May 2006


I seem to have ruffled more feathers. This time it's my real targets, Follow follow and their loyalist scumbag friends.
A direct hit. It took them long enough to bite right enough, but bite they seem to have done in a big way. I'm still reeling them in but can't yet see what they are saying on their boards as I am still waiting "approval from admin".

More to follow…

Update… There are in breach of just about every rule in the book, including racial and sectarian abuse, incitement to violence. Not to mention copyright laws. Your not allowed to download my pic without my permission, that's what the "© all rights reserved" means.

One of them has the cheek to query whether Blueyonder are aware of the content of my website. Blueyonder have viewed it and approved it, as have the BBC and the Scotsman, as falling within their rules and guidelines. If I had kept the sectarian bile that the follow follow bigots had posted on my Guestbook, then it would have been a different matter.

May 22
1805 – Michael Doheny, poet and Young Irelander, is born near Fethard, Co. Tipperary
1849 – Novelist, Maria Edgeworth, dies in Mostrim, Co. Longford. She is laid to rest in a vault at Edgeworthstown Church. The Great Famine which decimates the people she loves mars her last years. Even though in her late seventies, she worked strenuously for the relief of the stricken peasants at the height of the famine. She shows the same involvement and generosity throughout her entire life and devotes her best talents to the betterment of the people of her adoption. Her books on the Irish people bring her world fame and the acclaim of such writers as Sir Walter Scott, Jane Austen, Byron and the Russian writer Turgenev.
1870 – Birth of Eva Gore-Booth, poet, trade unionist and feminist, on the Lissadell Estate in Co. Sligo
1932 – Death of Augusta Persse, better known as Lady Augusta Gregory, Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre director; also a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre
1941 – Caitlin Maude, Irish language activist, is born
1946 – George Best, the greatest player of his generation apart from Jimmy Johnonstone and the world's first superstar footballer, is born in Belfast
1971 – Members of the Irish Women's Liberation Movement defy the law by bringing contraceptives bought in Belfast into Connolly railway station in Dublin
1995 – U.S. President Bill Clinton approves a visa for Irish nationalist leader Gerry Adams to enter the United States
1998 – The Good Friday Agreement is overwhelmingly endorsed in referendums North (71%) and South (94%)
2003 – Hurling reaches its highest peak when Gerard McDonnell from Limerick brought the spirit of the GAA to Mount Everest; he sent a ball flying above 29,000 feet
2003 – The Official Languages Bill 2002, introduced by the Minister for the Gaeltacht, Mr Ó Cuív, will give citizens the right to conduct their business with any State agency or Government department, in Irish.

May 23
1561 – The first court of High Commission, a group of officials and Protestant clergy, is set up to enforce the Reformation in Ireland
1754 – Birth of Dr. William Drennan in Belfast; physician, poet, educationalist political radical and one of the chief architects of the Society of United Irishmen. Drennan's poetic output included some powerful and moving pieces. He is chiefly remembered today for "Erin" written in 1800, in which he penned the first reference in print to Ireland as "the Emerald Isle":
"Nor one feeling of vengeance presume to defile
The cause, or the men, of the Emerald Isle."
Interestingly, he himself is quoted as saying that this expression was first used in a party song called “Erin, to her own Tune,” written in 1795. The song appears to have been anonymous
1794 – As part of a crack-down on seditious activity during Britain's war with France, the Dublin United Irishmen are supressed
1798 – United Irish Rebellion begins in Wexford
1798 – United Irish rebellion begins in Leinster
1920 – Oliver Plunkett is beatified by Pope Benedict XV 1920 – Railway workers refuse to transport troops from this date
1966 – Birth of GAA footballer, Paul McGrath
1998 – Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, welcomes the resounding "yes" vote in the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland, calling it "a day for joy"
2002 – The long simmering division between Roy Keane and manager Mick McCarthy erupts into a huge row and Keane is expelled from the World Cup squad.

May 24
1628 – 51 'graces' to Irish interest groups by Charles I are promised but various excuses are used not to grant these concessions
1798 – Archibald Hamilton Jacob conducts the Enniscorthy Yeomen Cavalry to the village of Ballaghkeen where they flog a man to death
1813 – A Catholic Relief Bill is introduced by Grattan in the House of Commons, and is narrowly defeated 251 to 247
1882 – Creighton Hale, actor, is born in Cork
1921 – 1st parliament for Northern Ireland is elected
1987 – A referendum in the Republic approves the Single European Act
1998 – Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams signals that the terrorist war is over and that the gun can finally be removed from Irish politics
1998 – Less than 24 hours after people on both sides of the border gave a resounding Yes to the Stormont peace agreement, dissident republican terrorists cause widespread disruption on the Belfast-Dublin railway line after a suspicious object is found on the line near Lurgan
1998 – Director John Boorman wins the Best Director prize for The General, about real life Dublin gang leader, Martin Cahill
2000 – According to a report published on this date, 1 in 10 homeless people in London are Irish
2000 – Two more members of David Trimble’s Ulster Unionist Assembly team are to oppose his plan to return to power sharing with Sinn Féin
2003 – Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen, meet Sinn Féin's chief negotiators Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness in Dublin for talks.

May 25
1315 – Edward Bruce (brother of Robert Bruce, king of Scots), having been invited by some Gaelic chiefs, leads an expedition to Ireland with the aim of conquering it, creating a kingdom of Ireland and driving out the Norman-Irish settlers. He lands at Larne on this date and is proclaimed king of Ireland
1705 – On this date, May Eustace Sherlock, gentleman, petitions the Commons for relief from 'the great oppressions he lies under, by the undue practices and power of Maurice Annesley, a Justice of the Peace'. Annesley is an MP. The ensuing complicated legal case will eventually result in the passing by the British parliament of the 1720 Declaratory Act confirming the British House of Lords as the final Court of Appeal for Irish cases
1830 – As a result of growing Unitarianism the General Synod reinforces subscription. Henry Montgomery, the leading Unitarian protagonist, leads a secession of Non-subscribers from the General Synod which establishes the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster. The Remonstrant Synod joins with the earlier Presbytery of Antrim in 1910 to form the Non-subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland
1842 – Birth on Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, of Helen Blackburn, early leader of the movement for the emancipation of women
1885 – Gerald Boland, nationalist politician, is born in Manchester
1870 – Irish Fenians raid Eccles Hill, Québec
1895 – Oscar Wilde is sentenced to two years imprisonment for offences “against public decency”
1912 – First issue of the weekly suffrage magazine, Irish Citizen, appears
1914 – British House of Commons passes Irish Home Rule for the third time
1921 – The Dublin brigade of the IRA attacks and sets fire to the Customs House; 120 of its men are captured and 11 are killed
1960 – Packie Bonner, Celtic and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, in Burtonport, Co. Donegal
2003 – Brendan McCann, one of the most acclaimed photographers in Northern Ireland's history dies in Belfast Mater Hospital, aged 75.
In a career spanning 50 years, he covers some of the darkest hours of the Troubles.

