#OTD in Irish History – 23 July:

1803 – In opposition to the Act of Union, Robert Emmet leads an armed outbreak that is easily suppressed.

1830 – Birth of John O’Leary, Fenian, in Tipperary; referred to famously by Yeats in his poem “September 1913″: ‘Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone/It’s with O’Leary in the grave’.

1834 – St. Vincent’s Hospital, established by the Sisters of Charity, opens in Dublin.

1834 – James Gibbons, American Cardinal, Bishop of Richmond from and Archbishop of Baltimore is born in Baltimore, MD to parents Thomas and Bridget (née Walsh) Gibbons who had emigrated from Tourmakeady, Co Mayo. Not long after his birth, the family returned to Ireland. After his father’s death in 1847 at the height of The Great Hunger, Gibbons’ mother moved the family back to the United States. He was elevated to Cardinal in 1886, only the second American to gain the honour. Gibbons was an active supporter of the working class and unions at a time when labour was exploited by numerous employers, stating ”It is the right of labouring classes to protect themselves, and the duty of the whole people to find a remedy against avarice, oppression, and corruption.”

1883 – Birth of Alan Francis Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke; military commander, in Bagnéres-de-Bigorre, France.

1889 – Birth in Chicago of writer Raymond Chandler, creator of Philip Marlowe. He was born to Irish Quaker and Irish Catholic parents.

1920 – A critical meeting of the Coalition Government’s Cabinet was held in London. The Cabinet was divided on how to proceed. Some Liberal ministers and Dublin Castle officials were in favour of offering dominion status to Ireland. Unionist ministers argued that the Government must crush the insurgency and proceed with the Government of Ireland Bill. Debate continued after the meeting: Walter Long warned of “the gravest consequences in Ulster” if the Government changed course; by 2 August, the hawks prevailed.

1922 – Free State troops under General W.R.E. Murphy take Bruff and Kilmallock in Co Limerick.

1948 – Birth of former Alliance Party and Fine Gael politician, John Cushnahan, in Belfast.

1970 – A ban on parades and public processions until January 1971 was announced by the Stormont government.

1971 – The British Army carried out early morning raids across Northern Ireland and arrested 48 people.

1981 – The leader of the delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross announced that the situation with regard to the hunger strike was deadlocked and in such circumstances they had no role to play.

1982 – The ‘Northern Ireland Act 1982‘, which established the rules for the proposed Assembly, became law.

1988 – The IRA ‘mistakenly’ killed a married couple and their six-year old son in a bomb attack at Killeen, Co Armagh.

1997 – A document containing proposals on decommissioning that had been prepared by the British and Irish governments was rejected by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) during a meeting at Stormont. Despite this outcome the two governments insisted that substantive negotiations would begin at Stormont on 15 September 1997.

1997 – In the European Parliament, MEPs from many countries supported a call for the release of files related to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings on 17 May 1974, which resulted in the deaths of 33 people. The relatives of those killed claimed that the RUC had hampered the investigations of the Garda Síochána. Although the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) admitted responsibility for the bombs many commentators claimed that there had also been British Intelligence involvement.

1998 – Irish under-18 squad defeat Cyprus to reach final in European Football Championship.

1998 – The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) estimated that the disturbances surrounding the Drumcree parade had resulted in damage to property of £3 million. The estimate for 1997 was £10 million and 1996 £20 million.

1999 – The nation pays its last respects to arson victim Garda Sergeant Andy Callanan, who is buried with full State honours.

1999- – Guinness Blues Festival gets underway in 30 venues across Dublin.

2001 – Under heavy garda surveillance, the gangland funeral of Seamus “Shavo” Hogan takes place at St Agnes’ Church, Crumlin, Dublin.

2002 – According to the United Nations report, Ireland is regarded as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.

2004 – Death of Joe Cahill, a prominent Irish republican and former chief of staff of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA).

Photo: Overlooking the Devil’s Castle at Bromore Cliffs just a mile north of Ballybunion, Co Kerry, photo credit: Alan Egan Photography

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