October 2006


The current storm that’s brewing about the the Muslim veil has been blown out of all proportion. The debate was kicked off by the mutterings of Jack Straw. Jack Straw is an eejit as far as I’m concerned. He is not wrong in what he’s saying though.

The fall out is that now we hear of a female teacher’s assistant who has insisted on her right to wear a veil whilst teaching school kids. Just to add to the mix, a christian woman is taking action against BA because they won’t let her wear jewelry on top of her uniform. Normally that wouldn’t cause a stir but in this case it happens to be a cross. If it weren’t a cross, it seems, she would be glad to tuck it under her uniform.

What the whole debate needs is a dose of honesty. BA aren’t allowing the wearing of veils either. That has to be made clear to Christians shouting about “discrimination. It’s impractical to have people, dealing with clients, wearing a veil. It’s not going to happen and quite right too. The wearing of Turbans or bangles is allowed because it would be impractical to conceal them. They don’t infringe the uniform policy but having a cross dangling over the top of the uniform clearly does. There is also no reason why the cross can’t be worn underneath her clothing. She is being dishonest and deserves everything she gets.

As far as the veil is concerned. When practical, there is nothing to stop people from wearing the veil. Unfortunately, it is impractical to insist on wearing it when communication is a fundamental part of the job. I tell my kids not to cover their mouth when talking. A fine time I’d have trying to explain that Muslims are exempt from such requirements. Her argument about blind kids falls flat when you use the same logic with deaf kids.

When people decide that they wish to adopt a certain lifestyle, they should realise that their lifestyle choice may inhibit them from some careers and pastimes. Let’s be clear. The wearing of symbols of religious faith is nothing more than a lifestyle choice. Where practical, they should be accommodated. I wonder if they would be willing to accommodate a naturist in same manner they wish themselves to be? I don’t think so.

October 8
1822 – Birth in Dublin of Richard D’Alton Williams. He is educated at Carlow Academy and studies medicine at Saint Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin. He becomes a member of the Young Ireland movement and contributes poetry to The Nation under the pseudonym ‘Shamrock’. In 1848, he is tried for treason for articles he publishes in the Irish Tribune, but he is successfully defended by lawyer and fellow poet Samuel Ferguson
1974 – Seán MacBride, President of the International Peace Bureau, Geneva, Switzerland, and President of the Commission of Namibia, United Nations, New York, USA, is awarded a half share of the Nobel Peace Prize
Photo Credit: Nobel.se
1998 – Minister for Defence, Michael Smith TD strongly defends his decision to close down six army barracks after several delegates stage a walk-out at the PDFORRA conference in Ennis, Co Clare
1999 – On the grounds of Belfast City Hall, a six-foot statue is dedicated to the memory of the late James Magennis. He is finally honoured in his native Belfast 54 years after he was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry during the Second World War
2000 – Catholic bishops begin a three-day meeting in Maynooth during which they will attempt to reach agreement on the ordination of lay people as deacons
2000 – More than 40,000 jubilant supporters turn out to welcome the victorious Co. Kerry football team and the Sam Maguire Cup back to the Kingdom
2001 – Six Counties political institutions are plunged into a new crisis as Ulster Unionists begin a phased withdrawal of ministers from the power-sharing executive
2002 – Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams claims that the raid on his party’s Stormont offices last week is a plot to throw the peace process into crisis. (Which of course it was. As time later showed the event was not much short of a coup. It could be likened to the NSDAP ordering storm-troopers raid opposition party offices. No one on the left in Britland or elsewhere seems to bat an eye lid. An Fíníneach called it for what it was at the the time)*
2002 – Catholic Bishops back the Nice Treaty, stating there is a stronger case for voting in favour than against.

October 9
1651 – The Navigation Act provides that goods imported to any Commonwealth lands shall be carried in English ships only
1849 – First tenant protection society established at Callan, Co. Kilkenny.
1968 – Champion racehorse, Arkle, is retired to see out the rest of his days in Bryanstown, Kildare
2000 – The Dinn Ri, Carlow Town, Co. Carlow, scoops the Black & White Pub of the Year Award for a third time
2001 – Nearly 450 jobs are lost as the economic fallout from the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US continues to hit home. More than 1,600 workers at Waterford Crystal are also preparing for a complete shutdown next week for five days
2002 – SDLP Leader Mark Durkan urges the British and Irish Governments to do everything possible to minimise the damage to the Good Friday Agreement. Following talks in Downing Street with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr Durkan acknowledges that the power-sharing government in Stormont may have to be suspended after allegations of an IRA spy ring operating within the Northern Ireland Government [Again, everyone apart from Sinn Féin and An Fíníneach along with very few individuals fail to see what the allegations were — An attempt to criminalise Sinn Féin and negate it’s mandate.]*
2003 – The famous cranes at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard, which dominate the city’s skyline, are listed as historic monuments to ensure their preservation.

