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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Members of the Eighteenth Dáil - Thomas J. "Tom" Fitzpatrick (Cavan)

Thomas J. "Tom" Fitzpatrick
Thomas J. "Tom" Fitzpatrick (14 February 1918 – 2 October 2006) was an Irish Fine Gael politician who served as Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann from 1982 to 1987.

Fitzpatrick was born at Scotshouse, Clones, County Monaghan in 1918. He was educated at St. Macartan's College, the Incorporated Law Society and University College Dublin where he qualified as a solicitor, and then entered practice as a solicitor in Cavan town.

Fitzpatrick first held political office in 1950, when he was elected to Cavan Urban District Council. In 1961, he moved to national politics when he was elected to Seanad Éireann. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cavan constituency at the 1965 general election. He held many Opposition Front Bench portfolios including Defence, Health and Social Welfare, Justice and the Environment, as well as being Fine Gael Chief Whip from 1979 to 1981.

Fitzpatrick served in the Irish Government on several occasions under Liam Cosgrave and Garret FitzGerald. His first government post was in 1973, when he was appointed Minister for Lands. After Fine Gael lost power in 1977, he was mentioned as a possible leader of the party if a compromise were needed between FitzGerald and Cosgrave. Following the November 1982 general election, he was elected as Ceann Comhairle, a post which he held until 1987. Fitzpatrick was re-elected to the Dáil (or automatically returned as Ceann Comhairle) at every election until 1989 when he retired from politics.

Members of the Seventeenth Dáil - Séamus Pattison

Séamus Pattison
Séamus Pattison (born 19 April 1936) is a retired Irish Labour Party politician. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency from 1961 to 2007 and was Ceann Comhairle (Chairman) of Dáil Éireann from 1997 to 2002.

He was born in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1936. His father was Labour Party TD James Pattison, who represented Carlow–Kilkenny from 1933 to 1957. After his education the young Pattison became a full-time trade union official, serving with the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (ITGWU). He unsuccessfully contested the Carlow–Kilkenny by-election in June 1960 but was elected at the 1961 general election to the 17th Dáil and held the seat at eleven further general elections.

Pattison served as Mayor of Kilkenny on three occasions; 1967, 1976 and 1992. In 1981 he became a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Leinster to replace Liam Kavanagh who became Minister for Labour following the 1981 general election. Pattison resigned as an MEP in 1983 when he was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare.

He was unanimously elected Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann on 26 June 1997, serving for the entire 28th Dáil. When the 29th Dáil assembled after the 2002 general election he was replaced by Rory O'Hanlon, but was appointed as Leas-Cheann Comhairle (Deputy Chairman) for the 29th Dáil.

He was also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

In September 2005, he announced he would retire at the 2007 general election, and his nephew Eoin Pattison unsuccessfully sought the nomination. Labour county councillor Michael O'Brien was selected in February 2006 to contest the seat but was unsuccessful.

When Pattison retired from politics at the 2007 general election, he had served in Dáil Éireann for 45 years and 7 months, making him the 5th longest serving TD ever and the longest ever serving Labour Party TD. He was the longest serving sitting TD from 1995 to 2007 and had the informal title of Father of the Dáil.

Members of the Eighteenth Dáil - Thomas "Tom" Nolan

Thomas "Tom" Nolan (27 July 1921 – 17 August 1992) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician.

Nolan was born in Cappawater, Myshall, County Carlow in 1921. He was educated at the De La Salle College in Muine Bheag and joined the Irish Defence Forces shortly after his education. He first held political office in 1960 when he was elected to Carlow County Council. The following year he was nominated by the Taoiseach, Seán Lemass, to the 10th Seanad Éireann.

Nolan was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency at the 1965 general election. He was re-elected at the next four general elections, but was defeated at the February 1982 general election, and did not stand again. Nolan had also served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in the period when MEPs were appointed by national parliaments rather than directly elected, serving from 1973 until the first direct elections in 1979.

In the Dáil, Nolan was Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Welfare in early 1980 and held one brief Cabinet position during his career, joining the Cabinet under Charles Haughey as Minister for Labour from December 1980 to June 1981.

His son, M. J. Nolan, is a former Fianna Fáil TD.

