Today in Irish History – 14 August:

1598 – Nine Years War: Battle of the Yellow Ford – Irish forces under Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeat an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.

1691 – Death of Richard Talbot, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, the youngest of sixteen children of Sir William Talbot, 1st Baronet, of Carton, and his wife, Alison Netterville was descended from an old Norman family that had settled in Leinster in the twelfth century. Like most Old English families in Ireland, the Talbots had adopted the customs of the Irish and had, like the Irish, adhered to the Catholic faith. He married Katherine Baynton in 1669. They had two daughters, Katherine and Charlotte. Baynton died in 1679. Talbot later married Frances Jennings, sister of Sarah Jennings (the future Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough). He was also known by the nickname “Mad Dick” Talbot.

1778 – Gardiner’s Catholic Relief Act is enacted and grants rights of leasing and inheritance to those who have taken the oath of allegiance: the first rolling back of the penal laws. The Papists Act 1778 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (18 George III c. 60) and was the first Act for Catholic Relief. Later in 1778 It was also enacted by the Irish parliament. Before the Act, a number of “Penal laws” had been enacted in Britain and Ireland, which varied between the jurisdictions from time to time but effectively excluded Catholics from public life. By this Act, an oath was imposed, which besides a declaration of loyalty to the reigning sovereign, contained an abjuration of the Pretender, and of certain doctrines attributed to Catholics, as that excommunicated princes may lawfully be murdered, that no faith should be kept with heretics, and that the Pope has temporal as well as spiritual jurisdiction in this realm. Those taking this oath were exempted from some of the provisions of the Popery Act 1698. The section as to taking and prosecuting priests were repealed, as also the penalty of perpetual imprisonment for keeping a school. Catholics were also enabled to inherit and purchase land, nor was a Protestant heir any longer empowered to enter and enjoy the estate of his Catholic kinsman. The passing of this act was the occasion of the Gordon Riots (1780) in which the violence of the mob was especially directed against Lord Mansfield who had balked at various prosecutions under the statutes now repealed. This Act was repealed by the Promissory Oaths Act 1871 (c.48).

1784 – Nathaniel Hone, painter and member of the Royal Academy at the time of its founding in 1768, dies.

1814 – Sister Anthony (b. Mary O’Connell in Limerick) was an Irish-American Roman Catholic nun. Her work with the wounded during the American Civil War and health care in general caused her to be known as “the angel of the battlefield” and “the Florence Nightingale of America.”

1850 – The Irish Franchise Act is enacted and has the effect of increasing the electorate from 45,000 to 164,000.

1890 – Death of Knights of Columbus founder Father Michael McGivney. McGivney was born to Irish immigrants Patrick and Mary (Lynch) McGivney in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1852.

1903 – The Land Purchase Act (Wyndham Act) is enacted and allows for entire estates to be purchased by the occupying tenantry, subsidized by the state.

1907 – H. Montgomery Hyde, author and unionist MP, is born in Belfast.

1968 – Golfer Darren Clark is born in Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

1969 – North of Ireland riots of August 1969: in response to events in Derry, Irish nationalists held protests throughout the North of Ireland. Some of these became violent. In Belfast, loyalists responded by attacking nationalist districts. Rioting also erupted in Newry, Armagh, Crossmaglen, Dungannon, Coalisland and Dungiven. Eight people were shot dead and at least 133 were treated for gunshot wounds. Scores of houses and businesses were burnt-out, most of them owned by Catholics. Thousands of families, mostly Catholics, were forced to flee their homes and refugee camps were set up in the Republic. The British Army was deployed on the streets of Northern Ireland, which marked the beginning of Operation Banner.

1982 – Death of actor, Patrick Magee, best known for his collaborations with Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, as well as his appearances in horror films and in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

1992 – Boxer Michael Carruth wins an Olympic Gold medal in Barcelona.

1998 – The Family Mediation Service, which enables separating couples to reach agreement on a range of issues relating to their break-up, is to be expanded nationwide.

1998 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern pledges that the Stormont Agreement relating to the release of prisoners convicted of killing gardaí has to be honoured by the Government.

1998 – “The Sovereign Nation”, a publication of the 32-County Sovereignty Movement is launched in Dundalk.

2000 – The Irish Locomotive Driver’s Association rejects a bid to end the two-month-old rail dispute.

2001 – Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid strongly criticizes the IRA after they withdraw a plan to put their weapons beyond use.

2002 – Emer McGrath from Ballynew in Ballinrobe on the Mayo/Galway border becomes the country’s top student with eight Leaving Certificate A1s and one A2.

2013 – Death of Fianna Fáil politician, Paddy Power. Power was a national schoolteacher before entering politics, he was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a TD for the Kildare constituency at the 1969 general election. Power retired from politics at the 1989 general election. His son, Seán Power is a former TD and Minister of State. Another son, J. J. Power, served as a Green Party councillor on Kildare County Council. He died in Caragh, Co Kildare. He had no connection with the Irish bookmakers of the same name.

Photo: Bromore Cliffs, Co Kerry

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