#OTD in Irish History – 9 May:

1423 – Edmund Mortimer, 8th earl of Ulster, earl of March, the greatest Irish landowner and heir presumptive to the throne of England, is appointed lieutenant for nine years.

1650 – The Battle of Clonmel begins with the first of two assaults. Cromwell’s forces are beaten back on this date by Black Hugh O’Neill. Eventually, Cromwell loses up to 2,000 men, but O’Neill, realising he has a shortage of ammunition, secretly withdraws.

1671 – Irish adventurer Colonel Thomas Blood dresses as a clergyman and attempts to steal the British crown jewels from the Tower of London. He is arrested in possession of the crown jewels.

1691 – Charles Chalmont (Marquis de Saint-Ruth; French general) is sent by Louis XIV to command the Irish army and arrives on this date.

1709 – The Irish House of Lords expresses hope that union of Ireland and England will follow union of England and Scotland.

1807 – Thomas Wyatt, architect, is born in Loughlin House, Co Roscommon.

1814 – Birth in Dublin of John Brougham, actor and dramatist.

1828 – Charles Kickham, Fenian, novelist, and author of Knocknagow, is born in Mullinahone, Co Tipperary.

1865 – The Dublin International Exhibition opens in Earlsfort Terrace.

1896 – Austin Clarke, considered at his death to be the greatest poet of his generation after Yeats, is born.

1916 – James Connolly’s wife and daughter visit him in the Red Cross hospital in Dublin Castle where he lies seriously wounded.

1916 – Irish Patriot, Thomas Kent, is executed at Cork Detention Barracks.

1920 – 200 IRA volunteers under Frank Aiken attacked the RIC barracks in Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh. A mine was used to breach the barracks wall and a potato spraying machine was used to spray it with petrol, before it was set alight. The six policemen inside refused to surrender until the roof fell in.

1921 – In Kerry, near Castleisland, two RIC men were shot by IRA volunteers on their way home from Mass. One was killed, the other saved when his wife covered him with her body.

1927 – Birth of John McDermott, Lord Justice of Appeal for Northern Ireland.

1932 – Éamon de Valera is elected Taoiseach.

1933 – Seán Swayne, priest and liturgist is born.

1939 – Fianna Fáil politician and EU Commissioner, Padraig Flynn, is born in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

1939 – Death of Mary, Lady Heath. Born in Co Limerick but moved to Newcastle West to be raised by her aunts because her father was declared insane after bludgeoning her mother to death. Heath excelled in sports and after moving to London she co-founded the Women’s Amateur Athletic Association. She set records in the javelin and the high jump, however, it was when she learned to fly that she really earned her fame. Heath was the first woman to hold a pilot’s licence in Britain, and was also the first woman to parachute from a plane. She was the first person, male or female, to fly a small open-cockpit aircraft from Cape Town to London.

1947 – Birth in Cork City of actor Anthony Corlan.

1969 – Following his release from prison Ian Paisley held a ‘victory’ meeting.

1982 – General Election results in Fianna Fáil victory winning 81 seats. Charles J. Haughty is elected as Taoiseach on the 50th Anniversary of the first Fianna Fáil Government in 1932.

1992 – Singer and television presenter, Linda Martin was named the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest in with the song “Why Me?”.

1999 – Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin, gave an address to the party’s Ard Fheis and stressed his organisation’s aims as emancipation, empowerment and economic liberation.

2008 – Death of Nuala O’Faolain, an Irish journalist, TV producer, book reviewer, teacher and author. She became internationally well-known for her two volumes of memoir, Are You Somebody? and Almost There, a novel, My Dream of You, and a history with commentary, The Story of Chicago May. The first three were all featured on the New York Times Best Seller list. Her posthumous novel Best Love Rosie was published in French by Sabine Despiser, Editeur in September 2008.

Photo: Howth Castle, Dublin, Peter O’Doherty Dublin and Ireland Photos

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