1176 Strongbow (Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke) died in Dublin on this day in 1176. He was a Norman Lord, and was one of the soldiers that helped Dermot MacMurrough regain his position of King of Leinster, after he had been ousted by Rory O’Connor.
Strongbow was described by Gerald of Wales, a medieval clergyman, as ‘a tall and fair man, of pleasing appearance, modest in his bearing, delicate in features, of a low voice, but sage in council and the idol of his soldiers.‘
Click here to read more about the Norman invasion of Ireland
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1608 Sir Thomas Phillipps was granted a licence to distil whiskey in Co Antrim by King James I on this day in 1608. The distillery has gone through several names, rebrands and changes of ownership since then, but Bushmills Distillery is still in production today, and is considered the oldest licenced distillery in the world.
It attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year, and currently produces various whiskeys that are sold all over the world.
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1857 Thomas Myles was born in Limerick on this day in 1857. He was a surgeon and worked at Dr Steeven’s Hospital in Dublin. He was the doctor who tried to save the lives of Lord Frederick Cavendish (newly appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland) and Thomas Henry Burke (the Permanent Undersecretary, the most senior Irish civil servant) who were killed in the Phoenix Park murders.
Myles was highly skilled and well respected by his colleagues in medicine. He was made President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
Myles was an Irish nationalist and a supporter of the Irish Volunteers and their quest for Home Rule. He owned a yacht thanks to his prominence in his field, and he used this yacht to smuggle arms into Ireland to equip the Irish Volunteer soldiers in the Easter Rising rebellion of 1916.
Click here to read about the Easter Rising
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1912 Bram Stoker died on this day in 1912. The Dublin born writer is the man who created Dracula, the vampire that has been the basis for numerous plays and films throughout the years.
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1954 Michael Manning was hanged at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin on this day in 1954. He was sentenced to death after being found guilty of the rape and murder of 65 year old nurse Catherine Cooper.
Manning was the was the 24th and the last person to be executed by the state in the Republic of Ireland.
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1976 Happy birthday to Shay Given, born in Co Donegal on this day in 1976. He played in goal for the Republic of Ireland football team from 1996 to 2012, winning 125 caps making him his country’s second highest appearance maker.
Given played every minute of the 2002 World Cup and also the 2012 European Championships, the only two major tournaments Ireland qualified for during his career.