Wolfe Tone Capture. St. Oliver Plunkett. IRA Brighton Bombing at Today in Irish History

October 12: TODAY in Irish History:

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Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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1798: Capture of Wolfe Tone

Wolfe Tone

Wolfe Tone 1763-1798


Tone was one of the founders of the United Irishmen. In efforts to free Ireland from English rule, he had encouraged a French invasion of Ireland which due to bad planning and bad luck was never successful. In October 1798, French forces consisting of eight frigates were intercepted by British ships off Buncrana, Co. Donegal.  Retreating French ships offered Tone escape but he allegedly said “Shall it be said that I fled, whilst the French were fighting the battles of my country?” He was captured on the ship Hoche.

Two years previously,  Wolfe Tone had attempted to land at Bantry Bay, Co. Cork on another French “invasion.”High winds and storms would mean the planned landing would be aborted some days later. He w wrote in his journal:

“We are now, nine o’clock, at the rendezvous appointed; stood in for the coast till twelve, when we were near enough to toss a biscuit ashore; at twelve tacked and stood out again, so now we have begun our cruise of five days in all its forms, and shall, in obedience to the letter of our instructions, ruin the expedition, and destroy the remnant of the French navy, with a precision and punctuality which will be truly edifying.”

Some days previously, Tone’s brother Matthew Tone was executed having been captured at the Battle of Ballinamuck fighting with French forces.

READ: Short History of Wolfe Tone


1975: Oliver Plunkett Canonized

Oliver Plunkett, the last Catholic martyr to be executed in England, July 1, 1681, is canonized by Pope Paul VI. Plunkett was Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland who was found guilty of treason for essentially refusing to succumb to severe anti-Catholic legislation.


catholic martyr oliver plunkett


READ: Pope Paul VI Canonization homily of Oliver Plunkett



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1984: IRA Brighton Bomb

The IRA detonates a 100lb bomb at the Grand Hotel Brighton where the Conservative Party is holding its annual conference. Five people die while Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher narrowly escapes injury.

Following the bombing, the IRA issued a statement “”Today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once; you will have to be lucky always.”

The bomb was planted by IRA activist Patrick Magee who had checked into the hotel five weeks earlier. Magee was released from a life sentence in 1999 as part of the Good Friday Agreement. He has since made public efforts at reconciliation of both communities and twenty five years after the Brighton bombing spoke at the House of Commons with Jo Berry, daughter of Sir Anthony Berry, one of those killed in the bombing.

READ: Bombing Daughter Launches Charity



SEE: Guardian newspaper picture gallery of Brighton Bombing


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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote 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.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

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