December 18: TODAY in Irish History:
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Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks
Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.
WATCH: A Short History of Ireland
1796: Wolfe Tone in a Fog!
The French invasion fleet is beset by fog which prevents any chance of landing in Ireland. Wolfe Tone writes in his diary.
“This damned fog continues without interruption. I asked General Cherin what we should do in case they did not rejoin us. He said that he supposed General Grouchy would take the command with the troops we had with us, which, on examination, we found to amount to about 6,500 men. The Captain has opened a packet containing instructions for his conduct in case of separation, which order him to cruise for five days off Mizen Head, and, at the end of that time, proceed to the mouth of the Shannon, where he is to remain three more, at the end of which time, if he does not see the fleet or receive further orders by a frigate, he is to make the best of his way back to Brest.”
Due to bad weather, the invasion would eventually be abandoned.
1931: “Legs” Diamond Gets Whacked
Gangster, bootlegger, associate of Arnold Rothstein, Jack “Legs” Diamond (born Jack Moran of Irish emigrant parents) is gunned down while in a drunken stupor following a court case acquittal.
In his teen years, Legs was already known to law enforcement and had a criminal record for robbery and assault. Prohibition (January 1920) was a godsend to Legs and many other small time hoodlums. By 1923, he had a thriving bootlegging business. His associates included Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano and ‘Dutch Shultz.
He survived an assassination attempt in 1927 and two years later was acquitted for murder as witnesses failed to testify. October 1930, he survives another assassination attempt and another one in April 1931. His doctor told reporters ‘The man is a medical wonder.’ Diamond liked to say “’They can’t kill Legs Diamond.”
Following another acquittal (for kidnapping and tortune) in December 1931, Legs partied at the Rain-bo Room in Albany NY with his mistress, showgirl Kiki Roberts. Later that night, a drunk Legs returned to an apartment he was renting where his enemies finally disproved the myth “They can’t kill Legs Diamond.”
No one was ever charged with his murder, but strong suspicion rested on Democratic bigwig Dan O’Connell and local police who did not want an outsider interfering with their own illegal operations.
UNTOUCHABLES Episode: Jack “Legs” Diamond
“Legs” Diamond was one of a number of Irish Americans who gained infamy during the prohibition era. Other Irish gangsters who met a less than pretty fate included:
Mad Dog Coll (Donegal born Vincent Coll) who was allegedly involved in everything from murder, bootlegging, kidnapping and hijacking. Coll was only twenty four when killed.
Dion O’Banion, one time choir boy of Irish parents was shot to death in his flower shop by associates of Al Capone in 1924.
1964: Che Guevara in Dublin.
SEE: RTE interview with Che Guevara (of Irish extraction) when his plane was diverted to Dublin airport.
An insightful, realistic, yet humorous book on the job search process by Today in Irish History Curator Conor Cunneen
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed 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.
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