May 26
1562 – Following his submission to Elizabeth at Whitehall in January, Shane O'Neill returns to Ireland on this date
1650 – Oliver Cromwell leaves Ireland on board the frigate President Bradshaw. His deputy and son-in-law, Henry Ireton takes control of the Irish campaign and captures Birr Castle
1798 – The rebels are defeated at Tara Hill; this marks the end of the rebellion in Co. Meath. Rebellion begins in Co. Wexford. Fr. John Murphy and local people confront the Camolin yeomanry at The Harrow. Thomas Bookey, Lieutenant of the yeomanry, is killed
1867 – Michael Barrett from Kesh, Co. Fermanagh is executed for his part in the explosion at Clerkenwell Gaol. From all the evidence, it is likely he is not guilty. He is the last man to be publicly hanged in England.
1873 – Trinity College Dublin abolishes all remaining religious restrictions for entry, with the exception of the Faculty of Divinity
1897 – First publication of Dracula, written by Dublin man Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker
1950 – End of petrol rationing in Northern Ireland 1972 – The Special Criminal Court, with three judges and no jury, is set up in the Republic

May 27
1224 – Cathal Crovderg O'Connor, king of Connacht and brother of Rory O'Connor, dies at the age of 72. This finally opens the way for the Norman occupation of Connacht
1595 – Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeats the English forces of his brother-in-law, Sir Henry Bagenal, at the Battle of Clontibret, Co. Monaghan; he is proclaimed a traitor at Newry in June
1648 – Giovanni Rinuccini, papal nuncio to the confederates, excommunicates adherents of the truce between confederates and Inchiquin
1798 – Wexford rebels massacre Kingsborough's militiamen and yeomanry at Oulart
1877 – Hanna Sheehy Skeffington is born in Co. Limerick. A committed suffragette, she is one of the founding members of the Irish Womens Franchise League; sexual equality remains a primary concern throughout for her despite a slight shift in focus after the summary execution of her husband in 1916
1966 – The UVF shoot and mortally wound John Scullion, a Catholic civilian, in the Clonard area of west Belfast 1998 – Actor Brendan Gleeson strongly defends his lead role in the controversial £6m film The General, rebutting criticism that it attempts to portray the assassinated Dublin gangster Martin Cahill as a latter-day Robin Hood
2001 – The breakaway Real IRA is believed to be behind a rocket attack on Strabane RUC station which sparks a five-hour security alert. No-one is injured but 12 families are evacuated from their homes during the follow-up security operation in the Co.Tyrone town
2001 – Fears of a long, difficult summer are growing after 57 RUC officers are injured in clashes with nationalist youths on the flashpoint Garvaghy Road in Portadown following a Junior Orange parade
2003 – It is announced that the Royal Irish Regiment is to be scrapped as part of a major plan to cut troop numbers in the North. British military authorities plan to abolish all three Home Service battalions, comprising nearly 3,000 soldiers under a new deal to break the deadlock in the peace process
2003 – FAI and Communications Minister Dermot Ahern announces that all Republic of Ireland competitive soccer internationals will now be available free on RTÉ.

May 28
1590 – Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, agrees to abandon further attempts at extending his territory in the north, and undertakes to force his people to adopt English laws and customs
1779 – Poet and songwriter, Thomas Moore, is born in Dublin
1798 – In the first Battle of Enniscorthy, the rebels take the town
1947 – Róis Ni Ógain – Rose Mabel Young – Gaelic scholar and editor of Duanaire Gaedhilge, dies
1970 – Charles Haughey, who will later be acquitted and become Taoiseach, is arrested with Niall Blaney for conspiracy to import arms
1974 – General strike by Unionists brings down the Sunningdale power-sharing agreement and Northern Ireland is returned to direct rule
1999 – The Provisional IRA produces the remains of Eamon Molloy, whom it killed in 1975; information from the IRA leads to several protracted searches in the Republic for the remains of other victims
2000 – A plaque to commemorate the first Irish meeting of the Orange Order is unveiled in Dublin – without a single member of the hardline Protestant group in attendance. The Dublin and Wicklow Lodge boycott the event on Dawson St in protest at its treatment over a march in the city, also planned for this date
2000 – The decision by Ulster Unionists to return to power sharing with Sinn Féin at midnight on 29 May is given a massive boost when the IRA pledges to keep their part of the bargain
2003 – James Plunkett, best known for his epic novel of Dublin, 'Strumpet City', dies at the age of 83

May 29
1205 – King John makes Hugh de Lacy Earl of Ulster
1666 – The Act of Uniformity confirms Guy Fawkes' day (5 November) as an anniversary, and adds 30 January (execution of Charles I) and 29 May (the Restoration)
1722 – Birth of James Fitzgerald, 20th Earl of Kildare; Duke of Leinster; politician and Lord Justice
1798 – On this date, under the command of Father Murphy of Boolavogue, a priest who had been in dispute with his bishop and who had reluctantly stepped forward as leader, the Wexford insurgents, gaining strength as they advance, storm Enniscorthy. The defences of the town are swept aside by means of a stampede of cattle. Elsewhere, General Sir James Duff arrives in Monasterevin where he augments his forces before marching on to Kildare and the Gibbet Rath. On this same date, the insurgents camp on Vinegar Hill, outside Enniscorthy town. In the north, the Ulster Directory of the United Irishmen meets to plan rebellion in counties Antrim and Down
1884 – Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd are married
1917 – Birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th US president, in Brookline, Mass
1936 – The Free State Senate (upper house of parliament) is abolished
1953 – Death of James Downey; at the time he is probably the most famous publican (pub-owner) in the world for bringing to an end the longest ever pub strike. Downey’s premises in Dun Laoghaire had been the focus of a union dispute for 14 years, and brought the pub world fame
1974 – Northern Ireland is brought under direct rule from Westminster
1999 – Thirteen RUC officers are injured as tensions explode on the streets of Portadown with both Loyalist and Nationalist rioters venting their fury in the wake of a banned parade along the lower Garvaghy Road
2001 – Irish artists take a stand against racism by donating original works to a special fund-raising auction. Over 100 works by both new and established Irish artists go under the hammer at the Le Chéile auction in the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin 2002 – Former Taoiseach Charles Haughey is €2.2m richer following the auction of a tiny part of his extensive Abbeville art collection
2002 – Arts Minister Síle de Valera hails the State’s acquisition of a previously unseen collection of original manuscripts by James Joyce as “a monumental event in Ireland’s literary and cultural history”. The collection, stored in Paris for many years, consists of 500 sheets of handwritten notes by the author. It includes notes and drafts by Joyce on several works including his classics, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, as well as notebooks dating from the early 1900s
2003 – According to the Eurydice report, Ireland has the largest number of children per class in Europe and our teachers have to work longer than most to earn the top salary
2003 – Thousands of republicans and nationalists join in a series of protests across the country to mark the cancelled date for the North’s Assembly elections.

