#OTD in Irish History – 11 June:

1534 – Thomas Garrett (Lord Offaly and grandson of Garret Mór Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare), rides through Dublin with a large band of followers. Known as “Silken Thomas” because of the silk worn on his followers’ helmets, he has heard the false rumour spread by Henry VIII that his father, Garrett Óg has been executed in the Tower of London. He enters the Chapter House of St. Mary’s Abbey where the King’s Council is awaiting him and flings down his Sword of State. This is a dramatic act of defiance, by which he hopes to force his claim to power. Henry VIII treats it as an act of open revolt and confines his father, Garret Óg, to the Tower where he dies two months later.

1690 – William of Orange departs for Ireland.

1798 – In Co. Wexford, the Rebel southern division moves camp from Slievecoilte to Lacken Hill. In Co. Down, the Main rebel army moves from Saintfield to Ballynahinch.

1837 – The Broad Street Riot occurred in Boston, fueled by ethnic tensions between English-Americans and Irish-Americans. The Broad Street Riot occurred in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on 11 June 1837. The riot began when a company of Yankee firefighters met with an Irish funeral procession on Broad Street. Fire Engine Company 20 was returning from a fire in Roxbury. Many of the firefighters went to a saloon nearby. Afterwards, while traveling back to the firestation, George Fay either insulted or shoved members of a passing Irish funeral procession. The Irish and firemen began to fight, but under the orders of W.W. Miller, the firemen ran to the station. Miller sounded the emergency alarm, calling all of the fire engines in Boston. Although many of the Irish had left the scene, the fire companies continued to come as called. As the fight continued, local Yankees and Irishmen joined the row. Eventually 1000 people were included in the melee, though no one was killed. Several houses were broken into and vandalised, and the rioters launched rocks and other missiles at each other. The fight was broken up when Mayor Samuel A. Eliot commanded 10 companies from the military to patrol the neighborhoods surrounding Broad Street. On 15 June 17 people were forced to pay reparations of three hundred dollars, and to attend the nearest term at the Municipal Court. Mark Adams was held to bail, as witnesses reported him for breaking into homes. Fourteen Irish and four protestant men that had participated in the riot were put on trial. Only three of the Irish men, John Whaley, John Welsh, and Barney Fanning were assigned hard labour in the House of Correction. John Whaley was sentenced four months, while John Welsh and Barney Fanning were sentenced two months. All four of the protestants were found innocent. The following Monday, 18 June military forces were located outside of the armories. When engines returned from duty, hissing and hooting was heard. Many people attempted to start brawls throughout the day, however none were successful. The Broad Street Riot is still considered the worst riot of Boston’s history. Boston was a main place for immigrants to arrive in the United States due to its large seaport. Tension between Irish and English Americans was high, and led to the Broad Street Riot. The riot was used as the basis of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones song “Riot on Broad Street”.

1862 – Violet Martin (pen-name Martin Ross; writer, sometimes in partnership with her cousin Edith Somerville) is born in Ross House, Co. Galway.

1903 – Thomas Sloan and others found the Independent Orange Order in Belfast. The Independent Loyal Orange Institution is an off-shoot of the Orange Institution, a Protestant fraternal organisation based in Northern Ireland. It was formed in Ireland in 1903 by Tom Sloan and others, who had been expelled from the Orange Order when they voiced opposition to it being used for party political ends by Ulster Unionists. Originally it was associated with the labour movement, but it soon realigned itself with traditional unionist politics.

1919 – Birth of actor Richard Todd in Dublin. In 1950, he wins a Golden Globe Award (“Most Promising Newcomer”) for his performance in the film “The Hasty Heart” (1949). The film also earns him an Academy Award Nomination for “Best Actor”.

1966 – John Scullion, a Catholic civilian, dies from his injuries two weeks after being shot by the UVF in the Clonard area of west Belfast.

1981 – General election in the Republic leads to a Fine Gael-Labour coalition government.

1990 – The Republic of Ireland plays their first ever match in the finals of the World Cup, drawing 1-1 with England in Cagliari, Sardinia.

2000 – Thousands of Irish Christians march for Jesus. The giant Praise and Prayer Rally takes place outside government buildings in Dublin.

2000 – Bord Glas, now Bord Bia reports that nearly 100% of all households eat potatoes at least once a week or more, putting them in the number one spot when it comes to favourite vegetables. the general functions of Board Glas shall be to develop, promote, facilitate, encourage, co-ordinate and assist the production, marketing and consumption of horticultural produce.

2001 – Writer Keith Ridgway is awarded the Rooney Prize; there is no shortlist, no entry form and no categorisation for the award, now in its 26th year. The only requirement is for the writer to be Irish, under 40 and published.

Image | Loughros Point, Co Donegal | Fiachra Mangan Photography

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