A FACTBOOK OF IRISH HISTORY
From the Earliest Times to 1969
by Denis Fahey
To read the first few pages
The first battle of Moytura (Magh Tuired / the Plain of the Pillars), in c1890 BC, was allegedly fought near modern Kilmactranny, near Lough Arrow, in Co Sligo between the Fir Bolg and the Tuatha De Danaan over four days. The Fir Bolg supposedly lost 100,000 men and fled in defeat after the death of their king.
At Thurles, in 1174, the High King, Rory O’Connor (c1117-1198), and the King of Thomond, Donal Mor O’Brien (c1137-1194), defeated Richard Fitzgilbert (1130-1176), Strongbow, and supposedly killed up to 1,700 Normans.
In 1367, the archbishop and bishops who attended the parliament that passed the Statute of Kilkenny “fulminated” a sentence of excommunication against anyone who contravened its provisions.
Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) and Henry Ireton (1611-1651) landed at Ringsend in Dublin, in August 1649, with 8,000 foot soldiers, 4,000 cavalry, artillery and a war chest of £20,000.
The father of the novelist Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849), Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1744 -1817), was married four times and had 22 children. Maria, a daughter of his first wife, was the second or third oldest.
In 1841, 320,000 of the 690,000 farms in Ireland had less than five acres, and 550,000 had less than 15 acres but at least half of farm output (mainly from larger farms) was sold for cash. By 1851, the number of farms under 15 acres had fallen to less than 300,000.
The first recorded use of a tricolour at a funeral was in 1901 when a flag was spread on the coffin of James Stephens (1825-1901), the founder of the IRB, who had been at Ballingarry on July 29, 1848.
“The one bright spot in the whole of this terrible situation is Ireland.” - Edward Grey (1862-1933), the Foreign Secretary, addressing the House of Commons about the international situation on August 3, 1914
Robert Barton (1881-1975), one of the signatories of the 1921 Treaty, and Erskine Childers (1870-1922), the secretary of the Irish delegation at the Treaty negotiations, had refined English accents.
Eduard Hempel (1887-1972), the German minister in Ireland during the Second World War, was allowed to remain by the government after the war. He worked as a salesman while his wife Eva ran a bakery. They returned to Germany in 1949 and he was employed by the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Government until 1951 when he retired.