May 30
1630 – Birth of Charles Stuart who will become Charles II of Great Britain and Ireland
1784 – Belfast's first Catholic church, St. Mary's, opens for public worship
1798 – Following the massacre of Kingsborough's militiamen and yeomanry at Oulart on 27 May, rebels capture Enniscorthy and Wexford town
1807 – During the election for Co. Wexford, two of the candidates, William Congreve Alcock and John Colclough, fight a duel in front of the county sheriff, 16 magistrates and a large crowd of spectators. Alcock shoots Colclough dead; he is elected; he is also tried and acquitted for killing Colclough, but his mind is badly affected; two years later, he will be confined in an asylum for the insane
1844 – Daniel O'Connell is fined and sentenced to 12 months in prison for 'conspiracy'
1906 – Death of Michael Davitt, "Father" of the Irish Land League. He was born at the height of the Great Famine. At four, his family was evicted and forced to emigrate to England. He joined the Fenians in 1865, became organizing secretary and was arrested in 1870 for arms smuggling. Released after seven years, he returned to County Mayo as a national hero. His travels in Connaught showed conditions had not improved. Realising that, if the power of the tenant farmers could be organised, it would be possible to bring about improvement, he arranged a convention in August of 1879. The result was a body called the National Land League of Mayo. Thus began the land agitation movement. For more details on the life of Michael Davitt, click Museums of Mayo
1944 – Eamon de Valera is returned as Taoiseach
1951 – Fianna Fáil regains power in a general election
1969 – Irish nationalist and the first Jewish Lord Mayor of Dublin, Robert Briscoe, dies in Dublin
1972 – The Official IRA announces a ceasefire, but the Provisional IRA says it will continue fighting until the British leave Northern Ireland
1973 – In a political upset, Erskine Childers defeats Tom O'Higgins by a very narrow margin and is elected President of Ireland
1983 – The new Ireland Forum of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour and the SDLP meets in Dublin
1986 – Connacht Regional Airport at Knock, Co. Mayo (now Horan International) is officially opened by Charles Haughey
2000 – Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness returns to his job as Northern Ireland’s Education Minister
2003 – Less than a year after taking up the post as chief executive of Northern Ireland’s Policing Board, Bob McCann resigns for personal reasons.

May 31
1430 – Charges are made against Thomas Foster, Archdeacon of Glendalough, that he has sold the lands of the dignity, has kept concubines, has had offspring, is ignorant of letters and does not know the language of the country: if they are true, he is to be deprived on this date
1744 – Birth of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, inventor, educationist and politician
1798 – Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey is appointed as Commander of the insurgent forces In Wexford town, a civilian government led by four Protestants and four Catholics is established
1847 – Birth of Alice Stopford Green in Kells, Co. Meath. Irish historian and patriot; she is noted for proving the Irish had a rich culture before English rule. A strong supporter of the Treaty of 1921, she is nominated to the first Seanad in December 1922
1848 – At Grosse Ile, Canada, 40 immigrant vessels wait to unload. For more on this story, please click The Wild Geese
1889 – Helen Waddell, Irish scholar, translator and novelist, is born in Tokyo
1900 – During the Boer War, Piet de Wet captures the thirteenth battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry at Lindley. To British eyes, this mounted Battalion is the social and political show-piece of the new Volunteer Army; a company of Irish M.F.H.'s known as the Irish Hunt Contingent, including the Earl of Longford and Viscount Ennismore; two companies of Ulster Protestant Unionists, including the Earl of Leitrim, a whiskey Baronet (Sir John Power) and the future Lord Craigavon; and a company of English and Irish men-about-town raised by Lord Donoughmore, who had insisted on paying their own passage to South Africa. This patriotic band is commanded by a British regular, Lieutenant Colonel Basil Spragge. The surrender of Spragge's Irish Yeomanry is the cause of a ripple of mirth in nationalist circles in Ireland. In fact, there is a gallant Last Stand made by the Irish Hunt Company. Lord Longford, with blood streaming from wounds at the neck, face, and wrists, orders his men to fight to the end. "I knew it to be madness," said one of the gentlemen troopers, (son of the Irish Lord Chancellor) "and so did everyone else, I think, but not a man refused". In general, raw Irish Yeomen fought no worse than British regulars had fought in similar situations. A respectable total of 80 were killed or wounded before the White Flag went up. Piet de Wet's bag totalled about 530 men, including Spragge, Lord Longford (seriously wounded), Lords Ennismore, Leitrim, and Donoughmore (and the future Lord Craigavon), all captured, and the whiskey Baronet Power killed
1911 – The hull of the world’s most famous ship – the Titanic – is launched
1922 – The Royal Ulster Constabulary is established
1937 – Birth of Mary O'Rourke, Fianna Fáil politician
1941 – German bombs fall on North Strand, Dublin; 34 people are killed and 90 are injured
1962 – General Election is held in Northern Ireland; Unionists win 34 of the 51 seats
1970 – Death of Arkle, the greatest Irish steeplechaser of all time. Arkle had broken a pedal bone during a race in 1968. Stiffness caused by the injury becomes worse and in spite of his great courage, he can hardly stand. On this date, his vet, James Kavanagh, gives him his final injection; Arkle lies down in his box and goes to sleep forever
1998 – The Protestant community in a Wexford village receives an apology from Bishop Brendan Comiskey over a boycott more than 40 years ago. He asks for forgiveness for a controversial incident in Fethard-on-Sea when local Catholics boycott Protestant shops and classes over a six-month period during 1957
2000 – It is announced by the British Government that Tom Constantine, a former director of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration will oversee policing reforms in Northern Ireland
2002 – The people of North Kerry turn out in their thousands to pay their last respects to playwright John B. Keane.

