Today in Irish History – 15 August:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is also the feast day of St. Daga, 6th century Bishop of Iniskin, Dundalk.

Lady’s Day in Ireland, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, and is a day when fairs are celebrated in many country towns.

1599 – Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass – Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell successfully ambush English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.

1649 – Oliver Cromwell arrives in Ireland as Commander-in-Chief and Lord Lieutenant with an army of 20,000, a huge artillery train and a large navy.

1715 – On this date, Frederick Hamilton, former MP for Donegal, writes to George I that although the county is well affected, ‘The great scarcity of armes in ye country is beyond anything I could have imagin’d till about three days ago that I had occasion to send some men after seven Tories that were hunted out of Fermanagh, and in the barony of Kilmakrenan, I could not get thirty men tolerably armed tho’ I believe the country will be able to array seven thousand men’.

1755 – Molesworth Phillips, sailor and companion of Captain James Cook, is born in Swords, Co Dublin.

1803 – Edmund Rice opens a school for poor boys in Waterford – precursor of the schools run by the Christian Brothers.

1843 – Daniel O’Connell holds meetings for Repeal of the Union, attended by hundreds of thousands, at Trim and the Hill of Tara.

1880 – Five people drown in Derrybeg, Co Donegal when a chapel is flooded during Mass.

1882 – Unveiling of O’Connell monument in Dublin.

1919 – Birth of Benedict Kiely, novelist, short story-writer and critic, in Dromore, Co Down.

1917 – Birth of Jack Lynch, Taoiseach, in Co Cork.

1922 – Free State troops take Clifden in Co Galway without resistance. The Republicans abandon the town and burn the local radio transmitter station.

1923 – Éamon de Valera arrested in Ennis, when he tried to make an election speech. He is imprisoned for over a year at Arbour Hill Prison in Dublin.

1965 – Galway Cathedral consecrated by Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston and Papal Legate. The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas (Ard-Eaglais Mhaighdean na Deastógála agus Naomh Nioclás), commonly known as Galway Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Galway and is one of the largest and most impressive buildings in the city.

1998 – Massive bomb explodes in Omagh shopping centre; 29 people are killed and hundreds injured.

1999 – The Portmarnock Hotel in Dublin wins the Powers World Irish Coffee Making Championship for the second successive year.

1999 – Mobs in Derry attack police, loot businesses and torch buildings.

1999 – Founder member of the SDLP, Paddy Devlin, dies in Belfast’s Mater Hospital after a long illness.

Photo: Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) in Lough Derg, Co Clare

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