#OTD in Irish History – 28 May:

1590 – Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, agrees to abandon further attempts at extending his territory in the north, and undertakes to force his people to adopt English laws and customs.

1713 – William Molyneux, the fourteen-year old son of Sir Thomas Molyneux, a former MP, is killed when a leaden image falls on him in a garden near Dublin.

1779 – Birth of poet and songwriter, Thomas Moore, in Dublin.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: In the first Battle of Enniscorthy, the rebels take the town.

1824 – Birth of Thomas William Croke in Co Cork. Croke became the second Catholic Bishop of Auckland New Zealand before returning to Ireland as Archbishop of Cashel and Emly.

1837 – Birth of George Coppinger Ashlin, an Irish architect, particularly noted for his work on churches and cathedrals. He co-designed St Colman’s Cathedral.

1892 – Birth of revolutionary and feminist, Margaret Skinnider, in Coatbridge, Scotland. She fought during the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin.

1920 – IRA volunteers attacked the RIC barracks at Kilmallock, Co Limerick. Two RIC men were killed, two were wounded, and ten more surrendered. Volunteer Liam Scully from Glencar, County Kerry was killed.

1922 – An IRA unit of 100 men occupied Pettigo, just on the Northern side of the border. A gun battle broke out between them and 100 Ulster Special Constables, in which one USC man was killed. A battalion of British troops and an artillery battery of six field guns was then mobilised to dislodge the IRA party.

1929 – Death of historian and nationalist, Alice Stopford Green.

1940 – Birth of Maeve Binchy, an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, and speaker best known for her humorous take on small-town life in Ireland, her descriptive characters, her interest in human nature and her often clever surprise endings. Her novels, which were translated into 37 languages, sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, and her death, announced by Vincent Browne on Irish television late on 30 July 2012, was mourned as the passing of Ireland’s best-loved and most recognisable writer.

1947 – Death of Gaelic scholar and editor of Duanaire Gaedhilge, Róis Ni Ógain – Rose Mabel Young.

1959 – The Howth Tram makes its last journey; not only is it the highest but it is also the last of the open top trams operating in the world.

1965 – Birth of politician, Mary Coughlan, in Donegal. She is a former Fianna Fáil politician who served as a TD for the Donegal South-West constituency from 1987 to 2011, latterly attaining the office of Tánaiste of Ireland. During her career in government, she held the Cabinet positions of Tánaiste (2008–11), Minister for Health and Children (2011), Minister for Education and Skills (2010–11), Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (2008–10), Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (2004–08) and Minister for Social and Family Affairs (2002–04). She lost her Dáil seat in the 2011 general election.

1970 – Charles Haughey, who will later be acquitted and become Taoiseach, is arrested with Niall Blaney for conspiracy to import arms.

1970 – Birth of television and film actor, Glenn Quinn, in Dublin, best known for playing Mark Healy in the American sitcom Roseanne. Quinn spent his childhood growing up in both Ireland and America before settling in the Long Beach area of California with his mother and two sisters to pursue an acting career. In 1991, Quinn had his first major role in a movie, Shout, which starred John Travolta and in which he shared an on-screen kiss with Gwyneth Paltrow in her debut film. Quinn’s body was found on the couch of a friend he was visiting in North Hollywood, California on 3 December 2002. Police and autopsy reports revealed that the cause of his death was an accidental heroin overdose.

1973 – Birth of Ryan Tubridy in Dublin. He is a broadcaster, a presenter of live shows on radio and television in Ireland. Tubridy is the highest-earning presenter on Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ). Current host of long-running TV chat programme The Late Late Show and a weekday morning radio show called The Ryan Tubridy Show. Tubridy was a pioneering member of the Twitterati before he departed in August 2011.

1974 – General strike by Unionists brings down the Sunningdale power-sharing agreement and Northern Ireland is returned to direct rule.

1981 – Edward Martin Hurson began his hunger strike in the H Blocks of Long Kesh prison. He was a volunteer in the East Tyrone Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) who died on 13 July 1981 after 46 days on hunger strike.

1981 – Birth of Derval O’Rourke in Co Cork. O’Rourke is a former sprint hurdles athlete; she competed internationally in the 60 and 100 meters hurdles, and is the Irish national record holder in both events. She participated in two Indoor World Championships, the last five Outdoor World Championships and the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics.

1999 – The Provisional IRA produces the remains of Eamon Molloy, whom it killed in 1975; information from the IRA leads to several protracted searches in the Republic for the remains of other victims.

2000 – A plaque to commemorate the first Irish meeting of the Orange Order is unveiled in Dublin – without a single member of the hardline Protestant group in attendance. The Dublin and Wicklow Lodge boycott the event on Dawson St in protest at its treatment over a march in the city, also planned for this date.

2000 – The decision by Ulster Unionists to return to power sharing with Sinn Féin at midnight on 29 May is given a massive boost when the IRA pledges to keep their part of the bargain.

2003 – James Plunkett, best known for his epic novel of Dublin, ‘Strumpet City’, dies at the age of 83.

2003 – William Trevor wins the €10,000 Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award at Listowel Writers’ Week for his novel The Story of Lucy Gault.

Photo: Glendalough Montage, Co Wicklow

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