Archive for May, 2014

May 31,

Luftwaffe Bombs Dublin – Arkle the Wonder Horse – RIC Disbands at Today in Irish History

May 31: TODAY in Irish History:

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Pat Taffe on wonder horse Arkle

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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1922: Royal Irish Constabulary Disbands

Official disbandment in the Irish Free State of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) to be replaced by the Civic Guard, later renamed An Garda Síochána. In Northern Ireland, it would be a few months before the RIC would be replaced officially by the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary).

The RIC had suffered terribly during the Irish War of Independence. Many ordinary Irish police officers (mostly Catholic) were caught in a conflict of loyalty between maintaining law and order for a British institution and the IRA’s efforts to force England out. In one three month period in 1920, over 600 men resigned their commission out of a force of 9,500. Those who stayed were deemed legitimate targets by the IRA who killed an estimated 200 policemen during the conflict. Following the Treaty, many opted to join the respective new police forces on both sides of the border.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary website quotes historians W.J.Lowe and E.L. Malcolm on the RIC:

“That the R.I.C. held up as well as it did in the difficult years after 1918 is remarkable when one takes into account that barracks were managed by large numbers of middle aged men with families to support. Their long careers signified experience, loyalty and knowledge, as well as a maturity that bolstered discipline under duress. But in both organizational and personnel terms, the R.I.C. was a civil police force and not a light infantry. And this presented a problem when confronted by a determined guerilla army.”

SEE: Website Royal Irish Constabulary

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1941: Luftwaffe Bombs Dublin

German planes drop bombs over Dublin during the night. The bombs killed 28 people, injured 90, destroyed or damaged approximately 300 houses, and left 400 people homeless. Although the rationale for the bombing of what was a neutral country has never been properly clarified, the bombing was most likely a navigational error.

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The Bombing of Dublin’s North Strand 1941 is available at Amazon.

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1970: Arkle – The Wonder Horse

Pat Taffe on wonder horse Arkle

Jockey Pat Taffe on wonder horse Arkle

Death of Arkle the wonder horse, probably the greatest steeplechase horse ever and an animal that absolutely captured the hearts of the Irish population during the 1960s. Jockey Pat Taffe rode Arkle  to victory in three Cheltenham Gold Cups between 1964 and 1966, the King George VI Chase, two Hennessy Gold Cups, an Irish Grand National and a Whitbread Gold Cup. In a relatively drab Ireland of the 60s, Taffe and Arkle became rock stars, even having a chart topping song, sung by Dominic Behan called after the wonder horse. 

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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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May 30,

John B Keane on Matchmaking – Michael Davitt Irish League Founder – 1798 Rebellion at Today in Irish History

May 30: 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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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

 

 

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1798: Rebel Success in Wexford

Rebellion continues with some success for Irish forces in Wexford. At Three Rocks, just outside Wexford town, 70 English militia are killed in a carefully planned ambush by Irish forces. In response to this and other action, English troops abandon Wexford town. At this stage, almost all of Wexford is in the hands of Irish forces.

A letter written at this time to a Mr. Addington by Dr. Butson, Dean of Waterford, describes in some detail the travails of the Loyalist population

” Waterford, May 3ist.

” Nothing can exceed the melancholy aspect of this place. The insurgents in our neighbouring county of Wexford are so numerous as to have taken possession of and destroyed the town of Enniscorthy not a house remaining ; men, women, and children murdered and burnt, particularly the clergy. A gentleman has informed me that he saw the bodies of Mr. Hayden, a clergyman past eighty years of age, and of Mr. Nun, a very respectable rector, lying unburied in the street, the day after their entrance, with 400 more dead bodies. Some detachments sent from hence have been defeated : from one under the command of General Faucett, 1 they took two fieldpieces. The rebels amount to 15 or 16,000 ; march in a disciplined manner, have a squadron of cavalry, and fire their cannon with precision. These ircumstances I give on the authority of officers who have been beaten back. Every tide brings us in boats full of wounded and fugitives. Yesterday the rebels were in possession of Wexford ; thus a port is open to the French, but it is a very bad harbour. At New Ross, ten miles from hence, about 1000 troops and some artillery are got together : the insurgents are around Wexford, about twenty-eight miles from thence. As yet, from the spirit of the principal inhabitants and clergy uniting to guard it, this city has not risen.”

Source. H. F. B. Wheeler & A. M. Broadley, The War in Wexford: an account of the rebellion in the south of Ireland in 1798, told from original documents (London 1910) pp. 83-4.

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Free Download: The War in Wexford: an account of the rebellion in the south of Ireland in 1798

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1906: Michael Davitt – Irish League Founder

Death of Michael Davitt (b.1846 in County Mayo). Davitt founded the Irish Land League in 1879, a non-violent action group designed to help Irish tenant farmers who effectively had no rights in 19th century Ireland.

Michael Davitt (1846-1906) Irish Land League Founder

The objectives of the Land League were “to bring out a reduction of rack-rents; second, to facilitate the obtaining of the ownership of the soil by the occupiers. That the object of the League can be best attained by promoting organisation among the tenant-farmers; by defending those who may be threatened with eviction for refusing to pay unjust rents; by facilitating the working of the Bright clauses of the Irish Land Act during the winter; and by obtaining such reforms in the laws relating to land as will enable every tenant to become owner of his holding by paying a fair rent for a limited number of years.”

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1951:De Valera Returns to Power

Irish general election sees Fianna Fail return to power under leadership of Eamonn De Valera.During this governing period of 1951-1954, De Valera would have his only meeting with Winston Churchill on September 16 1953.

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2002:John B. Keane RIP

Death  of one of Ireland’s finest (and funniest) playwrights John B. Keane. His many works include: Many Young Men of Twenty, Sive, The Year of the Hiker, The Field and Big Maggie.

John B. Keane 1928-2002

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John B. Keane on Matchmaking. Humorous and Serious

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shamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrock

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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

___________________________________

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)