IRA Kills 29 in Omagh Bombing – Taoiseach Jack Lynch – Cromwell in Ireland

August 15: TODAY in Irish History:

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Omagh bombing support group report intelligence

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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1649: Cromwell Lands in Ireland

Oliver Cromwell arrives in Ireland and soon all hell will break lose. Indeed, Cromwell will famously tell the Irish “To Hell or Connaught.” Cromwell had been appointed by Parliament as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and landed at Dublin with troop numbers of at least 13,000.

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Oliver Cromwell at Today in Irish History portrait British National Portrait Gallery

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Over the next few months, he would lay siege to Drogheda and massacre most of the inhabitants. Soon Wexford would suffer the same fate where an estimated 2,000 defenders and civilians were shown no quarter. In both cities, it is estimated at least 2,000 civilians died. Clonmel and Kilkenny were the only cities where Cromwell showed mercy to the inhabitants.

Cromwell’s defenders will claim that his actions were not so much anti-Irish as anti-Catholic and that it was not unusual in those days to put a besieged town to the sack. It’s not an argument the Irish have much sympathy for and he is probably the most reviled person in Irish history and indeed Scotland. By the time he left Ireland in 1650, he had destroyed any serious resistance to English occupation.

Tragically, the effects of Cromwell on Irish History would still be playing out 349 years later on this day with the Omagh bombing of 1998. See below.

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1917: Taoiseach and Hurling Legend Jack Lynch

Jack Lynch, Taoiseach and GAA Hurling star is born in Cork.

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Lynch was Taoiseach during a particularly difficult time in 20th Century Irish history 1966-1973 when the Troubles in Northern Ireland erupted and a Southern government was riven by actions that should be taken. He sacked two ministers Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney for their alleged involvement in diverting government funds to support IRA gun-running. In criminal proceedings, both were found not guilty of gun running although Haughey – probably the most corrupt politician in  Republic of Ireland history –  probably perjured himself during the trial.

Despite some mis-steps, Lynch’s even hand ensured relatively good relationships with  Britain during an explosive period including the Bloody Sunday shootings and the burning of the British Embassy in Dublin .

Lynch’s second tenure in power between 1977-1979 was riven by internal Fianna Fail disquiet as Charles Haughey engineered his successful efforts to gain leadership of the party and thus Taoiseach. Although a likeable man, Lynch was not above blatant manoevering for political benefit. Fianna Fail’s return to power in 1977 was on the back of a promise to abolish rates on private houses – an action that was totally unjustified and one that the Irish economy still suffers from today supported as it is by a very narrow tax base.

In his younger days, Jack Lynch was a superb hurler and footballer winning one All Ireland football medal and five All Ireland hurling medals for the rebel county.

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1998: IRA Bomb Omagh – 29 Killed

Omagh bombing support group report intelligence

An IRA bomb explodes in Omagh, Co. Tyrone killing 29 people. As a result of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the people of Northern Ireland thought they had seen the end of violence. However, a tiny breakaway group of IRA dissidents who called themselves The Real IRA thought otherwise and continued the campaign to rid Northern Ireland of   “British occupation.” The events of Omagh were a microcosm of how both Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries operated over the previous thirty years. A  tiny minority intent on destruction provided poor telephoned bomb warnings to the authorities. In the confusion and it appears general laxness of residents and police authorities, the victims were unknowingly shepherded close to the car that contained 500 lbs of explosives. The victims never had a chance.

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Although Prime Minister Tony Blair promised that the bombers would be pursued “to the utmost,” no one has ever been convicted of the bombings. It is generally accepted that the authorities on both sides of the border “know” who the bombers are, but have not been able to provide evidence. Republican Michael McKevitt was found liable in civil court   of responsibility for the bombing.

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omagh bombing at today in Irish History
The red car some minutes before the bomb. (Source Wikipedia)

For Extensive Details of Omagh Bombing

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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

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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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