Charles Thomson, Continental Secretary – Belfast Born C.S. Lewis – Ian Paisley and N.I. Secretary

November 29: TODAY in Irish History:

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Charles Thompson, Irish born Secretary Continental Congress

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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1729: Charles Thomson – Continental Congress Secretary

Charles Thompson, Irish born Secretary Continental Congress
Charles Thompson, Irish born Secretary Continental Congress

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Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress is born in Maghera, County Derry. When he was 10-11 years age, Thomson emigrated to America after the death of his mother. His father died on the journey across the Atlantic, leaving him to survive with at least one other sibling when they landed in Delaware. He became highly educated and a Latin tutor and became actively involved in Colonial politics

According to Colonialhall.com,” Of all the patriots of the Revolution, no man was better acquainted with the men and events of that struggle, than Charles Thomson, who was the permanent Secretary of the Continental Congress for more than fifteen years.”

At least three signatories to the Declaration of Independence were Irish – James Smith, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton

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READ: Bio of Charles Thomson

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1898: C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis author of The Chronicles of Narnia and ardent Christian writer is born in Belfast. He is no relation to another famous Belfast writer of similar name Cecil Day Lewis.

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READ: Bio of C.S. Lewis

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1993: Britain in Talks with IRA

It is revealed that the British Government is having secret meetings with the IRA which enrages the Unionist community.  In the House of Commons, an irate Ian Paisley accuses Northern Ireland Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew of lying about the meetings and was suspended from proceedings for five days. Hansard reports the exchanges as follows:

Rev. Ian Paisley (Antrim, North) : Why has the Secretary of State not taken up the point that has aggravated and exacerbated the situation in Northern Ireland ? It is not a matter of whether there is a channel conveying messages to the provisional IRA or whether the Government have had contacts in the past, or have in the present, but that those statements have been denied by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has rubbished any suggestion of such talks. He has rubbished anyone who dared, at a press conference, to put questions on that to him. When we met him and the Prime Minister in the past week, he rubbished the suggestion again and said that there was no such thing. The people of Northern Ireland today demand that the Secretary of State explains why he issued falsehoods himself, got officials to issue falsehoods and got Downing street to back up those falsehoods.

Madam Speaker : Order. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is being as restrained as he can be at this moment. However, falsehoods mean one thing to the Chair lies. I would be obliged if he could rephrase what he is saying.

Rev. Ian Paisley : I would like to ask the Secretary of State a question that everyone in Northern Ireland is asking. Even if the message that he got in February, and to which he responded, said that the conflict was over, surely he would have known after one exchange that the conflict was not over. What has happened ? Those talks were going on, but we had Warrington. The talks were going on while the bombing was going on in this city. Even when the bombing took place in the Shankill road, the lines were still open. Surely the Secretary of State cannot think that, after his behaviour, he can have any trust with the Northern Ireland people. If he wants a settlement, the only honourable thing that he can do is resign.

Madam Speaker : Order. I really must seek a withdrawal from the hon. Gentleman of the word “falsehood”. I am sure that he has tried to couch his words very carefully this afternoon, but I ask him to reflect for a moment while I am speaking so that he may withdraw and allow proper order in our exchanges and our questions. Dr. Paisley, I am sure that you will oblige.

Rev. Ian Paisley : Because of the seriousness of the situation, I cannot oblige you, Madam Speaker.

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Mayhew insisted there had been no change in the government’s official position – there could be no negotiations with the republican movement until a ceasefire had been agreed.

On December 15th, the British and Irish sign an Anglo-Irish Peace Pact which proves to be an important step on the road to peace.

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1999: Northern Ireland Power Sharing Executive

The Executive is appointed under the leadership of Unionist First Minister David Trimble. Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness is appointed Minister in charge of Ulster’s schools. Despite numerous ongoing setbacks and suspensions, Northern Ireland was finally on the way to a peaceful future.

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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed 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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