“Da Mare” Richard J. Daley – Father Flanagan of Boys Town – Jerry Quarry at Today in Irish History

May 15 :TODAY in Irish History:

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Father Flanagan 1886-1948

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




1829: Daniel O’Connell Refuses to take Oath of Supremacy

Roman Catholic Daniel O’Connell attempts to take his seat in the  House of Commons. He refuses to take the Oath of Supremacy which stated “the sacrifice of the Mass, and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and other saints, as now practiced in the Church of Rome, are impious and idolatrous.”

O’Connell refused the oath stating “I decline, Mr. Clerk, to take this oath: part of it I know to be false; another part I believe not to be true.”

Daniel O’Connell refusing to take oath

Solicitor-General Nicholas Conyngham Tindal moved that his seat be declared vacant and another election ordered; O’Connell was elected unopposed on 30 July 1829. Following the introduction of The Catholic Relief Act of 1829, O’Connell was able to take his seat in Parliament.




1847: Death of Daniel O’Connell

Eighteen years after refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, Daniel O’Connell – The Great Emancipator – dies in Genoa age 71. O’Connell was the prime mover in attaining Catholic Emancipation – allowing Catholics to sit in Parliament.

Daniel O’Connell was born in Cahirciveen, Co Kerry. O’Connell would go on to be one of the most important figures in Irish political and Catholic civil rights history.

O’Connell was a rock star politician and fine orator who drew huge crowds. His actions, and the concerns of Prime Minister Duke of Wellington (born Dublin 1769) that the continued refusal to provide the vote to Catholics would generate further unrest ensured the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act. O’Connell was so popular that King George IV complained “‘O’Connell! God damn the scoundrel.’ Oh, the Duke of Wellington is King of England, O’Connell is King of Ireland and I suppose I am only considered as Dean of Windsor’.

Daniel O’Connell originally won a by-election in County Clare in 1828 defeating William Vesey Fitzgerald. but was not allowed take his seat refusing to swear an Oath of Supremacy that was incompatible with his Catholic faith.


Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O’Connell 1775-1847


Page on Daniel O’Connell in FOR THE LOVE OF BEING IRISH. by Conor Cunneen. Illustrations by Mark Anderson

Page on Daniel O’Connell in FOR THE LOVE OF BEING IRISH.



READ: Detailed Biography of O’Connell at History of Parliament




1902: Richard J. Daley – “Da Mare”

Richard J. Daley 1972-1976

Richard J. Daley, who would go on to become “Da Mare” of Chicago is born. Daley’s ancestors left Ireland at the time of the famine, settling in Chicago, a city that he ruled with an iron fist in his time as Mayor from 1955-1976. Daley was one of the last old style politicians (although some would say his son Richard M. Daley followed suit) who doled out favors and positions to friends, colleagues and cronies. His handling of the Democratic Convention riots of 1968 was a very public blot on his profile as Chicago police engaged in what was described as a “police riot.” Daley’s response was “The confrontation was not caused by the police. The confrontation was caused by those who charged the police. Gentlemen, let’s get this thing straight, once and for all. The policeman is not here to create disorder. The policeman is here to preserve disorder.”

Daley’s speaking style provided a font of humor for comedians and satirists. In For the Love of Being Irish, author Conor Cunneen quotes Daley as saying of how he had been treated by critics: “They have vilified me, they have crucified me; yes, they have even criticized me.”

Daley is often credited with stealing the election for John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1960 by ensuring the democratic candidate won Illinois. While there may be some truth that a number of Kennedy supporters voted early and often, Illinois was not critical. Even had the vote gone the other way and the states 27 Electoral College votes went to Nixon, Kennedy had sufficient electoral college votes, as his final victory margin was 303 to Nixon’s 219.

Richard J. Daley Telephone Conversation with JFK

Daley’s ability to make things happen are evidenced in a telephone conversation he had with JFK on October 28th, 1963 in relation to civil rights legislation the President was pushing.

JFK: (IL. Democratic Congressman) Roland Libonati is sticking it right up us.

Daley: Is, he is?

JFK: Yeah, because he’s standing with the extreme liberals who are gonna end up with no bill at all. Then when we put together, uh, he’ll, gonna vote for the extreme bill. Then I asked him, “If you’ll vote for this package which we got together with the Republicans which gives us about everything we wanted,” and he says, “No.”

Daley: Daley: He’ll vote for it. He’ll vote for any goddamned thing you want….. That’s better. But he’ll do it. The last time I, I told him, “Now look it, I don’t give a goddamned what it is, you vote for, for anything the President wants and this is the way it will be and this is the way we want it and that’s the way it’s gonna be.”

Daley and JFK - 1963   AP
Daley and JFK – 1963                                 


LISTEN to Daley / Kennedy Phone Conversation


Daley on 1968 Chicago Riots





1945: Boxer “Irish” Jerry Quarry

Jerry Quarry

Birth of heavyweight boxer “Irish” Jerry Quarry who is the only fighter to have fought Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier twice. He lost each fight and was virtually a punch bag for Ali in his second fight. Quarry was voted the most popular boxer in the sport by Boxing Illustrated for three years running 1968-1970, partly because he was promoted as the “Great White Hope.” Quarry was a very brave fighter as many YouTube videos will attest, but he paid a brutal price for twenty-eight years in the ring and a record of 53-9-4, suffering from dementia pugilistica before his death.

The first clip highlights one of Quarry’s best performances against Ernie Shavers.

This clip shows Quarry being outclassed by “Irishman” Muhammad Ali with commentary by broadcaster and commentator Eamonn Andrews

Quarry was never a great boxer, but he never gave up.


READ: A Boxing Fan’s Perspective on Jerry Quarry




1948: Death of Father Flanagan

Roscommon born Father Edward J. Flanagan (b. 1886), founder of Boys Town dies while travelling in Germany. He was a true friend to children in need who stated ““There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.”


Roscommon born Father Flanagan


The website www.boystown.org says “On December 12, 1917, Father Flanagan opened his first Boys’ Home in a run-down Victorian mansion in downtown Omaha. In 1921, the Boys’ Home moved to Overlook Farm, its present location near 139th and West Dodge Road. Father Flanagan and Boys Town became internationally known with the help of the 1938 movie, “Boys Town.” He became an acknowledged expert in the field of child care, and toured the United States discussing his views on juvenile delinquency.”

Flanagan’s great work was portrayed (in a very Hollywood style) in Boys Town starring Spencer Tracy who was of Irish extraction.




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)


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