1764 Thomas Emmet was born in Cork on this day in 1764. He was an Irish nationalist and a skilled lawyer. He was the legal advisor to the United Irishmen in the late 18th century, before taking the oath and becoming their secretary.
Emmet was involved in the plans for the rebellion of 1798, but wanted to wait for military support from France. He, and most of the United Irishmen leaders were arrested and imprisoned after the British authorities learned of the planned uprising.
Emmet moved to Belgium upon his release, where he met with his younger brother Robert Emmet who was planning another rebellion. Thomas tried to gain France’s support with a personal request to Napoleon, but it was denied as France were at peace with Britain at the time.
After hearing that the rebellion had failed again, and his brother had been executed for his part, Emmet moved to America where he lived for the remainder of his life.
* * *
1903 Walter Osbourne died on this day in 1903. He was an impressionist painter, whose work often featured women and children, and rural scenes. His painting, Tea in the Garden, is now on display in his home city of Dublin, in the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery.
Click here to read about more attractions in Dublin
* * *
1916 On this day in 1916, about 1,200 Irish nationalists took control of several key buildings in Dublin as they declared Ireland an independent republic, and free from British rule.
Padraic Pearse read out the Proclamation of Independence after his men had seized the General Post Office.
Five days of violence followed, as the British responded with heavy military force to distinguish the rebellion. The conflict became known as the Easter Rising, and is arguably the most significant event in the history of Ireland.
Click here to read more about the Easter Rising
* * *
1951 Happy birthday to Enda Kenny, born in Castlemore on this day in 1951. He is a politician and was elected Taoiseach in 2011. Kenny was charged with guiding Ireland through one of the most difficult periods in modern history. The country suffered a mass emigration of skilled workers as the economy struggled to recover from recession.
* * *
1976 Happy birthday to Steve Finnan, born on this day in Limerick in 1976. He is a former professional footballer, and played 52 times for the Republic of Ireland including at the 2002 World Cup.
Finnan won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, in a remarkable game when they came back from 3-0 down at half time to lift the trophy.
Finnan also holds the unique record of playing in all five divisions in England, in the Intertoto Cup, the UEFA Cup and the Champions League, and at a World Cup finals.
Click here to read the list of the top ten Irish sports stars
* * *
2004 Pat Gibson struck gold on this day in 2004, after winning the UK quiz show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The Galway-born quizzer, successfully named the Arlington Million as the correct answer to the million pound question, Which of these is not one of the American Triple Crown horse races?