On this day: Ireland legalises divorce

Anti-divorce protest in Ireland By the time Ireland voted on divorce in 1995, it was the only country in Europe where divorce was banned.

On the 24th of November, 1995, Ireland became the last country in Europe to legalise divorce. This occurred because of a referendum to change the constitution – not the first attempt to achieve this.

Ireland 1986. Anti-divorce posters at the Father Mathew Hall on polling day for the Divorce Referendum on 26 June.

Opposition in the failed 1986 referendum. X

Divorce had been specifically forbidden in the 1937 Irish constitution. A heavily Catholic country, there was very strong opposition to the legal breakup of a marriage, just as there was when it came to the legalisation of contraception, which was only made available in the 1980s.

Irish campaign against the Divorce Referendum.

The success of the 1995 referendum was a close thing; the results were just over 50% in favour and 49.79% opposed.

On this day: the Samashki Massacre

Women and children in flight on the road from Samashki after a massacre, Grozny, Chechnya.

Fleeing the massacre.

On the 7th and 8th of April, 1995, Russian soldiers, many of them reportedly drunk or on drugs, massacred at least 100 and as many as 300 civilians in Samashki, Chechnya.

An early news report of the massacre, before the details were known.

On the 7th and 8th of April, 1995, Russian soldiers, many of them reportedly drunk or on drugs, massacred at least 100 and as many as 300 civilians in Samashki, Chechnya.

Many victims were never identified, as the Russians deliberately burnt many of the bodies. Eyewitnesses also told of rapes of women and girls in the village, and of Chechens being thrown – alive – from helicopters.


The troops were under the command of highly decorated Gen. Anatoly Kulikov. During the time of the massacre, Russian President Boris Yeltsin had compared the Chechen people to Nazis, a popular Kremlin propaganda tactic.

Below is an image of Russian troops celebrating in Chechnya after fighting in Grozny.

Images of the area after the massacre can be found here, but some are graphic.

drunk russian troops in chechnya 1990s