Handel in Ireland – Thomas D’Arcy McGee – Catholic Emancipation

April 13: TODAY in Irish History:

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George_Frideric_Handel_

George Frideric Handel

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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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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1742: Handel’s Messiah

Handel’s Messiah is performed for the first time at Fishamble Street Hall, Dublin. The German born composer performed a number of charity concerts in Dublin, premiering the Messiah one day later than originally planned.

George_Frideric_Handel_

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From A History of Irish Music by William H. Grattan Flood:

“IN the late summer of the year 1741 the Duke of Devonshire, Viceroy of Ireland, invited Handel to Dublin, and this invitation was the more readily responded to, inasmuch as Handel’s friend, Matthew Dubourg, was Conductor of the State Band. Moreover, the Governors of Mercer’s Hospital, and of the Charitable Infirmary, had asked Handel to compose something special in aid of the Dublin sick. This special work, the immortalMessiah, was finished by Handel on September 14th, 1741, having been written in three weeks—a marvellous tour de force………..

The actual first performance of Handel’s sublime oratorio took place on Tuesday, April 13th, at 12 noon. Neale’s Music Hall was densely packed with a most enthusiastic and discriminating audience, and The Messiah “made its impression once and for ever.”

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Handel’s Messiah (This is not the 1742 recording!)

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1825:  Thomas D’Arcy McGee

Thomas D’Arcy McGee is born in Carlingford. Co. Louth. McGee had a major impact on two British colonies – Ireland and Canada.

Thomas D'Arcy McGee
Thomas D’Arcy McGee

Emigrating from Ireland to the United States at age 13, he became editor of the Boston Pilot, a Catholic newspaper by age 19. On his return to Ireland in 1845, he joined forces with Irish nationalist opinion, becoming editor of the Nation and supporting the failed Young Ireland Rebellion 1848. He was forced to leave the country for Canada where he had a distinguished career as a journalist, an advocate for Catholic rights and eventually was elected to Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, becoming Minister of Agriculture, Immigration, and Statistics in the 1863 Conservative government. As he got older, his stance on Irish nationalism and Fenianism changed dramatically alienating many elements of the Irish community. Following a speech in Parliament April 7, 1868, he was assassinated near his home allegedly by Fenian Patrick James Whelan. Although executed for the murder, there is some doubt as to Whelan’s guilt.

wanted poster thomas d'arcy mcgee killer
Reward for killer of McGee

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1829: Catholic Emancipation

The Catholic Relief act after passing through Parliament March 24, finally receives Royal Assent. The act meant that Irish Catholics could take a seat in Parliament. Kerry’s Daniel O’Connell, the “Great Emancipator” was the driving force for this law. O’Connell had been elected MP for Clare forcing the Conservative government and Home Secretary Robert Peel to take action to avoid civil strife.

Daniel O’Connell 1775-1847

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1928: First East-West Trans-Atlantic Flight

Commander James Fitzmaurice (1898-1965) is a member of the crew of the Bremen along with Germans Hermann Koehl and Gunther Freiherr von Hunefeld, which made the first successful Trans-Atlantic East-West flight on 12–13 April 1928. The Bremen took off from Baldonnel Aerodrome on Thursday 12th April 1928 and landed on Greenly Island in Labrador the following day. The previous year ten unsuccessful East-West transatlantic attempts were made including one attempt by Fitzmaurice.

the bremen awaiting take off at Baldonnel
Bremen awaiting take off at Baldonnel
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fitzmaurice stamp
Fitzmaurice on Irish stamp

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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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