On this day

  • 15 November 1985 Anglo Irish Agreement signed

    Ulster not for sale

    15 November 1985 Anglo Irish Agreement signed
    Thirty-four years ago today a political crisis, much like the present day, loomed large in Irish society. On 15 November 1985 at Hillsborough Castle, County Down the Anglo-Irish Agreement was singed by Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald and British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

    The framework it was hoped would help to end the northern torubles, then entering a sixteenth year and which had claimed countless lives. The agreement provided for regular meetings between ministers in the Irish and British governments on matters affecting Northern Ireland. It outlined cooperation in four areas: political matters; security and related issues; legal matters, including the administration of justice; and the promotion of cross-border cooperation.
    For Unionists however it was a 'gross betrayal' and they threatened to make Northern Ireland ‘ungovernable’. Both leaders expressed the hope that there would not be a violent reaction from Loyalists. James Molyneaux, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, said that if the course of action set out in the Anglo-Irish deal was allowed to go unchecked and it came to the stage where Unionists were to be ‘transferred like a trussed up parcel from one state to another and the Irish Army attempted to take over this Province, then there would be violence’. The outspoken Ian Paisley added that the violence would be ‘to the death’.
    Both leaders sought to reassure Unionists concerns wtih Garret FitzGerald stating that ‘Irish political unity would come about only with the consent of a majority’. Margaret Thatcher went further and claimed that there would be ‘no change in the status of Northern Ireland without their consent. The legitimacy of the unionists position has been recognised by the Republic in a formal international agreement’. While ultimately the agreement would be dismissed as a failure it did act as a starting point in negotiations which would lead to the Good Friday Agreement thirteen years later.

    Irish Independent 16.November.1985

    Source newspaper: www.irishnewspaperarchives.com Irish Independent 1905-current, Saturday, November 16, 1985, page 9

  • William Butler Yeats Wins Nobel Prize in Literature 14.November.1923

    William Butler Yeats wins nobel peace prize

    14 November 1923 William Butler Yeats Wins Nobel Peace Prize
    On 14 November 1923 Irish poet and senator, William Butler Yeats created history when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first Irish citizen to achieve such an accolade.

    The prize was awarded to Yeats ‘for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation’. Somewhat surprised by the award, Yeats would later write in his autobiography:
    Early in November (1923) a journalist called to show me a printed paragraph saying that the Nobel Prize would probably be conferred upon Herr Mann, the distinguished novelist, or upon myself, I did not know that the Swedish Academy had ever heard my name.
    The news of the award was widely praised in Ireland with members of Dáil Éireann proudly announcing that it had placed Ireland on the international stage. It was a sentiment reiterated by the laureate himself, who at the awards ceremony claimed that the Nobel Prize was less for himself than for his country and called it Europe’s welcome to the Free State. In his presentation speech, Per Hallstrom, the then chairman of the academy’s Nobel Committee, praised the poet’s ability to ‘follow the spirit that early appointed him the interpreter of his country, a country that had long waited for someone to bestow on it a voice’.
    For many people Yeats was one of the few writers whose greatest works were written after the award of the Nobel Prize. The publication of his poetry which included The Wild Swans at Coole (1919), Michael Robartes and the Dancer (1921), The Tower (1928), The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1933), and Last Poems and Plays (1940), made him one of the outstanding and most influential twentieth-century poets writing in English.

    Source newspaper: www.irishnewsarchives.com Download: Irish Independent 1905-current, Thursday, November 29, 1923; Page: 9

  • Anniversary of the Armistice 11.November.1919


    One hundred years ago today towns and villages all across Ireland marked the first anniversary of the Armistice or the end of the First World War in November 1918. It is interesting now looking back at the enthusiasm which existed for these armistice events, illustrating that although the War of Independence had begun in January 1919, public opinion had not yet changed. On the previous day, the 10th November, the Evening Herald newspaper, amongst others, carried advertisements from the King, ordering people to observe two minutes silence at 11am in memory of those who had died during the war.

