Today in Irish History – 28 June:

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: General Hunter, who replaced Lake as Commander in Wexford, becomes aware rebellion is not over and begins to re-deploy his troops. He orders General Duff to Bunclody and General Needham to Gorey.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Death of John Henry Colclough. He was arrested with Lord Edward Fitzgerald on 27 May 1798 and taken to Wexford gaol. From there he was sent with Fitzgerald to parley with the rebels at Vinegar Hill, returning alone to report negotiations had failed. He was later, somewhat reluctantly, in the company of the rebels at the Battle of New Ross. After the battle, and the royalists had regained the town, he fled with his wife and Bagenal Harvey to the Greater Saltee Island, from whence they planned to escape to republican France. They were betrayed under torture by a local farmer, arrested, and brought to Wexford town to be court-martialled. Found guilty, they were hanged on Wexford bridge on 28 June 1798, their heads afterwards put on spikes and their bodies thrown into the River Slaney. Colclough’s body was recovered by his supporters during the night and buried in St. Patrick’s burying-ground, Wexford.

1844 – Birth of poet and novelist, John Boyle O’Reilly, in Co Meath. As a youth, he was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, for which crime he was transported to Western Australia. After escaping to the United States, he became a prominent spokesperson for Irish sentiment and culture, through his editorship of the Boston newspaper The Pilot, his prolific writing, and his lecture tours.

1853 – The introduction of income tax in Ireland is proposed for the first time.

1861 – Soldier, police officer and explorer, Robert O’Hara Burke, from Co Galway, dies in Australia. He achieved fame as an Australian explorer. He was the leader of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition, which was the first expedition to cross Australia from south to north, finding a route across the continent from the settled areas of Victoria to the Gulf of Carpentaria. The expedition party was well equipped, but Burke was not experienced in bushcraft. A Royal Commission report conducted upon the failure of the expedition was a censure of Burke’s judgement.

1880 – Ned Kelly the Australian bushranger captured at Glenrowan. Edward “Ned” Kelly was an Irish-Australian bushranger, and, to some, a folk hero for his defiance of the colonial authorities. Kelly was born in Victoria to an Irish father from Tipperary.

1919 – Two British soldiers killed while on patrol by the Irish Republician Army.

1919 – Michael Collins was made president of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB).

1920 – On hearing of British atrocities in Ireland, soldiers of the Connaught Rangers mutiny in protest; three are shot dead; a fourth, Private James Daly, is court-martialled and executed by firing squad. He is the last member of the British army to be executed for mutiny.

1921 – Éamon de Valera responds to Prime Minister Lloyd George’s request for a meeting to solve the Irish crisis and stop bloodshed between Irish freedom fighters and British.

1922 – The Provisional Government of the Irish Free State bombards the Four Courts in Dublin, and the Civil War begins.

1939 – Pan American’s Yankee Clipper lands at Foynes Flying Boat Base and inaugurates first scheduled airmail service.

1963 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy addresses joint session of Houses of the Oireachtas in Dublin.

1973 – Elections are held for the Northern Ireland Assembly, which will lead to power-sharing between unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland for the first time.

1979 – Birth of racing driver, Neil Shanahan in Dublin. He was killed at the age of 19 in a crash on the fifth round of the British Formula Ford Championship at Oulton Park. The incident happened in a three-car collision on the approach to Clay Hill. The Formula Ford championship, which Shanahan was contesting, is one of the most important training grounds for young drivers pursuing a career in motorsport, and the vast majority of current Formula One drivers, including all the Britons currently at the top-level, competed in previous versions of the category. The Neil Shanahan Perpetual Trophy “The Chequered Flag” was commissioned by the Shanahan family, designed and made in silver and slate, the Perpetual Trophy is awarded annually to the Irish Junior Karting Champion.

1985 – While rehearsing for their homecoming show the following day, U2 is forced to stop when they learn their volume is so loud at Croke Park, they have disturbed students taking exams at a school a half-mile away.

1994 – After missing out on UEFA Euro 1992 (despite being unbeaten in qualifying), the Republic of Ireland qualified for the 1994 FIFA World Cup (USA ’94). In their first match, they beat the previous World Cup hosts and 3rd-place finishers Italy 1–0, in their opening game at Giants Stadium just outside New York City; but lost to Mexico 2–1 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida; and they tied with Norway 0–0 at Giants Stadium. With these results, they made it to the second round, eventually losing 2–0 to the Netherlands in Orlando.

1999 – It is announced by Bord Gais that the freeze on gas prices put into effect in 1984 will remain until at least 2003.

2000 – Over budget and deeply in debt, the departure of millennium ship, Jeanie Johnston, is further postponed.

2001 – Following the collapse of the British-based Independent Insurance company, it is predicted that thousands of Irish companies will lose upwards of £160m.

2002 – Bronze Age burial pit is unearthed by students in Longford.

2015 – RTÉ broadcaster Liam Ó Murchú. Born in Cork, Mr Ó Murchú is best remembered as a presenter of programmes including the bilingual variety show Trom agus Éadrom, for which he won a Jacob’s award. Filmed in front of a live studio audience, Trom agus Éadrom sought to integrate the Irish language into the format of a traditional music and chat show.

Photo: The Coast Road, Co Clare © Stair na hÉireann

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