#OTD in Irish History – 29 July:

1693 – Patrick Sarsfield is mortally wounded at the Battle of Landen. He dies of his wounds three days later at Huy in Belgium, where he is buried in the grounds of St. Martin’s Church.

1752 – Death of Co Meath born, naval officer Sir Peter Warren (b. 10 March 1703). Warren signed on as an ordinary seaman in Dublin, in 1716 when he was 13 years old and rapidly rose in the ranks. His ship patrolled American colonial waters to provide protection from French forces. He commanded the naval forces in the attack on the French fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia in 1745. Warren later sat as MP for Westminster. He was an adept land speculator also and garnered thousands of acres in the New York area.

1848 – An Gorta Mor: Tipperary Revolt – In Tipperary, an unsuccessful nationalist revolt against British rule is put down by police.

1883 – James Carey, member of the Invincibles, turns Queen’s evidence; five of his associates are hanged for the murders of Burke and Cavendish. Carey is followed to South Africa by Patrick O’Donnell, and shot dead on the Melrose, en route from Cape Town to Natal. O’Donnell is hanged in London on 17 December.

1920 – One RIC man was killed and one wounded in an IRA ambush in Ballina, Co Mayo.

1922 – About 400 Republicans attack Golden, Tipperary, but fail to take it and two of their men are killed. Their armoured car is knocked out by artillery and the National Army takes 26 prisoners.

1945 – Article published by John F. Kennedy for Hearst Newspaper group about Ireland Seething Again Over Partition. Kennedy’s comments about “the brilliant, austere de Valera” are particularly astute who is still “fighting politically the same relentless battle, that was fought in the field during the uprising of 1916, in the war of independence and later in the civil war.” Kennedy is not always given credit for his writing abilities, (with most credit for speech writing given rightly to his Counselor Ted Sorenson), but some elements of this article are lyrical. Commenting on de Valera’s debate elaboration, “he left the situation to many observers as misty as this island on an early winter’s morning. ” And on de Valera’s Fianna Fáil colleagues: “All have been in both England and Ireland prisons, and many have wounds which still ache when the cold winds come in from the west.”

1953 – Birth of Frank McGuinness in Buncrana, Co Donegal. He is an award-winning playwright and poet. As well as his own works, which include Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, he is recognised for a “strong record of adapting literary classics, having translated the plays of Racine, Sophocles, Ibsen and Strindberg to critical acclaim”. Prof. McGuinness has been Professor of Creative Writing at University College Dublin (UCD) since 2007.

1969 – The Irish Finance Act exempts people considered by the Revenue Commissioners to have written works of cultural or artistic merit from income tax on money earned by the works.

1975 – Death of Tom Dunphy, one of the pioneers of the country music scene, and friend to many in the business, died when the car he was driving was in an accident at Drumsna, Co Leitrim. Band member Noel Ryan, who was a passenger in the car, escaped with little more than concussion. Tom Dunphy (37) was one of the original Royal Showband, those trail blazers who stormed out of Waterford to become the biggest band in the land. His great colleague Brendan Bowyer, whose recording of The Hucklebuck remains the definitive showband song of them all, clearly recalls the sad occasion.

1976 – An off-duty RUC officer was killed by a British soldier following an argument at a check point in Bessbrook, Co Armagh.

1981 – Representatives from Sinn Féin (SF) and the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) visited those taking part in the hunger strike. SF and the IRSP suggested that the strike be suspended for three months to allow time to monitor prison reforms. This suggestion was rejected by the hunger strikers and Republican prisoners.

1982 – British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, stated that, “no commitment exists for Her Majesty’s government to consult the Irish government on matters affecting Northern Ireland”.

1991 – Rhonda Paisley, a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor and daughter of Ian Paisley, said that the bomb attacks the previous day by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) were “perfectly understandable” given the “betrayal” of Northern Ireland by the British government.

1994 – The IRA carried out a mortar attack on a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station in Newry, Co Down. Over 40 people were injured in the attack.

1998 – Rhonda Paisley daughter of Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), was awarded £24,249 by Northern Ireland’s Fair Employment Tribunal. It ruled that she had been discriminated against after being turned down for the post of Arts Co-operation Officer.

1998 – The threat to Irish rail services on August Bank Holiday Monday is lifted following the intervention by the chief executive of the Labour Relations Commission, Kieran Mulvey.

1999 – Quinze coasts to an easy victory in the Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap.

1999 – Brian Meehan is jailed for life after he is convicted of the murder of journalist, Veronica Guerin.

1999 – A man, in his mid-50s from the USA, was arrested by Garda Síochána in Clifden, Co Galway, in connection with a suspected conspiracy to smuggle arms into the State. Earlier, Gardaí discovered two handguns and a quantity of ammunition in a parcel at the SDS postal depot on the Naas Road in Dublin. In Fort Lauderdale, three Irish citizens arrested in connection with the conspiracy were refused bail by a Federal Court judge. A prosecution lawyer for one of the men, Conor Anthony Claxton, said he described himself as “a member of the IRA”.

1999 – ‘Channel 4 News’ and ‘Computer Weekly’ both made claims that there was a “cover up” by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) of the true reasons for the Chinook helicopter crash on the Mull of Kintyre on 2 June 1994. The crash resulted in the deaths of 29 security force and intelligence personnel. While the MOD insisted that pilot error was to blame it emerged that the computer navigation equipment on the helicopter was at the centre of a legal dispute between the MOD and the suppliers of the equipment and software.

2001 – Thousands of people climb Mayo’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick, for the annual national pilgrimage.

2001 – Michael Flatley announces his retirement in Dallas at the last show of his Feet of Flames World Tour.

2002 – The first public-private partnership deal to fast-track the building of 170 million euro hospital scheme is launched.

2015 – Death of Racing commentator Peter O’Sullevan (born in Kenmore, Co Kerry). Peter O’Sullevan loved a bet, but most of all he loved the horses. The former commentator’s campaigns against misuse of the whip were heartfelt and consistent.

Photo: Slea Head, Dingle, Co Kerry © Stair na hÉireann

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