Dublin Diary. #onthisday

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What stories made the news in Dublin over the years during this month?

1 February 1872 – First horse-drawn Dublin trams run from College Green to Rathmines (fare 3d.).

1 February 1861 – Captain John McNeill Boyd, R.N., Commander of H.M.S. Ajax, died, aged 50. He was drowned at Kingstown Harbour while making humane and extraordinary efforts to save shipwrecked sailors in a terrific storm. His funeral was very large and given full Royal Naval honours.

1 February 1880 – Death of physician Sir Dominic Corrigan, born 1802 in the Dublin Liberties. Corrigan was president of the Royal College of Physicians from 1860 to 1862. He was knighted in 1866 and three years later was elected M.P. for Dublin as a Liberal candidate.

1 February 1936 – Singer-actor Paul Robeson performed at an International Celebrity Concert at the Theatre Royal, Dublin.

1 February 1943 – Central Bank opened in Dublin.

2 February 1779 – The Grand Canal opened to cargo boat traffic (see also 15 April 1773).

2 February 1815 – Daniel O’Connell killed John D’Esterre, a Dublin City Councillor and provision merchant in a duel.

2 February 1882 – Birth of James Joyce, writer, at 41 Brighton Square, Dublin.

2 February 1937 – Death of former Lord Mayor of Dublin William Coffey.

2 February 1960 – Death of Dublin-born flowerpiece and landscape painter Moyra Barry. She was educated at Loreto Convent, George’s Street, Dublin, before attending the Royal Hibernian Academy schools. As early as 1908 she exhibited at the RHA. She lived most of her life at 29 Palmerston Road, Dublin. She was a member of the Dublin Sketching Club.

3 February 1833 – Death of music teacher Philip Cogan (83) at Dominick Street, Dublin. Tom Moore was his pupil. Cogan composed two piano concertos. He was interred at Glasnevin cemetery.

3 February to 8 February 1936 – The Ford Motor Company Exhibition at the Mansion House, Dublin. Some 30 to 40 Irish-built motor cars, including the new Ford Tug – on show for the first time, had been installed by Ford’s Irish workforce in the Supper Room and the Round Room.

4 February 1948 – In the General Election for the 13th Dail, the five-seater Dublin South Central constituency elected Sean Lemass and John McCann (Fianna Fail), Maurice Dockrell (Fine Gael), Con Lehane (Clann na Poblachta) and James Larkin (Labour). The total valid poll was 44,387 and the quota was 7,398.

4 February 1982 – Death of Dublin-born landscape and townscape painter Henry Healy, RHA. He was born on 2 April 1909, the son of James Healy, confectioner. He was educated at Synge Street Christian Brothers and attended the Dublin Metropolitan School of art, graduating in 1934. He first exhibited at the RHA in 1938. Three of his oils are in St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.

5 February 1880 – The Irish Rugby Football Union was founded in Dublin.

5 February 1934 – Dublin Corporation debated a letter from the Gaelic League asking for a ban on the broadcast of jazz music on Radio Éireann on the grounds that it is contrary to the spirit of Christianity and nationality.

6 February 1958 Death aged 22 in the Munich Air Disaster of Dubliner Liam Whelan, one of the Manchester United ‘Busby Babes’. Whelan grew up in Cabra, played almost 100 games for Manchester United, and was capped four times for Ireland. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, in the section across the road from the main entrance.

7 February 1660 – Convention of ‘old’ and ‘new’ Protestants meets in Dublin; Lord Broghill and Sir Charles Coote persuade majority that their interests will best be served by restoration of the monarchy.

7 February 1745 – Birth of Luke Gardiner, Dublin County M.P. (1773 – 1789), and Dublin property developer. He was created Viscount Mountjoy in 1795. He died on 5 June 1798.

7 February 1798 – Dense fog in Dublin caused several carriages to be driven in to the Liffey.

7 February 1867 – Death of William Dargan (born 28 February 1799). He sponsored the 1853 Great Exhibition in Dublin, and was also a railway entrepreneur. Dargan refused a Knighthood from Queen Victoria. He was interred at Glasnevin cemetery.

7 February 1873 – Death of Dublin-born writer Joseph Sheridan le Fanu, at his home 18 Merrion Square. He was born on 28 August 1814, and educated at T.C.D., where he graduated B.A. in 1837. He was next called to the Bar, and about 1838 became proprietor of the Dublin Warder, a conservative journal. He soon began to contribute to the Dublin University Magazine, before becoming its owner. He also became owner of the Dublin Evening Post, and the Evening Mail. His novels include Uncle Silas, The House by the Churchyard, and In a Glass Darkly. His remains were interred at Mount Jerome cemetery.

