#OTD in Irish History – 29 May:

1205 – King John makes Hugh de Lacy Earl of Ulster.

1660 – English Restoration: Charles II is restored to the throne of England, Scotland and Ireland. The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

1666 – The Act of Uniformity confirms Guy Fawkes’ day (5 November) as an anniversary, and adds 30 January (execution of Charles I) and 29 May (the Restoration).

1722 – Birth of James Fitzgerald, 20th Earl of Kildare; Duke of Leinster; politician and Lord Justice.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Massacre at Gibbet Rath, between 300 and 500 United Irishmen are massacred by the British Army in Co Kildare.

1827 – Birth of Timothy Daniel Sullivan in Bantry, Co Cork. He was a nationalist, journalist, politician and poet who wrote the Irish national hymn “God Save Ireland”, in 1867. Sullivan was a member of the Home Rule League, supporting Charles Stewart Parnell in the 1880 general election, being “convinced that without self-government there could never be peace, prosperity or contentment in Ireland”. When the party split in 1891 he became an Anti-Parnellite until the Nationalist factions were reunited in 1900. He was Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1886 and 1887.

1884 – Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd are married. They had two sons within the first couple of years of their marriage. After the birth of their second child, they had become sexually estranged. It is unknown at what point Constance became aware of her husband’s homosexual relationships. In 1891 she met his lover Lord Alfred Douglas when Wilde brought him to their home for a visit. Around this time Wilde was living more in hotels, such as the Avondale Hotel, than at their home in Tite Street.

1917 – Birth of John ‘Jack’ Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th US President, in Brookline, Massachusetts.

1936 – The Free State Senate (upper house of parliament) is abolished.

1936 – Birth of Jackie Lee (born Jacqueline Norah Flood) in Clontarf, Co Dublin. She is a popular music singer, who has recorded under various names. Lee was a musical child prodigy and upon finishing her studies she became a vocalist with the top show bands playing prestigious Irish venues.

1942 – Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra record Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”, the best-selling single in history.

1953 – Death of James Downey; at the time he is probably the most famous publican (pub-owner) in the world for bringing to an end the longest ever pub strike. Downey’s premises in Dún Laoghaire had been the focus of a union dispute for 14 years, and brought the pub world fame.

1972 – The Official IRA announced a ceasefire. This marked the end of the Official IRA’s military campaign.

1974 – Northern Ireland is brought under direct rule from Westminster.

1981 – The names of four prisoners on hunger strike together with five other Republican prisoners, were put forward as candidates in the forthcoming general election in the Republic of Ireland.

1997 – US President, Bill Clinton, paid a visit to London. During a meeting with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, Clinton gave his support to the Labour government’s approach to Northern Ireland. Clinton called for a renewed IRA ceasefire and for Sinn Féin to be then allowed to enter all-party talks.

1999 – Thirteen RUC officers are injured as tensions explode on the streets of Portadown with both Loyalist and Nationalist rioters venting their fury in the wake of a banned parade along the lower Garvaghy Road.

1999 – The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR) was informed that the body of Jean McConville, who had been abducted from her home in Belfast in 1972 by the IRA, was buried under a car park at Templetown beach, five miles from Carlingford, Co Louth. After several extensive excavations over a number of weeks nothing was found. McConville’s body was discovered by accident in 2004.

1999 – There was further controversy at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry into the killings on 30 January 1972 when it became clear that George Robertson, British Secretary for Defence, was supporting 17 members of the Parachute Regiment who were claiming anonymity on the grounds that they would be in danger if their names were revealed.

2000 – Devolution was restored to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

2000 – For the second year in a row, l’Ecrivain on Dublin’s Baggot Street wins the Bushmills Malt Best Restaurant award, with proprietor Derry Clarke also taking Best Chef award.

2001 – Irish artists take a stand against racism by donating original works to a special fund-raising auction. Over 100 works by both new and established Irish artists go under the hammer at the Le Chéile auction in the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin.

2002 – Former Taoiseach Charles Haughey is €2.2m richer following the auction of a tiny part of his extensive Abbeville art collection.

2002 – Arts Minister Síle de Valera hails the State’s acquisition of a previously unseen collection of original manuscripts by James Joyce as “a monumental event in Ireland’s literary and cultural history”. The collection, stored in Paris for many years, consists of 500 sheets of handwritten notes by the author. It includes notes and drafts by Joyce on several works including his classics, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, as well as notebooks dating from the early 1900s.

2002 – John McGahern wins the €10,000 Kerry Ingredients Irish fiction award at the 32nd Listowel Writers’ Week for his novel That They May Face the Rising Sun.

2003 – According to the Eurydice report, Ireland has the largest number of children per class in Europe and our teachers have to work longer than most to earn the top salary.

2003 – Thousands of republicans and nationalists join in a series of protests across the country to mark the cancelled date for the North’s Assembly elections.

2015 – Death of William “Willie” Horgan. He was a hurling referee and a former footballer and hurler with his club Brian Dillons. Horgan officiated at a number of high profile club games in Cork before making his inter-county debut as a referee in 1981. After beginning in the minor, under-21 and junior grades he progressed to senior level where he took charge of numerous games between the league and the championship. Horgan was the referee for the 1991 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final between Kilkenny and Tipperary. He retired from inter-county activity in 1995.

Photo: The Black Valley, Co Kerry, Peter Cox Photography

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