The Eighteenth Dáil

This is a list of the members who were elected to the 18th Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas (legislature) of Ireland. These TDs (Members of Parliament) were elected at the 1965 general election on 7 April 1965 and met on 21 April 1965. The 18th Dáil was dissolved by President Éamon de Valera, at the request of the Taoiseach Jack Lynch on 22 May 1969. The 18th Dáil lasted 1,281 days, and saw a change of Taoiseach from Seán Lemass to Jack Lynch.

The list of the 144 TDs elected, is given in alphabetical order by constituency.
Members of the 18th Dáil
Carlow–KilkennyPatrick CrottyFine Gael
Jim GibbonsFianna Fáil
Desmond GoverneyFine Gael
Tom NolanFianna Fáil
Séamus PattisonLabour Party
CavanTom FitzpatrickFine Gael
Paddy SmithFianna Fáil
John TullyClann na Poblachta
ClarePatrick HilleryFianna Fáil
William MurphyFine Gael
Patrick HoganCeann Comhairle
Seán Ó CeallaighFianna Fáil
Cork BoroughStephen BarrettFine Gael
Seán CaseyLabour Party
Gus HealyFianna Fáil
Jack LynchFianna Fáil
Pearse WyseFianna Fáil
Cork MidDonal CreedFine Gael
Flor CrowleyFianna Fáil
Eileen DesmondLabour Party
Thomas MeaneyFianna Fáil
Cork North–EastRichard BarryFine Gael
Philip BurtonFine Gael
Martin CorryFianna Fáil
Jerry CroninFianna Fáil
Patrick McAuliffeLabour Party
Cork South–WestSeán CollinsFine Gael
Edward CotterFianna Fáil
Michael MurphyLabour Party
Donegal North–EastNeil BlaneyFianna Fáil
Liam CunninghamFianna Fáil
Paddy HarteFine Gael
Donegal South–WestJoseph BrennanFianna Fáil
Cormac BreslinFianna Fáil
Patrick O'DonnellFine Gael
Dublin CountyKevin BolandFianna Fáil
Patrick BurkeFianna Fáil
Mark ClintonFine Gael
Seán DunneLabour Party
Desmond FoleyFianna Fáil
Dublin North–CentralLuke BeltonFine Gael
Vivion de ValeraFianna Fáil
Celia LynchFianna Fáil
Michael O'LearyLabour Party
Dublin North–EastPaddy BeltonFine Gael
Patrick ByrneFine Gael
George ColleyFianna Fáil
Charles HaugheyFianna Fáil
Denis LarkinLabour Party
Dublin North–WestDeclan CostelloFine Gael
Richard GoganFianna Fáil
Michael MullenLabour Party
Dublin South–CentralPhilip BradyFianna Fáil
Frank CluskeyLabour Party
Maurice E. DockrellFine Gael
Tom FitzpatrickFianna Fáil
Seán LemassFianna Fáil
Dublin South–EastJohn A. CostelloFine Gael
Seán MacEnteeFianna Fáil
Seán MooreFianna Fáil
Dublin South–WestBen BriscoeFianna Fáil
Joseph DowlingFianna Fáil
Noel Lemass, JnrFianna Fáil
John O'ConnellLabour Party
Richie RyanFine Gael
Dún Laoghaire and RathdownDavid AndrewsFianna Fáil
Lionel BoothFianna Fáil
Liam CosgraveFine Gael
H. Percy DockrellFine Gael
Galway EastMichael CartyFianna Fáil
John DonnellanFine Gael
Brigid Hogan-O'HigginsFine Gael
Michael F. KittFianna Fáil
Anthony MillarFianna Fáil
Galway WestFintan CooganFine Gael
Johnny GeogheganFianna Fáil
Bobby MolloyFianna Fáil
Kerry NorthPatrick FinucaneIndependent
Tom McEllistrimFianna Fáil
Dan SpringLabour Party
Kerry SouthHonor CrowleyFianna Fáil
Patrick ConnorFine Gael
Timothy O'ConnorFianna Fáil
KildareTerence BoylanFianna Fáil
Brendan CrinionFianna Fáil
Patrick NortonLabour Party
Gerard SweetmanFine Gael
Laois–OffalyHenry ByrneLabour Party
Nicholas EganFianna Fáil
Oliver J. FlanaganFine Gael
Patrick LalorFianna Fáil
Tom O'HigginsFine Gael
Limerick EastPaddy ClohessyFianna Fáil
Stephen CoughlanLabour Party
Tom O'DonnellFine Gael
Donogh O'MalleyFianna Fáil
Limerick WestJames CollinsFianna Fáil
Denis JonesFine Gael
Donnchadh Ó BriainFianna Fáil
Longford–WestmeathFrank CarterFianna Fáil
Patrick LenihanFianna Fáil
Gerry L'EstrangeFine Gael
Joseph SheridanIndependent
LouthFrank AikenFianna Fáil
Paddy DoneganFine Gael
Pádraig FaulknerFianna Fáil
Mayo NorthPhelim CallearyFianna Fáil
Patrick LindsayFine Gael
Thomas O'HaraFine Gael
Mayo SouthSeán FlanaganFianna Fáil
Henry KennyFine Gael
Michael LyonsFine Gael
Micheál Ó MóráinFianna Fáil
MeathDenis FarrellyFine Gael
Michael HilliardFianna Fáil
James TullyLabour Party
MonaghanErskine H. ChildersFianna Fáil
James DillonFine Gael
Patrick MooneyFianna Fáil
RoscommonJoan BurkeFine Gael
Hugh GibbonsFianna Fáil
Brian LenihanFianna Fáil
Patrick J. ReynoldsFine Gael
Sligo–LeitrimJames GallagherFianna Fáil
Eugene GilbrideFianna Fáil
Eugene GilhawleyFine Gael
Joseph McLoughlinFine Gael
Tipperary NorthThomas DunneFine Gael
John FanningFianna Fáil
Patrick TierneyLabour Party
Tipperary SouthDon DavernFianna Fáil
Jackie FaheyFianna Fáil
Patrick HoganFine Gael
Seán TreacyLabour Party
WaterfordBilly KenneallyFianna Fáil
Thomas KyneLabour Party
Thaddeus LynchFine Gael
WexfordLorcan AllenFianna Fáil
Brendan CorishLabour Party
Anthony EsmondeFine Gael
James KennedyFianna Fáil
WicklowPaudge BrennanFianna Fáil
James EverettLabour Party
Michael O'HigginsFine Gael