October 10
1084 – Patrick, Bishop of Dublin, dies in a shipwreck
1771 – During his visit to Ireland, Benjamin Franklin attends a meeting of the House of Commons on this date
1790 – Birth in Co. Tipperary of Fr. Theobald Matthew, “The Apostle of Temperance” and campaigner against alcohol
1865 – Magee College is opened as a combined arts and Presbyterian theological college in Derry/Londonderry
1899 – Irish Transvaal Committee is formed to aid Boers against the English
1969 – The Hunt Committee Report on Ulster police recommends abolition of the B-special troops and the creation of the Ulster Defence Regiment [In other words, and as history showed, this meant the renaming of the b-specials with the the new moniker in an attempt to suggest the organisation was more than just a Government sponsored Loyalist paramilitary group. The attempt succeeded and the UDR was/is generally accepted as a legitimate army. Catholics were especially encorouged to join to aid in the charade. Sadly around 900 did.]*
1971 – Birth in Cork of Roy Keane, football player for the Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, Celtic and the Republic of Ireland
1981 The Fureys reach no. 14 in the British charts with When You Were Sweet Sixteen
1998 – THE IRA and Sinn Féin embark on a series of secret talks with Protestant churchmen and community leaders in a bid to prevent the peace process and the new Northern Ireland Assembly foundering
2000 – Taooiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister, Tony Blair signal the start of a concerted attempt to rescue the faltering Northern Ireland peace process
2001 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern joins the ranks of the publicly contrite world leaders when he finally apologises to three journalists for the tapping of their telephones in the early ’80s
2002 – After 22 years at the National Museum in Dublin, an eighth-century silver chalice, silver paten and stand and a decorated bronze strainer ladle are returned to their original resting place at the monastic site of Derrynaflan, near Littleton Bog, Co Tipperary.

October 11
1649 – Massacre at Wexford when the town falls to Cromwell
1703 – John Asgill, newly elected MP for Enniscorthy, is expelled from the Irish parliament on this date on account of a pamphlet he published in Dublin in 1698, arguing that man may pass into eternal life without dying. The pamphlet is burned by the common hangman. He will spend much of the rest of his life in prison in England, for blasphemy or for matters arising from land speculation in Ireland
1921 – Anglo-Irish negotiations open with Griffith and Collins leading the Irish delegation
1922 – The Irish Constitution for the Free State, drafted by the Thomas Cosgrove Dáil, is adopted
1974 – Adoption of the Celtic League American Branch
1999 – Hospitals begin scaling down their services after nurses vote overwhelmingly to go on strike
1999 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern pays tribute to Mo Mowlam’s courage and understanding after it emerges that she is leaving her Northern Ireland post
2000 – In an historic move, Ireland’s Bishops vote at the autumn meeting of the Irish Bishop’s Conference in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth to seek the permission of Pope John Paul II to establish a Permanent Diaconate in Ireland. What this means is that Irish men will be ordained as deacons in the Catholic Church within the next five years and will have powers to officiate at weddings, baptisms and funerals
2002 – Geraldine Kennedy is appointed editor of The Irish Times and becomes the first female editor of a national daily newspaper

October 12
1645 Archbishop Rinuccini arrives in Ireland
1798 – French fleet intercepted off Donegal. Wolfe Tone captured when the Hoche strikes its colors
1970 – Founding in Dublin of what is considered by some to be the first Celtic rock band, Horslips
1975 – Sir Oliver Plunkett is canonised
1999 – Former US Senator George Mitchell moves his make or break review of the Good Friday Agreement to London, just hours after new Secretary of State Peter Mandelson arrives in Northern Ireland to meet the North’s political leaders
2000 – Roman Catholic and Protestant Bishops are on a collision course following Archbishop Dr Desmond O’ Connell’s backing of the controversial document “Dominus Iesus” which proclaims the Catholic Church to be the one true church
2002 – Paddy’s Bar, owned by Cork woman Natalia Daly, is destroyed in a series of explosions which kill more than 200 people in Bali. Most of those killed or injured are Australian tourists; the dead and injured also include Swiss, Germans, Swedes, Americans, Britons and Italians. Three Irish people are still unaccounted for.

