Posts tagged ‘margaret thatcher and Ireland’

March 30,

Playwright Seán O’Casey – Airey Neave Assassination – – John McGahern at Today in Irish History

March 30: TODAY in Irish History:

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sean o'casey irish playwrightf

Sean O’Casey 1880-1964

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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1880: Playwright Seán O’Casey

Birth of Irish playwright Seán O’Casey, born John Casey or John Cassidy. A 1965 film titled Young Cassidy, starring Rod Taylor is a bBiographical drama based on the early years of his life depicting his early life of Dublin poverty to the celebrated openings of his early plays.

O’Casey was a committed socialist who was involved in the Irish Transport and General Workers Union which had been founded by famed Irish labor leader “Big Jim” Larkin. 

O’Casey’s plays dealt primarily with the challenges of republican and poverty stricken Ireland. His works, which stand the test of time well include, The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars.

Barry Fitzgerald and Sean o'Casey

Above: Barry Fitzgerald and Sean O’Casey c 1959. They were room mates in 1920 Dublin. Below Fitzgerald in John Ford’s 1936 film of O’Casey’s  The Plough and the Stars.

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1979: Assassination of Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary Airey Neave

Airey Neave 1916-1979

Airey Neave 1916-1979

Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary Airey Neave is killed by a car bomb as he leaves the House of Commons car park. The well planned operation was carried out by the INLA, (Irish National Liberation Army) who attached a bomb by magnet to the car and started the timer by a wrist watch. A tilt switch activated the bomb when the car started.

Neave had an adventurous life including being the first British officer to escape from Colditz prison. He was an ardent supporter of Margaret Thatcher. Some observers speculate that the Iron Lady’s hard line views and policy re Northern Ireland were shaped by the assassination of her close adviser.

airey neave car bomb
Airey Neave car following car bomb
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MARGARET THATCHER SPEAKING IMMEDIATELY AFTER AIREY NEAVE ASSASSINATION

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2006: Author John McGahern

Death of Irish author John McGahern (b. . Although maybe not as well known as other Irish authors, the Guardian newspaper suggested in his obituary that McGahern was arguably the most important Irish novelist since Samuel Beckett. McGahern received an accolade that publicists of authors can only dream about! His most famous novel The Dark (1965) was banned for a period of time by Irish censorship authorities. It also cost McGahern his job as a school teacher employed by the Irish state.

John McGahern irish author
John McGahern 1934-2006

McGaherns other novels include: The Barracks (1963), The Leavetaking (1974), The Pornographer (1979), Amongst Women (1990)

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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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October 12,

IRA Brighton Bombing – Wolfe Tone Captured – Oliver Plunkett Canonized

October 12: TODAY in Irish History:

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Grand Hotel following IRA bomb

Grand Hotel following IRA bomb

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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1798: Capture of Wolfe Tone

Wolfe Tone
Wolfe Tone 1763-1798

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Tone was one of the founders of the United Irishmen. In efforts to free Ireland from English rule, he had encouraged a French invasion of Ireland which due to bad planning and bad luck was never successful. In October 1798, French forces consisting of eight frigates were intercepted by British ships off Buncrana, Co. Donegal.  Retreating French ships offered Tone escape but he allegedly said “Shall it be said that I fled, whilst the French were fighting the battles of my country?” He was captured on the ship Hoche.

Two years previously,  Wolfe Tone had attempted to land at Bantry Bay, Co. Cork on another French “invasion.”High winds and storms would mean the planned landing would be aborted some days later. He w wrote in his journal:

“We are now, nine o’clock, at the rendezvous appointed; stood in for the coast till twelve, when we were near enough to toss a biscuit ashore; at twelve tacked and stood out again, so now we have begun our cruise of five days in all its forms, and shall, in obedience to the letter of our instructions, ruin the expedition, and destroy the remnant of the French navy, with a precision and punctuality which will be truly edifying.”

Some days previously, Tone’s brother Matthew Tone was executed having been captured at the Battle of Ballinamuck fighting with French forces.

READShort History of Wolfe Tone

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1975: Oliver Plunkett Canonized

Oliver Plunkett, the last Catholic martyr to be executed in England, July 1, 1681, is canonized by Pope Paul VI. Plunkett was Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland who was found guilty of treason for essentially refusing to succumb to severe anti-Catholic legislation.

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catholic martyr oliver plunkett

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READ: Pope Paul VI Canonization homily of Oliver Plunkett

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/homilies/1975/documents/hf_p-vi_hom_19751012_en.html

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1984: IRA Brighton Bomb

Grand Hotel following IRA bomb

Grand Hotel following IRA bomb

The IRA detonates a 100lb bomb at the Grand Hotel Brighton where the Conservative Party is holding its annual conference. Five people die while Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher narrowly escapes injury.

Following the bombing, the IRA issued a statement “”Today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once; you will have to be lucky always.”

The bomb was planted by IRA activist Patrick Magee who had checked into the hotel five weeks earlier. Magee was released from a life sentence in 1999 as part of the Good Friday Agreement. He has since made public efforts at reconciliation of both communities and twenty five years after the Brighton bombing spoke at the House of Commons with Jo Berry, daughter of Sir Anthony Berry, one of those killed in the bombing.

READ: Bombing Daughter Launches Charity

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SEE: Guardian newspaper picture gallery of Brighton 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

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)