Irish History Bitesize
Proclamation of Irish Independence prints

April 23

April

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1014  The Battle of Clontarf took place on this day in 1014. Brian Boru and his men, successfully repelled an attack from the Norse Vikings, and so prevented them from taking control of Ireland.

More than 6,000 Vikings and 4,000 of Boru’s men were killed in the battle, including Brian Boru himself.

Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf Image Ireland Calling

Discover the full story of one of the most significant battles in Irish history.

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George_Anne_Bellamy_17901727  George Anne Bellamy was born in Fingal on this day in 1727. She was named George Anne in error, with her intended name being Georgina.

She was the illegitimate daughter of James O’Hara, 2nd Baron Tyrawley. She was educated by her father and became associates with several successful actors and directors of the time.

Bellamy was considered to be the better Juliet than fellow actress Susannah Maria Cibber, when two productions of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet were both put on at rival theatres in 1750.

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1792  Thomas Romney Robinson was born in Dublin on this day in 1792. He was a scientist who specialised in astronomy. Robinson worked closely with English astronomer William Parsons, and wrote several essays about space. A crater on the moon, the Robinson Crater, was named in his honour.
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John_Thomas_Romney_Robinson_by_James_Simonton_c1850s

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1918  People in Ireland downed tools and refused to work on this day in 1918. The one-day strike was in protest to the British government trying to extend the Military Service Act to Ireland. The British were struggling in the First World War, and had drafted in several Englishmen to the army two years previously.

The attempt to force Irishmen to fight for Britain, was not well received in Ireland, and only increased the desire for independence.

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1947  Bernadette Devlin was born. She became Britain’s youngest ever female MP when she was elected to parliament as the representative for Mid Ulster. The 21-year-old was deeply concerned about ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland and wanted to voice the feelings of her community.

Bernadette-Devlin-To-gain-what-is-worth-having Image quote Ireland Calling

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1960  Happy birthday to Barry Douglas, born in Belfast on this day in 1960. He is a classical musician, and plays the piano, cello, clarinet and numerous other instruments. In 1986, he won the gold medal in the International Tchaikovsky Competition, becoming the first non-Russian to do so for nearly 30 years.

Douglas has conducted orchestras in venues all around the world, and is regarded as one of the leaders in classical music. In 2002, he was awarded an OBE for his contribution to British music.
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2010  Shay Duffin died on this day in 2010. He was an actor, most famous for writing and performing the one-man play, Brendan Behan: Confessions of An Irish Rebel.
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April

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