29 January-Garda Patrick O’Halloran

Garda Patrick O’Halloran was shot and mortally wounded whilst trying to arrest two bank raiders in Baltinglass Co Wicklow, Ireland in January 1924. He died twenty four hours after being shot. Garda O’Halloran was the third Garda Officer to be killed in the line of duty since the foundation of An Garda Síochána (The Civic Guard) in 1922.

Patrick O’Halloran was born at George’s Street, Gort Co Galway on May 15th 1896. He worked as a signalman with Great Southern and Western Railway before joining what then known as the Civic Guard on March 31st 1922. Following training he was initially stationed in Swords Co Dublin. He was later stationed in Skerries before being transferred to Baltinglass in October 1922. The Garda station in Baltinglass was attacked by a group of about fifty men on January 13th 1923. The mob was armed with crowbars and sledgehammers. Garda O’Halloran was one of just four Gardaí in the station at the time, who successfully defied the attackers.

While on duty on January 28th 1924 Garda O’Halloran was passing the National Bank (now Bank of Ireland) at about 2.00pm. He heard a gunshot and the sounds of a struggle from inside the bank. Realising that a bank robbery was in progress, he tried to gain entry but found the door locked. Garda O’Halloran blew his whistle and the two raiders, Peter Jordan and Felix McMullen, left the bank by the back door. They were pursued by O’Halloran. One of the raiders turned, shot and seriously wounded Garda O’Halloran. Though the raiders were pursued by others they managed to get away.

Garda O’Halloran was attended by local doctors and was transferred the Curragh Military Hospital where he died twenty four hours later. Peter Jordan was later arrested in Monaghan and Felix McMullen was arrested in Liverpool. They were tried for murder in July 1924. McMullen was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was hanged in Mountjoy Gaol on August 1st 1924. Jordan was sentenced to ten years penal servitude and twenty lashes.

Garda Patrick O’Halloran, having been shot whilst trying to arrest two bank raiders in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow, died of his wounds at the age of 27 in the year 1924 On This Day.


An Garda Síochána Memorial Garden [Dublin Castle] REF-1085805 by infomatique on 2015-09-29 17:12:32

22 January-Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria visited the Dublin in 1853 to visit the Great Industrial Exhibition. She visited the home of William Dargan the engineer from Carlow, Ireland who built most of Ireland’s railway network. She offered him a baronetcy in recognition of his services but Dargan declined her offer. By the time of her visit she had been queen for 18 years.

Queen Victoria was born Alexandrina Victoria on May 24th 1819. She became queen of the United Kingdom at the age of 18, on the death of her uncle William IV on 20 June 20th 1837 and reigned for over 63 years. She was a constitutional monarch with relatively little direct power but she did attempt to influence government policy. During her long reign, which is often referred to as the Victorian era, England went through a period of great change and expansion socially and economically. Her period as queen also saw a great expansion of the British Empire.

Eight years into her reign Ireland was hit by the Great Famine. During the following four years over a million Irish people died and as many more emigrated. Queen Victoria personally donated £2,000 to famine relief in Ireland. This was the largest private donation made and she encouraged others to contribute also.

Queen Victoria visited Ireland on four occasions. Her first visit lasted from 2nd to the 12th of August 1849. It was portrayed as the queen showing solidarity with the people in the aftermath of the famine. With her husband Prince Albert she visited Dublin Belfast and Cork and by all accounts was given an enthusiastic welcome. She herself wrote ‘The enthusiasm and excitement shown by the Irish people, was extreme’.

Her second visit to Ireland took place from August 30th to September 3rd 1853. She came to Dublin with her husband and two of their children to show her support for the Great Industrial Exhibition of 1853 which had been organised and sponsored by William Dargan. She visited the exhibition every day during her time in Ireland.

Queen Victoria Visited Ireland again from 21st to 29th of August 1861. The queen and her husband visited the Curragh where their son the Prince of Wales was doing military training. From there the royal party went to Kerry where they spent four days in Killarney.

The fourth and final visit by Queen Victoria to Ireland began on April 3rd 1900. She stayed for three weeks and visited schools and hospitals. Though greeted by large crowds her visit was objected to by some nationalists.

Nine months after her final visit to Ireland Queen Victoria died aged of 81 at Osborne House, Isle of Wight in the year 1901 On This Day.

Queen Victoria and others by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1900-04-04 02:13:07

18 January-John Hume

John Hume was one of the architects of the Northern Ireland peace process. His dedication to peace and democracy and his hard work in the cause of Northern Ireland had wrought a complete change in the recent history of Ireland. Hume announced his retirement from politics in 2004.

John Hume was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1937. He was educated at St Columb’s College Derry before entering St Patricks College Maynooth to study for the priesthood. He later decided not to continue with his clerical studies. He remained at Maynooth where he studied French and History and was awarded a BA degree in 1958. He was awarded a Master’s degree in 1964 after which he returned to Derry where he taught in a secondary school.

Whilst working as a teacher Hume became a founding member of the Credit Union in Derry city. The credit union movement was expanding rapidly in Ireland at that time. At the age of 27, in 1964, Hume became the youngest ever President of the Irish League of Credit Unions. He continued his involvement with the credit union movement and on September 11th 2004 he officially opened the new headquarters of Carlow District Credit Union at Askea in Carlow town.

A founding member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) John Hume served as leader of that party from 1979 to 2001. He served as an MP for Foyle in the British House of Commons for 23 years as an MEP for Northern Ireland in the European Parliament for 25 years. Following the establishment of the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont in Belfast, Hume served as an MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) for 2 years. His work as one of the architects of the Northern Ireland peace process led the various terror groups to eventually declare a ceasefire. This in turn gave rise to the Good Friday agreement being brokered on April 12th 1998.

John Hume, along with David Trimble, was a co-recipient of the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize. He was also awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Martin Luther King Award. Pope Benedict XVI made John Hume a Knight Commander of the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great (KCSG) in 2012. In a public poll carried out by RTE (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) in 2010 John Hume was named ‘Ireland’s Greatest’.

John Hume KCSG was born in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland in the year 1937 On This Day.

Secretary Clinton with Nobel Peace Prize Winners David Trimble and John Hume by usembassylondon on 2012-12-07 14:40:44