Dublin Diary #OnThisDay

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

1 March 1804 – Earl Hardwicke laid the first stone of the National Bank at the Parliament House, College Green.

2 March 1753 – The Meath Hospital, Dublin, founded.

2 March 1754 – Riot at Smock Alley theatre during performance of F.M.A. Voltaire’s Mahomet.

2 March 1784 – The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland held its first meeting in the Rotunda Hospital.

2 March 1946 – Death of Dublin-born landscape and portrait painter Sean Dixon. He was born in 1905, and educated at the Model School, Inchicore. He studied under Sean Keating at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art and exhibited at the 1933 RHA Exhibition. Among his portraits are Matt Talbot, Alfie Byrne, Jimmy O’Dea and Arthur Griffith.

3 March 1758 – Act (31 Geo. II, c.3) granting bounty on grain and flour brought by land to Dublin.

3 March 1908 – Death at his London home of Edward Dillon Mapother, surgeon, author and President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He was the first medical officer of health for Dublin. He was born in 1835 at Annadale Lodge, Fairview, Dublin.

3 March 1924 – First production of Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

3 March 1985 – Death of Noel Purcell (84), actor. He was interred at Dean’s Grange cemetery.

4 March 1946 – Resolution of Dublin City Council grants Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin to dramatist and author George Bernard Shaw.

4 March 1947 – The M.V. Bolivar was sunk on the Kish Bank, 13 kilometres off Dalkey, Co. Dublin.

5 March 1791 – Work starts on Carlisle Bridge, Dublin (O’Connell Bridge from 1880 when rebuilt); designed by James Gandon (opened in July 1795).

5 March 1957 – In the General Election for the 16th Dail, the three-seater Dublin South Central constituency returned John Costello (Fine Gael), Noel Browne (Independent), and Sean MacEntee (Fianna Fail). The total valid poll was 24,361 and the quota was 6,091.

6 March 1978 – Death of Micheál Mac Liammóir, actor, writer and painter, at his residence, 4 Harcourt Terrace, Dublin. He was born Alfred Wilmore in Kensal Green, London in 1899. His remains were interred at St Fintan’s churchyard, Carrickbrack Road, Sutton, Co. Dublin.

7 March 1937 – c.600 E.S.B. workers go on strike in Dublin.

7 March 1975 – Eamon de Valera and John A. Costello sign the Book of Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin.

8 March 1933 – The longest-living breeding lion in captivity, Finn, born 29 January 1913, died at Dublin Zoo.

8 March 1966 – Nelson’s Pillar in O’Connell Street, Dublin, demolished by explosion.

9 March 1902 – Death of George, brother of Dublin writer James Joyce, of peritonitis.

9 March 1936 – Sack-makers went on strike at six Dublin factories. Some 400 workers were effected.

9 March 1986 – Lord Mayor Jim Tunney, T.D. officially opened Dublin City Council’s new £170,000 public information centre at Bull Island.

10 March 1936 – The largest of Dublin’s three play centres – on a two-acres site at Faussagh Road, Cabra – was officially opened by Lord Mayor Alfie Byrne, T.D.

11 March 1878 – The first rugby union match to be played at Lansdowne Road resulted in England defeating Ireland two goals to one try.

11 March 1596 – c.120 people killed when a cargo of gunpowder exploded at Wood Quay, Dublin.

11 March 1937 – A severe snowstorm in Dublin and elsewhere. Irish Sea sailings and other transport services hit. Some damage to buildings. Outlying areas cut off. 44 Dublin families had to evacuate their homes. Lord Mayor Alfie Byrne, T.D. visited those in distress.

12 March 1910 – Death of Timothy Charles Harrington, M.P. for the Harbour Division of Dublin and Lord Mayor of Dublin, 1901-04.

12 March 1932 – Clonturk Housing Scheme, Drumcondra, officially opened by Dublin City Lord Mayor Alfie Byrne, T.D.

13 March 1786 – First stone laid by Duke of Rutland for the new Four Courts at Inns Quay, moved from beside Christ Church; architect James Gandon. The Four Courts were opened in 1796. The cost was c.£200,000.

13 March 1956 – Death of Dublin City Council Alderman Alfred Byrne. He was born in 1882 at Seville Place, Dublin. His father Tom Byrne was elected a city Councillor in 1901 for the North Dock Ward and was returned in every election until 1911, when Alfie was elected in his place. By then, Alfie Byrne was the landlord of the Vernon Bar, 37 Talbot Street. Byrne continued to serve as a City Councillor for the next 45 years until his death. He was M.P. for Dublin from 1915 to 1918. In 1922 he was returned as a T.D., polling over 18,000 votes as an Independent candidate. He continued as a T.D. until 1928, was a member of Seanad Eireann from 1928 to 1932 and was again a T.D. from 1932 until his death. In 1930 he was elected Lord Mayor and re-elected every year until 1939 when he retired. He was again elected Lord Mayor for one term, 1954-55. From 1925 to 1956 he lived at various addresses in Rathmines.

