April 7: 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.
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1776: Commodore John Barry
Wexford born Navy Captain John Barry, commander of the American warship Lexington, captures the British warship HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia. The capture boosted the morale of the Continental forces and made Barry a national hero. Barry is often mentioned as the “Father of the US Navy.”
1839: Medal of Honor winner John Lonergan
Medal of Honor winner, John Lonergan is born in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. His family emigrated to the United States in 1848. Lonergan would win the award for his bravery during the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Citation reads:
Place and date: At Gettysburg, Pa., 2 July 1863. Entered service at: Burlington, Vt. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 28 October 1893. Citation: Gallantry in the recapture of 4 guns and the capture of 2 additional guns from the enemy; also the capture of a number of prisoners.
Lonergan said of the event:
“My company reached the guns first, and placing my hand upon the nearest gun, I ordered the enemy to surrender. All this time the whole regiment was under severe fire, with men falling all along the entire charge; but we reached the guns comparatively together and in good form. The Confederates obeyed my summons to surrender, after which my men lay down their guns and taking hold of the wheels of the gun carriages, began moving them to a new position where they could be utilised.
“Meanwhile I noticed that we were sustaining much damage from firing that came from the Codories House in our front. And so ordering my command to pick up their guns, we made a charge of the house. We quickly surrounded the building, the men at once covering the windows and doors with their guns, so that no man should escape. Then I stepped to the front door, and knocking it in, I ordered: ‘Surrender! Fall our here, every damned one of you!’
“My order was obeyed almost instantly, for the Confederates came tumbling out, led by their commanding officer, until we had eighty-three men as prisoners. The officer in command handed me his sword and each man laid down his gun until I had a considerably larger number of men as prisoners, than I had in my entire command. When all was over for the day General Stannard sent for me, and upon my arrival, he said: ‘Captain, you did well to-day, but do you know you violated all military laws in capturing those prisoners in the Codories House?’
“‘How is that, General?’ I asked.
“‘Why,’ replied the general with a smile, ‘you know that in forming a company line, the command is, ‘fall in!’ and at the Codories House you said” fall out.’
“I saw the joke and answered: ‘Yes, General, but they were already in, and so had to ‘fall out.’”
READ: Vermont’s Irish Rebel
1922: Northern Ireland Special Powers Act
Northern Ireland authorities introduce the Special Powers Act as a response to ongoing IRA and nationalist activity. It provided sweeping powers authorizing the Minister of Home Affairs to ‘take all such steps and issue all such orders as may be necessary for preserving the peace and maintaining order’, and to delegate his powers to any officer of the RUC. Meetings (almost exclusively nationalist) and publications could be banned and suspects interned without trial. Police could search persons and vehicles without warrant.
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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