Francis Hughes

McGuinness Urges Support for

Frank Hughes Events

 

Sinn Féin MP for Mid-Ulster Martin McGuinness today urged people to attend the weekend events to commemorate the sacrifice of legendary IRA Volunteer Francis Hughes who died this day 25 years ago on Hunger Strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh.

Mr McGuinness said:

"Twenty five years ago today Francis Hughes one of the most fearless and courageous IRA Volunteers to emerge out of the current phase in the Republican Struggle lost his life after 59 days on Hunger Strike in Long Kesh.

"The sacrifice of Francis Hughes and the other H-Block Hunger Strikers remains with all of us to this day. I remember travelling to Bellaghy to give the oration at the graveside of Francis Hughes. I recall the RUC disrupting the funeral. I also recall the dignity displayed by the Hughes family and by those republicans from throughout Ireland and beyond who had gathered in South Derry in the face of their provocation.

"On Sunday twenty five years on I will travel to Bellaghy graveyard to join again with the Hughes family as the MP for Mid-Ulster. Our struggle has changed greatly since the difficult summer of 1981 but we remain committed to our republican goals and we remain committed to delivering the sort of society which is demanded by the sacrifice of the Hunger Strikers.

"I would encourage people to get involved in the events this weekend and indeed throughout the year as we seek to remember our comrades who died in 1981 and build the sort of Ireland which is peaceful, free, united and democratic."

Volunteer Frank Hughes

Eluding for several years the relentless efforts of the British army, UDR and RUC to track him down, Francis operated boldly throughout parts of Tyrone and north and south Antrim, but particularly in his native South Derry, with a combination of brilliant organisation and extreme daring – until his capture after a shoot-out with the SAS – which earned him widespread popular renown, and won general support for the republican cause, as well as giving him an undisputed reputation as a natural-born soldier and leader.  

Francis Hughes was born on February 28th, 1956, the youngest son amongst ten children, into a staunchly republican family which has been solidly rooted, for most of this century, in the townland of Tamlaghtduff, or Scribe Road, as it is otherwise called.

His parents who married in 1939, are Patrick Joseph Hughes, aged 72, a retired small cattle farmer born in the neighbouring town land of Ballymacpeake, and Margaret, aged 68, whose maiden name is McElwee, and who was born in Tamlaghtduff.

A quarter-of-a-mile away from the Hughes' bungalow, on the other side of the Scribe Road is the home of Thomas and Benedict McElwee – first cousins of Francis. Benedict is currently serving a sentence in the H-Blocks. Thomas – the eldest – embarked on hunger strike on June 8th, and died sixty-two days later on August 8th.

In Tamlaghtduff, as throughout the rest of Bellaghy, sympathy as well as active support for the republican cause runs at a very high level, a fact testified to by the approximately twenty prisoners-of-war from around Bellaghy alone.

Francis was an extremely popular person, both to his family and to his republican colleagues and supporters.

His father recalls that as a boy he was always whistling, joking and singing: a trait which he carried over into his arduous and perilous days as a republican, when he was able to transmit his enthusiasm and optimism both to Volunteers under his command and to Sympathisers who offered them – at great personal risk, food and shelter

It was qualities like these, of uncomplaining tirelessness, of consideration for the morale of those around him, and his ruling wish to lead by example, that have made Francis Hughes one of the most outstanding Irish revolutionary soldiers this war has produced and a man who was enormously respected in his native countryside.

BOY

As a boy, Francis went first to St. Mary's primary school in Bellaghy, and from there to Clady intermediate school three miles away.

He enjoyed school and was a fairly good student whose favourite subjects were history and woodwork. He was not particularly interested in sport, but was very much a lively, outdoor person, who enjoyed messing around on bikes, and later on, in cars.

He enjoyed dancing and regularly went to ceilidh as a young man, even while 'on the run', although after 'wanted' posters of him appeared his opportunities became less frequent.

His parents recall that Francis was always extremely helpful around the house, and that he was a "good tractor man".

DECORATOR

Leaving school at sixteen, Francis got a job with his sister Vera's husband, as an apprentice painter and decorator, completing his apprenticeship shortly before 'going on the run'.

In later days, Francis would often do a spot of decorating for the people whose house he was staying in

On one occasion, shortly after the 'wanted' posters of him had been posted up all over South Derry, Francis was painting window frames at the front of the house he was staying in when two jeep-loads of British soldiers drove past. While the other occupants of the house froze in apprehension, Francis waved and smiled at the curious Brits as they passed by, and continued painting.

It was such utter fearlessness, and the ability to brazen his way through, that saved him time and time again during his relatively long career as an active service Volunteer.

On one such occasion, when stopped along with two other Volunteers as they crossed a field, Francis told a Brit patrol that they didn't feel safe walking the roads, as the IRA were so active in the area. The Brits allowed the trio to walk on, but after a few yards Francis ran back to the enemy patrol to scrounge a cigarette and a match from one of the British soldiers.

A turning point for Francis, in terms of his personal involvement in the struggle, occurred at the age of seventeen, when he and a friend were stopped by British soldiers at Ardboe, in County Tyrone, as they returned from a dance one night.

The pair were taken out of their car and so badly kicked that Francis was bed-ridden for several days. Rejecting advice to make a complaint to the RUC, Francis said it would be a waste of time, but pledged instead to get even with those who had done it, "or with their friends."

Notwithstanding such a bitter personal experience of British thuggery, and the mental and physical scars it left, Francis' subsequent involvement in the Irish Republican Army was not based on a motive of revenge but on a clear and abiding belief in his country's right to national freedom.

INVOLVEMENT

During the early part of 'the troubles', the 'Officials' were relatively strong in the South Derry area and Francis' first involvement was with them.

However, disillusioned, as were many others, with the 'Sticks' unilateral ceasefire in 1972, he left to set up and command an 'independent' military unit in the Bellaghy area. About the end of 1973 the entire unit – including Francis – was formally recruited into the IRA.

Francis' involvement brought him increasingly to the attention of the British army and RUC and he was regularly held for a few hours in Magherafelt barracks and stopped on the road by British patrols; and on one occasion he was held for two days at Ballykelly camp.