    In Cork the sailors and soldiers observed the armistice and most of the workers of the city stopped work, while at the Curragh in county Kildare a great military event was laid on to commemorate the end of the War. Some detailed accounts survive of this first armistice commemoration, among them that at Mountmellick, County Laois. Here the Leinster Express newspaper recalled that
    At 11am all the unemployed members of the association assembled at the club and proceeded to the RC Church where they spent some time in remembrance of the Mountmellick men, which numbered upwards of 70 men….One of the scrolls which they carried read ‘Lest we Forget’, while another read ‘We commemorate the 71 Mountmellick men who gave their lives to preserve our homes. Comrades keep the home fires burning’… One of the features of the Mountmellick display was the man who had lost both of his feet in the war and was in a tricycle, and the car which carried soldiers who were unable to walk.
    Things would soon change in Ireland and when the armistice was next celebrated numbers were far lower in towns such as Mountmellick and elsewhere.

    Source newspaper:  www.irishnewsarchives.com Download: Cork Examiner 12.November.1919

    Leinster Express, 15 November 1919; Irish Examiner, 12 November 1919

    #armistice #ww1 #history

  • Funeral of Terence Bellew McManus 10 November 1861

    Terrence Bellew

    10 November 1861 Terence Bellew McManus
    The funeral of Terence Bellew McManus in Dublin on 10 November 1861, when over 100,000 people followed the funeral cortege to Glasnevin proved to be a defining moment in the Fenian movement copper fasting support for the fledgling organisation.

    Born in county Fermanagh in 1811 Terence Bellew MacManus, a member of the Repeal party and the Young Irelanders, took part in the ill-fated 1848 uprising in Ballingarry, county Tipperary. He was sentenced to death for his part in the Rising, but this was later commuted to transportation for life. Sent to Van Diemens Land, Tasmania, McManus escaped two years later and made his way to America, where he remained in San Francisco for the remainder of his life.
    When he died in January 1861 the Fenian Brotherhood in San Francisco seized the moment and decided that McManus should be repatriated to Ireland and plans were put in place for his remains to be brought to Glasnevin cemetery for burial. It was a major coup for the Fenians and allowed them to drum up support all across the USA, Britain and Ireland as the funeral plans were put in place. Despite intense opposition from the Catholic Church in Ireland, the funeral provided the Fenian movement with its first public spectacle.
    Archbishop Paul Cullen refused to allow the remains to lie in state in any church in his diocese, except for the funeral mass, so the ceremony took place from the Mechanics Institute on Abbey Street Lower. Passing through the streets of Dublin, thousands of Fenians in uniform paraded past the sites associated with Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone and Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Described as the ‘greatest spectacle’ ever witnessed in Dublin the funeral had the effect of reawakening nationalist sentiment in Ireland which was said to have been dormant following the devastation of the Great Famine.

    Source newspaper: www.irishnewsarchives.com

    Download below : Connaught Telegraph 13.November.1861 & Kerry Star 16.November.1861:

    Connaught Ranger 13                                                             Connaught Ranger 13


    #history #archives #republican #Bellew #Irish

  • Society of United Irishmen formed in Dublin 09 November 1791

    United Irishmen formed 09.November.1791

    On the 9 November 1791 the Society of United Irishmen was formed in Dublin, having met the previous month in Belfast. Spurred on by Theobold Wolfe Tone’s pamphlet titled, An Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland, these young radicals proposed three resolutions, which were to guide the new movement forward and which left a lasting impression on generations of Irish men and women.

    Firstly, that there existed the need for ‘a cordial union among all the people of Ireland’; secondly that a complete and radical reform of the representation of the people in Parliament was needed and, thirdly, that this reform should include ‘Irishmen of every religious persuasion’. The new organisation immediately tried to bring about change and Tone through his work as secretary of the Catholic Committee, organised a Catholic Convention in Dublin in 1792.

    Although a Catholic Relief Act  was passed in 1793, which rescinded some of the harsh Penal Laws, the United Irishmen soon turned their attention to France where they were heavily influenced by the French revolutionary ideals of ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’.

