#OTD in Irish History – 6 July:

1815 – Charles Bianconi, opens his first horse-drawn coach service, between Clonmel and Cahir, Co Tipperary, a distance of 10 miles.

1844 – Anti-Irish, anti-Catholic Nativists riot in Philadelphia against the increasing influence of the Catholic (i.e. Irish) Church and the influx of Irish immigrants. At least fifteen people die in the rioting.

1868 – Death of songwriter and novelist Samuel Lover. His compositions included Widow Machree, The Low Backed Car and Molly Bawn.

1907 – The Irish Crown Jewels were the heavily jewelled star and badge regalia of the Sovereign and Grand Master of the Order of St. Patrick. They were stolen from a safe in the office of Sir Arthur Vicars, the Ulster King of Arms, in Dublin Castle, along with the collars of five knights of the Order. The theft was never solved and the jewels never recovered.

1915 – Death of John O’Reily, Kilkenny born Archishop of Adelaide, Australia. In 1886 O’Reilly was elected bishop of the new diocese of Port Augusta, South Australia a position he held until he became the second Bishop of Adelaide, succeeding a fellow Irishman Christopher Augustine Reynolds.

1922 – A Free State expeditionary force is sent to County Wexford to re-take the towns there. It comprises 230 men under Colonel Commandant Keogh, with one field gun and four armoured vehicles.

1922 – Two Anti-Treaty fighters are killed in a skirmish outside a pub in Urlingford, Co Kilkenny.

1937 – Birth of comedian, Dave Allen, in Firhouse, Co Dublin.

1940 – Birth of Olympic gold medalist, Mary Peters, in Lancashire, UK. Her family moved to Ballymena (and later Belfast) at age eleven when her father’s job was relocated to the north of Ireland. She now lives in Lisburn just outside Belfast.

1946 – Clann na Poblachta, a radical new republican party is founded by Sean MacBride.

1962 – The first Late Late Show, hosted by Gay Byrne, is broadcast.

1970 – Irish Minister for External Affairs, Patrick Hillery, paid an unofficial visit to the Falls Road area of Belfast. The visit was criticised by Northern Ireland Prime Minister, Chichester-Clark, and by the British government.

1971 – Martin O’Leary of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) was killed in a premature explosion in Co Tipperary.

1993 – Yorkshire Television broadcast a documentary entitled ‘Hidden Hand – the Forgotten Massacre’ made as part of its ‘First Tuesday’ series. The programme dealt with the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 17 May 1974. The programme came to the conclusion that the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) would have required assistance to carry out the bomb attacks. There was speculation as to where such assistance might have come from. While no firm conclusions were reached, it was suggested that the security forces in Northern Ireland were the most likely source of help. Allegations concerning the existence of a covert British Army unit based at Castledillon were considered; as well as alleged links between that unit and Loyalist paramilitaries. It was shown that Merlyn Rees, former Secretary of State, had known of the unit’s existence. On 15 July 1993 the UVF issued a statement in which it claimed sole responsibility for the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings. https://youtu.be/yRQh0ZJBpq8

1997 – At 3.00am the RUC, in large numbers, entered the Garvaghy Road area of Portadown to ensure that the path of the planned Orange Order parade was free for the marchers. Police officers sealed off both sides of the road and kept the Catholic residents hemmed into their homes and side streets. These actions sparked rioting in the area. The RUC were supported by hundreds of British soldiers. Residents were unable to get to the local Catholic chapel and five priests celebrated an open-air mass in front of British Army armoured vehicles. Some people speculated that this was the first time since the ‘penal laws’ that British soldiers had prevented Catholics from attending mass.

1998 – Cranberries’ bass player, Mike Hogan, marries Siobhan O’Carroll.

1999 – The RUC uncovered a cache of petrol bombs in Ballymena, Co Antrim. The devices had been prepared by Loyalists.

1999 – Lawyers acting on behalf of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry began an appeal to the High Court in London over the decision to grant anonymity to members of the Parachute Regiment. Derek Wilford, who had commanded Paratroops on Bloody Sunday, was interviewed on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 during which he described the relatives of those killed as “representing the republican organisation”. Families of the dead reacted angrily to the remarks.

2000 – In an effort to curb inflation, the government orders a freeze on the price of drinks; publicans consider a Hight Court challenge to overturn the order.

2000 – Tensions intensify in the north as a second major parades ban is placed on the Orange order.

2001 – Official figures show that the average price of a new house is £144,116 – more than double what it was in 1996.

2001 – U2 opens the European leg of the Elevation Tour at the 10,000 Forum in Copenhagen.

Photo: Trinity College Long Room, Dublin

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