August 1,

America’s Most Dangerous Woman (from Cork!) – Sean O’Riada – Irish Parliament Abolished

August 1: TODAY in Irish History:

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Mother Jones Cork born at Today in Irish History

Cork born Mother Jones

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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1800: Irish Parliament Abolished

The Act of Union is passed creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The act abolishes the Irish Parliament and recognizes the Anglican Church as the official church of Ireland (Over 80% of the Irish population was Catholic.) Ireland was to be represented at Westminster by 100 MPs, all of whom were expected to swear the Oath of Supremacy that the monarch of England was head of the church. It would become law Jan 1, 1801.

William PItt at Today in Irish History
Prime Minister William Pitt

The Act of Union was forced through by Prime Minister William Pitt, partly in reaction to the 1798 Rebellion and as an effort to prevent foreign infiltration into Ireland by England’s enemies (read France.)

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1837: Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, union activist is born in Cork.

Jones who was once deemed “the most dangerous woman in America” because of her union activities. Loved by the labor movement, she suffered major tragedies in her own life losing her husband and four children to Yellow Fever and then some years later losing everything in the Chicago Fire.

A lengthy biography at AFLCIO.org states “In June 1897, after Mary addressed the railway union convention, she began to be referred to as “Mother” by the men of the union. The name stuck. That summer, when the 9,000-member Mine Workers called a nationwide strike of bituminous (soft coal) miners and tens of thousands of miners laid down their tools, Mary arrived in Pittsburgh to assist them. She became “Mother Jones” to millions of working men and women across the country for her efforts on behalf of the miners. Mother Jones was so effective the Mine Workers sent her into the coalfields to sign up miners with the union. She agitated in the anthracite fields of eastern Pennsylvania, the company towns of West Virginia and the harsh coal camps of Colorado.”

Mother Jones Cork born at Today in Irish History
Mother Jones 1837-1930

See AFLCIO biography of Mother Jones 

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1931: Sean O’Riada

One of Ireland’s finest composers and a major influence on traditional Irish music,  Sean O’Riada  (John Reidy)is born in Cork. O’Riada’s love of music came from parents who were both competent traditional fiddlers.

“My father had a wonderful store of music. I remember him telling me that he would walk seven miles, and do a day’s work, to learn a tune.”

After travelling in Europe for a number of years, O Riada became musical director of Dublin’s famed Abbey Theatre for a number of years. His most famous composition is probably the score for the move Mise Éire (I am Ireland). O Riada started a traditional Irish “band” roup called Ceoltóirí Chualann which morphed into the Chieftains following his death.

O Riada lived life in a big way with a well known liking for alcohol. He died at the tragically young age of forty.

1931: One of Ireland’s finest composers and a major influence on traditional Irish music, Sean O Riada (John Reidy)is born in Cork. O Riada’s love of music came from parents who were both competent traditional fiddlers.
“My father had a wonderful store of music. I remember him telling me that he would walk seven miles, and do a day’s work, to learn a tune.”

Sean O Riada at Today in Irish History
Sean O Riada 1931-1971

After travelling in Europe for a number of years, O Riada became musical director of Dublin’s famed Abbey Theatre for a number of years. His most famous composition is probably the score for the move Mise Éire (I am Ireland). O Riada started a traditional Irish “band” roup called Ceoltóirí Chualann whch morphed into the Chieftains following his death.

O Riada lived life large with a well documented penchant for alcohol. He died at the tragically young age of forty.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. 


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1981: Hunger Strike Death

IRA member Kevin Lynch is the seventh person to die on hunger strike in an effort to gain political status for Republican prisoners. Another three would die before the strike would be called off.

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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

   

July 31,

Miami Showband Massacre – Irish Air Ace George McElroy – President Andrew Johnson

July 31: TODAY in Irish History:

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Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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Product Details

SHEIFGAB! Staying Sane, Motivated and Productive in Job Search.

An insightful, realistic, yet humorous book on the job search process by Today in Irish History Curator Conor Cunneen

Special accessible price for job seekers on Kindle of $2.99

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1874: Georgetown University’s Irish-African-American President

Patrick Francis Healy (1834-1910) becomes President of Georgetown University. Healy was born to a mulatto slave mother in Georgia. His father Michael Healy, was an Irish slave owner. The Healy family biography states the parents  lived “faithfully as a married couple” although not legally married.

