1750, John Philpot Curran died. He was an Irish politician – a liberal Protestant opposed to the intolerant policy of the Government, and also the Union with Britain.
Click for more memorable quotes from Curran;
1909 Geoffrey Bing was born in Belfast on this day in 1909. He was a British politician and spent much of his working life working as a humanitarian and radical and was often a figure of suspicion amongst his fellow MPs.
Bing travelled to Spain to report on the Civil War and narrowly avoided capture in Bilbao. He also served in the British Army during the Second World War where he got injured during a parachute testing exercise. In his later life, Bing moved to Ghana and set up a law practice. He was a close ally of the first Prime Minster of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. He later wrote about his experiences alongside Nkrumah, in his book Reap the Whirlwind, which was published in 1968.
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1940 The Picture Post magazine was banned from publication in Ireland on this day in 1940. It was a liberal, outspoken publication using graphic images and emotive writing to illustrate its ideas. Contributors to the magazine included some of the greatest writers of the day such as George Bernard Shaw.
In one edition, Picture Post used an image of Adolf Hitler contrasted with the faces of Jewish scientists and actors that were being persecuted by the Nazi regime. The Catholic Church objected to some of the graphic images used in the Picture Post, and after drawn out campaigns and debates, it was banned from publication in Ireland.
The incident illustrates the power that the Catholic Church traditionally held in Ireland. Censorship was an issue that would repeatedly come up throughout the 20th century, with many talented writers having their work banned from public consumption.
Recently there was a movement to abolish the Irish Republic’s Censorship of Publications Board to allow the public to decide for themselves which material they deem acceptable for their families. Several of Ireland’s top writers threw their weight behind the bid to banish the country’s strict censorship laws.
Click here to read about the motion to abolish strict censorship laws
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1945 Kitty Kiernan died. She died of Bright’s disease (historical classification of acute or chronic nephritis). Her five brothers and one sister all died of the same disease.
She is remembered as the fiancée of Michael Collins. They had planned to marry in November 1922, but Collins was assassinated on 22 August 1922.
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1970 Happy birthday to Julia Bradbury, born in Dublin on this day in 1970. She moved to England as a young child and was raised in Sheffield. Bradbury is now one of the most recognisable faces on British television having hosted long-running shows Crimewatch and Countryfile.
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2000 On this day in 2000, Galway district court Judge John Garavan refused to extend late night opening hours to a number of nightclubs in the area because he said “the women frequenting them are dreadful and not respectable”. The comments caused major controversy with many accusing the judge of being sexist and out of touch with modern society.
However, Garavan’s comments also raised the issue of binge drinking in Ireland, and what must be done to alter the behaviours of the country’s young people in order to prevent a national health crisis.
Galway is one of the most popular cities for a night out in Ireland. It attracts thousands of visitors each year, many of whom travel from other parts of Ireland for a weekend break.