Today in Irish History – 28 September:

1678 – ‘Popish plot’ is alleged in England. The Popish Plot was a fictitious conspiracy concocted by Titus Oates that gripped England in anti-Catholic hysteria between 1678 and 1681. Oates alleged that there existed an extensive Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Charles II, accusations that led to the execution of at least 15 men and precipitated the Exclusion Bill Crisis. Eventually Oates’ intricate web of accusations fell apart, leading to his arrest and conviction for perjury.

1690 – Marlborough takes Cork for the Williamites.

1703 – Francis Annesley is expelled from the Irish Commons for his part in The Report of the Commissioners appointed by Parliament into the Irish Forfeitures, printed in London, containing the paragraph: ‘And indeed it does appear to us, that the Freeholders of this Kingdom, through length of time and by contracting new friendship with the Irish, or by inter-purchasing with one another, but chiefly through a general dislike of the disposition of the forfeitures, are scarce willing to find any person guilty of the late rebellion, even upon full evidence.’ The House has found that Annesley ‘scandalously and maliciously misrepresented and traduced the Protestant Freeholders of this Kingdom and thereby endeavoured to create a misunderstanding and jealousy between the people of England and the Protestants of this Kingdom’.

1725 – Sir Arthur Guinness is born in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. There is much debate as to Sir Arthur’s birthdate. Many sources say September 24, although there is no evidence to support that claim. Charles Mosely ‘Burke’s Peerage and Barontage says that March 2nd was the date Arthur made his debut. To end all the speculation, in 1991 the Guinness Company chose September 28th. To confuse matters further, in 2009, Guinness celebrated its 250th birthday; but it would appear that many people are interchanging the birth of the stout with the founder of the company who makes it. No matter. Whatever the date, Arthur’s Day is cause for a celebration with substance.

1899 – Maurice James Dease the first soldier to win a Victoria Cross medal in WWI is born in Coole, Co. Westmeath. Dease won the medal for his bravery during the Battle of Mons Belgium, just nineteen days after World War I breaks out.

1889 – Birth of Seán Keating (born John Keating) in Limerick. He was an Irish romantic-realist painter who painted some iconic images of the Irish War of Independence (such as ‘Men of The South’) and of the early industrialisation of Ireland.

1912 – Ulster Covenant: Edward Carson, leader of Ulster Unionists, stages signing by 500,000 Ulster Protestant Unionists of “Southern League and Covenant” against Irish Home Rule.

1920 – Cork IRA volunteers raided the military barracks at Mallow, County Cork to obtain arms. Thirty seven rifles were taken. British troops burned several businesses and homes in the town in reprisal.

1920 – A law clerk named John Lynch was murdered in his hotel bed. It was a mystery to most people why he was killed, but the IRA Propaganda Department successfully deflected journalists’ attention from reporting his work on the cases of IRA volunteers charged with killing policemen.

1922 – John Galvin, a republican captured in the Killorglin raid is shot by Free State troops in Tralee and his body dumped in nearby Ballyseedy wood. Galvin had admitted under interrogation to the killing of a National Army officer at Castlemaine. A Free State soldier is also shot dead while on sentry duty at Rathmore courthouse, Kerry.

1922 – Anti-Treaty forces mount an ambush at Kilfenora, Co Clare. One Free State captain, Consadine is killed.

1922 – Republican leader Tom Barry, who was captured in the Dublin fighting, escapes from an internment camp in Gormanston, Co Dublin.

1922 – A National Army medical orderly named Lydon is shot dead by a republican sniper as he cycles out of Tralee, Co Kerry, despite the fact that he is unarmed and wearing a Red Cross armband.

1922 – A Free State garrison at Oldcastle, Co Meath is attacked and forced to surrender its weapons. A mine is detonated against their barracks and fire is opened with machine guns. A civilian is killed in the crossfire.

1946 – Birth of folk musician, Finbar Furey, in Ballyfermot, Dublin. Best known for his band of brothers The Fureys. The Furey family were travelling people who settled in Claddagh Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin.

1960 – RTÉ broadcasts a report on the re-opening of Bunratty Castle to the public after extensive refurbishing.

1964 – Divis Street riots follow Ian Paisley’s insistence that the RUC remove the Tricolour from a window at Sinn Féin’s Belfast headquarters.

1978 – Pope John Paul I dies after just 33 days in office aged 65 – the shortest reign in the entire history of the Papacy.

1987 – Birth of Gary Deegan in Dublin. He is an Irish association footballer, who plays as a midfielder for Shrewsbury Town. Deegan has previously played for Shelbourne, Kilkenny City, Longford Town, Galway United, Bohemians, Coventry City and Southend United.

1987 – U2 is joined by the New Voices of Freedom choir onstage at Madison Square Garden in New York for a performance of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.

1998 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern vows to hand over all necessary papers to the Flood Tribunal investigation into alleged planning irregularities.

1998 – The final strains of the Last Post symbolically close a 200-year-old military history in Fermoy and Ballincollig as the Tricolour is lowered and the troops leave the barracks. Both camps are closing and the soldiers are being transferred to Cork.

1999 – The home of dual Olympian and arguably Ireland’s greatest ever athlete, the late Dr Pat O’Callaghan, is demolished in his adopted Clonmel to make way for a Rehab training facility.

1999 – Larchill Arcadian Gardens in Co Kildare win’s the top prize in the ESB Community Environment Awards.

2000 – The Ulster Unionist Party warns that it may withdraw from all North South bodies established under the Good Friday Agreement unless guarantees are forthcoming on IRA decommissioning, and policing.

2000 – According to official figures, the number of mobile telephone connections in Ireland exceeds the fixed line total for the first time.

2000 – A call for the IRA to be disbanded is made by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern when he reiterates the view that Fianna Fáil cannot go into government with Sinn Féin while that party remains linked to an armed force.

2012 – Country singer Larry Cunningham dies at the age of 74.

2015 – Death of Samuel Alexander “Sandy” Faris (born in Caledon, Co Tyrone). He was a composer, conductor and writer, known for his television theme tunes, including the theme music for the 1970s TV series Upstairs, Downstairs. He composed and recorded many operas and musicals, and also composed film scores (including for Georgy Girl) and orchestral works. As a conductor, he was especially known for his revivals of Jacques Offenbach and Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

2015 – Death of Make-up artist Cathriona White. The Hollywood make-up artist from Cappawhite, Co Tipperary. She had been the on/off girlfriend of actor Jim Carrey since 2012.

Photo: Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, Co Antrim, Photography by by Aidan Monaghan

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