Today in Irish History – 22 July:

1606 – A commission is instituted to remedy defective land titles.

1691 – The Battle of Aughrim was the decisive battle of the Williamite War in Ireland. It was fought between the Jacobites and the forces of William III on 12 July 1691 (old style Julian calendar), equivalent to 22 July new style (Gregorian calendar), near the village of Aughrim, Co Galway. The battle was one of the more bloody recorded fought on Irish soil – over 7,000 people were killed. It meant the effective end of Jacobitism in Ireland, although the city of Limerick held out until the autumn of 1691.

1817 – William Sadler makes the first balloon crossing of the Irish Sea, from Dublin to Anglesey.

1860 – Johanna Butler is born in the Rower, Co Kilkenny. She entered the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary at the age of sixteen in Béziers, France. Popularly known as Mother Butler, Mother Joseph was the founder of Marymount School and College in Tarrytown, New York. On 26 August 1926, she was elected general superior of the order and remained in that position until her death on 26 April 1940.

1866 – Birth of D.J. O’Donoghue, writer, bookseller and librarian. He began his journalistic work by writing for the Dublin papers upon subjects relating to Irish music, art, and literature. A founder-member of the Irish Literary Society in London, he was also vice president of the National Literary Society, Dublin, and the compiler of a biographical dictionary, The Poets of Ireland (1891–93; revised edition, 1912), with entries on 2,000 authors.

1873 – James Cousins, writer, playwright, actor, critic, editor, teacher and poet is born in Belfast. He used several pseudonyms including Mac Oisín and the Hindu name Jayaram. Cousins produced several books of poetry whilst in Ireland as well as acting in the first production of Cathleen Ní Houlihan (under the stage name of H. Sproule) with revolutionary and beauty Maud Gonne in the title role. After a dispute with W.B. Yeats, who objected to ‘too much Cousins’ the Irish National Theatre movement split with two-thirds of the actors and writers siding with Cousins against Yeats.

1902 – Death of Thomas William Croke D.D., the second Catholic Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand (1870-1874) and later Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Co Tipperary. He was important in the Irish nationalist movement and the main Gaelic Athletic Association stadium in Dublin is named Croke Park, in his honour.

1922 – Birth of John Benignus Lyons was born in Co Mayo. He was a leading Irish medical practitioner throughout his life, once described as “one of the foremost Irish medical writers of the twentieth century”.

1933 – The anti-Fianna Fáil Army Comrades Association, which developed into a fascist-inspired group nicknamed the “Blueshirts,” is outlawed.

1999 – Loyalist Volunteer Force rules out any further weapons handover.

2001 – Ranked 25th, Ireland falls below most of Europe in its healthcare.

2007 – Dubliner Padraig Harrington becomes the first Irish golfer to win the British Open in 60 years when he snatches victory from the jaws of defeat at Carnoustie in Scotland. He is the first European golfer to secure a major victory since Paul Laurie on the same course in 1999 and Ireland’s first since Fred Daly in 1947. President McAleese was the first to convey her congratulations to Harrington, while Labour sports spokesman Jack Wall said: “Padraig Harrington’s magnificent victory in the Open without doubt represents one of the greatest days in the history of Irish sport.”

2014 – Death of theatre, film and television director, Louis Lentin. Born in Limerick, in 1933 and worked for over forty years in the arts in Ireland. He graduated from Trinity College, and founded Art Theatre Productions in 1959. RTÉ head of drama Hilton Edwards asked him to work in RTÉ. In 1975, he received a Jacob’s Award for his direction of three television plays broadcast on RTÉ in the previous year: Aleksei Arbuzov’s The Promise, Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage, and Jean Anouilh’s The Rehearsal (“La Répétition ou l’Amour puni”). Lentin was a member of Aosdána.

Photo: The National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, credit: Kim Shatwell

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