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 On this day 31 May in Irish History

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PostSubject: On this day 31 May in Irish History   Sat May 31, 2008 11:30 pm

31 May 1798: Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey is appointed as Commander of the insurgent forces in Wexford town, A Committee of Public Safety led by four Protestants and four Catholics was established.

31 May 1817: The first stone of the pier was laid to begin the building of Dun Laoghaire harbour on this day.

31 May 1847 - Birth of Alice Stopford Green in Kells, Co. Meath. Her father was Edward Adderley Stopford, who had become in 1844 Rector of Kells and Archdeacon of Meath, being appointed by his father Edward Stopford, who had become Bishop of Meath in 1844. She was an Irish historian and patriot but not one of violent persuasion; she is noted for proving the Irish had a rich culture before English rule. A strong supporter of the Treaty of 1921, she was nominated to the first Seanad in December 1922. She had a wide circle of friends in England and Ireland both in political and social circles. She spent many years in London and became interested in History through her husband JR Green but he died after just six years of marriage in 1883. She then took up editing his work and developing her own. She did not however return to Ireland for good until 1918 and lived here until her death in 1929. Probably her most famous work is The Making of Ireland and her Undoing (1908). A Nationalist but not a Republican she gained wide respect for the positive study of the History of the Irish People.

31 May 1900: The Battle of Lindley. During the South African War outside the town of Lindley the Boer General de Wet captured the 13th battalion (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) of the Imperial Yeomanry. This unit contained within it men drawn from the most exclusive members of the Anglo Irish gentry. The D.C.O. had been nicknamed the ‘Millionaires’ Own’ because of the number of hugely wealthy men in it’s ranks and the Irish companies contained large amounts of money and title from the landed families of Dublin and Belfast Amongst those taken into captivity were: The Earl of Longford; Viscount Ennismore; the Earl of Leitrim; Sir John Power; Lord Donoughmore and the future Lord Craigavon. A British regular officer Lieutenant Colonel Basil Spragge commanded the contingent. The yeoman had lost 1 officer and 16 men killed, another 1 officer and 3 men died of wounds. The Boers captured over 400 men in total. Though they fought well and were cut off and surrounded the surrender was viewed as a humiliating defeat for the Anglo-Irish Establishment back home in Ireland.

31 May 1941 – German bombing of North Strand, Dublin – 34 dead, 90 injured and 300 houses destroyed or damaged. Smaller bombs damaged the American Embassy and Áras an Uachtarain. The bombing was in all probability accidental and the German Government apologised in June 1941 for the attack. After the War the post war Government of Germany paid compensation for the destruction and damaged caused. The bombings were the worst experienced in the Irish Free State during the War.
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