Today in Irish History – 13 July:

1344 – Ralph de Ufford arrives in Ireland as justiciar with a small English army and investigates the situation in Cork.

1809 – Founding of the Dublin Harp Society.

1815 – Birth of John Gray in Co Mayo. He was a physician, surgeon, newspaper proprietor, journalist and politician. Gray was active both in municipal and national government for much of his life, and had nationalist ideals – which he expressed as owner of the Freeman’s Journal, chairman of the Dublin Corporation Water Works Committee between 1863 and 1875, and MP in the House of Commons for Kilkenny city from 1865 until his death.

1825 – The Catholic Association, dissolved in accordance with the Unlawful Societies Act on 9 March, is reconstituted on 13 July.

1827 – Birth of Hugh O’Brien. He was the mayor of Boston, from 1884-1888. O’Brien is notable as Boston’s first Irish mayor; O’Brien was born in Ireland; immigrating in the early 1830s. O’Brien was the editor of the Shipping and Commercial List; he served as a Boston alderman, from 1875-83.

1863 – Large numbers of Irish immigrants are involved in Draft Riots in New York.

1886 – Edward J. Flanagan, founder of Boys Town is born in Ballymoe, Co Roscommon. He was a true friend to children in need who stated “There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.” The website says “On December 12, 1917, Father Flanagan opened his first Boys’ Home in a run-down Victorian mansion in downtown Omaha. In 1921, the Boys’ Home moved to Overlook Farm, its present location near 139th and West Dodge Road. Father Flanagan and Boys Town became internationally known with the help of the 1938 movie, “Boys Town.” He became an acknowledged expert in the field of child care, and toured the United States discussing his views on juvenile delinquency.” Flanagan’s great work was portrayed (Hollywood style) in Boys Town starring Spencer Tracy who was of Irish extraction.

1920 – Two RIC men were killed on Conor Pass in Dingle, Co Kerry.

1922 – Republicans take the Free State outpost, the Munster Tavern, in Limerick, but are driven back by armoured cars.

1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA Mayo unit ambushes Pro-Treaty men at Rockwood, Co Sligo, killing five, wounding four and capturing two armoured cars. They then occupy Collooney.

1922 – One Free State soldier is killed and one fatally wounded in an ambush in Stranarlor, Donegal.

1922 – A Free State column of 16 is ambushed, taken prisoner and disarmed in Co Clare.

1972 – A series of gun-battles and shootings across Belfast. The IRA shot dead three British Army soldiers, and the British Army shot dead two civilians and a IRA volunteer.

1975 – One of the most modern distilleries in existence opened in Midleton, Co Cork, with state-of-the-art fibre-optic communications that tell staff when the booze is ready. It produces the world’s favourite Irish whiskey, Jameson, and the old, retired section of the distillery is a historic alcoholic marvel, as well. Now a booze museum, it boasts the world’s largest pot still – a colossal copper vessel with a capacity of 30,796 gallons. That’s a lot of hangovers!

1981 – Martin Hurson, Irish political prisoner, dies on hunger strike.

1983 – The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded a land mine in Tyrone killing four members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).

1983 – The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) shot dead two Catholic civilians in Co Armagh.

1983 – The House of Commons rejected a motion calling for the reintroduction of capital punishment in the north of Ireland.

1985 – Live Aid, organised primarily by Dublin born Bob Geldof is held in London and Philadelphia in aid of Ethiopian famine relief. Geldof was lead singer with Irish punk band The Boomtown Rats. Geldof became an outspoken voice for third world countries and bullied, cajoled, persuaded some of the world’s largest bands to donate their services for huge musical events. Bands that played London include U2, Queen, the Who and Dire Straits. Philadelphia performers included the Beach Boys, Judas Priest, Tom Petty.

1998 – The second stage of the Tour de France (taking place for the first time in Ireland) ends in Cork City. A crowd of between 40,000 and 50,000 turn out to see the history-making event.

2015 – Death of Rock keyboardist, Eric Erixon. The Belfast native played keyboard and harmonica in bands fronted by two of Ireland’s greatest music stars – Van Morrison in Them and the late Phil Lynott in Thin Lizzy. Although he was one of the original line-up in both bands, he left before they enjoyed success and fame.

Aerial photo of Horseshoe Bay Sherkin, Co Cork, photo credit: Dennis Horgan

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