7 February 1914 – Report on working-class housing in Dublin of departmental committee of Local Government Board of Ireland.

8 February 1926 – First production of Seán O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

8 February 1999 Death in Oxford of Dublin-born novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch. Born in July 1919, in Phibsborough, her family moved to London a few weeks after her birth. She became one of the leading British novelists of the 20th century.

8 February 1972 – Death of May Craig, Dublin-born actress, in a Dublin nursing home.

9 February 1800 – Death of Dublin City Lord Mayor John Sutton.

9 February 1860 – The new £116,000 graving dock was opened near the mouth of the Liffey. It was designed by George Halpin II, whose assistant engineer was Bindon Blood Stoney. Contractor William Dargan had started work on the dock in 1853. The dock was in use practically continuously until 1989.

9 February 1880 – Theatre Royal, Hawkins Street (proprietor Michael Gunn) accidentally burned. The fire had started with a faulty gas jet in the viceregal box being lit prior to a performance (see also 18 January 1821; 13 December 1897; 23 September 1935 and 30 June 1962).

9 February 1927 – John Logie Baird gave a public lecture at Dublin’s Theatre Royal on the subject of ‘Television.’

9 February 1965 – Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O’Neill and An Taoiseach Sean Lemass, T.D., meet in Dublin.

9 February 1980 – The members’ stand, built in 1902, at Phoenix Park Racecourse was destroyed by fire.

10 February 1783 – Dublin Chamber of Commerce founded.

10 February 1808 – Death of Dublin-born (1740) painter Hugh Douglas Hamilton at his residence on Lower Mount Street, Dublin. After studying at West’s Academy, Dublin, he moved first to London, where he exhibited his works, before settling at Rome with his family. He returned to Ireland in 1792 and earned a reputation as the best portraitist in Dublin. His subjects included Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Lord Moira and Arthur O’Connor.

10 February 1908 – Resolution of Dublin City Council grants Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin to Hugh P. Lane (who did not sign Roll).

10 February 1908 – Dublin Corporation passed a resolution to change the name of Aldborough Court to Aldborough Parade, following a petition for local residents.

10 February 1969 – A fire destroyed Dublin Corporation’s main sewage pumping station at Pigeon House Road, Ringsend.

11 February 1784 – Charter incorporates the Dublin Society of Surgeons separately from the Company of Barbers, following petition by surgeons to the Lord Lieutenant. The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland was established on this day.

11 February 1885 – Death of Cardinal McCabe, archbishop of Dublin since 1879.

12 February 1765 – The first exhibition of the Society of Artists in Ireland was held at George’s Lane, Dublin.

12 February 1937 – The long-running Dublin docks strike ended.

12 February 1937 – Inchicore Library opened by Lord Mayor Alfie Byrne, T.D. The building was designed by architect R.S. Laurie, A.R.I.B.A., City Architect’s Department, Dublin Corporation, and Roisin Walshe, Chief Librarian, Dublin Corporation.

12 February 1956 – Death of Matthew J. Russell, who, until his retirement in 1947 had been Medical Officer of Health, Dublin City Council for 26 years, having been appointed to succeed Sir Charles Cameron. He had also been a governor of St Ultan’s and Dr Steeven’s Hospitals.

12 February 1982 – Dublin’s Hibernian Hotel closed.

13 February 1729 – Jonathan Swift received Freedom of City of Dublin.

13 February 1966 – Joe Orton’s play Entertaining Mr. Sloane began a run in the Olympia Theatre, Dame Street, Dublin. The cast included Godfrey Quigley, Anna Manahan and Jim Norton.

13 February 1976 – An explosion damaged the Shelbourne Hotel, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin.

13 February 1997 – Dublin and Liverpool Twinned Cities ceremony at Civic Office, Dublin.

14 February 1792 – First public performance by pianist-composer John Field, at the Rotunda, Dublin.

14 February 1853 – The Queen Victoria sank in a snowstorm off Howth Head with the loss of 55 lives.

14 February 1900 – No. 17 engine, the ‘Wicklow’, had departed from Enniscorthy with wagons of cattle en route to Dublin. The crew were: Walter Hyland, driver, Peter Jackson, fireman, and train guard Robert Doran. Descending from Dundrum, the train increased speed but the tracks were greasy on the approach to Harcourt Street station due to damp weather. The engine wheels skidded and Hyland reversed the engine but to no avail, causing the train to crash through the station buffer stops. The train pushed through them and the wall of the station, ending up suspended over Hatch Street. The driver had to have his arm amputated on the spot but otherwise there were no injuries.