October 13
1494 – Poynings lands at Howth and summons a parliament to Drogheda. He then campaigns in the north
1729 – William Conolly resigns as Speaker of the Irish House of Commons on grounds of ill health. Sir Ralph Gore is elected unanimously in his place
1881 – Charles Stewart Parnell and others are arrested for Land League activities
1923 – Republican prisoners in Mountjoy prison begin mass hunger strike
2000 – Provisional IRA gunmen are blamed by some for the murder of an alleged leading member of the RIRA, Joseph “Jo Jo” O’Connor who is shot dead in West Belfast.  [The original source cited JO JO as a leading member of the CIRA. I have, I think, corrected the oversight. If I’m wrong then, it is up to anyone who thinks so to tell me and I’ll correct it or amend it]*
2002 – Three Irish tourists are among 25 people still unaccounted for following a massive bomb blast which ripped through two packed bars on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

October 14
1702 – Irish Brigade of France fights in the battle of Friedlingen
1767 – George Townshend, 4th Viscount Townshend, becomes Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
1783 – Edmond Sexton Pery is unanimously re-elected as Speaker of the Irish parliament
1791 – Wolfe Tone visits Belfast for the first time; the Society of United Irishmen is founded there on this date by Tone, Henry Joy McCracken, Thomas Russell and Samuel Neilson
1814 – Birth of author and patriot, Thomas Osborne Davis in Mallow, Co. Cork
1880 – Nationalist and Gaelic League activist, Mary Ellen Spring-Rice is born
1882 – Eamon de Valera, nationalist campaigner, Fianna Fáil leader, Taoiseach and president of Ireland, is born in Brooklyn, New York of a Spanish father and an Irish mother
1920 – Tipperary IRA man, Sean Treacy, is killed in a gun battle in Talbot Street, Dublin
1932 – Between October 4 and this date, strikes, marches and protests are held in Belfast against low unemployment payments, temporarily uniting Catholic and Protestant unemployed; payments are raised
1999 – More than 1,000 mourners gather in Belfast for the funeral of Patrick Campbell, a hard line republican paramilitary who was murdered in a drugs dispute [Patrick Campbell was a member of INLA and was apparently killed by drug dealers. There is no evedence as far as I know that Parick Campbell was involved with drugs apart from fighting them]*
2001 – The first multiple State funeral is held in honour of 10 IRA Volunteers, including Kevin Barry, who were executed for their role in the War of Independence. More than 80 years after they were buried in the grounds of Mountjoy Prison, the bodies of the 10 men were exhumed and reinterred in a special new plot at Glasnevin Cemetery. The ten men were Kevin Barry, Thomas Bryan, Patrick Doyle, Frank Flood, Patrick Moran, Thomas Whelan, Bernard Ryan, Thomas Traynor, Edmond Foley and Patrick Maher.
* Entries edited by An Fíníneach

October 1
1751 – Cornelius Bolton, politician, Volunteer and improving landlord is born
1761 – In the climate of sectarian tension created partly by the Mathew-Maude controversy, the Whiteboys, a violent agrarian protest movement, begins in Tipperary and spreads through Munster and West Leinster
1911 – Statue of Charles Stewart Parnell is unveiled in Dublin
1979 – RTÉ broadcasts Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland
2001 – Journalists from all over Ireland gather to pay tribute to colleague Martin O’Hagan who was gunned down last week. More than 1,500 people attend his funeral in his hometown of Lurgan, County Armagh

October 2
1600 – O’Neill engages Mountjoy’s forces in the Battle of Moyry Pass
1833 – Birth of Father William Corby who became Chaplain of the Irish Brigade in Detroit, Michigan
1852 – William O’Brien, writer and nationalist, is born in Mallow, Co. Cork
1879 – Kate Coll arrives in New York from Ireland on board the SS Nevada. She later marries Juan Vivion de Valera, and gives birth to Éamon on October 14, 1882 in New York
1900 – Hubert Butler, writer and local historian, is born near Bennettsbridge, Co. Kilkenny
1942 – The British cruiser Curaçao sinks off Donegal after colliding with the Queen Mary; 338 lives are lost

October 3
1691– Treaty of Limerick is signed by Ginkel and Sarsfield, ending the Williamite War in Ireland; the treaty allows evacuation of the Irish army to France and promises tolerance of Irish Catholics
1750 – James McLaine, gentleman highwayman born in Monaghan, is hanged at Tyburn
1871 – Gen. John O’Neill and a small force of Fenians invade Canada at Pembina, Manitoba
1961 – Ireland applies for membership of the European Economic Community on 1 August and joins UNESCO on this date
1966 – Birth of Niall Quinn, footballer
1971 – Death of Seán Ó Riada, founder, composer, and arranger for the Chieftains. He composed Mná na hÉireann (Women of Ireland). Guided by his vision, traditional music changed radically, and became accessible to a modern Irish audience, and through this traditional music, the cultural life of Ireland was invigorated. (taken from the book “Bringing It All Back Home” by Nuala O Connor)
1975 – Dr Tiede Herrema, chief executive of the Dutch-owned Ferenka factory in Ballyvarra, County Limerick, is kidnapped by the IRA
1981 – In the Maze Prison, Northern Ireland, ten IRA and INLA hunger-strikers die between 5 May and 12 August; the hunger strike is called off on this date
2002 – Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness condemns a weekend gun attack on a bus driver in his home city of Derry which police believe was the work of the IRA.
October 4
1582 – Pope Gregory reforms the calendar introduced by Julius Caesar in 45BCE: 4 October is followed by 15 October. However, the reform will not be implemented in Ireland till 1752
1693 – Irish Brigade of France fights in the battle of Marsaglia
1733 – Henry Boyle, the future Earl of Shannon, is unanimously elected Speaker of the Irish parliament. He will serve till 1756 – the longest-serving Speaker of the 1692-1800 parliaments
1842 – Birth of heavyweight bare-knuckle boxer Jim Dunne in Co. Kildare.
Dunne won the American heavyweight title from fellow Irishman Jim Elliot – the pair were jailed after the illegal event
1961 – General election is held in the Republic. Fianna Fáil gains 70 of the 144 seats
2001 – Cork will be Europe’s Culture Capital in 2005 after landing the prestigious title ahead of Galway
2002 – Thousands of people from all over the country march in protest over redundancy payments
2002 – The North’s police service launch dawn raids on Sinn Féin’s offices at the Northern Ireland parliament at Stormont