Changes [edit]

7 December 1966Kerry SouthFianna FáilFianna FáilJohn O'Leary (FF) holds the seat vacated by the death of Honor Crowley (FF)
7 December 1966WaterfordFianna FáilFine GaelFad Browne (FF) wins the seat vacated by the death of Thaddeus Lynch (FG)
9 November 1967Cork BoroughFianna FáilLabour PartySeán French (FF) wins the seat vacated by the death of Seán Casey (Lab)
9 November 1967Limerick WestFianna FáilFianna FáilGerry Collins (FF) holds the seat vacated by the death of his father James Collins (FF)
14 March 1968ClareFianna FáilFine GaelSylvester Barrett (FF) wins the seat vacated by the death of William Murphy (FG)
14 March 1968WicklowFine GaelLabour PartyGodfrey Timmins (FG) wins the seat vacated by the death of James Everett (Lab)
22 May 1968Limerick EastFianna FáilFianna FáilDesmond O'Malley (FF) holds the seat vacated by the death of his uncle Donogh O'Malley (FF)

Mystery of Irish Famine potato blight is finally solved by international team of biologists

Scientists have finally identified the strain of potato blight that caused the Irish famine and led to a million deaths and mass starvation.

In an article in dated 25 May 2013 by PATRICK COUNIHAN, IrishCentral Staff Writer:

New study sequences the genome and shows it originally came from Mexico

Scientists have finally identified the strain of potato blight that caused the Irish famine and led to a million deaths and mass starvation.

Phytophthora infestans, a fungus-like organism that devastated potato crops, led to the famine in Ireland according to an international team of molecular biologists.

They say the precise strain of the pathogen that caused the devastating famine from 1845 to 1852, had been unknown until now.

