Today in Irish History – 2 June:

1567 – The Ulster chieftain, Shane O’Neill, takes refuge with the MacDonnells, and is murdered by them at Cushendun, Co Antrim. He is succeeded by Turlough Luineach O’Neill.

1705 – The town of Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh is virtually destroyed by an accidental fire. One hundred and fourteen families and their servants suffer severe losses, and the barracks of her Majesty (Queen Anne) sustains great damage, the total loss being computed at 7,911 pound 13 s. 4d. A memorial is presented to the Lord Lieutenant from the Provost and Corporation, asking for the benefit of a full collection from house to house throughout the Kingdom, and in all Cathedrals and Parish Churches. It sets forth that “they never in the late reign nor in this applied to their Majesties for any relief or reward for their services and sufferings (in 1641 and 1688-90) when they had to maintain many thousands of poor stript Protestants who came for protection. But now being poor, disconsolate and entirely ruined, so that they have neither house to go into, beds to lie on, nor wherewithal to buy bread, may it please your Grace to grant your Petitioners the benefit of a full collection.”

1772 – An Act of Parliament allows Catholics to lease bogland.

1774 – An act of the Irish parliament enables Catholics to testify their allegiance to the king.

1861 – A lesser know Irish Brigade of the Civil War,The 6th Louisiana Infantry is organised at Camp Moore on 2 June, 1861, and mustered into Confederate service on 4 June, 1861. At a time when an estimated 20,000 Irish lived in New Orleans, it is not surprising that the 6th Louisiana would comprise a high percentage of Irish soldiers. The infantry was commanded by Irish born Colonel Henry B. Strong who was killed at Sharpsburg September 17 1862.

1866 – Renegade Irish Fenians surrender to US forces.

1891 – A proposal for the penalty kick is accepted by the Football Association. It is the brainchild of Armagh’s William McCrum and is championed by his colleague in the Irish Association, Jack Reid.

1920 – Birth of Michael James O’Hehir, also known as Mícheál Ó hEithir, an Irish sports commentator and journalist. He is credited with being the “Voice of the Gaelic Athletic Association”.

1921 – Carrowkennedy Ambush, Co Mayo: Michael Kilroy and the IRA’s West Mayo Flying Column ambushed a convoy of RIC and Black and Tans. Seven policemen were killed and six were wounded, two of them fatally. The surviving seventeen police surrendered and the IRA seized a large quantity of arms. Many of the local people went into hiding to avoid the retribution of the Black and Tans. The Irish fighters went on the run throughout the region sheltering in safe houses.

1949 – The Ireland Act is passed in Westminster, declaring the special relationship of Irish citizens to the United Kingdom and guaranteeing Northern Ireland’s status within the UK.

1954 – Bovine TB Eradication Scheme begins.

1954 – John A. Costello becomes Taoiseach leading a coalition government of Fine Gael and Labour parties. The coalition would remain in power until March 1957.

1956 – Joan Littlewood’s production of Brendan Behan’s play The Quare Fella opens at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, gaining Behan international recognition for the first time.

1986 – Katie Taylor is born in Bray, Co Wicklow. Taylor is a four time world boxing champion and won Olympic Gold in London at Lightweight in 2012.

1994 – Twenty-nine people, including ten senior RUC officers, died during the 1994 Scotland RAF Chinook crash at Mull of Kintyre, Scotland. They were travelling from Belfast to a security conference in Inverness.

2001 – A record 75 coastal centres are awarded blue flags, but five top beaches, including Killiney and Tramore, lose the prestigious eco-symbol. Non-compliance with water quality and bathing water requirements also cost Keem beach in Mayo, Bray beach in Wicklow, and Lough Ennell their blue flags.

2002 – It is announced that Progressive Democrats president Michael McDowell is to be appointed justice minister in the coalition cabinet.

2002 – The World Cup football squad is officially welcomed to their new training camp in Chiba city in the coastal surburbs of southern Tokyo with a reception in a specially created Irish Village in the grounds of the team hotel.

2002 – A labour court recommendation to resolve the pilots’ dispute is accepted by Aer Lingus management but the national carrier’s fleet will remain grounded, causing continued disruption for thousands of passengers.

Photo: “The Gaelic Chieftain” at Curlew Pass sculpture by Maurice Harron, unveiled in 1999, Photography by Gareth McCormack

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