Archive for March, 2012

March 31,

Arthur Griffith Born. Comedian Dermot Morgan on this day in Irish History

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1872: Birth of Arthur Griffith in Dublin, one of the most important players in Irish Independence. Griffith founded Sinn Féin in 1905 as an Irish nationalist party whose objective was “to establish in Ireland’s capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation”.

It was not until after the 1916 Rising that Sinn Féin became a major force in Irish politics winning a landslide majority of Irish seats in the 1918 General Election. Refusing to take their seats in the House of Commons, the party held the first Dail on January 21, 1919, proclaiming itself the rightful parliament of an Irish Republic. During the vicious War of Independence and in the absence of De Valera in America, Griffith served as Acting President (sometimes in Jail.) Griffith led the Irish truce negotiations in London accompanied by Michael Collins signing the Treaty in December 1921. Acrimonious debates in Dail Eireann let to a walkout by De Valera and anti-Treaty-ites. Griffith died August 1922, while Ireland was embroiled in a civil war over the Treaty.

Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith

Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith

1952: Comedian and actor Dermot Morgan (d. 1988) is born in Dublin. Morgan slowly but surely built a very successful career in Ireland before making it big in the UK playing Father Ted in the eponymous series.

Dermot Morgan as the impish Father Ted

Morgan was a gifted comedy writer and satirist who consistently poked fun at Irish society and in particular what turned out to be the corrupt political machinations of Taoiseach Charles Haughey.

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

BUY Quality Quality Guinness and Ireland Rugby Shirts
Guinness Rugby Shirts - Brilliant!Rugby Shirt - Ireland


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

Watch For the Love of Being Irish author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks on his Youtube channel IrishmanSpeaks. Laugh and Learn.

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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.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaksto Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History

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March 30,

Assassination of Airey Neave. John McGahern, Sean O’Casey on this day in Irish History

March 30: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks) Twitter Icon

1880: Birth of Irish playwright Seán O’Casey, born John Casey or John Cassidy. A 1965 film titled Young Cassidy, starring Rod Taylor is a bBiographical drama based on the early years of his life depicting his early life of Dublin poverty to the celebrated openings of his early plays.

O’Casey was a committed socialist who was involved in the Irish Transport and General Workers Union which had been founded by famed Irish labor leader “Big Jim” Larkin. 

O’Casey’s plays dealt primarily with the challenges of republican and poverty stricken Ireland. His works, which stand the test of time well include, The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars.

Barry Fitzgerald and Sean o'Casey

Above: Barry Fitzgerald and Sean O’Casey c 1959. They were room mates in 1920 Dublin. Below Fitzgerald in John Ford’s 1936 film of O’Casey’s  The Plough and the Stars.


1979: Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary Airey Neave is killed by a car bomb as he leaves the House of Commons car park. The well planned operation was carried out by the INLA, (Irish National Liberation Army) who attached a bomb by magnet to the car and started the timer by a wrist watch. A tilt switch activated the bomb when the car started.

Neave had an adventurous life including being the first British officer to escape from Colditz prison. He was an ardent supporter of Margaret Thatcher. Some observers speculate that the Iron Lady’s hard line views and policy re Northern Ireland were shaped by the assassination of her close adviser.

airey neave car bomb

Airey Neave car following car bomb

2006: Death of Irish author John McGahern (b. . Although maybe not as well known as other Irish authors, the Guardian newspaper suggested in his obituary that McGahern was arguably the most important Irish novelist since Samuel Beckett. McGahern received an accolade that publicists of authors can only dream about! His most famous novel The Dark (1965) was banned for a period of time by Irish censorship authorities. It also cost McGahern his job as a school teacher employed by the Irish state.

John McGahern irish author

John McGahern 1934-2006

McGaherns other novels include: The Barracks (1963), The Leavetaking (1974), The Pornographer (1979), Amongst Women (1990)

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

BUY Quality Quality Guinness and Ireland Rugby Shirts
Guinness Rugby Shirts - Brilliant!Rugby Shirt - Ireland


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

Watch For the Love of Being Irish author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks on his Youtube channel IrishmanSpeaks. Laugh and Learn.

___________________________________

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.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaksto Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History