Today in Irish History – 7 September:

1695 – Penal Laws are passed which restrict the rights of Catholics to have an education, to bear arms, or to possess a horse worth more than five pounds.

1798 – Humbert crosses Shannon at Ballintra and camps at Cloone. Cornwallis crosses Shannon. Rebels at Wilson’s Hospital are routed; this ends the rebellion in the midlands.

1801 – Arthur Hill, 2nd Marquis of Downshire, former MP for Co. Down and one of the wealthiest landowners in Ireland, commits suicide.

1823 – Kevin Izod O’Doherty, transportee, physician and politician, is born in Dublin.

1877 – Birth of Michael Joyce “Mike” O’Neill in Maam, Co Galway. He was a starting pitcher and left fielder in Major League Baseball in the United States. From 1901 through 1907, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1901–04) and Cincinnati Reds (1907). O’Neill batted and threw right-handed. He played as Michael Joyce in his 1901 rookie year with the Cardinals.

1892 – John L. Sullivan loses his world heavyweight boxing title to another Irish-American, James Corbett.

1907 – Cunard Line’s RMS Lusitania sets sail on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England to New York City.

1913 – A large meeting in Sackville Street asserts the right of free speech, trade union representation and demands an enquiry into police conduct.

1919 – An unofficial government policy of reprisals began in Fermoy, County Cork. Two hundred British soldiers looted and burned several commercial buildings in the town, after 23 Cork Volunteers, under the leadership of Liam Lynch, augmented by Mick Mansfield and George Lennon of Waterford attacked members of the Royal Shropshire Light Infantry en route to services at the Wesleyan Church. Four soldiers were reportedly wounded, one fatally. Fifteen rifles were captured. Lynch was also wounded and taken to a Youghal safe house. Later he was transferred to West Waterford where he rested at Foley’s in Ardmore and finally taken on to Cooney’s farmhouse at Carriglea, Dungarvan. Here he recovered from his wound under the care of Dr B. Moloney from the nearby town before returning to Fermoy area.

1921 – Frank Duff founds the Association of Our Lady of Mercy in Dublin, later to be known as the Legion of Mary, the largest apostolic organisation of lay people in the Catholic Church.

1921 – In a letter to Éamon de Valera regarding counties Fermanagh and Tyrone, Lloyd George acknowledged that his government had a very weak case on the issue of “forcing these two counties against their will” to be part of Northern Ireland.

1924 – Birth of singer, Bridie Gallagher, affectionately known as “The Girl from Donegal”. She was “Ireland’s first truly international pop star”. Gallagher shot to fame in 1956 with her recording of “A Mother’s Love’s A Blessing” and achieved international acclaim with her legendary rendition of “The Boys From County Armagh”. During her career, which spanned over six decades, she appeared in many leading venues across the globe. She also made songs such as “The Homes of Donegal” famous.

1948 – Taoiseach John A. Costello announces that the Irish Free State will become a republic with and break all dominion ties with Great Britain. The Republic of Ireland Act was signed into law 21 December 1948 and came into effect April 1949.

1980 – Galway wins the All Ireland Final.

1981 – Death of Christy Brown, the handicapped Dublin author, who learned to type with his left foot. He is buried in the Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.

1983 – Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland introduced a constitutional ban on abortion. It was effected by the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1983, which was approved by referendum on 7 September 1983 and signed into law on the 7 October of the same year. It is often called the Irish Pro-Life Amendment.

1983 – Birth of Philip Deignan in Leterkenny, Co Donegal. He is an Irish Olympian and professional road racing cyclist for UCI ProTeam Team Sky. He was educated at Saint Eunan’s College.

2001 – It is announced that US President George Bush is sending his special envoy, Richard Haass, to Northern Ireland to sound out parties on the ailing peace process.

Photo: Gallarus Oratory, Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry, Stair na hÉireann – History of Ireland

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