John DeLorean Arrest. Guildford Four Freed. Jonathan Swift on this day in Irish History

October 19: 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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1745: Death of Jonathan Swift.

Dublin born (1667) Jonathan Swift was probably the first great satirist in the English language. Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. his works include  Gulliver’s TravelsA Modest Proposal, and A Tale of a Tub.


Jonathan Swift Irish writer satirist

Jonathan Swift 166701745


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1864: Irish Medal of Honor Winner John Walsh

At Battle of Cedar Creek, VA, Irish born, Corporal John Walsh engaged in an action which won him the Medal of Honor.

The battle was the decisive engagement of Major General Philip Sheridan’s Valley Campaigns of 1864 and was the largest battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley.

Citation: “The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Corporal John Walsh, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism on 19 October 1864, while serving with Company D, 5th New York Cavalry, in action at Cedar Creek, Virginia. Corporal Walsh recaptured the flag of the 15th New Jersey Infantry.”

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1982: Car mogul John DeLorean arrested and charged with cocaine distribution.

John DeLorean is a peripheral but very interesting character in the history of Ireland.

John DeLorean arrest photo

DeLorean mugshot


Four years previously, he started the DeLorean Motor Company in Northern Ireland with the financial support of the Northern Ireland Development Authority to the tune of £80m in the hope it would bring 2,000 jobs to sectarian troubled Belfast. At the time, the Dublin government was disappointed it could not match the incentives provided by London. It dodged a bullet!

The first DeLorean DMC-12 car rolled off production lines at the Dunmurry plant in 1981. Unfortunately, the venture proved to be a with elephant, although the car achieved everlasting fame when featured in Back to the Future. Less than 9.000 cars were produced before the venture was forced into bankruptcy. DeLorean was hounded by creditors for the rest of his life including the British government who had fraud charges outstanding against him.

On the Cocaine charge, DeLorean claimed entrapment by federal authorities in relation to the cocaine charge and to the surprise of many was acquited.

The Detroit Free Press which would have been a keen follower of the former GM executives career reported

“John Z . DeLorean , the flamboyant former vice-president of General Motors Corp., was arrested in Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon and charged with conspiring to distribute 220.5 pounds of cocaine worth about $24 million, the FBI said.
The FBI said DeLorean hoped that the drug deal would provide the money he needed to help save his struggling auto company. Ironically, DeLorean ‘s arrest came hours after the British government announced that it is closing his auto assembly plant outside Belfast, Northern Ireland, because of long-term financial problems . This, in effect, killed DeLorean ‘s gull-winged, stainless-steel sports car.
FBI OFFICIALS in Los Angeles said the arrest of DeLorean and two others followed a fivemonth investigation. They said DeLorean , 57, was arrested about 3 p.m. (6 p.m. Detroit time) at a hotel at Los Angeles International Airport after he arrived on a flight from New York. He and two other men were charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine and possessing cocaine with intent to distribute.”


John DeLorean GM executive

DeLorean and his masterpiece – Coke-free!


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1989: The Guildford Four freed

Gerard Conlon, Patrick Armstrong, Paul Hill and Carole Richardson had spent fifteen years in jail for the Guildford pub bombings.  Emerging from the court, one of the four, Gerard Conlon, shouted: “I have been in prison for something I did not do. I am totally innocent.”


Paddy Hill, Gerry Conlon, Carole Richardson, Patrick Armstrong


The four people were just a number of innocent parties who suffered miscarriages of justice during the troubles. Poor policing, forced confessions anti-Irish sentiment and a public demand “to catch the perpetrators” saw innocents such as the Birmingham Six jailed for sixteen years and the Maguire Seven who spent up to fourteen years in prison.

READ:  Guardian article for good overview of case and aftermath

READ: Gerry Conlon Still Seeking Justice

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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Michael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being IrishIrish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being Irish


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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