Archive for February 6th, 2012

February 6,

Manchester United Air Crash Claims Life of Billy Whelan

February 6: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks) Twitter Icon

1877: Colonel John O’Mahoney, founding member of the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States dies. O’Mahoney was forced into exile following the failed Young Ireland rebellion of 1848. During the civil war he attained the rank of of the 69th Regiment of New York State Militia which was comprised primarily of Irish emigrants. The regiment’s Irish language war cry was ” Fág an Bealach” (Clear the way.)

Colonel John O'Mahoney

1911: Ronald Reagan is born into relative poverty Tampico, Illinois. Reagan’s hard-drinking  father (of County Tipperary roots) was rarely able to hold a job for long, forcing Reagan’s adoring mother Nelle and family to move frequently. 

Ronald Reagan in For the Love of Being Irish

This image of Ronald Reagan in For the Love of Being Irish

Reagan visited his ancestral home, Ballyporeen County Tipperary, June 3 1984

1958: The Munich air disaster takes the lives of seven Manchester United players including Dublin born Liam (Billy) Whelan and fourteen others. Fifteen days later, Duncan Edwards whom many regard as the greatest player ever to wear the famous red jersey would die from his injuries.

Twenty-two year old Billy Whelan averaged a goal every two games in less than three years he was with United. In the 1956/57 season, he was the club’s top scorer with 26 goals in just 39 games.

This commemorative stamp of Liam Whelan was issued by the Irish Post Office on the fiftieth anniversary of the Munich disaster. The clock face shows the time of the accident when the BEA plane slid off the freezing runway on its third take off attempt. Partly because of this emotional event and the city’s proximity to Ireland, Manchester United have a huge fan base in Ireland.

The scene after the plane crash

See BBC and The Guardian for detailed reports on the Munich air disaster.

1971: In a precursor of things to come, Gunner Robert Curtis becomes the first British soldier to die on Irish soil since 1922 in a combat situation. Curtis’ patrol was ambushed by the Provisional IRA in the New Lodge Road area of Belfast. More than 700 British troops would die in the following thirty years.

Learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish books Joyce Image in For the Love of Being Irish

Today in Irish History is edited by Chicago based business keynote speaker, author, award winning humorist and history buff Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks. 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.

Conor Cunneen is just the 63rd person in the history of Toastmasters to be awarded Accredited Speaker designation. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. – Cheers!