July 15: TODAY in Irish History:
Today in Irish History: Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks
BUY Author signed copy of For the Love of Being Irish For a unique perspective on Ireland featuring History and Humor.
July 15: TODAY in Irish History:
1899: Future Taoiseach Sean Lemass is born in Dublin. Lemass would bring elements of modern international thinking and economics to a nation bedevilled by De Valera’s isolationist and anti-English thinking. His partnership in economic affairs with Sean T. Whitaker is seen by many as the start of modern Ireland.
A veteran of the 1916 Easter Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War, Lemass was first elected as a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin South constituency in a by-election on 18 November 1924 and was re-elected at each election until his retirement in 1969. He was a founder-member of Fianna Fáil in 1926, serving in numerous cabinet positions under Eamonn De Valera until he became Taoiseach in 1959.
In 1965 Lemass met the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (Terence O’Neill) meet for the first time since the partition of Ireland in 1922. It was a truly historic meeting that began a thaw in relations between the two states. The meeting at Stormont Castle of two distrustful parties was so momentous and prone to disruption that it was not announced prior to the event. The meeting evoked generally positive reaction in the Republic but caused major problems for O’Neill. While moderate unionists supported talks on non-constitutional issues such as co-operation on tourism, the meeting did not sit well with Protestant fundamentalist like Rev. Ian Paisley who saw it as the start of a sell out. O’Neill paid a reciprocal visit to Dublin in February.
1927: Death of Irish revolutionary and 1916 participant Countess Markievicz.
She was born Constance Georgine Gore-Booth to English Protestant Ascendency in London in 1868. Her family had a property in County Sligo where she spent much of your youth and became friendly with William Butler Yeats.
At an early age, she developed a strong passion for helping the poor, the women’s suffragette movement and Irish nationalism.
Countess Markievicz Timeline:
1902: While in France Constance met and married a Polish-Russian nobleman, Count Casimir Markiewicz.
1908: Joins Sinn Fein
1911: Arrested for protesting visit of King George V to Ireland
1913: Joined Irish Citizens Army
1916: Involved in Rising in Dublin. Sentenced to death but commuted.
1917: Released from prison as part of a general amnesty.
1918: Is the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons in the General Election. As with all Sinn Fein MPs, she refuses to take her seat.
1922: Votes against the Anglo-Irish Treaty and joins with De Valera and others in Irish Civil War fighting Free State forces led by Michael Collins.
For more on COUNTESS MARKIEVICZ
See also Lisadell House (home of Countess Markievicz)
Countess Markievicz, De Valera and others following Anti-Treaty vote.
1942: – Brendan (‘Paddy’) Finucane from Rathmines, Co. Dublin – the RAF’s youngest ever Wing Commander at 21 years of age – is shot down and killed off the French coast. He had 32 confirmed “kills.” Finucane – whose father fought in Boland’s Mill with Eamonn De Valera against the English in the 1916 Rising – joined the RAF in 1938.
Air Aces of WW2 writes of Finucane’s demise:
After attacking German shipping at Ostend and strafing three German airfields on July 15th, 1942, Finucane’s wing regrouped to return to Hornchurch. As the group passed low-level over the beach at Pointe Du Touquet, Finucane’s Spitfire was hit by machine gun fire that severely damaged his radiator. The engine overheated and quit, and the Spitfire was too low to allow Finucane to bail out. Losing altitude swiftly, Paddy was heard to say; “This is it, Chaps.” Witnesses reported that after a near perfect “splash” the Shamrock-Spit sank like a stone, and despite all efforts, was never to be seen again.
LISTEN to superb RTE Radio documentary on Paddy Finucane. Available in podcast.
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson 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
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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