#OTD in Irish History – 16 June:

In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St. Colman McRoi, a sixth century abbot in Dublin.

1721 – The following incident is reported in the state papers: during a trial in the court of King’s Bench, Dublin, on this date, ‘a neighbouring chimney took fire, blew the smoke into the court and gave a panick to all the people who crowded to get out. Many were actually killed on the spot, and many desperately wounded. Among the first Mr John Ormsby, Member of Parliament and a wealthy man of above £1,800 p.ann., was killed. Judge Caulfeild got half in and half out of a window, but could not pass through, lost his wig and at last was forced back. Lord Chief Justice Whitshed kept his place and temper till at last the truth was known’.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: British regulars arrive in Dublin; Rebels march to Tinahely, Co Wicklow.

1864 – Tuam, Co Galway born Colonel Patrick Kelly of the Irish Brigade (The Fighting Irish) dies at the Siege of Petersburg while leading the Irish Brigade forward a Confederate position.

1871 – The ‘Westmeath Act’ allows detention without trial for agrarian offenses.

1904 – Today was when James Joyce had his first date with Nora Barnacle; ultimately, it became the date on which everything takes place in his masterpiece, Ulysses.

1920 – The IRA attacked the RIC barracks at Cookstown, County Tyrone. IRA man Patrick Loughrane was killed.

1921 – An IRA ambush was mounted at Rathcoole, near Banteer, County Cork. Landmines were exploded under three lorries, killing two Auxiliaries and wounding four.

1921 – RIC Constable was kidnapped and killed.

1922 – A free State soldier, William Murphy, is killed.

1922 – General election in Irish Free State: large majority to pro-Treaty Sinn Féin.

1924 – Friends send Joyce, who is in hospital, a bouquet of white and blue hydrangeas. He writes in his notebook: “Today 16 of June 1924 twenty years after. Will anybody remember this date?”

1924 – The first Irish soccer international. A team drawn from the newly formed Football Association of Ireland meets the United States in Dublin.

1929 – According to David Norris, a Dublin senator and a leading Joyce scholar, the first official celebration of Bloomsday is held on its twenty-fifth anniversary. That night, Joyce is the guest of honour at a dinner party held at Les Vaux de Cernay, a village near Versailles. After dinner, Joyce and his protege, the Nobel Prize-winning writer, Samuel Beckett, “get pretty tight,” Norris says. On the way home, frustrated by the frequency of requests, Joyce and Beckett are making for pit stops, the carriage driver decides not to wait for Joyce’s drinking buddy to return from the pissoir, and leaves Beckett “ingloriously abandoned on the outskirts of Paris”.

1950 – Birth of Garrick (Garry) Roberts, the former lead guitarist with the Irish band, The Boomtown Rats, which came into being in 1976. He and Johnnie Fingers (Moylett) had decided to put a band together and, between them, they recruited the other four members, Briquette, Cott, Crowe and Geldof.

1954 – On the 50th anniversary of the first Bloomsday, Flann O’Brien has a hand in producing a major celebration in Dublin.

1945 – Birth of Dr. Ken Egan, former president of the IMO (Irish Medical Organisation).

1994 – The INLA shot dead three UVF volunteers in a gun attack on Shankill Road, Belfast.

2006 – The State funeral of the former Taoiseach, Charles Haughey, takes place in Dublin.




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