In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St. Christian O’Morgair, brother of St. Malachy, and Bishop of Clogher.
1731 – The Revenue Commissioners report the robbery of the Golden Lyon’s cargo at Ballyheige. One of the robbers is caught and turns king’s evidence; the Danish Asiatic Company offers a reward of 10 per cent of the value of the cargo for its recovery. (See June 4, when the robbery allegedly took place).
1741 – At the Athy by-election following the death of Sir Walter Dixon Borrowes on 12 June, Lord Ophaly (later 1st Duke of Leinster) is returned. In the course of the election there has been a duel between William Paul Warren and Jack Hardy, which leads to Hardy’s right hand and arm being shattered; it is thought that it would have to be amputated.
1798 – In Wexford, Rebel northern division moves camp to Limerick Hill; Rebels launch attack on Borris, Co Carlow. In Ulster, General Nugent takes Comber and Saintfield. He moves close to main rebel camp at Ballynahinch.
1798 – Irish Rebellion of 1798 Battle of Ballynahinch: Battle of Ballynahinch.
1889 – The Armagh Rail Disaster happened on 12 June 1889 near Armagh when a crowded Sunday school excursion train had to negotiate a steep incline, the steam locomotive was unable to complete the climb and the train stalled. The train crew decided to divide the train and take forward the front portion, leaving the rear portion on the running line. The rear portion had inadequate brake power and ran back down the gradient, colliding with a following train. At the time it was the worst rail disaster in Europe, and it remains the fourth worst in the United Kingdom. Seventy-eight people were killed and 260 injured, most of them children.
1916 – The Ulster Unionist Council agrees to the immediate implementation of Home Rule if six Ulster counties are temporarily excluded.
1920 – One RIC policeman was killed and one wounded in an IRA ambush at Clonee Wood, County Cork.
1921 – Three RIC men were shot by the IRA on the Falls Road in Belfast. One of them died. Uniformed RIC/Black & Tans including DI Nixon arrested and murdered three innocent Catholic men in north Belfast. Over the following two days, loyalist gunmen killed 6 more Catholics and the IRA assassinated three Protestants in the city.
1922 – In Windsor Castle, King George V receives the colours of the six Irish regiments that are to be disbanded – the Royal Irish Regiment, the Connaught Rangers, the South Irish Horse, the Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment, the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
1924 – Kevin O’Kelly, journalist and broadcaster, is born.
1945 – Birth in Newry, Co. Down of Pat Jennings, goalkeeper with Newry Town, Watford, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Northern Ireland.
1954 – The IRA makes an audacious raid on Gough military barracks in Armagh; it marks the re-awakening of IRA activity in Northern Ireland and a re-arming that leads eventually to the 1956-62 campaign.
1960 – Because of graphic sexual content and frank treatment of women’s attitudes toward sexuality, Edna O’Brien’s first novel, The Country Girls is banned in Ireland; six of her subsequent works meet the same fate.
1961 – Dublin goes mad as Princess Grace of Monaco and husband Prince Ranier visit Ireland on a state visit. As many as 30,000 people turned out to catch a glimpse of the fairytale princess.
1963 – Death of Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Browne Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope who was born in Rathmines, Dublin in 1883. Cunningham commanded a destroyer during WWI and was Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet during WWII playing major roles in the invasion of Africa and Sicily. His importance to the Allied cause is evidenced by his attendance at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences with Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.
1973 – Coleraine bombings: six Protestant civilians were killed and 33 wounded by a PIRA car bomb in Coleraine, County Derry. The warning given before the explosion had been inadequate.
1988 – At the European Cup in Stuttgart, Ireland beats England in its first ever international football final.
1998 – Thousands of people from all over the country take over the celebrated ‘Fields of Athenry’ in Co. Galway for one of the country’s premier rural events, Tomorrow’s Farm and Rural Enterprise, organised by Teagasc and sponsored by FBD; it is the biggest event ever held in the west and is geared to help farmers and rural dwellers confront the challenges of the next decade.
1999 – Tuam, Co. Galway celebrates its first triple ordination since the early 1980s at the Cathedral of the Assumption.
2000 – Deputy First Minister Séamus Mallon welcomes the Prince of Wales to Armagh; Prince Charles is in the north to officially open the Armagh Theatre and Arts Centre in Market Square.
2003 – Senator Enda Kenny is chosen as Fine Gael’s first spokesman on Dublin; the appointment comes on foot of an internal party report which highlights the lack of any government figure tasked with looking after Dublin’s interests.
2003 – Legendary Oscar-winning actor, Gregory Peck, passes away at his home in Los Angeles.
2003 – Taiwanese athletes are cleared to take part in the Special Olympics despite the country’s ongoing SARS-infected status.
Image | Muckross Head, Co Donegal | Fiachra Mangan Photography
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