The newly identified strain of potato blight has been christened HERB-1 by the biologists according to the report on Yahoo news.

Study co-author Hernán Burbano, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Germany, said in a statement: “We have finally discovered the identity of the exact strain that caused all this havoc.”

The report says that a Phytophthora strain called US-1 was thought to have triggered the potato famine.

But, by sequencing the genomes of preserved samples of the plant pathogen, the researchers discovered that a different strain, new to science, was the real culprit.

Burbano added: “Both strains seem to have separated from each other only years before the first major outbreak in Europe.”

Researchers studied 11 historic samples from potato leaves that were collected about 150 years ago in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Europe and North America.

The ancient samples, preserved at the Botanical State Collection Munich and the Kew Gardens in London, still had many intact pieces of DNA.

The DNA quality was so good the researchers were able to sequence the entire genome of Phytophthora infestans and its host, the potato, within just a few weeks.

Johannes Krause, a professor of paleogenetics at the University of Tübingen in Germany and a study co-author, said: “The degree of DNA preservation in the herbarium samples really surprised us.

The decoded genomes were compared with modern Phytophthora strains from Europe, Africa and the Americas and the results enabled the researchers to trace the evolution of the pathogen, including where and when the HERB-1 and US-1 strains likely diverged.

Their report says Phytophthora infestans originated in Mexico’s Toluca Valley.

When Europeans and Americans first came to Mexico in the 16th century, the pathogen experienced increased genetic diversity, and in the early 1800s, the HERB-1 Phytophthora strain emerged and was brought out of Mexico, the researchers said.

They added that by the summer of 1845, the HERB-1 strain had arrived at European ports, and the potato disease spread throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom, causing the Irish potato famine.

In the 20th century, as new varieties of potatoes were introduced, the HERB-1 strain was eventually replaced by the US-1 Phytophthora strain, the researchers said.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Nelson's Pillar Dublin

Nelson's Pillar
The Nelson Pillar (Irish: Colún Nelson), known locally as Nelson's Pillar or simply The Pillar, was a large granite pillar topped by a statue of Horatio Nelson in the middle of O'Connell Street (formerly Sackville Street) in Dublin. It was built in 1808-1809 and was destroyed by a bomb planted by Irish republicans in 1966.
The pillar was a Doric column that rose 121 feet (36.9 m) from the ground and was topped by a 13 feet (4.0 m) tall statue in Portland stone by Cork sculptor Thomas Kirk, RHA (1781–1845), giving it a total height of 134 feet (40.8 m) – some 35 feet (10.7 m) shorter than Nelson's Column in London. The diameter of the column was 13 feet (4.0 m) at the bottom and 10 feet (3.0 m) at the top.

All the outer and visible parts of the pillar were of granite, from the quarry of Gold Hill, Kilbride, County Wicklow. The interior was of black limestone. A contemporary account of the pillar described it in the following terms:
"In Sackville Street is a very noble monument to the memory of the immortal Nelson: it consists of a pedestal, column, and capital of the Tuscan order, the whole being surmounted by a well executed statue of the hero, leaning on the capstan of his ship."
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, James Vance, is credited with first coming up with the idea of honouring Lord Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar with a monument, in 1805. After consulting the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and the Duke of Richmond, he organised a meeting of leading citizens. A committee of 21 was duly appointed containing, as well as the Lord Mayor, John La Touche MP, Robert Shaw MP, Hans Hamilton MP, Arthur Guinness Jr and the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Charles Long. A subscription was opened with the banks leading the way in forwarding funds. However, it took over two years for the finances to get close to the projected budget of over £5,000. The committee decided to start the project with what money they had, and succeeded in raising the rest of the money on time.

The original plans for the Pillar were submitted to the organising committee by William Wilkins (1778–1839), a London architect, Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge, and accepted by them in 1808. However, for some reason, the committee wrote later that they were incapable of "executing his design precisely as he had given it." Francis Johnston (1760–1829), the architect who built the General Post Office (to the left in the picture above) was brought in to execute the design, and "afforded the necessary assistance with his acknowledged ability, which...he did with the utmost cheerfulness." He made several drawings of his own, one of which met the approval of the committee sufficiently for construction to start. Johnston and later architects laid out Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street) so that the buildings, the GPO, and the Pillar were in scale to the size and length of the street and to each other.

