Archive for March 14th, 2012

March 14,

Robert Emmet. Birmingham Six Freed. Today in Irish history

March 14: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks) Twitter Icon

1778: Robert Emmet is born into a wealthy Protestant Dublin family. He would go on to become one of Ireland’s most famous (but also pretty incompetent) rebels who would be executed in 1803 for high treason.


Robert Emmet 1778-1803


1864: Irish born Lieutenant Menomen O’Donnell is involved in action at Fort DeRussey  on this day and also at Vicksburg for which he receives the Medal of Honor. His citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to First Lieutenant Menomen O’Donnell, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 22 May 1863 while serving with Company A, 11th Missouri Infantry, in action at Vicksburg, Mississippi. First Lieutenant O’Donnell voluntarily joined the color guard in the assault on the enemy’s works when he saw indications of wavering and caused the colors of his regiment to be planted on the parapet. At Fort DeRussey, Louisiana, on 14 March 1864, he voluntarily placed himself in the ranks of an assaulting column (being then on staff duty) and rode with it into the enemy’s works, being the only mounted officer present, was twice wounded in battle.

1921: British authorities hang six IRA volunteers for crimes of high treason and murder. There is some strong evidence to suggest at least some of the men were innocent of the crimes they were accused of although all had been involved in violent acts against British forces in Ireland.

1923: More executions on this date in Irish history. This time the new Irish government which has taken a strong stance against anti-treaty activists executes sixteen anti-Treatyites between March 12-March 14.

1991: Birmingham Six are freed after 16 years in jail. The six innocent men – Paddy Joe Hill, Hugh Callaghan, Richard McIlkenny, Gerry Hunter, Billy Power and Johnny Walker had been found guilty of placing bombs in Birmingham pubs in 1974 that killed 21 people and injured more than 100. At a time when public fury was at its height following the bombings, an over-zealous West-Midland police force beat confessions out of the innocent men and fabricated / altered notes of the confessions. One of the six Paddy Hill stated on his release “”The police told us from the start they knew we hadn’t done it. They didn’t care who had done it.”

SEE: ITV Program on Birmingham Six

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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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