George Bush in Ireland – Home Rule Bill – Poet Paul Muldoon at Today in Irish History

April 8: TODAY in Irish History:

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Bush meeting with blair and aherne

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

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

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1886: Home Rule Bill

Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone’s government introduces the First Home Rule Bill (The Government of Ireland Bill 1886) in the British Parliament. The bill was designed to create a devolved Irish assembly and allow elements of autonomy for Ireland which had been under direct English parliamentary rule since the 1800 Act of Union. The initial introduction (of the subsequently failed bill) was seen as a victory for Home Rule advocates like Charles Stewart Parnell.

The bill engendered fierce resistance from Loyalists who feared “Rome rule.” The bill was defeated by 341 votes to 311 on June 8th.

William Gladstone
PM William Ewart Gladstone 1808-1898

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1941: Luftwaffe Bombs Belfast

Looking for survivors - Belfast 1940

Looking for survivors – Belfast 1940

In general, Ireland escaped most of the ravages of WWII. The Irish Free State (to Allied fury) remained neutral while Northern Ireland was a stretch for German bombers. However on the night of 7-8 April, Belfast experienced the first of a number of bombing raids killing 13 people. Belfast was a “legitimate” target as it did provide munitions for the Allied cause.

HistoryLearningSiteUK writes:

The peace in the city was shattered on April 7th/8th 1941 when the Luftwaffe launched its first raid on the city – a probing raid to test the city’s defences. The attack became known as ‘The Dockside Raid’. More than 500 Luftwaffe bombers and escorts took off from northern France – many headed for Clydeside and Greenock in Scotland. However, 8 bombers veered off to Belfast on what was an exploratory raid to test the city’s defences. Facing minimal defences, they dropped about 800 incendiary bombs on the dock area. They acted as markers for other bombers to attack. Belfast paid a heavy price for its lack of defences. Traditionally, homes of the workers had been built very near to the factories/docks where individuals worked so that travel and time spent getting to work was kept to a minimum. If the bombs missed their targets by only a small degree, then homes would be hit. Consequently, this raid destroyed many homes. The incendiary bombs also set fire to large timber yards. Harland and Wolff dockyards were hit, as was the Rank Flour Mill. Thirteen people were killed in this raid – twelve within the dock area. In what was a probing attack, the Luftwaffe found out what it thought to be true; that Belfast’s defences were “weak and scanty”. The Luftwaffe planned a return raid.”

The Luftwaffe would return with devasting consequences on April 15/16 resulting in the deaths of over 900 Belfast citizens.

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2003: George Bush Visits Belfast

George Bush leaves Belfast after a two trip involving meetings with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. It was the President’s first visit to Northern Ireland. Agenda items revolved around the Iraq War and the Northern Ireland peace process. At the end of the summit, the three leaders issued a statement stating  Northern Ireland must abandon paramilitarism.

Bush meeting with blair and aherne

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George Bush, Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at Northern Ireland summit, Hillsborough 2003. While history still has to decide on the tenure of Bush and Blair, Bertie Ahern has been cited by the Mahon Tribunal as one of a long line of ethically challenged Fianna Fail government ministers. Ahern resigned from the party that adored him for most of his political career, before a formal move to expel him could be implemented.

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2003: Poet Paul Muldoon wins the Pulitzer Prize

Northern Ireland poet Paul Muldoon wins the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his work Moy Sand and Gravel.

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Muldoon was born in 1951 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and educated in Armagh and at the Queen’s University of Belfast. From 1973 to 1986 he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the BBC before moving the the United States. He is now Professor of Creative Writing at Princeton University.

Here, Muldoon and Steven Colbert spar on the Colbert Nation where they recite Muldoon’s poem Tea.

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Paul Muldoon’s Three Car Garage Band

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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

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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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