As the 1975 IRA/British army truce came to an end Francis, fearing his imminent arrest, went 'on the run'. From that time on, he led a life perpetually on the move, often moving on foot up to twenty miles during one night then sleeping during the day – either in fields and ditches or in safe houses; a soldierly sight in his black beret and combat uniform, and openly carrying his rifle, a handgun and several grenades as well as food rations.

The enemy reacted with up to fifty early morning raids on Francis' home, and raids on the homes of those suspected of harbouring him. Often, houses would be staked out for days on end in the hope of capturing Francis. Often, it was only his sheer nerve and courage which saved him. One night, Francis was followed to a 'safe house' and looked out to see the Brits surrounding the place and closing in. Without hesitating, the uniformed Francis stepped outside the door, clutching his rifle, and in the darkness crept gradually through their lines, occasionally mumbling a few short words to British soldiers he passed, who, on seeing the shadowy uniformed figure, mistook him for one of themselves.

On numerous occasions, Francis and his comrades were stopped at checkpoints along the country roads while moving weapons from one locality to another but always calmly talked their way through. Once, a UDR soldier actually recognised Francis and his fellow Volunteers in a car but, fully aware that Francis would not be taken without a shoot-out, he waved their car on.

ACTIVE

The years before Francis' capture were extremely active ones in the South Derry and surrounding areas with the commercial centres of towns and villages like Bellaghy, Maghera, Toome, Magherafelt and Castledawson being blitzed by car bombs on several occasions, and numerous shooting attacks being carried out as well.

Among the Volunteers under his command Francis had a reputation of being a strict disciplinarian and perfectionist who could not tolerate people taking their republican duties less seriously, and selflessly, than was necessary. He also, however, inspired fellow Volunteers by his example and by always being in the thick of things, and he thrived on pressure.

During one night-time operation, a weapon was missing and Francis gave away his own weapon to another Volunteer, taking only a torch himself which he used to its maximum effect by shining it at an oncoming enemy vehicle, which had its headlights off, to enable the other Volunteers to direct their fire.

Francis' good-humoured audacity also showed itself in his republican activity. At the height of his 'notoriety' he would set up road-blocks, hoping to lure the Brits into an ambush (which by hard experience they learned to avoid), or he would ring up the Brits and give them his whereabouts!

Such joking, however, did not extend only to the enemy. One day, lying out in the fields, he spied one of his uncles cycling down a country road. Taking careful aim with his rifle he shot away the bike's rear wheel. His uncle ran alarmed, into a nearby house shouting that loyalists had just tried to assassinate him!

BATTLE

The determination of the British army and RUC to capture Francis Hughes came to a head in April 1977. In that month, on Good Friday, a car containing three IRA Volunteers was overtaken and flagged down on the Moneymore Road at Dunronan, in County Derry, by a carload of RUC men.

The Volunteers attempted to make a U-turn but their car got stuck in a ditch as the armed RUC men approached. Jumping from the car, the Volunteers opened fire, killing two RUC men and injuring another before driving off. A hundred yards further up the road a second gun battle ensued but the Volunteers escaped safely.

Subsequently, the RUC issued a 'wanted' poster of Francis Hughes and two fellow republicans, Dominic McGlinchey and Ian Milne, in which Francis was named as the 'most wanted man' in the North.

When his eventual capture came, it was just as he had always said it would be: "I'll get a few of them before they get me."

STAKE-OUT

At 8.00 p.m. on March 16th, 1978, two SAS soldiers took up a stake-out position opposite a farm, on the south side of the Ronaghan road, about two miles west of Maghera, in the townland of Ballyknock.

At 9.15 p.m. they saw two men in military uniform and carrying rifles, walking in single file along the hedgeline of the field towards them. Using their 'night sights' in the darkness, the SAS men observed the military behaviour of the two on-comers and having challenged them, heard the men mumble a few words to each other in Irish accents and assumed that the pair were UDR soldiers.

One of the pair, in fact, was Francis Hughes, the other a fellow Volunteer, and with only a second's hesitation both Volunteers cocked their rifles and opened fire. One SAS man fell fatally wounded but the other – though shot in the stomach – managed to fire a long burst from his sterling sub-machine gun at the retreating figures, and to make radio contact with his base.

Within three minutes, nearby Brit patrols were on the scene and the area was entirely sealed off. The following morning hundreds of Brits took part in a massive search operation.

Fifteen hours after the shooting, at around 12.15 p.m. the next day, they found Francis Hughes sitting in the middle of a gorse bush in a field three hundred yards away, bleeding profusely from a bullet wound which had shattered his left thigh. As he was taken away on a stretcher he yelled defiantly, through his considerable pain: "Up the Provies".

His comrade, though also wounded, slightly, managed to evade the dragnet and to escape.

SURVIVED

How he survived the night of the shooting, possibly the coldest night of that year, bears eloquent testimony to Francis' grim determination to evade capture. After being shot, he dragged himself – unable to walk – across the Ronaghan road and across two fields without a sound, before burying himself in a thick clump of gorse bushes.

At one point, en-route, Francis fell down a sharp drop between fields, and his left leg – the muscle and bone completely disintegrated – came up over his shoulder; but Francis worked it carefully down before continuing to crawl on his way. In his hiding place, he lay through the night, motionless and soundless, till his capture.

When he was found, unable to move through the cold, pain and stiffness, Francis, knowing that both Brits and RUC were on instructions to shoot him on sight, gave his name as Eamonn Laverty and his address as Letterkenny, County Donegal.

Francis was taken to Magherafelt hospital and from there to Musgrave Park military hospital in Belfast, and it was only then that his true identity was revealed. He spent ten months in Musgrave Park where his leg was operated on, reducing his thigh bone by an inch-and-a-half and leaving him dependent on a crutch to walk.

CASTLEREAGH

On Wednesday, January 24th, 1979, Francis was taken from Musgrave Park hospital to Castlereagh interrogation centre where he spent six days before being charged on January 29th. For more than four days Francis refused food and drink, fearing that it might have been drugged to make him talk.

His behaviour in Castlereagh was typical of the fiercely determined and courageous republican Volunteer that he was. His frustrated interrogators later described him as "totally uncooperative".

Nevertheless, at his trial in Belfast in February 1980, after a year on remand in Crumlin Road jail, Francis was found 'guilty' on all charges.

