Today in Irish History – 29 June:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Saint Peter and Paul.

1315 – Edward de Bruce inaugurated as High King of Ireland.

1771 – Birth of Edward Newell, United Irishman and informer, in Downpatrick, Co Down.

1820 – The Dublin Society becomes the Royal Dublin Society.

1820 – Robert Jocelyn, 2nd Earl Roden, former MP for Dundalk and a leader of the Orange Order, is alleged to have led an attack on Catholic homes in Dundalk. He is struck off the Commission of the Peace and ordered to be brought to trial, but flees to Edinburgh, where he dies suddenly on this date.

1848 – Paul Boyton was born in Rathangan, Co Kildare. Best known as the Fearless Frogman, he was a showman and adventurer some credit as having spurred worldwide interest in water sports as a hobby, particularly open-water swimming, water stunts that captivated the world, including crossing the English Channel in a novel rubber suit that functioned similarly to a kayak.

1848 – A gunfight takes place between Young Ireland Rebels and police at Widow McCormack’s house in Ballingarry, Co Tipperary.

1915 – Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, Fenian leader, dies in the United States. His body was returned to Ireland at the insistence of the Irish nationalists and a state funeral was held. He was a Fenian leader and prominent member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. His life as a Fenian is well documented but he is perhaps known best in death for the graveside oration given at his funeral by Pádraig Pearse.

1916 – Sir Roger Casement, Irish Nationalist and British diplomat is sentenced to death for his part in the Easter Rising.

1919 – Éamon de Valera makes his first major presentation in the United States at Boston’s Fenway Park to a huge audience.

1920 – An IRA ambush in Ballina, north Co Mayo left One RIC man killed and one wounded.

1920 – In response to Anglo-Irish anxiety concerning their role in a future Ireland, the Dáil Éireann issues a resolution endeavoring to stem land-grabbing and to shift focus to clearing out the foreign invader.

1922 – British give Michael Collins two more 18 pounders to increase the bombardment of the Four Courts. Free State troops storm the eastern buildings of the complex, losing 3 dead and 14 wounded.

1922 – Oscar Traynor leads Anti-Treaty members of the IRA’s 1st Dublin Brigade to occupy O’Connell Street in order to help the Four Courts garrison. His men also take up positions in York Street, South Circular Road, Capel Street, Parnell Square and Dolphin’s Barn.

1922 – Skirmish in Listowel, Co Kerry, Free State troops surrender their arms to Republicans.

1922 – Free State troops surround republican fighters at Finner’s camp, Donegal. After a two-hour gun battle, two anti-Treatyites are killed and 50 surrender. Elsewhere in Donegal another 200 republicans are taken prisoner

1924 – Joss Lynam, mountaineer, hillwalker, orienteer, writer and sports administrator is born in London. He wrote and edited many guide books to walking and climbing in Ireland. He also helped create and was editor of The Mountain Log (the journal of Mountaineering Ireland).

1944 – Seán Doherty, Fianna Fáil politician, is born in Co Roscommon.

1985 – Máire Ni Scolai, Irish language singer, dies.

1985 – U2 play Croke Park for the first time as part of their Unforgettable Fire tour. Support bands included REM.

1969 – Ireland enacts exemption from income tax for creators of works of ‘cultural or artistic merit’.

1998 – Northern Ireland braces braced violent conflict after pirate Orangemen vow not to recognise a Parades Commission order banning them from marching along the nationalist Garvaghy Road in Portadown. The Parades Commission is a quasi-judicial non-departmental public body responsible for placing restrictions on or banning outright any parades in Northern Ireland it deems contentious or offensive.

1999 – The political parties in the North inch their way towards a deadlock-breaking peace deal to rescue the Good Friday Agreement based on Sinn Féin’s acceptance of a timetable for arms decommissioning.

2000 – The Western Health Board launches a campaign to reduce smoking in pubs.

2013 – Death of footballer, Peter Joseph Fitzgerald. A centre forward Fitzgerald was one of the famous six Waterford brothers who played for the Blues. Tommy, Jack, Ned, Denny and Paul were the others. Along with Alfie Hale he made a scoring League of Ireland debut at Kilcohan Park on St Patrick’s Day 1957 in a 3-1 win over Bohemians. His brother Jack setting up his goal which Peter finished with a grand header. He also played five times for the Republic of Ireland national football team, scoring twice in his second appearance, against Norway. His brother Jack scored 130 League of Ireland goals and his father Michael was Chairman of Waterford.

Photo: Hill of Tara, Co Meath

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