14 February 1921 – John J. Murphy appointed Town Clerk of Dublin, until 1927.

14 February 1968 – Death of Terence Clark, Dublin-born stained glass artist. He was born on 28 September 1917 at 33 North Frederick Street. He designed many windows for churches in Ireland and abroad. He died in Dublin.

14 February 1978 – Matt Talbot Memorial Bridge was opened by Lord Mayor Michael Collins. The bridge spans between Memorial Road to the north and Moss Street to the south. It was built between 1976 and 1978 and was designed by consultant engineers De Leuw, Chadwick and O hEocha. The cost was £725,000. The main contractor was Ascon Ltd.

14 February 1981 – The Stardust night club at Artane went on fire and 48 young people died and over 100 were injured.

15 February 1660 – Sir Hardess Waller seizes Dublin Castle in defence of republican principles but surrenders within a few days.

15 February 1808 – The foundation stone of Nelson’s Pillar was laid by the Lord Lieutenant, the Duke of Richmond. The Pillar was designed by London architect William Wilkins (1778-1839), but superintended in its erection by Francis Johnson. The 134ft. high Doric column cost £6,857 to build, £3,000 of which was raised by Dublin merchants. Cork sculptor Thomas Kirk (1781-1845) was paid £300 for the statue (see 8 March 1966). There were 168 steps inside the Doric column.

15 February 1969 – Fire at Christian Brothers’ School, Artane – 200 band instruments, and sheet music stock collected since 1870, lost. The loss was estimated at £10,000. Four sections of Dublin Fire Brigade fought the blaze. The bandroom and the recreation hall were destroyed.

16 February 1668 – St Audoen’s church spire was blown down and crashed through the roof.

16 February 1759 – Death of Bartholomew Mosse at his residence Cullenswood House Rathfarnham (later St Enda’s school), aged 46. He was buried in the old churchyard at Donnybrook (see also 15 March 1745 and 24 May 1751).

16 February 1890 – Death of Dublin-born scientist Sir Robert John Kane. He was born in 1809 and educated at TCD. He was president of the Royal Irish Academy in 1877. He founded the Dublin Journal of Medical Science in 1832. He published Industrial Resources of Ireland (1844), based on a series of lectures. He was knighted in 1846. In 1880 he was made vice-chancellor of the newly-created Royal University of Ireland. He died in Dublin.

16 February 1932 – In the General Election, the seven-seater 7th Dail Constituency of Dublin South returned Sean Lemass, Robert Briscoe, and James Lynch (all Fianna Fail), and James Beckett, Myles Keogh, Peadar Kelly, and Thomas Hennessy (all Cumann na Gael). The total valid poll was 55, 067 and the quota was 6,884.

16 February 1944 – Death of Dublin-born painter Mainie Jellett. She was born in 1897. In 1914 she entered the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. She next studied in London under Walter Sickert. Her remains were interred at St Fintan’s cemetery, Carrickbrack Road, Sutton, Co. Dublin.

17 February 1931 – Lord Mayor Alfie Byrne and the Lady Mayoress Mrs. Byrne attended the Pancake Dance in Dublin’s Gresham Hotel. Some 600 guests attended the event, which raised funds for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

18 February 1801 – Death of Thomas Malton senior (75), draughtsman.

18 February 1935 – New £27,000 Post Office opened at Rathmines.

18 February 1937 – Drumcondra Library opened by Lord Mayor Alfie Byrne, T.D. The building was designed by R.S. Laurie, A.R.I.B.A., City Architect’s Department, Dublin Corporation.

18 February 1980 – Death of Dublin-born actor Dermot Kelly.

19 February 1841 – The Dublin steamer, the Nottingham, left Dublin port for Liverpool. In foul weather off Holyhead she collided with the American ship Governor Fenner, which lost 122 lives. All lives were saved from the Nottingham.

19 February 1923 – The name of Great Brunswick Street, Dublin, was changed to Pearse Street, by order of Dublin Corporation.

