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Today in Irish history: March 23rd

23 Mar

1847 – Choctaw Indians collect money to donate to starving Irish Hunger victims

1889 – Robert Gibbings, illustrator and writer, is born in Cork

1893 – Birth in Dublin of Cedric Gibbons, designer of the coveted Oscar statuette and winner of eleven Academy Awards himself

1917 – Birth of singer Josef Locke (Joe McLaughlin) in Derry

1951 – On this date, Shannon Airport is the base for a rescue operation after a USAF C124 aircraft crashes into the sea – some wreckage is found 450 miles off the west coast, but all 53 people on board are lost

1971 – Chichester Clark resigns as Prime Minister and is replaced by Brian Faulkner

1976 – The EEC rejects the Irish government’s application for derogation from its directive for equal pay to men and women

1998 – Ian Paisley lead his party back to the Northern Ireland peace talks for the first time in eight months — but only to protest at the re-entry of Sinn Féin following its suspension over IRA involvement in two murders

1998 – History is made in Galway when all vehicles are banned from the city’s main thoroughfare, Shop Street, and its adjoining arteries. The streets are closed to traffic from 11am to 7.30pm as part of a pedestrianisation programme to tackle traffic problems in the city’s narrow streets

1999 – Under the terms of the Good Friday peace agreement, IRA prisoners, Paul Kavanagh, Thomas Quigley and Gerard McDonnell are freed after a High Court judge rejects a legal challenge by British Home Secretary Jack Straw to keep them in jail

1999 – The British government signals its growing impatience with the decommissioning deadlock when it issues a legal challenge to the release of Brighton bomber Patrick Magee and three other IRA prisoners 

2001 – Gardaí arrest 12 protesting students as thousands of secondary school pupils take to the streets all over the country demanding an end to the ASTI teachers strike

2001 – At the Irish Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day Auction, the hottest collectable is Bono’s handmade Black Fly shades, which fetches £4,000

2002 – At high tide, thirty-nine whales are washed onto Aughcasla Strand, in the Dingle Peninsula.

2010 – Garda mobile phone protest is underway. Thousands of gardai begin a ‘work-to-rule’ – the first action of its kind in the history of the force. The so-called “withdrawal of goodwill” by 11,000 members is in protest over public sector pay cuts and the pension levy.

2011 – Ian Paisley calls for a new era of sharing and reconciliation in an emotional farewell at his final sitting of the power-sharing Assembly he helped to create at Stormont. Dr Paisley, now Lord Bannside, will continue his political career in the House of Lords.

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