U2 Play Leixlip – The Siege of Derry – Sir Arthur Vicars at Today in Irish History

July 27: 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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1689: The Siege of Derry

The Siege of Derry which had commenced on 18 April nears its end, something that the desperate, starving inhabitants of the city are not aware of. On this day Thomas Ashe, one of the city’s defenders writes in his journal:

“God knows, we never stood in such need of supply; for now there is not one week’s provisions in the garrison. Of necessity we must surrender the city, and make the best terms we can for ourselves. Next Wednesday is our last, if relief does not arrive before it. This day the cows and horses, sixteen of the first, and twelve of the last, were slaughtered; the blood of the cows was sold at four pence per quart, and that of the horses at two pence … There is not a dog to be seen, they are all killed and eaten.”

The Siege of Derry would be over with two days. The city, a Williamite (Protestant) stronghold, was besieged by a Catholic Jacobite army until it was relieved by Royal Navy ships.




1862: Sir Arthur Vicars

Birth of Sir Arthur Vicars in England. Vicars spent most of his life in Ireland where he was Custodian of the Irish Crown Jewels when they were stolen in 1907. Vicars was dismissed from his post as a result. The jewels have never been found.

Vicars retired to his home in County Kerry. During the War of Independence when the IRA often targeted members of the Anglo-Protestant Ascendency, Vicars was taken from his home and executed by the IRA.

See New York Times article on death of Sir Arthur Vicars

sir arthur vicars
Sir Arthur Vicars 1862-1921




1938: Death of Atarctic Explorer, Kerry born Tom Crean

Death of Antarctic explorer Tom Crean who was born in Gortacurraun, Annascaul Co. Kerry in 1877. Crean joined the Royal Navy at a young age. He was one of the crew selected by Captain Robert Scott for his ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. Crean and two others were ordered by Scott to return to base camp within 150 miles of their goal.  Though devastated at the time, the decision obviously saved his life.

Tom Crean Explorer
Tom Crean Antartic 1911

Crean’s expertise and toughness was then recognized by Ernest Shackleton in his valiant efforts to sled across the Antarctic in 1915-16.

Tom Crean Explorer
Tom Crean with sleigh puppies during Shackleton expedition

Crean retired in 1920 and returned to Co. Kerry where he lived in relative anonymity despite (or maybe because of) being a recipient of the Albert Medal and three Polar Medals, In the madness that often permeates Irish history, Crean’s brother Cornelius Crean, a sergeant in the Royal Irish Constabulary, was shot dead by the IRA in County Cork on 25 April, 1920. IrishMedals.org writes “Sergeant Cornelius Crean who was struck by four bullets, a married man his wife ran a small hotel on King’s Street Cork. He was a native of Annascaul County Kerry and had served with the RIC for twenty eight years, He was a well known sportsman and had played in the Munster Rugby Cup matches with the Cork Constitution Team.”


Cornelius Crean RIC
RIC Sergeant Cornelius Crean killed by IRA

READ: Detailed Bio of Tom Crean


SEE:  Tom Crean – Unsung Hero




1980: U2 Play Leixlip

A very young U2 play their first open air gig at Leixlip, Co. Kildare opening for The Police, a concert which your site curator Conor Cunneen attended. Other bands featured were Squeeze and Q-Tips. Leixlip Castle was once the home of Arthur Guinness.





WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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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