Archive for January 31st, 2012

January 31,

Tomás Mac Curtain. Widgery Inquiry into Bloody Sunday. Annie Lovett

January 31: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks)  
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1920: Tomás Mac Curtain is elected Sinn Fein Mayor of Cork City. An active republican who participated in the 1916 rising, he would be shot dead two month later in front of his wife and children by a party of men who were later identified as RIC personnel.

Tomás MacCurtain and family

Tomás MacCurtain and family

1921: The Black and Tans kill three rail workers in the Mallow area in retaliation for a botched IRA attack on a British officer which resulted in the death of the officer’s wife.

1972: The day after Bloody Sunday, British Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling announces a tribunal of inquiry “into the circumstances of the march and the incidents leading up to the casualties which resulted”.  After being denied the right to provide an eye-witness account of what happened, an emotional Bernadette Devlin, 24 year old MP for Mid-Ulster who had been on the speakers platform in Derry the previous day, calls Maudling a “murdering hypocrite,” walks across the floor of the House of Commons and strikes him across the face. Devlin later says “”I’m just sorry I didn’t get him by the throat”.

The tribunal of enquiry is to be headed by Lord Chief Justice Widgery. Whatever happened in Derry on Bloody Sunday, there is no suggestion that it was premeditated. However, the dreadful events of January 30 were to be compounded just a few months later when in a deliberate fabrication of the true events of the day, Widgery ( a former army brigadier) added fuel to an already extremely emotional period by claiming the actions of the British troops were justified. blaming the organizers of the march for the deaths. The tribunal’s findings eventually were totally repudiated by the later Saville Inquiry.

1984: Fifteen year old school girl, Annie Lovett dies beside a grotto in Granard, County Longford giving birth to a still born child. The stigma of birth out of wedlock in Catholic Ireland, forced the young girl to keep her pregnancy a secret. Her death generated a national debate about Irish attitudes to sex, contraception and sex education.

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Editor of Today in Irish History, Conor Cunneen is just the 63rd person in the history of Toastmasters International to be awarded Accredited Speaker designation. As a Chicago based professional speaker, this Irishman’s client base ranges from Harley-Davidson to Helsinki, from Memphis to Madrid as he Energizes, Educates and Entertains his audience to grow their business, people, teamwork and productivity. Here is a clip of Conor in action speaking about the Brand Experience.

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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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