April 14: 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.
1912: Titanic Hits Iceberg
Timeline of that fateful night:
7.30pm: Warnings of large icebergs from the California are delivered to the bridge of Titanic and Captain Smith.
9.20pm: Smith retires for the night
9.40pm: Another warning about icebergs is received by Titanic. This message apparently is not passed on to the bridge. The British Inquiry found that “the evidence establishes quite clearly that Captain Smith, the Master, Mr. Murdoch, the first officer, Mr. Lightoller, the second officer, and Mr. Moody, the sixth officer, all knew on the Sunday evening that the vessel was entering a region where ice might be expected”
10.55: Titanic radio operators receive message from the California that it is stopped in ice field. Harried Titanic radio operator Evans responds “”Shut up, shut up. You’re jamming my signal. I’m busy.”
11.40 pm: Lookouts spot iceberg about 500 yards away and call out warning.
11.41 pm: The starboard (right) side of the ship is reefed open.
The injuries to the ship, were of such a kind that she foundered in two hours and forty minutes. The British Inquiry into the sinking found that “The collision with the iceberg…… caused damage to the bottom of the starboard side of the vessel at about 10 feet above the level the keel, but there was no damage above this height. There was damage in: – The forepeak, No. 1 hold, No. 2 hold, No. 3 hold, No. 6 boiler room, No. 5 boiler room. ………. As the ship was moving at over 20 knots, she would have passed through 300 ft. in less than 10 seconds, so that the damage was done in about this time.
1917: The Horrors and Humor of War
English war journalist Philip Gibbs notes in his diary on this day in 1917 about a “queer tale” featuring a beloved Irish priest Father Malone who was chaplain to troops in World War I:
The colonel of the Leinsters told another queer tale of an Irishman in the outskirts of Lens. The colonel saw him after the battle of Bois-en-Hache, which was a terrible affair and a fine feat of arms in the mud and snow, bringing back a German horse under machine-gun fire and shrapnel. He was guiding this poor lean beast over frightful ground, round the edge of monstrous shell-craters, through broken strands of barbed wire, and across trenches and parapets. “What are you doing with that poor brute?” asked the commanding officer. “Sure, sir,” said the Irishman, “I’m bringing the horse back for Father Malone to ride.” The horse was in the last stages of starvation, and the padre weighs nineteen stone, according to the popular estimate of the men, who adore him, and that is part of the story’s humour, though the Irish soldier was very serious. It is a tribute, anyhow, to the affection of the men for this Irish padre-a laughing giant of a man—who is always out in No Man’s Land when there are any of his lads out there, going as far as the German barbed wire to give the last rites to dying men.”
The anecdote is published in Gibbs book In from Bapaume to Passchendaele,
1921: IRA Execute Sir Arthur Vicars
Sir Arthur Vicars is executed by the IRA in Kerry. Vicars, who played a pivotal (and probably negligent) role in the theft of the Irish Crown Jewels in 1907, was executed by the IRA. Born in England, Vicars spent most of his life in Ireland where he was Custodian of the Irish Crown Jewels at the time they were stolen. Vicars was dismissed from his post as a result. The jewels have never been found.
The IRA’s claim that Vicar’s was informing are disputed by his Valet Michael Murphy. Murphy in his own words was “associated with the IRA” and became a Captain in the Irish Army following Independence. In a statement he gave to the Bureau of Military history in 1955, he states “I do not believe he (Vicars) was a spy or got a fair trial.”
1922: Occupation of the Four Courts and Civil War
Approximately 200 Anti-Treaty forces under the leadership of Rory O’Connor occupy the Four Courts in Dublin. The Irish Civil War had begun. The pro-Treaty government tried desperately to avoid a violent response to the occupation, but it and Michael Collins had was forced in June when the garrison kidnapped Free State Army General and Deputy Chief of Staff J.J. O’Connell. The bombing of the Four Courts June 28 would be the first action of Irish against Irish.
De Valera (anti-Treaty), Kevin O’Higgins (pro-Treaty) at Rory O’Connor (anti-Treaty) (right) wedding. O’Higgins as Minister for Justice would sign the execution order for O’Connor in December 1922.
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed 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.
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