Today in Irish History – 23 December:

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

1686 – Birth of writer, economist and philanthropist, Samuel Madden, in Dublin.

1688 – James II of flees from England to France. William had married James’ daughter Mary, and they had overthrown him as monarch of Britain and Ireland. James was supported by much of the Irish population because of his Catholic religion. James was denounced as King of England for abdicating his throne. However, the Irish still considered him to be King of Ireland and he returned a year later to try and regain his throne.

1770 – The Steelboys or Hearts of Steel, a Protestant agrarian protest movement, is involved in conflict in Ulster – 500 Steelboys release a prisoner in Belfast. Throughout the eighteenth century in Ireland, local secret societies such as the “Hearts of Steel” and the “Hearts of Oak” had sprung up, dedicated to defending their members, generally the poorest tenants. This tradition, along with…

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