He received a life sentence for killing the SAS soldier, and fourteen years for attempting to kill the other SAS man. He also received fifty-five years on three other charges.

H-BLOCK

In the H-Blocks, Francis immediately went on the protest for political status and, despite the severe disability of his wounded leg, displayed the same courage and determination that had been his hallmark before his capture.

And, just as always wanting to be in the thick of things and wanting to shoulder responsibility for other political prisoners as he had earlier looked after the morale of fellow Volunteers, Francis was one of those to volunteer for the hunger strike which began on October 27th, 1980. He was not one of the first seven hunger strikers selected but was among the thirty men who joined the hunger strike in its closing stages as Sean McKenna's condition became critical.

That utter selflessness and courage came to its tragic conclusion on Tuesday, May 12th, when Francis died at 5.43 p.m. after fifty-nine days on hunger strike.

National Hunger Strike Rally

June 10th.

The March will assemble on Saturday June 10th at 1pm in Glenbarr Street, Garngad.

May 15
1395 – Richard II returns to England on this date, confident that Gaelic Irish power has been checked
1600 – Sent by Queen Elizabeth to quell the rumblings of discontent in Ulster, Sir Henry Docwra lands at Culmore with a force of 4000 foot and 200 horse soldiers; modern Derry is thereby founded
1621 – Sir Henry Docwra is created Baron Docwra of Culmore
1753 – Isaac Corry, opposition politician, Volunteer, and Chancellor of the Exchequer is born in Newry, Co. Down
1808 – Michael Balfe, operatic composer, is born in Dublin
1829 – Elected to the office of minister of Parliament for Co. Clare by recently enfranchised Catholics, O'Connell presents himself at the bar of the House of Commons, but is asked to withdraw for refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy
1847 – Daniel O'Connell, "The Liberator," dies in Genoa. His body is returned to Ireland and buried in Glasnevin Cemetery
1867 – Eoin MacNeill, Gaelic scholar and co-founder of the Gaelic League, is born in Glenarm, Co. Antrim
1940 – Proinsias de Rossa, politician and leader of Democratic Left, is born in Dublin
2000 – Two international inspectors who have been tasked with examining IRA arms dumps as part of the plans for the restoration of devolved government to the North arrive in Ireland
2001 – Drivers enjoy a free ride across Dublin's two toll bridges – a bonus from the booth operators' strike over pay and working hours
May 16
587 – St. Brendan the Navigator, early transatlantic voyager, dies. In the liturgical calendar, today is St. Brendan's Feast Day
1920 – 'Soviets' are proclaimed in 13 Co. Limerick creameries, including Knocklong 1926 – Eamon de Valera founds Fianna Fáil and holds its first public meeting
1927 – 'A' Reserve established by Oglaigh na hÉireann – the Irish Defence Forces
1938 – The Department of Justice bans Photography magazine because of 'attention given to the female nude'
1945 – Eamon de Valera responds to Churchill's victory speech during which Churchill took one last jab at Irish neutrality. For Churchill's speech and De Valera's response, please click World at War
1997 – Tony Blair visits Northern Ireland and gives the go ahead for exploratory contacts between government officials and Sinn Féin
2000 – An Post officially launches a set of four 30p postage stamps in honour of flamboyant writer and wit, Oscar Wilde
2001 – Proposals to locate the first wind farm off the country's west coast are unveiled. The £100 million project is to be located off the north Kerry coast on the southern lip of the Shannon estuary and is to involve the construction of between 20 and 30 wind turbines
2001 – The United States designates the Real IRA, a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army, as a "foreign terrorist organisation," a legal term that brings financial and other sanctions. Under US law, any assets the Real IRA has in the United States are frozen, it is illegal to support the organization and Real IRA members are not eligible for US visas
May 17
1650 – Cromwell's army is defeated in the second assault on Clonmel, suffering its heaviest losses. The following day, the Mayor of Clonmel negotiates honourable terms for surrender with Cromwell, who did not realise that O'Neill and his soldiers had left the town. Annoyed at being outwitted, Cromwell nevertheless keeps to the terms
1855 – Birth in Bantry, Co. Cork of Timothy Michael Healy, one of the most brilliant and most controversial of Irish politicians. His career spans from Parnell's leadership of the Irish Parliamentary Party in the 1880s to the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922; he becomes the Free State's first Governor-General
1880 – Charles Stewart Parnell is elected Chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party
1917 – A new military viceroy, General French, acts on mistaken information that Sinn Féin is implicated in a pro-German plot and has most of the leaders arrested
1949 – The British Government recognizes the Republic of Ireland
1974 – Car bombs explode in Dublin and Monaghan, killing 34 people
May 18
1401 – John de Stanley is told that he is to be replaced as lieutenant by Thomas of Lancaster (duke of Clarence and second son of Henry IV), who is 12 or 13 years old. Lancaster's deputy, Sir Stephen le Scrope, will effectively govern Ireland for the next few years
1613 – James I's Irish parliament opens in Dublin
1825 – The House of Lords rejects the Catholic Emancipation Bill which would disenfranchise Irish forty-shilling free-holders and put clergy on state salaries
1798 – The 2nd Earl of Kingston is tried amid great pomp by the Irish House of Lords for the murder of Colonel Henry FitzGerald. An executioner stands beside Kingston with an immense axe, painted black except for two inches of polished steel, and held at the level of the defendant's neck. However, no witnesses appear for the prosecution, and Kingston is acquitted. The Directory of the United Irishmen had planned to use the occasion to kill the entire government and all the lords, but one vote cast against this scheme (by the informer Francis Magan) causes it to be abandoned
1896 – The City and Suburban Ground now known as Croke Park, hosts a soccer match for the first time. The teams are a combination of Irish and Scots women versus England. The combined team beats England 3-2
1897 – Oscar Wilde is released from prison; he goes to live in France, where he writes his famous poem, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol"
1928 – Death of writer Standish O'Grady on the Isle of Wight. Under the influence of John O'Donovan, he studies the Old Irish myths and legends, and his works, which influence the Irish literary revival of the 1890's, popularise the Irish sagas
1939 – The first aircraft lands at the newly opened Rineanna Airfield which is later to become Shannon International Airport
1999 – The Church of Ireland's annual synod calls on the authorities at Drumcree to conditionally withdraw a long-standing invitation to the Orangemen to use their church ahead of the order's controversial annual march through nationalist parts of Portadown
2000 – Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble decides to accept the IRA’s offer to put arms beyond use and backs a return to the Stormont Executive with Sinn Féin
2006 – Michael O'Riordan dies in Dublin. A key figure in the Irish Communist Party, Mr O'Riordan was one of just two surviving Irish veterans of the Spanish Civil War. He was shot in Spain while with the 'Connolly Column', named after socialist leader James Connolly, which fought against General Franco's fascists from 1936-39.
Photo Credit: Communist Party of Ireland.
May 19
1660 – An Act by the British Parliament forbids the export of Irish wool
1798 – Lord Edward Fitzgerald, a leader of the United Irishmen, is betrayed by Francis Magan; he's arrested and is shot while being apprehended; he dies of his wounds on June 4
1821 – Anna Maria Odell, the second wife of William Odell (former MP for Co. Limerick), gives birth to a stillborn child in the Marshalsea debtors' prison, where she had accompanied her husband
1870 – Sir Isaac Butt invents the term "Home Rule". The first meeting of the "Home Government Association" (later to become the "Home Rule League") is held in a Dublin hotel. A resolution is passed "that the true remedy for the evils of Ireland is the establishment of an Irish Parliament with full control over our domestic affairs"
1998 – SDLP leader John Hume and his Unionist counterpart, David Trimble, join U2 on stage at a concert in Belfast's Waterfront Hall to drum up support for a massive Yes vote in Friday's referendum on the Stormont agreement
1998 – Abortion is opposed in all circumstances by 58% of people as against 24% in favour, according to a Pro Life Campaign opinion poll, carried out by Irish Marketing Surveys
1999 – A five-stone lump of butter, estimated to have been buried in a bog over 300 years ago, is discovered in the Poll na gCapaill bog near Barnaderg in Co. Galway by turf cutters Tom Burke and Vincent Roche
2000 – British Airways launches its first daily flight service to Glasgow from Cork

