1575 – On the orders of Essex, John Norris and Francis Drake led an attack on Rathlin Island, a stronghold of the MacDonnells. After the surrender of Bruce’s castle, its 200 occupants were killed, as were 400 others found hiding in caves and cliffs.
1739 – George Clinton, first governor of New York State, is born to an Irish family that had immigrated to New Britain, a small town near the Hudson River. He served as vice president under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
1782 – Birth of composer John Field in Dublin. His nocturnes for piano are the inspiration for much of Chopin’s work.
1813 – A Catholic is killed at the ‘Battle of Garvagh’, a sectarian confrontation in Co Derry.
1856 – The Anglican Church of Ireland is disestablished as the state religion by the Irish Church Act.
1856 – Birth of playwright, critic and Nobel Prize laureate, George Bernard Shaw, in Dublin.
1869 – British Royal assent is given to the Bill disestablishing the Irish Church (Anglican).
1914 – Irish Volunteers during the Howth Gun Running.
1918 – World War I Air Ace Edward “Mick” Mannock is killed when his plane is brought down by enemy fire. The Ballincollig, Co Cork born pilot was probably the highest scoring British air ace of the war with 61 confirmed “kills” and some sources suggesting he brought down 73 German planes. Mannock won the Military Cross twice, three Distinguished Service Orders, and posthumously the Victoria Cross.
1920 – IRA volunteers attacked an RIC cycling patrol at Ballyrush, Co Sligo.
1922 – Free State troops, 350 men under Jerry Ryan, take Golden, Co Tipperary.
1927 – Entertainer, Danny La Rue is born Daniel Patrick Carroll in Co Cork.
1950 – Sir Gilbert Laithwaite and John Duality are installed as the first UK ambassador to Ireland and Irish ambassador to the UK respectively.
1959 – Birth of musician and singer, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh in Gweedore, Co Donegal. She is the lead vocalist for the Irish folk music band Altan, which she co-founded with her late husband Frankie Kennedy in 1987.
1960 – Death of Dubliner, Cedric Gibbons, art director and designer of the Oscar awards.
1972 – Public Records (Released 1 January 2003): Letter from Ronnie Custis, with the Ministry of Defence, to Christopher Roberts, with the Prime Minister’s office, about additional rules of engagement for British soldiers in Northern Ireland.
1983 – Irish Foreign Minister, Peter Barry, travelled to London and told a group of Members of Parliament (MPs) that democracy in Northern Ireland was being undermined by the increase vote for Sinn Féin.
1983 – Gerry Adams, Vice-President of Sinn Féin, was in London as a guest of Ken Livingstone, leader of the Greater London Council (GLC). Adams said that Britain had erected a ‘wall of misinformation’ around Northern Ireland.
1986 – Three RUC officers (Karl Blackbourne, Peter Kilpatrick and Charles Allen) were shot dead by the IRA in Market Street, Newry, Co Down. The officers had been sitting in a parked armoured patrol car when the attack took place.
1987 – Stephen Roche becomes the first Irishman to win the Tour de France.
1998 – Robert Saulters, the Grand Master of the Orange Order, puts his leadership on the line with a call for talks with nationalist residents.
2001 – Thirteen-year old Michael Beirne wins first prize in the Irish Animation Festival competition.
2006 – In what is described as a discovery ‘of staggering importance’ it is announced that an ancient book of psalms has been found in a bog in the midlands. The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000. Trinity College manuscripts expert Bernard Meehan said it was the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries.
Photo: Rathgall Hill Fort, Co Wicklow, photo credit: Copter View
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