#OTD in Irish History – 17 June:

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Rebels capture Tinahely, Co Wicklow and burn the town. Tinahely is unusual in that there is no Church in the village. Most of the village dates from the early part of the 19th century as it was rebuilt by Lord Fitzwilliam after it was burnt during the 1798 rebellion. The Fiztwilliam family lived in nearby Coolattin House. The Coollattin estate once comprised 88,000 acres, had 20,000 tenants and occupied almost a quarter of Co Wicklow.

1800 – Birth of William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse; astronomer and telescope constructor, in York.

1845 – Author and poet, Emily Lawless, is born in Lyons Castle, Co Kildare.

1859 – Birth of impressionist painter, Walter Frederick Osborne, in Dublin. Most of his paintings featured women, children, and the elderly as well as rural scenes.

1867 – Birth of John Gregg, publisher and inventor of the Gregg shorthand system, in Rockcorry, Co Monaghan.

1899 – Birth of Denis O’Brien in Dublin, often called ‘Dinny O’Brien’. As a 17-year-old, he fought in the 1916 Easter Rising with the Marrowbone Lane Garrison of the Irish Volunteers. He was also a veteran of the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. He joined the Garda Síochána in 1933 and was killed by the Anti-Treaty IRA.

1903 – An elephant named Sita kills her keeper tending her sore foot in Dublin Zoo. She was later put down by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

1921 – Ballyhaunis RIC Barracks attacked.

1922 – In revenge for the killing of two local Catholics and the sexual assault of a Catholic woman, Frank Aiken’s IRA unit attacked a series of Protestant owned farms in Altnaviegh, south Armagh, killing six Protestant civilians.

1957 – Birth of Philip Chevron, an Irish singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is most widely known as guitarist for the Shane MacGowan led punk/folk rock band, The Pogues.

1959 – Éamon de Valera becomes President of Ireland.

1965 – Birth of international ultra runner and professional poker player, Dara O’Kearney, in Ennis, Co Clare. He is the son of Irish language activist and writer Sean Ua Cearnaigh, and nephew of Irish politician Chris Flood. He won the 2005 Tresco marathon, the 2006 New York Road Runners 60K ultra marathon, the 2007 Schinnen 50K, the 2008 Brno Indoor 6 hour race, and was the 2007 Irish 24 hour running champion. In 2015, O’Kearney won the Mini Irish Open, and finished second in event 45 of the WSOP.

1974 – Birth of singer, Brian Dunphy, in Dublin. A well-known performer and member of the Irish folk band The High Kings and son of the late famous show band singer Sean Dunphy, who represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967.

1974 – The Provisional IRA bombed the Houses of Parliament in London, injuring 11 people and causing extensive damage.

1978 – The PIRA killed an RUC officer and kidnapped another near Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. The following day, loyalist paramilitaries kidnapped a Catholic priest and vowed to hold him hostage until the RUC officer was freed. However, they released the priest shortly thereafter. In December 1978 the kidnappers were charged both for the kidnapping and for the murder of a Catholic shopkeeper.

2008 – More than 1200 people bare all at Blarney Castle in Cork for a naked photo shoot by the US photographer Spencer Tunick. “Dare to Bare” is part of the Cork Midsummer Festival and proves a stunning success with the turnout taking even the most optimistic of the organisers aback.

Image | The Islands of Cloughglass and Inishinny, Burtenport, Co Donegal | Gareth Wray Photography

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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.