Today in Irish History – 6 April:

1830 – James Augustine Healy, the first black Roman Catholic bishop in America, was born to an Irish planter and a slave on a plantation near Macon, Georgia.

1889 – Actor Barry Macollum is born.

1895 – Oscar Wilde is arrested (in Cadogan Hotel, London) after losing a libel case against the John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry.

1919 – Limerick city IRA members attempted to free a prisoner from the Limerick prison workhouse. Two RIC men and the prisoner were killed in the ensuing fire fight.

1922 – Six ex-RIC men were shot dead in counties Mayo, Clare and Kerry.

1922 – Two USC men were shot dead in counties Tyrone and Armagh.

1923 – In Kerry, Free State troops mount an operation aimed at rescuing Hannafin, an informer held by the Anti-Treaty IRA. They raid a village at Derrynafeana near Carrauntoohil, where he is being held. Three Anti-Treaty fighters are killed in a resulting skirmish and two more captured. The National Army claims a total of nine Anti-Treaty fighters were killed. Most of the IRA column gets away into the mountains. Hannifin is freed. He had previously been made to dig his own grave prior to his imminent execution.

1926 – Birth in Armagh of Ian Paisley, clergyman and Unionist politician.

1947 – Death of Henry Ford, automobile production pioneer and son of Irish immigrants.

1954 – The Flags and Emblems Act legislates against interference with the Union Jack, effectively prohibiting display of the tricolour in Northern Ireland.

1957 – Kerry GAA footballer Seanie Walsh is born. He played football with his local club Kerins O’Rahilly’s and was a member of the Kerry senior inter-county team from 1976 until 1987, during which he won seven All-Ireland titles.

1964 – Birth of Nick Popplewell, former rugby international.

1965 – Former international footballer Norman Whiteside is born.

1971 – Birth of Robin Seymour in Co Wicklow. He is a professional Mountain bike racer and cyclo cross racer who rides for the WORC (Wicklow Off Road Club) team. Seymour is a former motorbike racer who turned to cycling. Seymour has dominated Mountain biking and cyclo-cross in Ireland and has been Irish Mountain bike champion a total of 20 times, including 15 times consecutively between 1993 and 2008 and 18 times the Irish cyclo-cross champion.

1982 – James Prior launches ‘rolling devolution’ for the north of Ireland.

1984 – Death of Jimmy Kennedy. He was an Irish songwriter, predominantly a lyricist, putting words to existing music such as “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” and “My Prayer”, or co-writing with the composers Michael Carr, Wilhelm Grosz (aka Hugh Williams) and Nat Simon amongst others.

1990 – Death of Peter Doherty, one of the finest footballers to play for Northern Ireland.

1998 – Hopes of an historic peace deal are put at “less than 50%” as the multi-party talks deadline looms.

1998 – Telecom Eireann launches a commemorative 50 unit Call Card to mark the 25th anniversary of the University of Limerick.

2000 – Gregory Peck receives an honorary Doctor of Literature from the National University of Ireland in recognition of his contribution to the art of film.

2000 – British soldiers and police search the perimeter fence of Ebrington Army Base in Derry after a bomb explodes inside the base.

2001 – The Government pledges to give the GAA £60 million over the next three years in return for their commitment to staging matches — including All Ireland semi finals — in the new National Stadium. This deal effectively undermines the argument to open up Croke Park for rugby and soccer matches.

2001 – The Parades Commission agrees to allow an Apprentice Boys’ march along Belfast’s flashpoint Ormeau Road on Easter Monday.

2002 – Galway man, Richard Donovan becomes the first person in history to run a marathon at both the North and South Pole. Between 30 January – 5 February 2009, he set a world record for running seven marathons, on seven different continents, in fewer than seven days. Starting 1 February 2012 he improved on this by completing the 7 on 7 in under 120 hours or in less than five days. Donovan has won the Antarctic Ice Marathon, the Inca Trail Marathon, the Everest Challenge Marathon, the Antarctic 100 km and the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race. He ran from San Francisco to New York in May–September 2015; the Trans-Antarctica run followed later that year. In 2008 he ran the length of Ireland from Mizen Head to Malin Head.

Photo: Lickbevune Castle, County Kerry, Photo credit: Hartney Photographics

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