14 March 1829 – Death of Francis Johnston, architect. He was born in 1760 at Armagh. In 1782 he was articled to Samuel Sprout, architect to the Wide Streets Commission. Among the buildings from his designs in Dublin were Nelson’s Pillar (1808), Richmond Bridewell (1811), Royal Hibernian Academy (1824), St George’s Church, Hardwicke Place, and the General Post Office. He was chief architect to the Board of Works by 1811. He lived at 64 Eccles Street, Dublin. His remains were interred at St George’s graveyard, Whitworth Road, Dublin.

15 March 1745 – Judith Rochford entered the Lying-In Hospital in George’s Lane (now South Great George’s Street), Dublin as its first patient; she was the first mother to give birth in the hospital. Within the year some 208 women had been admitted and 208 delivered though only 109 babies survived. The hospital was opened by Bartholomew Mosse.

15 March 1790 – The Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers’ Society was formed at a meeting in Mountrath Street, Dublin. The object of relief ‘shall be poor room-keepers who never begged abroad and who by unforeseen misfortune, sickness, death of friends, or other dispensations of Providence, have been reduced to indigence, and that such persons must be of good character, for sobriety and general good conduct.’

15 March 1971 – The Gate Theatre re-opened after refurbishment with a Dublin Theatre Festival production of Jean Anouilh’s It’s later than you think, starring Miceal MacLiammoir.

16 March 1816 – Richmond Bridge completed. It was built at a cost of £25,800.

16 March 1821 – Sheridan’s play, The School for Scandal was performed at the new Theatre Royal, Hawkins Street, Dublin.

16 March 1896 – R. Bolton McCausland makes first recorded use of X-ray in Ireland, at Dr Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin.

17 March 1843 – The detective division, G Division, of the DMP was established.

17 March 1894 – National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin, re-opened (closed since 1893 due to financial difficulties).

17 March 1900 – England played an All Ireland association football (soccer) team at Lansdowne Road.

17 March 1908 – Boxer Jem Roche of Wexford fought Canadian Tommy Burns at the Theatre Royal, Hawkins Street, Dublin, for the World Heavyweight Championship. Some 3,000 saw Roche knocked out in round one after 86 seconds.

17 March 1925 – Before a crowd of 23,000 Shamrock Rovers beat Shelbourne in the FAI Cup Final at Dalymount Park, Dublin. Fullam and Flood scored for Rovers and Rovers’ defender Glen scored an own goal.

17 March 1966 – A St Patrick’s night jazz concert was held at the Mansion House. Dublin’s own Jazz Heralds (Noel Kelehan, Rory McGuinness, Johnny Wadham, Martin Walsh, and Rock Fox) performed the warm-up set before American jazz piano legend Earl ‘Fatha’ Hines performed his set.

18 March 1823 – Robert Owen addressed first of a series of meetings in Dublin on social reform – the Hibernian Philanthropic Society at final meeting on 3 May.

18 March 1861 – National Brotherhood of St Patrick formally inaugurated at a banquet held in the Rotunda, Dublin, chaired by Thomas Neilson Underwood.

19 March 1794 – Lock Penitentiary and Work House, Bethesda opened for the reception and employment of women leaving the Lock Hospital. It was endowed by William Smith of Granby Row, with a chapel and other buildings.

19 March 1877 – A public meeting was held at the Mansion House, convened by Lord Mayor Alderman Tarpey to give the householders of Dublin the opportunity of deciding whether or not they wished to avail of the provisions of the Public Libraries Act (Ireland) 1855.

19 March 1971 – David Lean’s film Ryan’s Daughter opened in Dublin.

19 March 1974 – Death of poet Austin Clarke at his Templeogue home.

20 March 1853 – Death of Robert James Graves, Dublin-born (1796) physician and teacher. He was physician at the Meath Hospital (1821-43), and he introduced the stethoscope to Ireland. He was a co-founder of the Park Street School of Medicine, and a founding president of the Pathological Society of Dublin in 1838. He was also a prolific writer on medical subjects. He was also a consultant physician at Dublin’s Adelaide and Coombe Hospitals. He was buried at Mount Jerome cemetery, Dublin.

20 March 1927 – Lion-cub Cairbre was born at Dublin Zoo. He was the lion used on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films.

20 March 1964 – Death of Brendan Behan (41), writer, at the Meath Hospital, Heytesbury Street, Dublin, and interred in Glasnevin cemetery.

