1389 On this day in 1389, Sir Thomas Mortimer was appointed Judiciar of Ireland. Mortimer was an English soldier and nobleman. He moved to Ireland as a deputy to his brother Edmund after he was made Lord of Ireland.
After Edmund’s death, Thomas’ nephew took over as Lord of Ireland. Thomas remained his deputy and the two men grew close. They became associates of the Lord Appellants, who were in opposition to King Richard II.
During a conflict, Mortimer killed one of Richard’s military leaders, Thomas Molineux. The Appellants briefly took control of Ireland and made Mortimer the Judicier.
This role was short lived though, as Richard regained control and Mortimer was forced to flee for his life to Scotland.
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1911 Joseph Tomelty was born in County Down on this day in 1911. He was an actor and playwright and worked in several productions both onstage and in films. His most famous role was perhaps that of Peter Coffin in the 1956 film Moby Dick, based on Herman Melville’s novel.
Both Frances and Roma Tomelty, Joseph’s daughters, followed in his footsteps and became actors. Frances married English musician Sting in 1976.
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1998 More than 1,000 mourners, including Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, line the streets of Dublin to pay their respects to Father Ted actor, Dermot Morgan, after he tragically died of a heart attack.
Father Ted excerpt – The Beast
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2000 On this day in 2000, the Irish government officially ended concerns regarding the turn of the millennium causing havoc on the country’s computer systems. They had spent £40m in preparation for potential problems, when in fact there were no major issues.
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2001 The nominees for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award are named on this day in 2001. Silvia Molina, Margaret Cezair-Thompson, Andrew O’Hagan, Alistair MacLeod, Victor Pelevin and Colm Tóibín are the writers in with a chance of scooping the massive €100,000 prize. Canadian MacLeod is later named the winner for his 1999 novel No Great Mischief.
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2003 The Blarney Stone restaurant in County Cork imposes a smoking ban on its premises on this day in 2003. The rest of the country were forced to follow suit just over a year later when the government banned smoking in all public buildings.