancient wisdom. He describes in detail the lives of these knowledge-keepers, who devoted themselves to their task long after dark: 'Shivering monks o'er frozen stones / To the twain hours of nighttime go'. The monks would even copy documents of which they disapproved, such as the Tain, whose scribe recorded: 'Some things in it are devilish lies, and others are poetical figments'. On occasion the personalities of the scribes come to us in the form of poems or comments scribbled down the side of texts. One monk wrote that 'it is easy to spot Gabrial's work here' while another, after a particularly arduous translation from Greek, remarked 'that's the end to that - and seven curses with it!' A third recorded 'Pangur Ban, my cat' for posterity.
As well as preserving old culture, Irish theologians developed their own. Confession became private and could be repeated; this reflected the Irish view that a person's conscience was more important than public opinion. While not every Irish innovation (such as the date of Easter) was widely accepted, there can be no doubt that Ireland made a crucial contribution to European and consequently world culture.
Jefferson County, Virginia
October 9th, 1862
The town of Harper’s Ferry is built at the foot of the narrow tongue of land that thrusts itself out like a cutwater, separating the Potomac and the Shenandoah Rivers. It is known as Bolivar Heights. Just across the Potomac are the Maryland Heights, Washington County, Maryland. Over the Shenandoah beyond Loudon Heights lies Virginia proper.
Before the war, Harper’s Ferry had a population of about 2,000. But now, like Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia, it was inhabited only by old men, black and white, women and children and a garrison then of Union troops. The Confederate Army evacuated it on the 19th of September after burning all the stores and government buildings. The Rebs left the once beautiful and comfortable town a heap of black ruins, save for a few small, mean brick and log huts. The saddest and the most humiliating sight to us here, and perhaps the heaviest loss to the United States government in this section of the country, was the celebrated Harper’s Ferry Arsenal and Armory. It was now one mass of ruins, with only a small portion of stone work standing. Our own forces had applied the fire fiend to keep it out of Confederate hands. This once magnificent and immense government structure, which manufactured firearms and artillery of every calibre and gave constant employment to twelve or fifteen hundred men, was destroyed. It was located by the side of the town along the river’s brink.
|Here, drunkenness was very prevalent. We were
informed that when the
Rebel Army was in possession, it was even more so. To use the language
of an old citizen there, “whiskey ran like water.”
Our regiment was
here brigaded, becoming a portion of the famous Irish Brigade under the
command of General Thomas Francis Meagher. The brigade was part of
Hancock’s Division, Sumner’s Corps (2nd Army
Corps), Army of the
Potomac, General George B. McClellan, Commander-in-Chief.
Sketch of General Meagher
In personal appearance, General Meagher was about 35 years old, five feet-eight or ten inches high, of rather stout build, and had a clear high-coloured complexion. He wore a heavy, dark brown moustache, closely trimmed. Except in battle, where he generally wore only the uniform of a private soldier, he nearly always appeared in the full dress of his rank. Meagher presented an exceedingly neat and clean soldierly appearance, marked and admired by all. He was a gentleman of no ordinary ability. In thorough military skill and in courage and bravery on the battlefield, he was second to none in the Army of the Potomac.
In polished, gentlemanly manners and bearing (when himself), he was head and shoulders above any other man occupying a similar position in the army that I ever knew or heard of. His conversation was dignified. In point of education, his equal was hard to find. He spoke fluently not only English, but also Greek, Hebrew, French, German, Welsh, and the native Irish language. The latter sounded like a mixture of all the others jumbled up together, and was very seldom heard in the present day. Only a few of the natives of some of the wildest and most uncultivated parts of Ireland spoke it and even there that old, ancient language was fast going to decay.
In kindness and thoughtfulness for his men, he was the shining light and bright star of the whole Union Army. Meagher made unceasing efforts to have his soldiers all well provided for and made comfortable. He often brought some poor, sick or perhaps dying soldier into his own private tent in cold weather. Wrapping him up there in blankets, Meagher administered with his own hands such medicine as was prescribed by the brigade’s head doctor. In the surgeon’s absence, the general prescribed for and administered himself such remedies as he thought were needed. As a physician, Meagher had considerable judgment.
He was one of the very few military leaders who never required or would ask any of his command to go where he would not go himself. Meagher was first to lead the way. He was a soldier who not only prided in doing his own duty but encouraged and helped all under him to do theirs. Glory, honor and praise to his memory as a soldier, firm and true to his government and his country.
But, alas, poor fellow, he had one besetting sin. It was the besetting sin of so many Irish then and now – intemperance. Meagher found an untimely grave in the broad waters of the Missouri, having either stumbled or fallen overboard drunk from a steamboat on that river. He was serving then his term of office as Governor of Montana. Meagher had been appointed Acting Governor after the close of the war. Thus ended the eventful career of one of the truest and best soldiers that ever drew a sword in defense of the Union and his adopted country. His death and the reported cause of it was sad and melancholy. Yet his many acts of kindness, bravery and heroism will long be remembered and cherished with pleasure and pride by many an American and by thousands of his own native countrymen of the Emerald Isle.
|The Capture of Charlestown, West
Early on the morning of the 13th, our colonel sent me a message to be ready to accompany him to the headquarters of General Meagher, about 200 yards distant, at ten a.m. The general wanted to see me. I tried to think. Who could have told General Meagher about me or what could he want with me? I was a perfect stranger to him, one who perhaps he had never saw before except in the ranks and then in the distance. Had I been guilty of any crime or misdemeanour worthy of reproof or punishment?
The incident of the cornfield flashed upon my mind. Had I done wrong in refusing Col. Heenan admittance into the camp at the dead hour of nearly midnight without the countersign? Had I insulted him by telling him that I did now know him then in my position as a guard at my post? But even in this, I did not see how any charge could be brought against me for, in acting as I did, I was simply doing my duty. I was carrying out the instructions of my superior officer. In vain did any of my thoughts or ideas satisfy my mind as to the real nature of General Meagher’s business with me.
Thomas Francis Meagher
I, however, rigged myself up in
my dress uniform, brightened up all my buttons and brasses,
and presented a pretty fair soldierly appearance. I was fit for
inspection. I proceeded in accordance with orders to the tent of
Colonel Heenan, whom I found all alone reading a Philadelphia
newspaper. I saluted him and said, “Good morning,