#OTD in Irish History – 6 May:

1074 – Donatus (or Dunan), the first Bishop of Dublin, dies on this date and is buried in Christ Church Cathedral. Patrick, his successor, is sent to Canterbury for consecration (records are unreliable – the date of his death is also recorded as 23 November).

1384 – Philip de Courtenay lands at Dalkey and campaigns in the midlands and the Leinster mountains.

1728 – Act of Parliament removes the right to vote from Catholics.

1763 – Mary Molesworth, widow of Richard Molesworth (3rd Viscount Molesworth, MP for Swords 1715-26), and her daughters Melosina and Mary die in a fire at their London house.

1820 – Birth in St Clean’s, Co Galway of Robert O’Hara Burke. He was a soldier and police officer who achieved fame as an Australian explorer. He was the leader of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition.

1830 – Birth of Irish naturalist and librarian, William Archer in Magherahamlet, Co Down. Archer did work on protozoa and was the first librarian of the National Library of Ireland.

1832 – Birth of Margaret Anna Cusack, a Catholic nun and the founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Sister Margaret was a strong advocate for the poor and oppressed, especially women.

1882 – Phoenix Park murders: The British chief secretary of Ireland, Lord Frederick Cavendish, and his under secretary, T.H. Burke are murdered. Both are stabbed to death as they walk in Dublin’s Phoenix Park by members of a nationalist secret society, the “Invincibles”. The attack is attributed to the Fenians, however, the murders were carried out by the Irish Invincibles, a team of Irish Republican Brotherhood assassins.

1881 – Birth of painter, William Conor, in Belfast. Celebrated for his warm and sympathetic portrayals of working-class life in Ulster, William Conor studied at the Government School of Design in Belfast in the 1890s. His artistic talents were recognised at the early age of ten. More than 50 works of his in crayon and watercolour are in the permanent collections of the Ulster Museum.

1844 – Irish Catholics in the Kensington slum area of Philadelphia are attacked by a mob of Nativists, a group of virulent anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant activists whose philosophy permeated much of American Protestant society at the time. The riots last for a number of days.

1923 – A National Army sergeant is shot dead while on sentry duty.

1925 – Máire de Paor (née McDermott) archaeologist and arts activist, is born in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

1937 – Birth of Shay Brennan, Irish international footballer.

1964 – Birth of Emmy-nominated actress and producer, Roma Downey, in the Bogside, Co Derry.

1967 – Seven Drunken Nights by the Dubliners enters the UK Top Ten. It also appeared on Top of the Pops, thanks to its diffusion on Radio Caroline, though it was banned from the national broadcasting station. The song also charted at No.1 in Ireland.

1969 – Chichester-Clark, Northern Ireland Prime Minister, announced an amnesty for all offences associated with demonstrations since 5 October 1968 and this resulted in the release of, among others, Ian Paisley and Ronald Bunting.

1970 – Charles Haughey (Minister for Finance) and Neil Blaney (Minister for Agriculture) are dismissed by Taoiseach Jack Lynch; later, the are arrested and charged with importing arms for the IRA. Blakey is discharged on 2 July; Haughey is acquitted on 23 October.

1970 – Birth of novelist, Alan Monaghan in Dublin. He has been shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards and won the 2002 Hennessy New Irish Writer Award the Award for Emerging Fiction for his short story The Soldier’s Song. He was nominated in the Best Newcomer category of the 2010 Irish Book Awards.

1984 – There were riots in Nationalist areas of Belfast and other towns following the third anniversary of the death of Bobby Sands on hunger strike.

1990 – Operation Conservation: the British Army attempted to ambush a PIRA unit in South Armagh, but were counter-ambushed and one British soldier was killed.

1998 – The High Court hears that an advance of £175,000 has been negotiated by convicted IRA killer-turned-informer Seán O’Callaghan for his autobiography.

1998 – Death of Sybil Connolly in Dublin. Born in Swansea, Wales and raised in Waterford, the Dublin-based fashion designer who was known for creating haute couture from Irish textiles, including finely pleated linen and Carrickmacross lace, and later for her work with brands such as Tiffany and Co. Her fashion label’s famous clients included Jacqueline Kennedy. Said to have put Irish fashion on the map, she was described by former Taoiseach Jack Lynch as: “a national treasure”.

2000 – Large crowds turn out in bright summer sunshine in Fenit, Co. Kerry, where President Mary McAleese officially christens the three-masted, famine ship replica, the Jeanie Johnston.

2000 – Peace and prosperity are within Northern Ireland’s grasp, according to European Commissioner Chris Patten.

2001 – A bomb explodes at a north London postal sorting office. It is the second such attack in three weeks and is linked to the Real IRA.

2003 – The Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister pledge to move the Northern peace process forward following their talks at Farmleigh in Dublin.

2008 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley officially open the Battle of the Boyne site in Co Meath. It is the last official engagement of Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach.

Photo: Charles Fort, Kinsale, Co Cork

#irishhistory #ireland #irelandinspires

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