Today in Irish History – 25 May:

1315 – Edward Bruce (brother of Robert Bruce, king of Scots), having been invited by some Gaelic chiefs, leads an expedition to Ireland with the aim of conquering it, creating a kingdom of Ireland and driving out the Norman-Irish settlers. He lands at Larne on this date and is proclaimed king of Ireland.

1705 – On this date, May Eustace Sherlock, gentleman, petitions the Commons for relief from ‘the great oppressions he lies under, by the undue practices and power of Maurice Annesley, a Justice of the Peace’. Annesley is an MP. The ensuing complicated legal case will eventually result in the passing by the British parliament of the 1720 Declaratory Act confirming the British House of Lords as the final Court of Appeal for Irish cases.

1745 – Lord John Allen (3rd Viscount Allen), former MP for Carysfort, dies of a fever caused from cuts to his fingers inflicted by the sword of a dragoon.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Battle of Carlow begins; executions of suspected rebels at Carnew and at Dunlavin Green take place.

1830 – As a result of growing Unitarianism the General Synod reinforces subscription. Henry Montgomery, the leading Unitarian protagonist, leads a secession of Non-subscribers from the General Synod which establishes the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster. The Remonstrant Synod joins with the earlier Presbytery of Antrim in 1910 to form the Non-subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland.

1842 – Birth on Valentia Island, Co Kerry, of Helen Blackburn, early leader of the movement for the emancipation of women.

1885 – Gerald Boland, nationalist politician, is born in Manchester. He moved to Dublin with his family at a young age and became a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He fought under Thomas MacDonagh at Jacob’s Mill during the 1916 Easter Rising. Following the official surrender, Boland was arrested and interned at Frongoch in Wales where he came into contact with revolutionary leaders, including his brother Harry’s friend Michael Collins.

1870 – Irish Fenians raid Eccles Hill, Québec.

1895 – Oscar Wilde is sentenced to two years imprisonment for offences “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons”.

1900 – John Hunt, expert on mediaeval art, is born in Limerick.

1903 – Ewart Milne, poet, is born in Dublin.

1912 – First issue of the weekly suffrage magazine, Irish Citizen, appears.

1914 – The House of Commons of the United Kingdom passes the Home Rule Act for devolution in Ireland for the third time.

1921 – Dublin IRA units occupied and burned the Custom House, centre of local government in Ireland in Dublin city centre. The building and the IRA units were quickly surrounded by first two companies of Auxiliaries and then several hundred more British Army troops. Five IRA volunteers and three civilians were killed and about eighty Volunteers were captured. Four Auxiliaries were wounded in the firing. The operation was a publicity coup but a military disaster for the Dublin IRA.

1921 – Attacks on Dundrum RIC barracks, Cabinteely RIC barracks (twice), Enniskerry RIC barracks, Military patrol on the Bray road at Stillorgan, Naval base and wireless station Dun Laoghaire, Military lorry, Alma Road, Monkstown.These attacks were carried out by IRA Volunteers from the 6th Battalion on orders from Dublin Brigade HQ to relieve pressure on the city Battalions as a result of the Customs House attack.

1956 – Birth of Kevin Lynch, an Irish Republican hunger striker and member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) from Park near Dungiven, County Derry. The Dungiven hurling team was renamed Kevin Lynch’s Hurling Club in his honour after his death.

1967 – Celtic Football Club become the first Scottish and northern European team to win the European Cup, beating Inter 2-1 in the Estádio Nacional, in Lisbon, Portugal.

1968 – Unicorn by the Irish Rovers makes it to #7 in the UK charts.

1976 – Birth of Cillian Murphy, an Irish film and theatre actor. He is often noted by critics for his chameleonic performances in diverse roles and distinctive blue eyes.

1993 – Dawson Stelfox becomes the first Irishman to conquer Everest.

1995 – Last editions of the Irish Press and Evening Press newspapers.

2000 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is in Poland for an official two-day visit

2003 – Brendan McCann, one of the most acclaimed photographers in Northern Ireland’s history dies in Belfast Mater Hospital, aged 75. In a career spanning 50 years, he covers some of the darkest hours of the Troubles.

2015 – Death of Broadcaster Bill O’Herlihy. The Cork man retired from RTÉ at the end of the 2014 World Cup, after a 49-year broadcasting career.

Photo: Saul Abbey is one mile from Downpatrick, Co Down

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