Construction of the Pillar was started with the laying of the foundation stone on 15 February 1808. It was inaugurated with a procession of dignitaries including the Fellows and Provost of Trinity College and the Lord Lieutenant and his wife. "The windows of all the houses in the vicinity were crowded with spectators, and it was remarked that red was the favourite colour worn by most of the ladies present. It was considered that the city had probably never before seen a grander or more impressive cavalcade, and Mr. Betham, the Marshal, was complimented on the management and good order that prevailed. It was likewise a matter of congratulation that notwithstanding the great crowds, not the slightest accident occurred." The pillar itself was completed "by August 1809" and the statue of Nelson was hoisted into place.

The memorial plaque read:
By the blessing of Almighty God
To Commemorate the Transcendent Heroic
Achievements of the Right Honourable
Horatio Lord Viscount Nelson
Duke of Bronti in Sicily,
Vice-Admiral of the White Squadron of his Majesty's Fleet,
Who fell gloriously in the Battle of Cape Trafalgar
On the 21st Day of October, 1805, when
he obtained for his Country a Victory
over the Combined Fleets of France and
Spain, Unparalleled in Naval History.
This first stone of a Triumphal Pillar was
laid by His Grace,
Charles Duke of Richmond and Lennox
Notably, the Pillar was finished long before the similar Nelson's Column was erected in Trafalgar Square in London in 1849. The pillar became both a tram terminus and a common meeting place for Dubliners and offered the city's best public viewing platform, reached by a spiral stairway inside the column. The original entrance to the pillar was underground but, G. P. Baxter designed a porch in 1894 which was added to allow direct access from the street. The adult public paid sixpence (children under 12 were half-price) to climb the 168 spiral steps to a platform which gave a bird's-eye view of the city.

The building of Nelson's Pillar had been, from the outset, controversial. As early as September 1809 a paragraph appeared in Watty Cox's Irish Magazine, stating: "The statue of Nelson records the glory of a mistress and the transformation of our state into a discount office". Until 1922 most of the criticisms were due to aesthetic considerations or because it was considered an impediment to traffic. In May 1876 a letter to the editor expressed its author's feelings in verse:

In the centre of our cityWhere the lines of traffic meet -
In the very path of commerce,
Blocking up a noble street -
As a figure in a picture
Disproportionately tall
Seems to make its right surroundings
Quite ridiculously small.

In 1876, Dublin Corporation took up the question of removal, but found it did not have the power to remove it. In 1879 the Corporation argued that it should be removed as it was "an ugly traffic hazard". It tried again in 1891, causing much debate in the city and in Parliament, but did not succeed due to financial considerations. A writer on Dublin's history in 1909, Dillon Cosgrave, acknowledged the temporary nature of the Pillar, remarking that "For a very long time, the project of removing the Pillar, which many condemn as an obstruction to traffic, has been mooted, but it has never taken definite shape".

In 1923, the debate was renewed when famous Irish poet William Butler Yeats called for the pillar to be removed on aesthetic grounds, saying "It's not a beautiful object". The debate was renewed again in 1926 and again in 1928. Several attempts were made subsequently to have it removed, including by Taoiseach Seán Lemass, in 1960. He said "[Nelson] has no place in the centre of our capital city overshadowing our principal national monument, which is the GPO". There were proposals to keep the pillar but to replace the statue of Nelson with other statues.

On 7 April 1954, the Dublin Brigade Irish Republican Army (IRA) sent a letter to Dublin Corporation, asking that it "seek legislation for the removal of the Nelson Pillar".

Politician and former SIPTU president Des Geraghty argued that, by the 1960s, "not many people wanted Nelson there...he was a relic of the Empire". Independent Dublin TD Frank Sherwin said: "Although I view Nelson as a great Englishman ... I hold that there should be a great historic Irishman put in his place".