October 5
1731 – Parliament meets at the new parliament house in College Green for the first time
1878 – New York Gaelic Society is formed
1923 – Birth of Philip Berrigan – militant priest, Virginia, Minn
1924 – John Joe Barry, athlete who is known as ‘the Ballincurry Hare’, is born
1968 – Police clash with Derry civil rights marchers, giving birth to the civil rights organization People’s Democracy
2000 – With pressure growing on Trimble to withdraw from the Northern Ireland power sharing executive, parliamentary colleague William Thompson, the West Tyrone MP is quoted as saying ‘‘He is on the skids and he cannot survive’
2000 – In one of the largest operations in the history of the State, over 150 gardaí and officers from the FBI search a warehouse and distribution center. At the centre of the investigation is a Shannon based company that is alleged to have sold counterfeit aircraft parts to aircraft maintenance and repair facilities
2000 – Ireland’s ban on tobacco advertising stands despite the decision by the European Court of Justice to knock down an EU wide ban
2001 – Former NI First Minister David Trimble announces plans to go to the House of Lords after failing to overturn a ruling that his ban on Sinn Fein ministers attending cross-Border meetings is illegal
2001 – Ten thousand rail travellers are delayed when Dublin’s Heuston railway station closed because of a bomb alert

October 6
1175 – Under the Treaty of Windsor, concluded on this date, Rory O’Connor recognizes Henry as his overlord and agrees to collect tribute for him from all parts of Ireland. Henry agrees that O’Connor can be king of the areas not conquered by the Normans. But O’Connor cannot control the territories of which he is nominally king, and Henry and his barons annex further land without consulting him
1216 – The union of the diocese of Glendalough with that of Dublin, having been promulgated by Pope Innocent III last year, is confirmed by Pope Honorius III
1798 – Grattan removed from Irish Privy Council, falsely charged with being a sworn member of United Irishmen
1891 – Death of Charles Stewart Parnell, champion of tenants rights and co-founder of the Land League; often called the “Uncrowned King of Ireland”
1928 – Death of Galway man Pádraic Ó Conaire, who was among the first writers to develop a new modern literature in the Irish language
1948 – Birth of Gerry Adams
1970 – Opening of the arms trial involving Charles Haughey
1980 – Mella Carroll, first female judge in the Republic, is appointed
2000 – The High Court grant gardaí the right to detain Slobodan Milosevic if he sets foot in Ireland

October 7
1878 – Birth of Margaret (Gretta) Cousins, Irish women’s rights activist.
1910.- Premiere of Percy French’s play The Immigrant’s Letter
1919 – A cabinet committee is appointed to consider Irish self government
1935 – Birth of Thomas Kineally, Irish-Australian author of Schindler’s List which was originally called Schindler’s Ark
1968 – Death of Margaret Mary Pearse, Irish language educator
1998 – The Bank of Ireland announces an unprecedented 20-year fixed rate of 6·99% within the first of a wave of interest cuts that will bring Irish rates into line with Europe for the introduction of the euro on January 1
1999 – Ireland moves a step closer to raising the recruitment age of the armed forces from 16 to 18
2000 – The tenants of a Dublin inner city community refuse to leave their houses after been evicted. The tenants of 28 cottages – – almost all single mothers – block access to their homes when they go up for viewing to prospective buyers
2002 – Police in Northern Ireland are attacked with bottles and other missiles after a crowd of youths go on the rampage through Kilkeel, Co. Down
2002 – The peace process faces its gravest crisis with the announcement that Ian Paisley’s DUP two ministers will withdraw from the government
2002 – A man is shot and critically wounded in east Belfast in what is believed to be an escalation of a bitter feud between the Loyalist paramilitary groups, the UDA and UVF.