Today in Irish History – 6 March:

1791 – John MacHale, Archbishop of Tuam; nationalist campaigner and writer, is born in Tirawley, Co Mayo.

1831 – Philip Sheridan, general on Federal side in American Civil War and Commander-in-Chief of the US army, is born in Killinkere, Co Cavan.

1836 – An estimated 200 men die at the Battle of the Alamo including Davy Crockett who was of Irish extraction. At least ten of the defenders were actually Irish-born fighters. Some of the Irish who died include Samuel E. Burns (b. 1810), Andrew Duvalt (b. 1804) who immigrated to Texas by way of Missouri and settled in Gonzales. He was a plasterer by trade. James McGee, James Rusk, Burke Tranmel (b. 1810), Sergeant William B. Ward (b. 1806). When the Mexican army appeared on 23 February 1836, Ward was seen manning the artillery position at the Alamo’s main gate, while the rest of the garrison retreated into the Alamo.

1861 – Birth of Patrick Joseph McCall in Dublin. He was an Irish poet, known mostly as the author of lyrics for popular ballads: ‘Follow me up to Carlow’, ‘The Boys of Wexford’, ‘Boolavogue’ and ‘Kelly the Boy from Killanne’. The Wexford ballads dealing with the 1798 Rising were put to music by Arthur Warren Darley.

1918 – Death of John Redmond, Chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party.

1921 – The Lord Mayor of Limerick, George Clancy, his predecessor, Michael O’Callaghan, and another prominent nationalist, Joseph O’Donoghue, are killed by policemen in Limerick during curfew hours.

1922 – In Belfast, four people were shot dead (three civilians and one IRA volunteer).

1923 – Five Free State soldiers, including three officers are killed by a booby trap mine while clearing a road in Knocknagoshel, Co Kerry. Another soldier is badly wounded. National Army commander Paddy Daly issues a memorandum that Republican prisoners are to be used to clear mined roads from now on.

1924 – A ‘mutiny’ in the Free State army begins on this date: dissident officers demand the suspension of demobilisation, and discussions on progress towards a republic. Following the ‘unauthorised’ arrest of dissidents, two Government ministers and three senior officers resign and conservative elements take control of Cumann na nGaedheal. The ‘army mutiny’ signals the end of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

1935 – Ronnie Delany, 1500 meter gold medallist in the 1956 Olympic Games, is born in Arklow, Co Wicklow.

1978 – Micheál Mac Liammóir, poet, actor and founder of the Gate Theatre, dies.

1981 – Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him. In order to secure his status as Irish political prisoner he was willing to fast til death, an event that would earn him a place in the annals of Irish history and in the hearts and minds of Irish republicans world wide. See Bobby Sands Trust for today’s entry: Bobby Sands Diary

1988 – The Gibraltar Three: three unarmed Provisional Irish Republican Army members, Mairéad Farrell, Danny McCann and Sean Savage are executed by the SAS on the Rock of Gibraltar, referred to as Operation Flavius.

1998 – The jobless trend continues downward and falls to its lowest numbers in seven years.

1998 – Hundreds of Dubliners turn out to pay their last respects to Dermot Morgan as his funeral cortege makes its way to Glasnevin Crematorium.

2000 – Flamboyant journalist Jonathan Philbin Bowman is found dead in his Dublin home. Gardaí investigate the possibility that he may have fallen down the stairs.

2000 – An Bord Pleanála upholds Clare County Council’s decision to refuse planning permissions to proposals by the Minister for the Arts and Heritage, Síle de Valera, to develop visitor facilities at Mullaghmore in the Burren National Park.

2001 – The foot and mouth virus claims another Irish sporting casualty with the announcement that the world cross-country championships is to be switched to Brussels, bringing with it some 1,000 runners from 80 countries who were due to converge in Dublin on 24-25 March.

2001 – Moves to provide nappies for Killarney’s famous jaunting car horses are dropped. Against the advice of the Town Manager, the local urban council bows to the wishes of local jarveys who strongly oppose proposals to include ‘equine sanitary apparatus’ in the jarvey bylaws.

Photo: The Murder Hole, Boyeeghter Bay, Co Donegal, Gareth Wray Photography

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