Today in Irish History – 6th April:

1830 – James Augustine Healy, the first black Roman Catholic bishop in America, was born to an Irish planter and a slave on a plantation near Macon, Georgia.

1889 – Actor Barry Macollum is born.

1895 – Oscar Wilde is arrested (in Cadogan Hotel, London) after losing a libel case against the John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry.

1919 – Limerick city IRA members attempted to free a prisoner from the Limerick prison workhouse. Two RIC men and the prisoner were killed in the ensuing fire fight.

1922 – Six ex-RIC men were shot dead in counties Mayo, Clare and Kerry.

1922 – Two USC men were shot dead in counties Tyrone and Armagh.

1923 – In Kerry, Free State troops mount an operation aimed at rescuing Hannafin, an informer held by the Anti-Treaty IRA. They raid a village at Derrynafeana near Carrauntoohil, where he is being held. Three Anti-Treaty fighters are killed in a resulting skirmish and two more captured. The National Army claims a total of nine Anti-Treaty fighters were killed. Most of the IRA column gets away into the mountains. Hannifin is freed. He had previously been made to dig his own grave prior to his imminent execution.

1926 – Birth in Armagh of Ian Paisley, clergyman and Unionist politician.

1947 – Death of Henry Ford, automobile production pioneer and son of Irish immigrants.

1954 – The Flags & Emblems Act legislates against interference with the Union Jack, effectively prohibiting display of the tricolour in Northern Ireland.

1956 – Kerry GAA footballer Seanie Walsh is born.

1964 – Birth of Nick Popplewell, former rugby international.

1965 – Former international footballer Norman Whiteside is born.

1982 – James Prior launches ‘rolling devolution’ for Northern Ireland.

1984 – Death of Jimmy Kennedy OBE (born 20 July 1902 – died 6 April 1984) was an Irish songwriter, predominantly a lyricist, putting words to existing music such as “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” and “My Prayer”, or co-writing with the composers Michael Carr, Wilhelm Grosz (aka Hugh Williams) and Nat Simon amongst others.

1990 – Death of Peter Doherty, one of the finest footballers to play for Northern Ireland.

1998 – Hopes of an historic peace deal are put at “less than 50%” as the multi-party talks deadline looms.

1998 – Telecom Eireann launches a commemorative 50 unit Call Card to mark the 25th anniversary of the University of Limerick.

2000 – Gregory Peck receives an honorary Doctor of Literature from the National University of Ireland in recognition of his contribution to the art of film.

2000 – British soldiers and police search the perimeter fence of Ebrington Army Base in Derry after a bomb explodes inside the base.

2001 – The Government pledges to give the GAA £60 million over the next three years in return for their commitment to staging matches — including All Ireland semi finals — in the new National Stadium. This deal effectively undermines the argument to open up Croke Park for rugby and soccer matches.

2001 -The Parades Commission agrees to allow an Apprentice Boys’ march along Belfast’s flashpoint Ormeau Road on Easter Monday.

2002 – Galway man Richard Donovan becomes the first person in history to run a marathon at both the North and South Pole.

Photo: Lick, or Leck, Castle was built in the 15th century around the same time as many other ‘castles along the North Kerry coastline. The full name in Irish is “Leac Bábhún,” (Slab Enclosure) anglicised Lickbevune, probably to distinguish it from Leac Snamha (The Slab Beneath the Water) or Lixnaw Castle.The tower houses along this coastline belonged to various members of the Geraldine family, planted in the Shannon Valley at the close of the 12th century. Photo credit: Hartney Photographics



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