May 20
1311 – The war of the O'Briens of Thomond escalates as the Norman-Irish become involved on both sides: the de Burghs support Dermot O'Brien and Richard de Clare supports Donough O'Brien. There is a pitched battle at Bunratty on this date, with heavy losses on both sides; de Burgh and others are imprisoned
1648 – Truce between the confederates and Inchiquin; its adherents are excommunicated by Giovanni Rinuccini, papal nuncio to the confederates
1836 – An Act amalgamates the county constabulary and Peace Preservation Force into a centralized police force – the Irish Constabulary – which will later become the Royal Irish Constabulary
1922 – De Valera and Collins agree to a pact whereby a national coalition panel of candidates will represent the pro- and anti-Treaty wings of Sinn Féin throughout Ireland in the forthcoming general election
1927 – The opening hours of Irish public houses are restricted by the Intoxicating Liquor Act
1932 – Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland for Ireland on the anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's famous flight; she lands near Derry and becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Photo Credit: Associated Press File Photo/Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College 1969 – Students stage a sit-in at University College in Dublin to protest conditions in Northern Ireland
1998 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern assures unionists there is no hidden agenda in the Belfast Agreement and promises to stamp out dissident paramilitary groups who want to wreck the accord
2001 – More than half a million people line the streets to watch the postponed St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin
2001 – Former US president Bill Clinton begins a four-day trip to Ireland with a round of golf at Ballybunion
2003 – The Irish Government restricts alcohol adverts. The ads are banned from buses, trains, cinemas and sporting events and not permitted before 10 p.m. on television
2003 – Thousands of Irish-based Celtic fans fly to Spain to cheer on the Glasgow club in their first European final in 33 years tomorrow

May 21
1639 – Lord Deputy Thomas Wentworth imposes the Black Oath of loyalty to Charles I on all Ulster Scots over the age of 16
1916 – Clocks and watches go forward one hour as the Daylight Saving Act (Summer Time) is introduced 1920 – James Plunkett, pseudonym of James Plunkett Kelly; novelist, is born in Dublin
1980 – Taoiseach Charles Haughey and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher meet in London (and later in Dublin on December 8th), and agree to consider 'the totality of relationships within these islands'
1981 – At 2:11 am, Raymond McCreesh dies on hunger strike in the Maze Prison. Later, the same day at 11:29 pm, he is joined in death by his friend and fellow hunger-striker, Patsy O'Hara. 2000 – Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams sparks a new political storm when he makes it clear he could not call on republicans and nationalists to join the North’s proposed new police service 2000 – Demonstrators picket Drogheda Heritage Centre as the death mask of Oliver Cromwell is put on display where he is reputed to have massacred thousands of defenceless civilians

I was in bed as I had to be at school the next day.

When I was awoken in the morning by my mother and told the news. It was no great surprise, but was no less devastating I had already developed a deep seated hatred of Thatcher and the news reinforced that hatred. My hatred was mostly directed at those greedy bastards in the south of England you had voted for the evil whore.

When I went to school it was the main topic of conversation in the playground. At morning assembly we said prayers for him and his family and for peace in Ireland. I was astounded that Thatcher’s intransigence had reached such astronomical levels. Over the years she managed to surpass those levels. She devastated the industries in Scotland. She started the Miners Strike to smash the unions. She started the Falklands war to, in true fascist style save her Job. She depended on Loyalist/Union support to facilitate her anti working class policies.

I was 12 years old ffs! How could I see it and others couldn’t see it? I suspect they could see it. It was the I’m all right (union) Jack attitude.

Well I went to school, at dinner time, we were want to go down the street and get a chippy but when we got to the watsonville playing grounds, some arseholes from the Dalziel high school thought themselves really cool with chants of, “could you go a chicken supper Bobby Sands”

We retreated, much to their derision, and returned with a healthy supply of milk bottles liberated from doorsteps and gave them a bloody good hiding.

It became the Battle of Watsonville.

My first involvement in direct action. Aged 12.

