Today in Irish History – 11th May:

1745 – At the battle of Fontenoy (30 April/11 May according to the two calendars), near Tournai in modern Belgium, the Irish Brigade of the French army under Lieutenant Charles O’Brien repulses the British and wins the day. Those killed include.

1788 – Presbyterian minister, Henry Cooke, is born at Grillagh, near Maghera, Co Derry. Cooke is famous for leading Ulster Presbyterianism away from the free-thinking radicalism which had spawned the United Irishmen’s rising during his childhood.

1916 – During the House of Commons debate on the Irish crises, John Dillon urges the cessation of executions.

1920 – IRA volunteers destroyed the RIC barracks at Hollyford, County Tipperary.

1921 – A party of Black and Tans shoot dead Christopher Folan, Woodquay, Galway, and injure Joseph Folan, while searching the family home for James Folan, Battalion-Quartermaster of the Galway Brigade, who had just been released from prison for republican activities. They then went to another house and shoot dead Hubert Tully, a republican suspect and contact of Sean Broderick, a Galway Republican leader.

1937 – Debate on new Constitution commences.

1967- The Republic of Ireland applies again to join the Common Market.

1971 – Death of former Taoiseach Seán Francis Lemass.

1979 – The Riordans, a drama about life in a rural Irish village and the most successful serial in the history of RTE (running for 15 years) comes to an end.

1996 – Bill Graham, Irish rock journalist, dies at his home in Howth.

1999 – Gay Byrne, legendary host of the Late Late Show, becomes the 64th Freeman of the City of Dublin.

2000 – Figures released on this date show that tourist visitors to Ireland in 1999 exceed six million for the first time.

2001 – Visually-impaired adventurer Caroline Casey arrives back in Dublin after a four-month elephant ride across India during which she raises $250,000 for charity.

Photo: Great Pollet Sea Arch, Fanad, Donegal, Derek Smyth Photography

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