On 29 October 1955, a group of nine University College Dublin students locked themselves inside the pillar and tried to melt the statue with flamethrowers. From the top they hung a poster of Kevin Barry—a Dublin Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteer who was executed by the British during the Irish War of Independence. A crowd gathered below and began to sing the well-known Irish rebel song "Kevin Barry". Gardaí forced their way inside with sledgehammers. They took the students' names and addresses and brought them downstairs. As a Garda van arrived it was attacked by the sympathetic crowd. Rather than arrest the students, the Gardaí merely confiscated their equipment and told everyone to leave quietly. None was ever charged.

At 02:00 on 8 March 1966, a group of former Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteers, including Joe Christle, planted a bomb that destroyed the upper half of the pillar, throwing the statue of Nelson into the street and causing large chunks of stone to be thrown around. Christle, dismissed ten years earlier from the IRA for unauthorised actions, was a qualified barrister and saw himself as a socialist revolutionary. It is thought that the bombers acted when they did to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising.

No one was hurt by the explosion. The closest bystander was a 19-year-old taxi driver, Steve Maughan, whose taxi was blasted to pieces.

Six days after the original damage, on the morning of Monday 14 March 1966, Irish Army engineers blew up the rest of the pillar after judging the vestigial structure to be too unsafe to restore. This planned demolition caused more destruction on O'Connell Street than the original blast, breaking many windows.

The rubble from the monument was taken to the East Wall dump and the lettering from the plinth moved to the gardens of Butler House, Kilkenny.

Ken Dolan and six other students from the National College of Art and Design stole the statue's head on St. Patrick's Day from a storage shed in Clanbrassil Street as a fund-raising prank to pay off a Student Union's debt. They leased the head for £200 a month to an antiques dealer in London for his shop window. It also appeared in a women's stocking commercial, shot on Killiney beach, and on the stage of the Olympia Theatre with The Dubliners. The students finally gave the head to the Lady Nelson of the day about six months after taking it, and it was later housed in the Civic Museum in Dublin. It now resides in the Gilbert Library, in Pearse Street.

The Nelson's Pillar Act was passed in 1969, transferring responsibility for the site of the monument from the Nelson Pillar Trustees to Dublin Corporation. The site was simply paved over by the authorities until the Anna Livia monument was installed there for the 1988 Dublin Millennium celebrations. This was moved in 2001 to make way for the Spire of Dublin, erected in its place in 2003. In 2001, whilst the site was being excavated to prepare for the foundations of the spire, The Irish Times announced the discovery of a 200-year-old time capsule. This, in fact, turned out to be a dedication plaque commemorating Nelson's achievements.

On 23 April 2000, Liam Sutcliffe, from the suburb of Walkinstown, claimed on the RTÉ radio programme Voices of the 20th Century that he was responsible for blowing up the monument. Sutcliffe is a republican supporter who has been linked in the past to the Official Sinn Féin movement. He maintained that in Operation Humpty Dumpty, the explosive used was a mixture of gelignite and ammonal. He declined to confirm his remarks when he received a visit at home from Garda Special Branch detectives four months after his radio interview in August. Then, on the morning of 21 September, he was arrested under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and invited to repeat his allegations at Store Street Garda Station. His reluctance to do so, while in custody, resulted in his release without charge that night. The Gardaí prepared a file for review by the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide if the matter should be pursued further.
The identity of the bombers has been a source of speculation and conflicting claims of responsibility.

Within a matter of days of the blowing up of the pillar, a group of Belfast school teachers: Gerry Burns, Finbar Carrolan, John Sullivan and Eamonn McGirr, known as The Go Lucky Four, reached the top of the Irish music charts with "Up Went Nelson", a popular folk song set to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" which maintained the number one spot for eight consecutive weeks.
Other songs were:
  • "Good Lord Nelson" by Tommy Makem
  • "Nelson's Goodbye" by 'Galway Joe' Dolan, released as "Nelson's Farewell" by The Dubliners on their album Finnegan Wakes and as a single "Nelson's Farewell / The Foggy Dew", both in 1966

Terence O'Neill

Terence Marne O'Neill, later created Baron O'Neill of the Maine, PC (10 September 1914 – 12 June 1990) was the fourth Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and leader (1963–1970) of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). A moderate who sought to reconcile the sectarian divisions in Northern Ireland society, he was Member of the Parliament of Northern Ireland for the Bannside constituency from 1946 until his forced resignation in 1970 as communal conflict erupted; his successor in Parliament was Ian Paisley, while control of the UUP passed to harder-line elements.

