March 20: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks)
1875: Death of Irish Nationalist John Mitchel
Mitchel wrote for The Nation and was founder of The United Irishman newspaper which openly preached rebellion against England returns to Ireland. Convicted of treason in 1848, Mitchel was sentenced to fourteen years’ transportation in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania.) In 1853, he escaped to America, where he published his Jail Journal.
While in America, he was editor of the Richmond Examiner and a strong advocate of Confederate rights. He was imprisoned for several months after the Civil War ended. His return to Ireland, evoked huge enthusiasm amongst an Irish population devastated by the Famine and emigration
1920: Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork Tomás Mac Curtain is killed by disguised RIC / Black and Tans in his home in front of his wife and children. The killing was apparently retaliation for the death of RIC Constable Murtagh some hours earlier in Cork. Mac Curtain was an active member of the IRA and O.C. of Cork No.1 Brigade Irish Volunteers.
Some weeks later, a Cork coroner’s court returns a verdict of willful murder in the death of Tomas MacCurtain, District Inspector Oswald Swanzy, Prime Minister David Lloyd-George, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and the Inspector General of the Royal Irish Constabulary. Swanzy would be killed by the IRA in August.
1964: The short life of playwright, novelist, poet and enfant terrible, Brendan Behan (b. 1923) ends in Dublin. Behan had found fame as writer of plays like The Quare Fellow, The Hostage and best selling books including Borstal Boy which was basically a memoir of his time in Hollesley Bay Borstal for republican activities in England. Behan succumbed to the curse of many Irish artists – alcohol, providing much copy for media and press about his drunken antics which in his later life simply became sad anecdotes in a brilliant writer’s life.
1989: Two senior RIC officers, Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and Superintendent Bob Buchanan are ambushed by the IRA in County Armagh after they have traveled from a meeting with An Garda Síochána (Irish police force) in Dundalk. Although never conclusively proven, there is compelling evidence that an IRA supporter within the Garda provided information to IRA in Northern Ireland. Breen and Buchanan were the two highest ranking RIC officers to be killed in the conflict. Their deaths also strained relations between RIC and Irish police.
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson which is an A-Z of all things Irish. This is a book that contains History, Horror, Humor, Passion, Pathos and Lyrical Limericks that will have you giving thanks (or wishing you were) For the Love of Being Irish
This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – 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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