Patrick was sent to school in New York where he adopted a white identity. Healy entered the Jesuit order in 1850. In 1866, as part of his Jesuit duties, he was sent to Georgetown College to teach philosophy. He became acting president in 1873. Within a year, he became president of Georgetown, the largest Catholic institution in the country and Washington, DC’s first college, founded in 1789. Healy transformed Georgetown into a modern university and retired in 1881. According to historian James O’Toole, it was not until the 1960s that Patrick Healy’s racial history was revealed. Since then he has been declared the first African American Jesuit and the first African American president of a predominantly white university.

Healy is buried in the Jesuit cemetery on the Georgetown University campus.

patrick francis healy
Patrick Francis Healy

 For Georgetown Biography of Healy

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1875: President Andrew Johnson

Death of Andrew Johnson , 17th President of the United States whose grandfather came from County Antrim. Johnson took office following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Johnson was an interesting, pugnacious character who did not suffer fools gladly.  He also had a fondness for alcohol. An article on him at Senate.gov reports he was drunk during his inauguration as Vice-President on the day Lincoln took office for the second time.

“After (former VP) Hamlin delivered a brief and stately valedictory, Johnson rose unsteadily to harangue the distinguished crowd about his humble origins and his triumph over the rebel aristocracy. In the shocked and silent audience, President Abraham Lincoln showed an expression of “unutterable sorrow.” Johnson was apparently so  drunk he could not swear in incoming Senators.  Michigan Senator Chandler wrote his wife “”The inauguration went off very well except that the Vice President Elect was too drunk to perform his duties & disgraced himself & the Senate by making a drunken foolish speech.”

Despite this performance, Johnson was not afraid to take on the might and patronage of his Republican Party which took umbrage when he fired Stanton. He was the first President of the United States to be impeached (in 1868) because he sacked Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Johnson was acquitted by the Senate, falling one vote short of the necessary 2/3 needed to remove him from office, voting 35-19 to remove him. He is the only President to win election to the Senate after his stint in the White House.

President Andrew Johnson
President Andrew Johnson 1808-1875

See IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF ANDREW JOHNSON

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1918: Air Ace George “McIrish” McElroy

Death of Dublin born Captain George McElroy, one of the most successful and decorated pilots of World War I.

Initially McElroy fought in the infantry, fighting with the Royal Irish Regiment at Ypres where he was seriously injured by mustard gas. Recuperating in Dublin at the time of the 1916 Easter Rising, McElroy Refused to fire on fellow Irishman, an action for which he received surprisingly little admonishment.

Some months later, he joined the Royal Flying Corps (later Royal Air Force) and became an immensely accomplished fighter. He was credited with 47 aerial victories which makes him the most successful Irish fighter pilot of the war. He was killed by ground fire while flying over enemy lines. He is buried in at the Laventie Military Cemetery in northern France.

George McElroy

McElroy’s awards include:  Military Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross. His citation for his DFC reads:

“A brilliant fighting pilot who has destroyed thirty-five machines and three kite balloons to date. He has led many offensive patrols with marked success, never hesitating to engage the enemy regardless of their being, on many occasions, in superior numbers. Under his dashing and skilful leadership his flight has largely contributed to the excellent record obtained by the squadron.”

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READ: Bio of George McElroy

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1975: Miami Showband Massacre

Three members of the Miami Showband are killed by Ulster Volunteer Force members posing as members of the security forces. (Four of the killers were actually members of the Ulster Defence Regiment UDR, an official reserve force for the British army.) At the time, the Miami Showband were one of the most popular musical acts in Ireland. The original plan was that the killers, dressed in security uniform, would plant a bomb on the band’s bus which would have gone off as they returned to Dublin, thus portraying the band as IRA supporters and bomb carriers. Two UVF men Harris Boyle and Wesley Somerville were blown to pieces when placing the bomb. In the carnage that followed, the UVF killed Miami band members Fran O’Toole, Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty. Two band members survived.

Three UVF members were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. There is strong circumstantial evidence that there was collusion between the killers and some senior members of the security forces.

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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

___________________________________

This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

   

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