Archive for February 26th, 2012

February 26,

Big Pat Jennings’ 1,000th Game. Alitalia Plane Crash at Shannon. IRA Border Campaign

February 26: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks) Twitter Icon

1960:  An Alitalia plane bound for NY crashes moments after take off from Shannon airport killing 34 of its 52 passengers. Strong headwinds forced the Douglas DC-7 plane to land at Shannon to top up fuel on its flight from Naples. No cause for the accident was ever established.

1962: The IRA called of its “Border Campaign” which it had waged since 1956. The majority of the nationalist population in Northern Ireland despised partition with many of them prepared to take arms against a Northern Ireland government that fostered severe anti-Catholic, anti-nationalist discrimination. In December 1956, the IRA announced the opening of its campaign with a number of actions against government establishments and an announcement proclaiming¬† that their aim was “an independent, united, democratic Irish Republic. For this we shall fight until the invader is driven from our soil and victory is ours.” Aggressive action by governments of both sides of the border including internment without trial proved debilitating for the IRA. De Valera’s Dublin government saw the IRA as a major threat to the stability of the Republic of Ireland introducing military courts to try IRA members.

It would be but seven short years before a new, lengthier and much more violent campaign would come to Northern Ireland.

1983: Famed Northern Irish goalkeeper Pat Jennings becomes the first player to make 1,000 senior appearances in English football when he lines out for Arsenal at West Bromwich Albion. The gentle giant (with huge hands) played for Watford, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in a career that culminated when playing in the World Cup in Mexico. Quite possibly the best goalkeeper in the world when in his prime, the Newry born Jennings played 119 times for Northern Ireland. In 1973, Jennings saved two penalties against Liverpool in the one game and was voted Footballer of the Year. Jennings was inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame (even though he finished his career playing for arch-rivals Arsenal) and today does hospitality work for the club.

Pat Jennings scores goal against Manchester United in 1967 Charity Shield

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker, humorous motivational 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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