20 February 1664 – Sir William Davies appointed Town Clerk of Dublin, until 1674.

20 February 1920 – DMP Constable John Walsh, DMP 10536 (63B), was shot dead at the corner of Suffolk Street and Grafton Street. He was born at Raheen, Co. Laois, in 1887 and had over 13 years’ service in the DMP.

21 February 1827 – St George’s Dispensary, 52, Lower Dorset Street, was opened for the relief of the sick poor of St George’s Parish.

21 February 1880 – The Gough Statue in the Phoenix Park was unveiled.

21 February 1885 – Irish Amateur Athletic Association formed at Wicklow Hotel in opposition to Gaelic Athletic Association.

22 February 1832 – First interment (Michael Carey, aged four, of Francis Street) at Glasnevin Cemetery.

22 February to 6 March 1937 – Feis Atha Cliath at the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin. Some 3,200 competitors took part.

22 February 1945 – Proposals for the future of local government in Dublin City and County were outlined in the Dail by Sean MacEntee, T.D., Minister for Local Government. The Local Government (Dublin) Bill proposals covered boundaries, numbers of electors and related matters.

22 February 1995 – The Dublin European Office in Brussels was opened by EU Commissioner Padraig Flynn. The four Dublin local authorities combined to establish the Dublin European Office.

23 February 1935 – Ireland, under their captain J.A. Siggins, beat Scotland 12 – 5 in the rugby international at Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge.

24 February 1842 – The foundation stone of St Mathias church, Hatch Street. The church was demolished in 1952.

24 February 1865 – Death of Dublin-born poet Edmund John Armstrong in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. He was born on 23 July 1841 in Dublin. In 1859 he entered T.C.D., but did not graduate.

25 February 1931 – A new £7,000 dispensary was opened at Dublin’s Meath Hospital – the architect was Charles Dunlop, F.R.I.A.I.

25 February 1976 – For the first time, Ireland’s telephone directory is divided into two volumes – the first part for Dublin, and the second for the rest of the country.

26 February 1852 – Death of Daniel Murray, R.C. Bishop of Dublin. He was born at Sheepwalk, near Arklow, Co. Wicklow.

26 February 1870 – Death of Co. Clare-born writer and Repealer Michael Staunton, Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1847. He was editor of the Freeman’s Journal at the age of 20 and founded the Dublin Morning Register.

26 to 27 February 1903 – Severe storm caused the loss of c.3,000 trees in the Phoenix Park.

26 February 1972 – Brazilian football star Pelé played for his team Santos against Bohemians-Drumcondra at Dalymount Park. The visitors won 3-2.

27 February 1771 – Riot outside Parliament House, Dublin quelled by military.

27 February 1792 – A fire virtually destroyed the Irish House of Commons.

27 February 1921 – Death of Sir Charles Alexander Cameron, professor of hygiene and chemistry at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He was Public Analyst for Dublin city. Born Dublin on 16 July 1830, Cameron was Public Analyst and MOH for the City. His wife Lucie died on 20 October 1883. Over the next two years he compiled a History of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (1886). Cameron was knighted in 1885 and awarded the freedom of the City of Dublin in 1911. He resigned in 1920. He lived at 27 Raglan Road, Dublin. The memorial service was held at St Bartholomew’s Church and he was buried at Mount Jerome cemetery.

27 February 1950 – Death of Dublin-born (1889) John Patrick Campbell, trade unionist. He worked as a printer at Dollards, and from 1921 to 1951 was a full-time trade union official. He was president of the ITUC in 1933 and served on many wages tribunals before the Labour Court was set up. He was also a Senator from 1938 to 1950.

28 February 1882 – Death of Dublin-born astronomer and mathematical physicist Thomas Romney Robinson. He was born in St Anne’s Parish. He became professor of natural philosophy at TCD, and he was librarian of the Royal Irish Academy (1817-22), and astronomer at Armagh Observatory from 1823.

28 February 1886 – Dublin United Trades Council formed at the Odd Fellows Hall. Printers’ delegate Joseph Nannetti was elected the first president – he later became Lord Mayor of Dublin.

28 February 1933 – Lord Mayor Alfie Byrne, T.D. received special guest Princess Ubangi, of the Ubangi Forest, Central Africa, at the Mansion House. The 30” tall pygmy chieftainess, who did not speak English, signed the visitors’ book, and Lord Mayor Byrne presented her with a box of chocolates.

29 February 1936 – Dublin football side Bohemians beat Bray Unknowns 8 – 2 at Dalymount Park to retain the leadership of the Free State League.

© Dublin City Council 2006.

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