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1856 William Massey was born on this day in Londonderry, Northern Ireland in 1856. He grew up in Ireland before moving to New Zealand. He worked on a farm before entering into politics and eventually becoming Prime Minister in 1912.
Massey adopted a strong approach in dealing with various workers’ strikes and became a figure of hate for much of the New Zealand working classes.
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1922 On this day in 1922, the faction of the IRA that were opposed to the conditions in the Anglo-Irish treaty announced that they would no longer accept the authority of pro-treaty IRA leader Richard Mulcahy. He became commander of the pro-treaty forces in the Irish Civil War after the death of Michael Collins. The announcement signalled the beginning of a long and violent battle between the New State government and the anti-treaty IRA.
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1968 Happy birthday to Nick Sweeney, born in Dublin on this day in 1968. He won the Irish national championships for discus throwing ten times, and represented Ireland at four consecutive Olympic Games, from 1992 to 2004.
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1970 Happy birthday to Martin McDonagh, born in London on this day in 1970. He is a writer and director and many of his plays are set in Ireland. Both McDonagh’s parents were Irish and he spent much of his childhood holidays in Galway and Sligo.
He wrote and directed the 2006 action comedy In Bruges, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hitmen sent to Belgium to lie low after a failed job.
McDonagh worked with Farrell again on the 2012 crime comedy, Seven Psychopaths, which also starred Hollywood legends Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson.
Click here to read more about Colin Farrell
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2002 US Senator Hillary Clinton arrived in Ireland on this day in 2002, on a trip to promote trade between Dublin and New York.
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2007 On this day in 2007, Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams, the leaders of the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin respectively, committed to form a powersharing agreement regarding Protestant and Catholic concerns in Northern Ireland.