Terence O'Neill was born on the 10 September 1914 at 29 Ennismore Gardens, Hyde Park, London. He was the youngest son of Lady Annabel Hungerford Crewe-Milnes (daughter of the Marquess of Crewe) and Captain Arthur O'Neill of Shane's Castle, Randalstown, the first MP to be killed as a result of World War I. The family assumed the surname O'Neill by royal license in lieu of their original name Chichester. The Chichesters trace their lineage to the name O'Neill through Mary Chichester, daughter of Henry O'Neill of Shane's Castle.

Terence O'Neill grew up in London and was educated at West Downs School, Winchester and Eton College. He spent summer holidays in Ulster. Following school he spent a year in France and Germany and then worked in the City of London and Australia. In May 1940 he received a commission at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and went on to serve in the Irish Guards during WWII, in which both his brothers died. Like many Unionist politicians, the rank he held during the war would follow him in his political career, hence "Captain" Terence O'Neill. Although coming from a long line of Protestants he attempted to reconcile the Catholics and the Protestants of Northern Ireland.

On 4 February 1944, he married Katharine Jean (16 January 1915 - 15 July 2008), the daughter of William Ingham Whitaker, of Pylewell Park, Lymington, Hampshire. They had one son, Patrick (b. 1945), and one daughter, Anne (b. 1947).

At the end of 1945, O'Neill and his family went to live in Northern Ireland in a converted Regency rectory near Ahoghill Co. Antrim. In a by-election in 1946 he was elected as the Unionist MP for the Bannside constituency in the Stormont Parliament. O'Neill served in a series of junior positions. He was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Local Government from February 1948 until November 1953 when he was appointed Chairman of Ways and Means and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. In 1953, he served as High Sheriff of Antrim. He was Minister of Home Affairs from April to October 1956 when he was appointed Minister of Education.

In 1963, he succeeded Viscount Brookeborough as Prime Minister. He introduced new policies that would have been unheard of with Brookeborough as Prime Minister. He aimed to end sectarianism and to bring Catholics and Protestants into working relationships. A visit to a convent proved controversial among many Protestants. He also had aspirations in the industrial sector, seeking improved relations with the trade union movement and attracting new investment from abroad helping to replace failing industry in Northern Ireland. O'Neill seemed to strongly believe in industrialisation and modernisation. However, it is clear that he was in some ways trying to prevent the Northern Ireland Labour Party (NILP) from gaining ground. Northern Ireland was influenced by British politics so the arrival of Harold Wilson in Downing Street meant the NILP had a significant ally in Harold Wilson, who was not a committed unionist, so that O'Neill was the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland who could not rely on the support of the UK Government.

As O'Neill promoted industrialisation and modernisation, the Taoiseach, Seán Lemass was doing similar things in the Republic of Ireland, thus leading to the first real rapprochement between the two jurisdictions since Partition. In January 1965 O'Neill invited the Taoiseach for talks in Belfast. O'Neill met with strong opposition from his own party, having informed very few of the visit, and from Ian Paisley, who rejected any dealings with the Republic. Paisley and his followers threw snowballs at Lemass' car during the visit. In February, O'Neill visited Lemass in Dublin. Opposition to O'Neill's reforms was so strong that in 1967 George Forrest - the MP for Mid Ulster, who supported the Prime Minister - was pulled off the platform at the Twelfth of July celebrations in Coagh, County Tyrone and kicked unconscious by fellow members of the Orange Order.

In December 1967 Taoiseach Jack Lynch travelled to Stormont for his first meeting with O'Neill. On 8 January 1968 they met again in Dublin. On 19 January 1968 O'Neill made a speech marking five years in office to members of the Irish Association, calling for "a new endeavour by organisations in Northern Ireland to cross denominational barriers and advance the cause of better community relations". On 20 May 1968 O'Neill was pelted with eggs, flour and stones by members of the Woodvale Unionist Association who disapproved of his perceived conciliatory policies.