    When the United Irishmen were proclaimed a secret society and members arrested, Tone made for America, and then France but made known his objectives for Irish Independence and that he wished:

    To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter – these were my means’

    The 1798 rebellion would soon follow and although achieving initial success was brutally suppressed, thereby ending the ideals of the United Irishmen in uniting the people of Ireland.

     Source newspaper: www.irishnewsarchives.com

    Download: Belfast Newsletter, 16 December 1791;

    Download: Belfast Newsletter 1738-1938, Friday, September 14, 1792

    #UnitedIrishmen #history #irish #WolfeTone

  • Mary Robinson elected 08.November.1990

    Mary Robinson elected president of Ireland

    8 November.1990 Mary Robinson elected of Ireland
    Twenty-nine years ago today the Republic of Ireland elected its first female President when Mary Robinson was declared the winner of the presidential election. Robinson, who had won the hearts of people of all ages and political persuasions claimed that it was a ‘great day for the women of Ireland, a great, great day’.
    The election saw veteran Fianna Fail TD Brian Lenihan; SDLP politician, Austin Currie and Robinson, a Senator (and supported by the Labour Party and the Workers’ Party) go head to head.

    However, the election was not without controversy. During the campaign, it emerged that Lenihan had applied pressure on former President Patrick Hillery during an earlier political crisis and his candidacy was in jeopardy. Initially denying this, Lenihan was forced to backtrack on ‘mature recollection’ when a tape of him admitting it was leaked. In the end, the so-called ‘Rainbow’ coalition delivered a massive personal vote for Robinson.
    In a specially written piece for the Sunday Independent, the president-elect outlined what for her was a ‘proud challenge’ to represent the people of Ireland as their president. Throughout the campaign, Robinson spoke about her great interest in the plight of Irish emigrants, of the Irish abroad and about representing Ireland abroad. Robinson was inaugurated as the seventh President of Ireland on 3 December 1990.
    Robinson proved a popular choice as President and during her term in office, she oversaw the signing into law two very important bills for which she had long advocated, those relating to the sale of the availability of contraceptives and the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
    Her presidency would also help portray the role of the president in a new light to the people of Ireland and elsewhere. In particular, her role and in interest in visiting countries and regions afflicted by Famine and disease led to her subsequent appointment as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    Source newspaper: www.irishnewsarchives.com Sunday Independent, 11 November 1990.

    How to the race was won: Download Sunday Independent 08.November.1990

    My Proud Challenge: Download Sunday Independent 08.Nov.1990

  • Dr Tiede Herrema freed 7 November 1975

    He's FREE

    7 November  1975 Dr  Tiede Herrema freed

    On 7 November 1975 the story which had gripped the nation for over thirty days came to a dramatic, if somewhat anti-climatic conclusion when the ‘Siege of Monasterevin’ ended and the Dutch businessman Dr Tiede Herrema was freed by his two IRA captors. Chief executive of the Ferenka steel company in Limerick which employed 1,200 people, Herrema had been kidnapped on 3 October at a bogus checkpoint set up by republicans Eddie Gallagher and Marian Coyle. The kidnappers, phoning the Dutch Embassy in Dublin, demanded a cash ransom and the release of three republican prisoners. If this was not done within 48 hours they threatened to shoot  Herrema.

    Taoiseach Liam Cosgrove refused to pay the ransom fearing that it would lead to the exit of foreign business investment and also spark copycat kidnappings. It was the start of a 36 day ordeal for Herrema and led to the biggest manhunt in the history of the Irish state. The Gardai operation alone, which included 4,000 officers and the army, was said to have cost the state more than £3 million.

    Finally, just over two weeks later the kidnappers were tracked to a council estate in the quiet village of Monasterevin, County Kildare. Gardai and Army surrounded the house and made several attempts to enter the house but Coyle and Gallagher repelled them firing wildly as they retreated upstairs with Herrema.

    Holed up in the upstairs box room for over four days, Gallagher, who had become violently ill, and Coyle decided to surrender and so ended the siege at ‘1014 St Evin’s Park’. Marian Coyle was later sentenced to 15 years, of which she served, while Gallagher served 14 years of his 20-year sentence.

