Wrong Way Corrigan Lands in Ireland – Execution of Colonel Smyth

July 17: TODAY in Irish History:

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“Wrong Way Corrigan”

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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The IRA executes English Army officer Colonel Gerald Bryce Ferguson Smyth in Cork. While all British Army personnel were deemed legitimate targets, Smyth’s fate was sealed when he spoke in quite brutal fashion about how Irish citizens were to be treated. At a meeting in Listowel on June 19th, Smyth reportedly told RIC officers: “Police and military will patrol the country roads at least five nights a week. They are not to confine themselves to the main roads but make across the country, lie in ambush, take cover behind fences near roads, and when civilians are seen approaching shout: ‘Hands up!’ Should the order be not obeyed, shoot, and shoot with effect. If the persons approaching carry their hands in their pockets or are in any way suspicious looking, shoot them down. You may make mistakes occasionally and innocent persons may be shot, but that cannot be helped and you are bound to get the right persons sometimes. The more you shoot the better I will like you; and I assure you that no policeman will get into trouble for shooting any man and I will guarantee that your names will not be given at the inquest.”





1935: Death of Author AE Russell

Russell was an ardent nationalist, writer, editor, critic, poet, and painter.  The preface to The Collected Works of AE Russell reads:


Although W.B.Yeats was a greater poet, J.M. Synge a greater dramatist, and Jack B. Yeats a greater painter, none of A.E.’s fellow countrymen could rival his versatility or match his spiritual stature. He is often remembered as a poet and as one of those true mystics who have sought by practical endeavours to bring some touch of the spiritual perfection they beheld into the life of this world. A.E. lived up to the ‘word of power’ he gave to the novelist L.A.G.Strong – ‘Seek on earth what you have found in heaven’. George William Russell (1867-1935) – A.E. – was seer, poet, painter, co-operator, political thinker, journalist, editor, public speaker, and the conscience of the Irish nation.


1938: Wrong Way Corrigan’s Transatlantic Flight

File:Wrong Way Corrigan.jpg

How New York Post Reported on Wrong Way Corrigan

On this day in 1938, Aviator Douglas Corrigan leaves Floyd Bennet Field in Brooklyn, New York having filed a flight path to head west to California. Instead, Corrigan headed east, a direction he took based on a navigational error (or so he claimed!) Twenty-eight hours later, the 20 year old landed his plane at Baldonnel Airport, close to Dublin. Authorities had previously refused Corrigan permission to attempt the trans Atlantic flight. An accomplished aviator and navigator, to the amusement of most, he always maintained that his flight was a navigational error and that it was only after 26 hours he realized his error!

Corrigan received a hero’s welcome on his return to the United States and was given ticker tape welcome in both New York and Chicago.







WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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


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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