In the liturgical calendar, 4 June is the feast day of St. Cronan the Tanner, a disciple of St. Kevin of Glendalough. It is also the feast day of St. Berriona, an Irish woman “who lived a holy life in Cornwall”.
1487 – Thomas FitzGerald, Kildare’s brother, accompanies Simnel’s army of German mercenaries and some Irishmen to England on this date.
1651 – Siege of Limerick: Ireton, Oliver Cromwell’s son-in-law, lays siege to Limerick city. By October, Limerick is in Ireton’s hands. Ireton dies of the plague shortly afterwards.
1731 – Allegedly, the date when the robbery of the Golden Lyon’s cargo takes place at Ballyheige Co. Kerry. Owned by the Danish East India Company, the ship had become stranded near Ballyheige, Co Kerry. Its valuable cargo is moved into a house and guarded by troops, but ‘About twelve or one in the night a number of men broke into the house at Ballyheige where the money chests were kept, wounded three of the Danes and carried it off.’ Eventually, about ten of the robbers are apprehended and charged, and approximately £7,524 2s is recovered.
1798 – In Co Wexford, Government troops march south out of Gorey. Rebels from Carrigrew move north, they attack and defeat Government forces at Tubberneering. Government forces withdraw north. Rebels occupy Gorey.
1798 – Lord Edward Fitzgerald dies at Newgate prison from wounds sustained in the course of his arrest.
1820 – Henry Grattan, the moving force behind the Irish Parliament at College Green before it was dissolved by the Act of Union, dies and is buried – against his wishes – in Westminster Abbey.
1864 – Neilí Ni Bhriain, Irish Gaelic League activist, is born.
1886 – Months of serious rioting begin in Belfast on this date. The massive 1886 riot in Belfast, which broke out in the context of Protestant mobilisation in a close seat in anticipation of an imminent general election, was therefore very different from the 1864 riot. Catholics stayed in their houses throughout the riots, which were largely a battle of Protestants against the police (371 of whom were injured) and the army. Militant Protestants complained bitterly in the aftermath of the riots about the fact that the force had protected Catholics, and they demanded a return to the pre-1865 system in which there was a separate Belfast police system under local (Protestant) control.
1909 – Charlotte Grace O’Brien, Irish social reformer dies.
1909 – Robert Dudley Edwards, historian, is born in Dublin.
1921 – 4-14: Around 800 British troops swept the Macroom area, of Co Cork.
1952 – Ciaran Fitzgerald, rugby player, is born in Galway.
1956 – Birth of Gerard “Gerry” Ryan, was an Irish presenter of radio and television employed by RTÉ. He presented The Gerry Ryan Show on radio station RTÉ 2fm each weekday morning from 1988 until his death (30 April 2010).
1957 – John Treacy, athlete, is born in Villierstown, Co Waterford.
1978 – Belfast flute player, James Galway, reaches no. 10 in the UK charts with Annie’s Song.
1980 – John Tunley, Protestant Irish nationalist, is assassinated.
1984 – President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, addresses joint session of Houses of the Oireachtas in Dublin.
1998 – A collection of 15 documents, one from George Yeats, the other 14 hand-written missives signed by WB Yeats is sold by fine art auctioneers Christie’s for over £5,500; a second collection of 12 letters, including eight signed by WB Yeats, and one by Ezra Pound sells for £5,585.
1998 – Amid strict security, His Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent makes a courtesy visit to Lifeboat Stations in Cork and Kerry in his role as President of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
1999 – Around 4,000 jobs are threatened in the Irish transport sector, support services and manufacturing industry after defeat is conceded in the fight to save duty free sales.
2001 – It is announced that a previously unknown and heavily re-worked draft of one of the closing chapters of James Joyce’s epic novel, Ulysses, is set to fetch up to £1.2 million at auction in London next month.
Photo: Celtic Cross gravestones in the ruins of Derrynane Abbey, Caherdaniel, Co Kerry