Today in Irish History – 23 September:

1586 – At the battle of Ardnaree in Co Mayo, Sir Richard Bingham, governor of Connacht, surprises a force of redshanks (Scottish mercenary light infantrymen) engaged by the Burkes of Mayo; 1,000 redshanks and 1,000 camp followers are killed. Bingham hangs the leaders of the Burkes.

1641 – The Gaelic Catholics of Ulster stage an uprising against the Scottish Presbyterian planters.

1920 – Sinn Féin County Councillor John Lynch of Kilmallock, Limerick was assassinated by British agents at the Exchange Hotel Dublin.

1922 – Anti-Treaty fighter Michael Neville, is taken from work in Dublin and found shot dead at Killester Cemetery by Pro-Treaty forces.

1922 – Two Free State soldiers are killed in two separate ambushes in Kerry.

1922 – The Anti-Treaty IRA mounts three attacks in Dublin. In Drumcondra, 10 civilians are wounded by a grenade thrown at an Army lorry. On Eden Quay, one soldier is killed and three wounded along with four civilians wounded in a gun and grenade attack. On Merchant’s Quay, a civilian is killed in another grenade attack.

1970 – Sir Arthur Young announces his resignation as chief constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

1992 – The PIRA exploded a 2000 lb bomb at the Northern Ireland Forensic Science Laboratory in South Belfast. The laboratory was obliterated, seven hundred houses were damaged, and 20 people were injured. The explosion could be heard from over 16 km away. It was one of the largest bombs to be detonated during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

2001 – Kevin Boland, who resigned from the Fianna Fáil Government during the 1970 Arms Crisis, dies after a short illness. He was the son of Gerald Boland, a 1916 veteran, confidant of Éamon de Valera, and long-time FF government minister; his uncle was the celebrated War of Independence hero, Harry Boland.

1999 – Bob Geldof, Bono and other members of an international lobby group meet with Pope John Paul II to discuss the cancellation of third world debt repayments.

2002 – The Listowel Races in Co Kerry begin. For the first year in its history, which dates to 1858, it will be a seven-day meeting.

Photo: Ashford Castle, Co Mayo

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