In 1968, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) began street demonstrations. The march in Derry on 5 October 1968, banned by William Craig the Minister of Home Affairs, was met with violence from the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) who batoned protesters, among them prominent politicians. The O'Neill government had a hard time dealing with this kind of violence and so Harold Wilson summond O'Neill to Downing Street. The Stormont cabinet minutes from the 14th of October show O'Neill recalling his time in Britain. He states that Britain has threatened to enter forcefully themselves O'Neill could not manage to gain control. Finally he states that if they can not manage it politically then they will be forced into a period of governing Ulster by police power alone.[9] This violence was recorded by television cameras and broadcast worldwide. The date of this march is taken by many historians as being the start of the Northern Ireland Troubles, although other dates are arguable; there had been sporadic political violence in the region since the 1920s.

In response to these events O'Neill introduced a Five Point Reform Programme. This granted a number of the concessions that NICRA had demanded but importantly it did not include one man one vote. Despite this the NICRA felt it had made some ground and agreed to postpone its marches. Things were expected to improve but many in the Catholic community felt let down by the limited reforms. A group was formed by university-based activists including Bernadette Devlin and Michael Farrell, named People's Democracy, which began a four-day march from Belfast to Derry on 1 January 1969. On the fourth day the march was met at Burntollet Bridge by around 200 hardline unionists. Although many RUC men were present during the attack none intervened. It later emerged that many of the assailants were in fact off-duty policemen. Many marchers were injured, 13 requiring hospital treatment. The Burntollet attack sparked several days of rioting between the RUC and Catholic protesters in the Bogside area of Derry.

In February 1969, O'Neill called a surprise general election because of the turmoil inside the Ulster Unionist Party caused by ten to 12 anti-O'Neill dissident members of the Unionist Parliamentary Party and the resignation of Brian Faulkner from O'Neill's Government.

From O'Neill's point of view the election results were inconclusive. O'Neill in particular was humiliated by his near defeat in his own constituency of Bannside by Ian Paisley. He resigned as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and as Prime Minister in April 1969 after a series of bomb explosions on Belfast's water supply by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) brought his personal political crisis to a head.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph published on 10 May 1969 he stated: "It is frightfully hard to explain to Protestants that if you give Roman Catholics a good job and a good house they will live like Protestants because they will see neighbours with cars and television sets; they will refuse to have eighteen children. But if a Roman Catholic is jobless, and lives in the most ghastly hovel he will rear eighteen children on National Assistance. If you treat Roman Catholics with due consideration and kindness they will live like Protestants in spite of the authoritative nature of their Church..."

He retired from Stormont politics in January 1970 when he resigned his seat having become the Father of the House in the previous year. In that year he was created a life peer as Baron O'Neill of the Maine of Ahoghill in the County of Antrim.

He spent his last years at Lisle Court, Lymington, Hampshire, though he continued to speak on the problems of Northern Ireland in the House of Lords where he sat as a cross-bencher. He was also a trustee of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. He died at his home of cancer on 12 June 1990 survived by his wife, son, and daughter. His estate was valued at £443, 043: probate, 28 Aug 1990, CGPLA England and Wales.

16. Rev. Robert Chichester
8. William O'Neill, 1st Baron O'Neill
4. Edward O'Neill, 2nd Baron O'Neill
18. Robert Torrens
9. Henrietta Torrens
2. Arthur O'Neill
20. Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald
10. Thomas Cochrane, 11th Earl of Dundonald
21. Katherine Corbet Barnes
5. Lady Louisa Cochrane
22. William Mackinnon of Mackinnon FRS, FSA, DL, JP
11. Louisa Mackinnon
1. Terence O'Neill
24. Robert Pemberton Milnes, of Fryston Hall
12. Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton
25. The Hon. Henrietta Monckton
6. Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe
26. John Crewe, 2nd Baron Crewe
13. The Hon. Annabel Crewe
27. Henrietta Walker-Hungerford
3. Lady Annabel Crew-Milnes
28. Rt. Hon. Sir James Graham, 2nd Bt.
14. Sir Frederick Graham, 3rd Bt.
29. Fanny Callender
7. Sibyl Graham
30. Edward Seymour, 12th Duke of Somerset
15. Lady Jane St. Maur Seymour