Archive for May 23rd, 2014

May 23,

1798 Rebellion Starts – Good Friday Agreement Approved at Today in Irish History

May 23: TODAY in Irish History:

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Good Friday Agreement: Ahern and Blair

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: Waterford Architect John Roberts

Death of Waterford architect John Roberts (b. 1712). Much of Waterford bears testimony to Roberts skills. He has the rare distinction of designing both the Catholic and Protestant Cathedrals in a city (especially given the times he lived in.) Roberts first major assignment was to complete the Bishop’s Palace on The Mall of Dr. Richard Chevenix, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Waterford & Lismore. His other designs include the forecourt of Curraghmore House for the Marquis of Waterford, Newtown House (now Newtown School) for John Wyse and Faithlegg House for the Bolton family. In 1785 he built the residence of William Morris, now the Harbour Commissioners’ headquarters and the Chamber of Commerce. In 1787 he was commissioned to build a new Leper Hospital on John’s Hill. Roberts also built the Assembly Rooms on the Mall in 1788, which is now the Theatre Royal and City Hall.

Waterford Cathedral by John Roberts


READ: Biography of John Roberts at Dictionary of Irish Architects




1798: Rebellion

The short lived, brutal 1798 Rebellion instigated by the United Irishmen commences when on the night of the 23rd May, the mail coaches leaving Dublin were seized – as a signal to those United Irishmen outside the capital that the time of the uprising had arrived.

Founded in 1791, The United Irishmen had been inspired by the French Revolution. Led by Theobald Wolfe Tone, Thomas Russell, Henry Joy McCracken and William Drennan, their idealistic goal was to unite Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter into one political movement to rid Ireland of English rule. The seizure of the mail coaches did not evoke a rising in Dublin as planned and over the coming days mis-matched Irish rebels throughout the country, but especially Wexford, were put to the sword by a brutal English response.

The 1798 Rebellion was the bloodiest in Irish History. Over two months, atrocities occurred on both sides. The number of casualties among the Irish – rebels and civilians  – ranges from 10,000 to 50,000. English military casualties (many of them Irish) are estimated between 1,000-2,000 with possibly another 1,000 civilians loyal to the crown also killed.


United Irishmen Leader Henry Joy McCracken






1998: Good Friday Referendum

Results of the referendums held in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on the Good Friday Agreement show a massive majority in support of the Agreement  on both sides of the border.

Good Friday Architects Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair

The questions asked of each electorate were different.

In the North, 71% said “Yes” to “Do you support the Agreement reached at the multi-party talks on Northern Ireland and set out in Command Paper 3883?”

In the Republic, 94% of those who went to the polls voted “Yes” to the question “Do you approve of the proposal to amend the Constitution contained in the (19th Amendment to the Constitution) undermentioned Bill? The amendment relinquished the Republic of Ireland’s claim to Northern Ireland which had been enshrined in the 1937 Constitution, just 15 years after Ireland was partitioned.

The deleted articles read:

Article 2: The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas.

Article 3: Pending the re-integration of the national territory, and without prejudice to the right of the Parliament and Government established by this Constitution to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of that territory, the laws enacted by that Parliament shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws of Saorstát Éireann and the like extra-territorial effect.

The deleted articles were replaced with:

2. It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.

3.1. It is the firm will of the Irish nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising that a united Ireland shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island. Until then, the laws enacted by the Parliament established by this Constitution shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws enacted by the Parliament that existed immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution.

3.2. Institutions with executive powers and functions that are shared between those jurisdictions may be established by their respective responsible authorities for stated purposes and may exercise powers and functions in respect of all or any part of the island.





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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.

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