“Shankill Butchers” Sentenced. James Gandon. Christopher Nolan

February 20: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks) Twitter Icon

1743: James Gandon, possibly the most influential architect in Irish history is born in London. Gandon was responsible for shaping the face of Dublin. He designed the Custom House, the Four Courts and the King’s Inn, all of which still stand today as testament to his skills.

Four Courts Dublin

1873: James Haughton, Irish social reformer, anti-slavery campaigner and temperance activist dies.

1979: In Belfast eleven members of the “Shankill Butchers” gang are given a total of 42 life sentences for the murder of 19 people. The “Butchers’ were from the Protestant Shankill area of Belfast whose reign of terror was led by Lenny Murphy. The gang was involved in sectarian mayhem during the 1970’s against innocent Catholics. Anyone unfortunate enough to be kidnapped by Murphy and his gang, suffered appalling deaths preceded by gruesome torture and mutilation. Murphy was eventually “executed” by the IRA. There is considerable evidence that the execution was aided by the loyalist community who considered Murphy to be out of control. See The Shankill Butchers: A Case Study of Mass Murder 

2009: Irish author Chrisopher Nolan dies age 44. Despite suffering from cerebral palsy, Nolan authored a number of acclaimed books and won the Whitbread Award for book of the year for his 1987 memoir Under the Eye of the Clock. Nolan had to use a “unicorn-type” device attached to his head to type his work.

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!

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