1864 Willoughby Hamilton was born in Kildare on this day in 1864. He grew up to become the first Irishman to win the Wimbledon tennis title.
Hamilton faced seven-time winner William Renshaw in the 1890 final. Despite losing the first set and then trailing 2-1, Hamilton came back to triumph and win the singles title for his first, and only, time. Hamilton later went on to play international football for Ireland.
Click here to read about more top Irish sports stars
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1918 Joyce Redman was born in Northumberland on this day in 1918. She moved to County Mayo with her family as a child and was raised there. Redman was a star actress on the stages of London, Paris and New York in the 1940s.
Redman then moved to America in the 1950s and starred in several films including Tom Jones, for which she received a nomination for an Academy Award, and Othello.
She returned to England in her later life and died aged 93 in Kent in 2002. She was the auntie of the successful British actress Amanda Redman.
Click here to read about more great Irish actors
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1979 Happy birthday to Stephen McPhail, born in London on this day in 1979. He moved to Dublin as a child and grew up to become an international Irish footballer. McPhail was a classy midfield player. His career started brightly in the early 2000s, when he played for Leeds United. The club had a successful run in the Champion’s League, reaching the semi-finals in 2001.
Unfortunately, McPhail suffered with injuries in the following few seasons and several changes to the club’s management left him out of the first team picture. He had brief spells at Millwall, Forest and Barnsley before finding a new home at Cardiff City. McPhail spent seven years in the Welsh capital as a mainstay of the team as they consistently pushed for promotion to the Premier League.
McPhail made ten appearance for the national team, scoring one goal.
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1994 Representatives of Sínn Féin sat down for discussions with the British government for the first time in more than 70 years on this day in 1994. When the party was formed, Ireland was still under partial British rule, and the leaders refused to travel to London to sit in the Houses of Parliament.
They agreed to end that stance in 1994 in order to discuss the best way to peacefully bring an end to the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, which had been ongoing for more than 20 years. The Good Friday Agreement was signed four years later, which all major parties and political organisations of Ireland and Britain agreeing to a ceasefire.
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2005 Thousands of people protested in the streets of Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Waterford and several more Irish cities on this day in 2005. The protest was against Irish Ferries proposal to bring in foreign workers from Eastern Europe and make hundreds of Irish employees redundant.
The workers had been on strike for more than a week, with many barricading themselves into docked ships. Irish Ferries had offered more than a third of their workforce a voluntary redundancy package and hoped to replace them with cheaper labour from Europe.
The Irish public showed their support to the Irish workers on this day, with an estimated 100,000+ protestors coming out across the country.
David Begg, of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, told the BBC:
“It’s not a protest against migrant labour. It is about the exploitation of migrant workers, the displacement of indigenous workers and a ‘race to the bottom’ in pay and conditions of employment that will inevitably result.”