1892 Mother Vincent Whitty died in Queensland, Australia on this day in 1892. She was born in County Wexford in Ireland and worked as a nun. She tended to wounded soldiers during the Crimean War in Dublin and was a senior figure in the convent.
In 1861, Bishop James Quinn was moved from Dublin to Brisbane and persuaded Whitty to join him to help build his parish. When they arrived, there were only two Catholic churches in the whole of Queensland. By the time Whitty died in 1892, she had helped build 20 convents and 26 schools, which housed more than 200 nuns and 7,000 students.
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1954 Bobby Sands was born on this day in 1954. He was a member of the IRA and was imprisoned for possessing a revolver which had shot at an RUC officer during a bombing.
Sands went on hunger strike believing that he should not be forced to do prison work or wear prison uniform as he was not a criminal but a prisoner of war. A list of five demands was composed by the IRA but the British authorities wouldn’t yield and after 66 days on hunger strike, Bobby Sands died.
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1982 Charles Haughey was re-elected Taoiseach on this day in 1982. Haughey was leader of Fianna Fáil for more than 12 years. In his early career he was popular figure in Ireland and a charismatic leader.
However, his extravagant lifestyle, he owned racehorses and a yacht, raised suspicions from his opponents and eventually the public, and he lost his position as Taoiseach to Garrett Fitzgerald in late 1982.
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2010 On this day in 2010, seven people were arrested in Ireland under suspicion of plotting to assassinate Swedish artist, Lars Vilks. Vilks had released a picture of a roundabout dog (a statue of a dog in the middle of a road roundabout – common in Sweden) with the face of the Islam prophet Mohammed.
The piece of art caused outrage among Muslims around the world and Vilks, plus the editor of the newspaper that published it, received several death threats. The Islamic State of Iraq allegedly placed a bounty of $100,000 on Lars Vilks.
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2012 Wallis Bird released her third album on this day in 2012. The Wexford-born star promoted the album, also called Wallis Bird, by creating a ‘the making of’ video which she talked about on The Late Late Show.
Bird is one of the most exciting music talents to come out of Ireland in the last decade and has been described as a ‘young Janis Joplin’.
Click here to read more about Wallis Bird
Wallis Bird performing In Dictum.