#OTD in Irish History – 8 June:

1561 – Shane O’Neill rebels and is proclaimed a traitor.

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

1798 – United Irish Rebellion: The Arklow garrison is reinforced in Co Wicklow. In Co Wexford, The rebel southern division moves camp from Carrickbyrne to Slievecoilte. In Ulster, General Nugent offers amnesty to rank and file rebels. Rebel forces in Antrim begin to disintegrate.

1847 – Acts setting up soup-kitchens and rate-aided outdoor Famine relief come to an end.

1849 – Death of eminent surgeon, medical writer and philanthropist, Richard Carmichael. Born in Bishop Street, Dublin, son of Hugh Carmichael, a solicitor, and Sarah Rogers from Co Meath; he studied medicine at the nearby College of Surgeons. He founded the Irish Medical Association in 1840 and was president of it until his death. Carmichael drowned while riding his horse across the sands to his summer residence in Sutton, near Dublin, and was buried in St. George’s Churchyard, Whitworth Road.

1886 – Gladstone’s Home Rule Bill is defeated.

1905 – Brian Coffey, poet and scientist, is born in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

1926 – Birth of screenwriter, producer, and director, Kevin McClory in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. McClory was best known for adapting Ian Fleming’s James Bond character for the screen, for producing Thunderball, and for his legal battles with Fleming (later United Artists, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Eon Productions).

1971 – General Officer Commanding the British Army, Harry Tuzo, said that a permanent military solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland could not be achieved.

1974 – The Price sisters ended their hunger strike in Brixton Prison, England. The hunger strike had lasted six months because of a policy of force-feeding by the prison authorities.

1981 – Thomas McElwee began his hunger strike in the H Blocks of Long Kesh prison. He was a volunteer in the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) who died on 8 August after 62 days on hunger strike.

1985 – Barry McGuigan wins the World Featherweight Boxing Title defeating Eusebio Pedroza over 15 rounds at Loftus Road soccer stadium in London. McGuigan’s father, singer Pat McGeegan sang Danny Boy prior to the fight.

1992 – A BBC programme made a number of claims about Brian Nelson, who had operated as a British Army agent and an Ulster Defence Association (UDA) intelligence officer. The programme claimed that Nelson had been involved in 10 murders, attempted murders, or conspiracies to murder, and that his British Army controllers had known of the events. The programme further claimed that in some instances British Army intelligence had failed to pass on information about planned attacks to the RUC.

1998 – The IDA and Apple Computer management continue emergency talks over the expected loss of at least 500 jobs at the American giant’s plant in Co Cork.

1998 – The fact that the newly established Police Commission in Northern Ireland did not contain any of the people nominated by the Irish government, on behalf of Nationalists in Northern Ireland, was thought to have caused considerable difficulties between the two governments. A leaked memo indicated that Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, had personally contacted the Irish government, the White House, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, Sinn Féin, and other interested parties to explain her decision and to seek agreement for it.

1998 – After being nominated in six categories, Galway’s Druid Theatre wins four Tony awards for its production of Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Director Garry Hynes wins best director, the first woman in the history of the Tonys to receive this honour; Marie Mullen wins best actress, Anna Manahan best supporting actress, and Tom Murphy best supporting actor.

2001 – The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland comes under fierce new pressure after big General Election victories by the Rev. Ian Paisley’s hardline Democratic Unionists.

2003 – An RTÉ spokesperson confirms that the popular Who Wants to be a Millionaire quiz show is to be axed due to lack of funding.

2004 – Catholic Primate Archbishop Sean Brady makes history by being the first Roman Catholic leader to attend the opening of the Presbyterian General Assembly in Belfast.

Photo: Athenry Castle, Co Galway, photo credit: Ireland of The Welcomes

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