Today in Irish History – 17 September:

1711 – John Holwell, surgeon and survivor of ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ is born in Dublin.

1798 – 3000 French troops depart for Ireland from Brest.

1862 – The Irish Brigade suffered over 60% casualties at the Battle of Antietam at an area that came to be known as Bloody Lane. Over 500 Irish Brigade men died in the bloodiest single battle of the American Civil War.

1903 – Frank O’Connor, (pseudonym of Michael O’Donovan), short-story writer and author of poetic translations from Irish is born in Cork.

1913 – In Newry, Edward Carson says that a Provisional Government will be established in Ulster if Home Rule is introduced. In Dublin, labour unrest grows with a march 5,000 through the city.

1920 – Birth of Chaim Herzog, former president of Israel, born in Belfast and educated in Dublin.

1922 – CID Headquarters – Oriel House in Dublin – is stormed and a CID officer is shot dead by Anti-Treaty IRA. There is a fire fight on Mount street bridge as the IRA party makes its getaway. Republican fighter Patrick Mannion is shot in the head by Free State troops as he lies wounded.

1922 – An ambush is mounted on Stephens Green in central Dublin. One civilian is killed in the crossfire. Another civilian is killed during an exchange of fire on Merchant’s Quay in the city centre.

1930 – The Free State is elected to the council of the League of Nations.

1937 – Ten young men, potato-pickers from Achill Island, die when a bothy catches fire on a farm at Kirkintilloch, Scotland.

1959 – Birth of Charles Devenish (Charlie) Lawson (born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh) is a Northern Irish film and television actor best known for playing Jim McDonald in Coronation Street.

1969 – Birth of Ken Doherty (born 17 September 1969) is an Irish professional snooker player. He is the only player ever to have been world amateur (1989) and world professional champion (1997). He was also World Under-21 champion in 1989.

1976 – The founders of the Peace Movement, Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams, are awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

1999 – Interest rates for thousands of home owners tumble as the mortgage war escalates.

2003 – Mrs Harriet O’Donovan Sheehy unveils the new stamp of her late husband Frank O’Connor at St Patrick’s National School, Gardiner’s Hill, Cork.

Photo: Castle Roche, Co. Louth

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