1820 William Drennan died on this day in 1820. He was a member of The Society of United Irishmen, a group in favour of an independent Ireland.
Drennan was Belfast born and uninterested in religious divides. His coffin was carried into the church by three Catholics and three Protestants, under instructions Drennan had left in his will.
Drennan was also the man credited with first referring to Ireland as the Emerald Isle in print, which he did in his poem, When Erin First Rose.
Read the complete poem here;
Ireland’s 100 favourite poems here
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1853 Thomas Talbot, the man responsible for the settlements around Lake Eerie, Canada, died on this day in 1853. He was born in Dublin and became a Colonel in the army before becoming a politician. He emigrated to Canada but returned to England to request 5,000 acres to build a settlement.
He was granted the 5,000 acres and built a settlement next to Lake Eerie. Talbot was selective in who he allowed into his community, disliking any supporters of the American Revolution.
He had complete rule over his community and could be petty and abuse his power. However, he built a superb transport network, having requested a road to each farm on his land and ordered the residents to maintain them. He eventually lost much of his power after trying to force his political allegiance on to his residents.
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1921 Kitty O’Shea died. She was Charles Parnell’s wife. He was one of the most powerful politicians in Irish history – the uncrowned king of Ireland – but falling in love cost him his career. Discover why!
1956 Happy birthday to Jackie Woodburne, born on this day in Northern Ireland in 1956. She is better known to most as Susan Kennedy from Neighbours, a role she played for more than 20 years.
Jackie Woodburne moved to Australia with her family as a young child and has also appeared on our screens as Julie “Chook” Egbert in Prisoner.
Click here to read about more Irish actors
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1922 Cumann na mBan (the Irishwomen’s Council) voted to reject the Treaty by 419 votes against, and 63 in favour. During the Civil War, over 400 Cumann na mBan members were arrested by the Irish Free State government.
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1960 Mise Éire (I am, Ireland), the film based on the poem by Padraic Pearse, has its first public showing on this day in 1960. The film was made by Gael Linn, an organisation dedicated to Irish language, with the music by Seán Ó Reada.
Click here to read the poem in Irish and the English translation.
See the short film Coláiste Mhuire & Mise Éire below, showing the reaction to the film when it was released.
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1992 On this day in 1992, the Ulster Defence Association shot dead five Catholics in a betting shop in Belfast. The attack was in retaliation to Teebane bombing that took place less than a month earlier, when the Provisional IRA planted a road bomb that killed eight men in Tyrone.