Today in Irish History – 29 September:

Old Michaelmas Day – Celtic holiday. According to an old legend, blackberries should not be picked after this date. This is because, so folklore goes, Satan was banished from Heaven on this day, fell into a blackberry bush and cursed the brambles as he fell into them. Michaelmas, the Feast of St Michael the Archangel (also the Feast of SS Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael or the Feast of Michael and All Angels) is a day in the Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September. Because it falls near the equinox, it is associated with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days.

One of the four quarter days in the Irish calendar.

1155 – A proposal for the invasion of Ireland by Henry II is discussed at the Council of Winchester and rejected, though soon after, Henry obtains a papal privilege approving the invasion.

1603 – Rory O’Donnell kisses the king’s hand and is created Earl of Tyrconnell.

1678 – Count Peter Lacy, soldier, governor of Livonia (Latvia) and field-marshal in the Russian army, is born in Killeedy, Co Limerick.

1732 – Birth of Sir Henry Cavendish, politician and master of shorthand, who recorded parliamentary debates.

1778 – Birth in Dublin of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy.

1798 – Tandy and other Irish political prisoners in Hamburg are handed over to British authorities.

1798 – Matthew Tone, brother of Wolfe Tone is executed in Dublin following his capture at the Battle of Ballinamuck. Tone was a captain in the French Army under General Humbert. While as many as six hundred French soldiers were repatriated, the Irish were not so lucky.

1826 – Charles Cornwallis Chesney, professor of military history, is born in Kilkeel, Co Down.

1836 – Michael Mulhall, publisher and statistician, is born in Dublin.

1854 – Birth in Kinvara, Co Galway of Francis Arthur Fahy who wrote the song, Galway Bay.

1898 – Fenian Thomas Clarke is released from Portland Prison.

1905 – Francis Llewellyn Harrison, musicologist, is born in Dublin.

1908 – Birth of film star Greer Garson in Co Down.

1928 – The last active Fenian, John Devoy, dies in New York.

1930 – George Bernard Shaw refuses a peerage.

1972 – Kathleen Daly Clarke, Irish patriot, dies.

1979 – Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to set foot on Irish soil with his pastoral visit to the Republic of Ireland.

1999 – Smyth’s bar on Haddington Road in Dublin, is sold ‘virtually’ and otherwise in Ireland’s first Internet broadcast property auction.

2002 – In Co Wicklow, five paintings, including two by the renowned artist, Rubens, are stolen in another raid on Russborough House which has a history of art thefts.

Photo: Delphi, Co Mayo, Geoff McGrath Photography

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Co. Mayo October 2014 by Geoff McGrath Photography

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