    For many in the Republic of Ireland, it brought the reality of the troubles closer to home.

    Download the Irish Independent  here 7 November 1975 Dr Tiede Herrema freed

    Source newspaper: www.irishnewsarchives.com / Irish Independent, 8 November 19757 November 1975 Dr Tiede Herrema freed

  • Gaelic League bans ‘Jazz’ - 6 November 1929

    Gaelic League bans ‘Jazz’ 6 November 1929

    Gaelic League bans Jazz
    Readers of the Irish Newspaper Archive might find some of the reports from Ireland ninety years ago this month somewhat peculiar, especially those regarding a ban implemented by the Gaelic League, a cultural organisation which promoted the Irish language, against all forms of ‘Jazz’ music. Taken by the executive of the Gaelic League, it was an issue, which had festered for many months prior to this and indeed would for some time afterwards.

    Jazz music it was claimed had taken hold in Ireland in the wake of the First World War and had spread from Dublin to the music halls which sprung up in towns and villages across the country. Detractors claimed that jazz music and dancing was just a ‘passing phase’ and that it was the ‘natural reaction’ to the post-war phase that Ireland found itself in.
    All branches of the Gaelic League were sent a warning as to their conduct going forward with particular regard to attending or promoting jazz. The idea was to follow the GAA’s bans on the playing of foreign games, something which had proved popular across the country. While the debate had begun earlier in 1929 in Wexford and other centres, it was in Leitrim that the most vocal opponents of jazz were to found. Here the parish priest of Cloone, Fr Conferey openly criticised jazz from the pulpit and told the people that they should sing Irish songs only. In nearby Mohill it was reported that 3,000 people demanded that jazz be banned and they carried banners with slogans such as ‘Down with Jazz’ and ‘Out with paganism’.

    Ultimately, the ban sparked outrage across the country but it spoke volumes about post-independent Ireland and attitudes towards culture and pastimes, which were not Irish.

    Source newspaper: www.irishnewsarchives.com Sunday Independent, 10 November 1929

    #jazz #GaelicLeague #GAA

  • Murder of Major Denis Mahon 02.November.1847

    Murder Major Mahon

    Murder of Major Denis Mahon

    On 2 November 1847, during ‘Black 47’, the worst year of the Great Famine the murder of Major Denis Mahon of Strokestown Park House in county Roscommon was something of an international cause celebre. The murder of Major Denis Mahon was debated as far away as the British House of Commons and both Queen Victoria and Pope Pius IX were said to have been horrific by the incident. It was also the first murder of a landlord during the Famine and opened a religious debate which had ramifications further afield.

    Owner of an 11,000 acres estate in county Roscommon which was both overpopulated and heavily in debt when the Famine struck, in the early spring of 1847 Mahon initiated a scheme of assisted emigration of almost 1,500 tenants. This group of emigrants were accompanied to Liverpool by the estate bailiff, John Robinson to ensure that none would return to Roscommon. Almost a quarter of these would die enroute to Canada but when news filtered back to Strokestown that the number was far higher a plot was arranged to have him assassinated.

    On 2 November, shortly before six o'clock, having attended a meeting of the Roscommon board of guardians where he had sought an extension of relief for the inhabitants of Strokestown, Mahon was ambushed and murdered. Accompanied by Terence Shanley, Medical Doctor at Strokestown, he was shot in the chest and died instantly. Across Roscommon the news instantly spread and was widely celebrated: ‘within one hour of the foul deed being perpetrated the several hills were lighted by bonfires in every direction’.

    It was later claimed that  the day before the murder, the local Parish priest, Fr McDermott claimed at Sunday mass that Mahon was ‘Worse than Cromwell and yet he lives’. It was a claim which he staunchly denied. In 1848 two men were hanged for the murder but it was widely believed that the guilty parties were never apprehended.

     Download article  Source Newspaper: Irish Newspaper Archives -  Freeman’s Journal, 4 Nov 1847; Freeman’s Journal, 29 April 1848. page 2 

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