Irish History Bitesize
Proclamation of Irish Independence prints

May 14


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King_Charles_II1660 King Charles II was named King of Ireland on this day in 1660. It followed a period of Protestant rule after Oliver Cromwell and his army had invaded and took control of much of the country.

King Charles II was Catholic and made immediate changes to improve the rights of Catholics in Ireland.

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George (Deadeye) McElroy1893 George ‘Deadeye’ McElroy was born in Dublin on this day in 1893. He was a fighter pilot for the British Air Force during the First World War.

He was given the nickname Deadeye because of his extreme accuracy and precision when shooting down enemy planes.

He served from the beginning of the war in 1914 until he was killed in action in 1918, when his plane was shot down and crashed in Laventie, France in 1918. McElroy had a reckless approach to his life, and often put his own plane in the line of potential enemy fire in order to gain the superior position for an attack of his own.

He is credited with bringing down 47 enemy planes during his four years in the Air Force, the highest scoring ace from Ireland during World War One.

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Tynan-in-Paralympics photo ronantynan1970 Ronan Tynan was born in Dublin on this day in 1970. He is best known now as a member of the Celtic opera group, the Irish Tenors. Tynan also sings before many important games at his beloved New York Yankee stadium.

What many don’t know about Tynan, is that he represented Ireland at the 1984 and 1988 Paralympics. He had to have his legs amputated as a young man after a traffic accident and now uses prosthetic legs.

Within weeks of the amputations, Tynan had adapted to his new prosthetic legs and was able to climb up and down flights of stairs. He had such desire and motivation that he was able to compete in athletics at an international level.

Click here to read more about the Irish Tenors

Here’s The Celtic Tenors with Danny Boy.

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1973 Happy birthday to Sinéad O’Carroll, born in Dublin on this day in 1973. She was a member of the 1990s Irish girl group B*Witched who exploded onto the pop scene in 1998. Their first four singles all went to number one in the British charts, a record for a girl band, and their album got to number 12 in the US charts.

Unfortunately for O’Carroll and her band, they couldn’t sustain that level of popularity and were dropped by their record label in 2002, signalling the end for B*Witched. They did, however, return for the 2012 ITV series, The Big Reunion, which reunited former boy and girl bands from the past for one big concert.

Click here to read about more Irish bands

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1979 Happy birthday to professional jockeys Johnny Murtagh and Ruby Walsh, both born in Ireland on this day. Murtagh was born in Navan in 1970. He has been one of the best flat jockeys in British and Irish horse racing since the 1990s. He has won several majors in his career including the Irish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas.

Walsh was born in Co Kildare in 1979. He has also enjoyed a career at the top of the sport for the past decade. He has won numerous Grade 1 races and was aboard the legendary Kauto Star when it won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2007 and 2009.

Click here to read about more top Irish sports stars

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1998 On this day in 1998, the five main political parties of the Dáil publicly united in the demand that Sinn Féin and the IRA made an official statement declaring that the war in Northern Ireland has ended. The ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland had gone on for nearly 30 years. The fighting between Catholic and Protestant groups causing the death of hundreds of innocent civilians.



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