Today in Irish History – 18th June:

1264 – The Parliament of Ireland meets at Castledermot in County Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature.

1329 – The Bishop of Ossory is charged with fomenting feuds among the magnates; he flees to England and then, when summoned before the king, he flees to Rome. The king (Edward III, aged seventeen) warns the pope against him.
1769 – Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, politician and administrator, is born in Dublin.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: In Leinster, the Rebels are defeated at Ovidstown, near Kilcock; in Wexford, Rebels move back to Kilcavan hill. Government offensive begins; Rebels at Kilcavan are in a strong position. Government advance is stalled; Rebels withdraw from Kilcavan. Moore and Johnston move out of New Ross. General Needham moves out of Arklow; Loftus moves out of Carnew. By evening, Moore is in Foulkesmill, Needham is in Gorey and Loftus is in Craanford. Rebels southern division retreats to Wexford. Rebels northern division camps in Camolin.

1815 – Battle of Waterloo, when British forces, under the command of the Duke of Wellington, a Dubliner, defeat Napoleon’s forces. The Iron Duke wasn’t the only Irish presence on the day — Napoleon’s horse Marengo was reared in Co. Wexford, and the Duke of Wellington’s mount was from Co. Cork.

1831 – In the ‘tithe war’, yeomen kill up to 14 people at Newtownbarry, Co. Wexford.

1859 – Birth of artist, Walter Osborne in Dublin. His superb images of young girls at play are still cherished by the National Gallery of Ireland: The Dolls School, The House Builders, and other examples of his work are also housed there. From the evidence of the few canvases from his last years, Osborne may be the only Irish artist who could justifiably be called ‘an Irish Impressionist’.

1864 – Death of William Smith O’Brien, leading member of the literary-political Young Ireland movement.

1901 – Playwright, Denis Johnston is born in Dublin. His plays include The Old Lady Says ‘No’; The Moon in the Yellow River; The Bride for the Unicorn and Strange Occurrence on Ireland’s Eye. He also published a biography, In Search of Swift, and two autobiographical volumes, Nine Rivers from Jordan and The Brazen Horn.

1919 – Dáil established the National Arbitration Courts.

1921 – Coolbawn Massacre: 36 IRA Volunteers in Kilkenny tried to ambush a British Army convoy, at Coolbawn, between Castlecomer and Athy travelling with a mine. However the British were tipped off by a local woman, Florrie Draper. The British troops crept up on the ambushers and opened fire, killing two and injuring one. Ms Draper’s house is burned as a reprisal.

1921 – Three British officers, dressed in civilian clothes but carrying pistols, were captured near Fethard, Tipperary, by IRA Volunteers under Ernie O’Malley. O’Malley had them shot by firing squad at dawn the next day in reprisal for the execution of captured IRA men by the British.

1922 – Irish general election: The Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin party wins the election with 239,193 votes to 133,864 for Anti-Treaty Sinn Féin. A further 247,226 people voted for other parties, all of whom supported the Treaty (except Unionist Party)

1936 – Fianna Fáil maintains links with the IRA until 1934 and then, on this date, declares them to be an illegal organization.

1945 – Sean T. O’Kelly becomes the first elected President of Ireland.

1946 – Ray Treacy, former Irish International, is born.

1970 – Ian Paisley is elected to Westminster in by-elections.

1971 – Birth of Jason McAteer, International midfielder.

1972 – Twelve of Ireland’s most prominent businessmen are killed in a British Airways crash at Staines (Staines disaster).

1972 – Myles Dillon, Irish scholar of Celtic studies, dies.

1994 – The Republic of Ireland defeat Italy 1-0 in their opening World Cup game at Giants Stadium, New Jersey. The goal was scored by Aston Villa player Ray Houghton.

1994 – Loughinisland massacre – the UVF shot dead six Catholic civilians and wounded five others during a gun attack on a pub in Loughinisland, County Down.

1997 – Death of Julia Clifford, a fiddler and Irish traditional musician, born at Lisheen, Gneeveguilla, County Kerry, part of an area in west Munster known as Sliabh Luachra.

Photo: Lough Erne Resort, Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh

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