#OTD in Irish History – 15 June:

1555 – After Henry VIII suppresses the Chapter of St Patrick’s Cathedral it is restored on this date.

1698 – Count George de Browne, governor of Livonia, Latvia, and field marshal in the Russian army, is born in Camas, Co Limerick.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: The Rebel’s main division marches to Mountpleasant.

1828 – Birth of Sir Thomas Newenhan Deane, architect, in Dundanion, Co Cork.

1866 – Birth of composer and teacher, Charles Wood in Co Armagh. Wood notably co-edited three books of carols, wrote eight string quartets, and was co-founder (in 1904) of the Irish Folk Song Society.

1902 – Birth of cartoonist, Charles Edward Kelly in Dublin. Kelly was one of the founders and editors of the satirical magazine Dublin Opinion. His prolific contributions to the magazine were drawn in a variety of styles, from cartoony to illustrative.

1919 – Pioneer Atlantic airmen Alcock and Brown land at Clifden, Co Galway and complete the first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight.

1920 – Percival Lea-Wilson, a District Inspector in the RIC who was stationed at Gorey was shot dead by the IRA outside his Gorey home on 15 June 1920, on the orders of Michael Collins.

1921 – Members of the East Clare Brigade IRA were ambushed by British soldiers at Woodcock Hill, Meelick while they were attempting to raid the Limerick to Ennis train. Captain Christopher McCarthy of the IRA was wounded during the ambush and his comrade Captain Michael Gleeson returned under fire to rescue McCarthy. Both men were subsequently captured by British soldiers and killed. This event has since been known as The Meelick Ambush.

1961 – Birth of former professional boxer, Dave McAuley, in Larne, Co Antrim. During his professional career he held the IBF world title in the Flyweight category. He was arguably Ireland’s greatest ever Flyweight.

1967 – Black Velvet Band by Johnny Kelly and the Capitol showband reaches no. 1 in the Irish charts.

1969 – The Campaign for Social Justice published a second edition of ‘Northern Ireland The Plain Truth’, which set out the allegations of discrimination against Catholics by Unionists in the region.

1979 – The memorial statue to James Larkin on O’Connell Street, Dublin is unveiled. Larkin, a revolutionary socialist, dominated the Irish Trade Union movement. G. B. Shaw once described him as ‘the greatest Irishman since Parnell’.

1981 – Sinn Féin issued a statement to say that a Republican prisoner would join the hunger strike every week. This was seen as a stepping-up of the hunger strike. Paddy Quinn, then an IRA prisoner joined the strike.

1982 – Actor Neil Fitzgerald dies at 90, in Princeton NJ.

1988 – An IRA bomb in Lisburn killed six off-duty British Army soldiers.

1989 – Ray McAlly, actor, dies in Dublin at 63.

1996 – Manchester bombing: After a telephoned warning, the PIRA exploded a bomb in Manchester, England. It destroyed a large part of the city centre and injured over 200 people. To date, it is the largest bomb to be detonated on the British mainland since the Second World War.

1988 – Lisburn van bombing: Six off-duty British Army soldiers were killed by a PIRA bomb attached to their van in Lisburn. The bomb was made in such a way so as to ensure it exploded upwards, lowering the risk of collateral damage.

1998 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern dines at Cardiff Castle as European Union heads of government celebrate the launch of “the people’s Europe”. Mr. Ahern is given a place of honour on the left of Queen Elizabeth II.

2003 – The total ban on smoking in pubs will definitely not go ahead on 1 January next, the country’s leading publicans’ representative confidently predict.

2003 – According to a new international survey, Irish women are far more likely to be better educated than their male counterparts. The study based on joint UNESCO, OECD and EU data shows over 93% of 18-year-old females in Ireland are in continuing education, while only 66% of males are still in school or college.

2010 – David Cameron issues a formal, state apology for the “unjustified and unjustifiable” killing of 14 civil rights marchers by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972. The prime minister said Lord Saville inquiry’s long-awaited report showed soldiers lied about their involvement in the killings, and that all of those who died were innocent.

Image | Inishsirrer, Gweedore, Co Donegal | Gareth Wray Photography

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