21 March 1921 – Death of Dublin-born landscape and figure painter Mary Kate Benson. She was the daughter of leading Dublin surgeon Professor Charles Benson of 42, Fitzwilliam Square. Her sister Charlotte E. Benson (1846-93) also painted. They both began exhibiting at the RHA in 1873. By 1899, at her new house, Eskeragh, Sutton, Co. Dublin, Mary K. Benson looked forward to working in her studio but she became a victim of arthritis, and after years of suffering, died at her residence.

22 March 1842 – The foundation stone of the Wesleyan Centenary Chapel, St Stephen’s Green, was laid.

22 March 1931 – Death of James Henry Mussen Campbell, 1st Baron Glenavy, P.C., lawyer and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He was born in Dublin in April 1851 and educated at Dublin University, graduating B.A. in 1874. After being called to the Irish bar in 1878, Campbell was made an Irish Queen’s Counsel in 1892 and six years later was elected Unionist M.P. for the Dublin seat of St Stephen’s Green. The following year he called to the English bar, and in 1903 was elected to the House of Commons as representative for Dublin University, also becoming Solicitor General that same year. He was made the country's Attorney General in 1905, and in 1916 became Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. His remains were interred at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin.

22 March 1912 – birth, at 6 Edenvale Road, Rathgar, of actor Henry Wilfrid Brambell. He was best known for playing Albert Steptoe in the BBC sitcom Steptoe & Son.

23 March 1859 – The first issue of the Irish Times was published.

23 March 1908 – Death of lawyer and Recorder of Dublin Sir Frederick R. Falkiner. He was born on 19 January 1831. His son Caesar Litton Falkiner was a distinguished historical writer – who died on the Alps in 1908.

24 March 1845 – The art collection of architect Francis Johnston was sold by auction in Dublin (see also 14 March 1829).

24 March 1894 – Death of composer and musician Sir Robert Prescott Stewart. He was born on 16 December 1825 at 6 Pitt Street (now Balfe Street). He was a professor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and was organist at St Patrick’s Cathedral. He was professor of music at T.C.D. He was knighted on 28 February 1872. He was interred at Mount Jerome cemetery.

24 March 1909 – Death of dramatist John Millington Synge in Dublin.

25 March 1832 – The Wide Streets Tax was permitted to expire and cease.

25 March 1864 – Death of Alexander Farquhar, of 58 Dominick Street Upper, Town Clerk of Dublin. He was Dublin City Law Agent before his appointment as Town Clerk. The Lord Mayor’s carriage was present at his funeral.

25 March 1919 – The turnstiles on the Liffey Bridge (Wellington Bridge, Halfpenny Bridge) were removed.

26 March 1746 – George II granted Dublin £500p.a. from the privy purse.

26 March 1823 – The Dublin to Liverpool packet ship, Albert, sank with the loss of 70 lives.

26 March 1937 – The new Astor Cinema opened on Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

27 March 1725 – Publication of first issue of Faulkner’s Dublin Journal (runs until 1825).

27 March 1796 – Death of Travers Blackley, M.P. of the City of Dublin, aged 73. His remains were interred at St John’s churchyard, Fishamble Street, Dublin, alongside those of his wife Temperance, who died on 10 February 1809, aged 49.

27 March 1886 – Death of Richard Chevenix Trench, D.D., Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland and Chancellor of the Order of St Patrick, 1864-84.

27 March 1888 – Death of Edmund Dwyer Gray, M.P., former Lord Mayor of Dublin.

27 March 1972 – Eight people died in a fire at Noyek’s timber merchants, Parnell Street, Dublin.

28 March 1742 – Arrival in Dublin from Lough Neagh of collier Cope, the first vessel to pass through Newry Canal.

28 March 1760 – Death of Dublin-born actress Peg Woffington in London.

28 March 1815 – The foundation stone of the Pro-Cathedral, Marlborough Street, Dublin, was laid by Archbishop Troy assisted by his Coadjutor Daniel Murray.

28 March 1955 – Death of Dublin-born trade unionist Thomas Farren, who was born in 1879 at Bride Street, Dublin. His brother John Farren, also a trade unionist, was a Dublin City Council Alderman in 1910. Thomas Farren became a stone mason and by 1912 was a Dublin City Councillor. He was president of the Irish Labour Party, 1919 – 1921.

29 March 1886 – The name of Lower Temple Street was changed to Hill Street.

30 March 1880 – Birth of dramatist Sean O’Casey in Dublin. He was born at 85 Upper Dorset Street. He was a member of the Church of Ireland and was confirmed at St John The Baptist church on Seafield Road in Clontarf.

31 March 1912 – A large Home Rule demonstration was held in Dublin, presided over by John Redmond, M.P.

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