#OTD in Irish History – 6 June:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of Saint Iarlaithe mac Loga, also known as Jarlath, first Abbot-Bishop of Tuam, an Irish priest and scholar from Connacht, remembered as the founder of the monastic School of Tuam and patron saint of the Archdiocese of Tuam.

1333 – William de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, ‘the Brown Earl’, is assassinated by his own knights, John de Logan and two of the de Mandevilles, at Le Ford, Belfast. The background is one of intrigue among Norman-Irish lords: William has driven de Mandeville out of Ulster and has starved his own kinsman, Walter de Burgh, to death at Northburgh Castle. His death is followed by a rising of the de Mandevilles and de Logans, allied with the Gaelic Irish of Ulster.

1592 – Red Hugh O’Donnell, son of the Earl of Tyrconnell makes a dramatic escape from the Record Tower and returns to Co Donegal and the leadership of his Clan.

1739 – John Scott, Earl of Clonmel; ‘Copper-Faced Jack’; Chief Justice, is born in Co Tipperary.

1763 – William Simms, a founder and secretary of the United Irishmen, is born.

1790 – Edmund Butler, 11th Viscount Mountgarret and former MP for Co Kilkenny, fights a duel with a Counsellor Bushe during which Bushe is seriously injured in the stomach.

1798 – General Needham reaches Arklow in Co Wexford and immediately begins digging trenches.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Rebellion breaks out in Ulster – Henry Joy McCracken issues proclamation calling United Irishmen in Ulster to arms.

1800 – Ordination of the first priests at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. The college was founded in 1795 as the National Seminary for Ireland.

1820 – Death of politician, Henry Grattan. Born in Dublin, he was a politician and member of the Irish House of Commons, who campaigned for legislative freedom for the Irish Parliament in the late 18th century. A brilliant orator, he was one of the key players in winning legislative independence for Ireland in 1782. Grattan opposed the Act of Union 1800 that merged the Kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain, but later sat as a member of the united Parliament in London.

1871 – Joseph Shanahan, missionary bishop in Africa, is born near Templederry, Co Tipperary.

1880 – Birth of William Thomas Cosgrave, Irish statesman and father of Liam Cosgrave. A member of Sinn Féin, he fought in the Easter Rebellion and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Freed a year later, he was elected to the British Parliament in 1918 but protested British rule by refusing to take his seat.

1882 – In Liverpool, Mayo native-son and hero, Michael Davitt, advocates land nationalisation in preference to peasant proprietorship.

1898 – Birth of Dame Ninette de Valois, Wicklow-born founder of the Royal Ballet.

1913 – Birth in Dublin of Patrick Campbell, author and broadcaster; he wrote sixteen books, including Life in Thin Slices, Rough Husbandry and How to Become a Scratch Golfer (he was one himself).

1920 – RIC sergeant Tim Holland and a civilian Peter McReesh were killed by gunfire in an IRA ambush near Cullyhanna in south Co Armagh.

1921 – The British government called off the policy of house burnings as official reprisals.

1940 – Willie John McBride, Ireland and Lions rugby captain, is born in Toomebridge, Co Antrim.

1954 – Birth of Tim O’Reilly in Co Cork. He is the founder of O’Reilly Media (formerly O’Reilly and Associates). He popularized the terms open source and Web 2.0. O’Reilly moved to San Francisco with his family at a young age. O’Reilly has been propagating the notion of “government as platform”, or “Gov 2.0”. He is considered the most enthusiastic promoter of algorithmic regulation, the ongoing monitoring and modification of government policies via open data feedback.

1968 – At 12:50 a.m. on 5 June, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a presidential candidate, is shot three times in a hail of gunfire in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The senator had just completed a speech celebrating his victory in the California presidential primary. The shooter, Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan, had a smoking .22 revolver wrested from his grip and was promptly arrested. Kennedy, critically wounded, was rushed to the hospital, where he fought for his life for the next 24 hours. On the morning of 6 June, he died. He was 42 years old. On 8 June, Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, also the final resting place of his assassinated older brother, President John F. Kennedy.

1968 – Cameraman for the BBC News in the UK, Simon Cumbers (born in Navan, Co Meath) was shot by a gunman in a terrorist attack and died while reporting in As-Suwaidi, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His partner Frank Gardner was also shot and he survived the terrorist attack but was left paralyzed. A year after Cumbers’ death, Irish Aid established the Simon Cumbers Media fund in honour of his memory. The fund’s aim is to help, assist, and promote better quality media coverage of issues in the Irish media.

1983 – The State Department in the USA refused an application for a visitors visa by Bernadette McAliskey née Devlin.

1997 – After a general election, when the count was finished the ruling coalition government of Fine Gael, Labour, and Democratic Left, obtained 77 seats but was defeated by a coalition of Fianna Fáil, Progressive Democrats, and a number of independents, who obtained 81 seats. Sinn Féin won its first seat in the Daíl since its decision in 1986 to end its policy of abstentionism. The incoming government was led by Bertie Ahern who became the new Taoiseach. On 26 June 1997 Ahern finished appointment of his cabinet.

1999 – Death of William ‘Billy’ Brown, an Irish musician and artist. He is best remembered as a singer, saxophonist and pianist with The Freshmen, one of Ireland’s most popular show bands of the 1960s and 70s.

2004 – Death of cameraman, Simon Cumbers. Born in Navan, Co Meath, he was worked for the BBC News in the United Kingdom, was shot by a gunman in a terrorist attack and died while reporting in As-Suwaidi, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His partner Frank Gardner was also shot and he survived the terrorist attack but was left paralyzed.

Photo: Cliffs at Dun Aengus, Inis Mór, Co Galway

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