May 8
1567 – Shane O'Neill's army crosses the Swilly estuary at Farsetmore, and is defeated in a pitched battle by Hugh O'Donnell. Many drown while trying to escape; O'Neill loses1,300 men
1597 – Execution of Fiach MacHugh O’Byrne
1916 – Irish patriots, Michael Mallin, Eamonn Ceannt, Cornelius "Con" Colbert and Sean Heuston are executed in Kilmainham gaol
1945 – VE Day is marked in Dublin by small disturbances throughout the city which quickly turn into major disorder
2001 – A strike by more than 100 ATGWU drivers along the east coast causes havoc for 120,000 travellers who find themselves without suburban and inter-city train service; Dart service is cut in half

May 9
1650 – The Battle of Clonmel begins with the first of two assaults. Cromwell's forces are beaten back on this date by Black Hugh O'Neill. Eventually, Cromwell loses up to 2,000 men, but O'Neill, realizing he has a shortage of ammunition, secretly withdraws
1671 – Irish adventurer Colonel Thomas Blood dresses as a clergyman and attempts to steal the British crown jewels from the Tower of London. He is arrested in possession of the crown
1691 – Charles Chalmont (Marquis de Saint-Ruth; French general) is sent by Louis XIV to command the Irish army and arrives on this date
1709 – The Irish House of Lords expresses hope that union of Ireland and England will follow union of England and Scotland
1828 – Charles Kickham, Fenian, novelist, and author of Knocknagow, is born in Mullinahone, Co. Tipperary
1916 – Irish Patriot, Thomas Kent, is executed at Cork Detention Barracks
1932 – Éamon de Valera is elected Taoiseach
1982 – General Election results in Fianna Fáil victory winning 81 seats. Charles J. Haughey is elected as Taoiseach on the 50th Anniversary of the first Fianna Fáil Government in 1932.

May 10
1603 – In the revolt of the towns, or recusancy revolt, Catholic worship is re-established in Kilkenny and the main Munster towns between 11 April and this date, in the hope that James I will grant religious toleration; Mountjoy marches south and forces the towns to submit
1642 – A Catholic confederacy ('the Confederation of Kilkenny') is instituted to administer Catholic-controlled parts of the country pending a final settlement
1739 – John Thomas Troy, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin and opponent of revolution, is born in Castleknock, Co. Dublin
1804 – After resigning as Prime Minister following a disagreement with George III over Catholic Emancipation, William Pitt returns to office
1960 – Paul Hewson, better known as Bono, is born at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin
1972 – In a referendum in the Republic, 83 per cent favour accession to the European Economic Community
1998 – Members of Sinn Féin vote to accept the Good Friday peace agreement, effectively acknowledging the north-south border

May 11
1745 – At the battle of Fontenoy (30 April/11 May according to the two calendars), near Tournai in modern Belgium, the Irish Brigade of the French army under Lieutenant Charles O'Brien repulses the British and wins the day. Those killed include (on the British side) Henry Ponsonby, MP for Innistiogue and a brother of Brabazon Ponsonby, 1st Earl of Bessborough
1788 – Presbyterian minister, Henry Cooke, is born at Grillagh, near Maghera, Co Derry. Cooke is famous for leading Ulster Presbyterianism away from the free-thinking radicalism which had spawned the United Irishmen's rising during his childhood
1916 – During the House of Commons debate on the Irish crises, John Dillon urges the cessation of executions
1937 – Debate on new Constitution commences
1967- The Republic of Ireland applies again to join the Common Market

May 12
563 – St Columcille establishes a community on Iona
1823 – Daniel O'Connell founds the Catholic Association, an organization dedicated to obtaining the franchise for Catholics
1916 – Irish Patriots, Seán MacDiarmada and James Connolly are executed at Kilmainham Gaol
1981 – Francis Hughes, Irish political prisoner, dies on hunger strike, in Maze Prison, near Lisburn, Co. Antrim. His death comes a week after the the death of Bobby Sands on 5 May, the first to die in a republican campaign for political status to be granted to IRA prisoners
1998 – British Chancellor Gordon Brown hands the Yes campaign in the North a monster financial boost when he unveils a bumper £315 million plan — over twice what was expected
1999 – US First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton become the first woman to be granted the Freedom of Galway city, following in the footsteps of her country's former presidents, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan
2003 – Dublin City Council votes by an overwhelming majority to call for the preservation of a house in Moore Street where the leaders of the 1916 Rising have their last meeting and decide to surrender to British forces.

May 13
1787 – On this date, which is a Sunday, Alderman Exshaw, accompanied by Archdeacon Hastings, is walking in Merrion Square, Dublin, when he encounters 'a great number of people, leaping, wrestling, shouting, etc.'. The archdeacon observes that this activity profanes the Sabbath and is a disgrace to Exshaw's district. The latter orders the police to advance and disperse the crowd with fixed bayonets. The MPs Richard Griffith, Henry Hatton and Sir John Freke intervene, and Griffith asks Exshaw 'to consider what he was about to do; that he had no right to order his men to fire without reading the Riot Act, and that if they fired, they must kill many innocent persons'. These words, according to Exshaw later, encourage the mob, and they immediately attack the police with stones. Exshaw will admit that there was no riot before he ordered the police to disperse the crowd, 'that some of his men were drunk, but not so much so, he said as to render them incapable of doing their duty; that it was with great difficulty he prevented them from firing on the mob'. Griffith will be found guilty of instigating a riot, and considered lucky not to be hanged
1848 – The Irish Confederation splits; John Mitchel starts the militant United Irishman; he is arrested on this date and is sentenced to 14 years transportation under the new Treason-Felony Act
1919 – Dan Breen and Seán Treacy rescue their comrade Seán Hogan from a Dublin-Cork train at Knocklong, Co. Limerick; two policemen guarding him are killed
1945 – In a radio broadcast, Churchill accuses de Valera's government of frolicking with the Germans and Japanese

1981 – Pope John Paul II survives an assassination attempt in St Peter's Square, Rome
1998 – Delegates at the Church of Ireland Synod in Dublin vote down a proposal that the church stop investing in companies involved in the production and selling of arms
1998 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern calls on Sinn Féin and the IRA to state unequivocally that the war in Northern Ireland is over
1998 – The British Government appoints Adam Ingram as "Minister for Victims" to co-ordinate a drive towards new proposals to help the forgotten victims of terrorist violence in Northern Ireland
2000 – More than 3,500 people march through the centre of Dublin to show their opposition to the rising levels of racism directed at refugees

May 14
1660 – Charles II is proclaimed king in Dublin, six days after London, thus ending Cromwell's reign as Lord Protector and beginning a brief and limited Catholic Restoration
1784 – Foster's Corn Law regulates the corn trade
1974 – The Ulster Workers' Council declares a general strike; Faulkner and the unionist members of the executive resign on 28 May; direct rule is reimposed the following day and the strike is called off. Power-sharing is dead
1998 – The leaders of the five main Dáil parties join forces in urging Sinn Féin and the IRA to publicly declare that the "war is over" and that weapons are redundant