Today in Irish History – 12 October:

1645 – Archbishop Rinuccini arrives in Ireland. He was a Roman Catholic archbishop in the mid seventeenth century. He was a noted legal scholar who became chamberlain to Pope Gregory XV, who made him the Archbishop of Fermo in Italy. He is best known for his time as Papal Nuncio to Ireland during the time of conflict known as the Irish Confederate Wars (1645-49) during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

1671 – Peter Drake, soldier and memoir author, is born in Co Meath.

1798 – French fleet intercepted off Donegal. Wolfe Tone captured when the Hoche strikes its colours.

1876 – Jerome Connor, sculptor, is born near Anascaul, Co Kerry.

1911 – Birth in Portrush of Fred Daly, the only Irishman to win a golf ‘major’ – the British Open in 1947.

1920 – Four RIC men were killed by the IRA in an ambush at Ballinderry, Co Roscommon.

1920 – Birth of Christy Ring near Cloyne, Co Cork. He was a hurler whose league and championship career with the Cork senior team spanned twenty-four years from 1939 to 1963. He established many championship records, including career appearances (65), scoring tally (33-208) and number of All-Ireland medals won (8), however, these records were subsequently bested by Brendan Cummins, Eddie Keher and Henry Shefflin respectively. Ring is widely regarded as one of the greatest hurlers in the history of the game, with many former players, commentators and fans rating him as the number one player of all time.

1920 – In Co Wexford five IRA volunteers were killed and nine were injured (five severely), when explosives being prepared accidentally detonated in an old unoccupied house located at St. Kearns, Saltmills.

1938 – Birth in Waterford of Brendan Bowyer, the lead singer with the Royal Showband, best known for fronting “The Royal Showband” and the “Big 8” band. Also renowned for having The Beatles open for him at a concert in 1962 at the “The Liverpool Empire” and being regarded as one of the first headlining Elvis impersonators. Elvis Presley himself was a big fan of Brendan’s performances and would often attend Brendan’s concerts in the Stardust Resort and Casino, Las Vegas during the 1970s.

1945 – Emer Colleran, microbiologist and environmentalist, is born in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

1966 – Birth of singer-songwriter and author, Brian Kennedy, in Belfast. Best known for his ballads, and as representing Ireland at Eurovision 2006.

1969 – Death of Irish language educator, Louis Gavan Duffy.

1970 – Founding in Dublin of what is considered to be the first Celtic rock band, Horslips.

1975 – Sir Oliver Plunkett is canonised in Rome. He was beatified in 1920 and canonised in 1975, the first new Irish saint for almost seven hundred years.

1984 – Brighton Hotel Bombing: The Provisional Irish Republican Army attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet.

1999 – Former US Senator George Mitchell moves his make or break review of the Good Friday Agreement to London, just hours after new Secretary of State Peter Mandelson arrives in Northern Ireland to meet the North’s political leaders.

2000 – Roman Catholic and Protestant Bishops are on a collision course following Archbishop Dr Desmond O’ Connell’s backing of the controversial document “Dominus Iesus” which proclaims the Catholic Church to be the one true church.

2002 – Paddy’s Bar, owned by Cork woman Natalia Daly, is destroyed in a series of explosions which kill more than 200 people in Bali. Most of those killed or injured are Australian tourists; the dead and injured also include Swiss, Germans, Swedes, Americans, Britons and Italians. Three Irish people are still unaccounted for.

Photo: Lough Eske, Co Donegal, submitted by Amy Meehan

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