#OTD in Irish History – 13 September:

1494 – Edward Poynings, best known for his introduction of “Poynings Law,” which prevented the Irish Parliament from meeting without royal permission and approval of its agenda, is appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland.

1803 – Death of John Barry, a native of Ballystampson, Co Wexford, Commodore in the US Navy and renowned as the Father of the American Navy.

1833 – Birth of Medal of Honor winner James Quinlan from Co Tipperary. James J. Quinlan was a Union Army officer during the American Civil War and a recipient of America’s highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions at the Battle of Savage’s Station. His citations states he “led his regiment on the enemy’s battery, silenced the guns, held the position against overwhelming numbers, and covered the retreat of the Second Army Corps.”

1903 – Pádraig Pearse arrives in Ros Muc, Co Galway and takes up residence at his cottage in Inbhear.

1912 – In a speech at Dundee, Winston Churchill announces his support of a policy of devolution for Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

1922 – The Anti-Treaty IRA in Dublin mounts three separate ambushes of Free State troops at Stephen’s Green, Mountjoy Square and O’Connell Bridge in the city centre. The ambushes, consisting of gun and grenade attacks, result in the death of one republican, the injury of another and the serious wounding of three National Army soldiers and three civilians.

1951 – Birth of short story writer, playwright and screenwriter, Anne Devlin, in Belfast. She was a teacher from 1974–1978 and started writing fiction in 1976 in Germany. Having lived in London for a decade, she returned to Belfast in 2007. She is the daughter of Paddy Devlin, a Labour Party (NILP) Member of the Parliament of Northern Ireland and later a founding member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). In January 1969, while a student at the New University of Ulster, Devlin joined a civil rights march from Belfast to Derry, organised by the People’s Democracy. At Burntollet Bridge, a few miles from Derry, the march was attacked by loyalists. Devlin was struck on the head, knocked unconscious, fell into the river and was brought to hospital suffering from concussion.

1956 – Birth of Edward Martin Hurson. He was an Irish republican hunger striker and a volunteer in the East Tyrone Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). Hurson, from Cappagh, (near Dungannon) Co Tyrone was one of nine children born to Johnnie and Mary Ann Hurson. Hurson was educated to a primary level at Crosscavanagh Primary School in Galbally and at secondary level in St. Patrick’s, Galbally.

1961 – 13-16: The Siege of Jadotville – during the UN’s intervention in the Katanga conflict in Congo-Léopoldville, in Central Africa. “A” Company, 35th Battalion (UN service) of the Irish Army ONUC contingent was attacked by Katanga Gendarmerie troops loyal to the Katangese Prime Minister Moise Tshombe.

1976 – Kieran Nugent was the first prisoner to be sentenced under the new prison regime introduced on 1 March 1976 which meant that he would not receive special category status. Nugent was sent to the new ‘H-Blocks’ of Long Kesh Prison where he refused to wear prison clothes, choosing instead to wrap a blanket around himself. This marked the beginning of the ‘Blanket Protest’. This protest was to culminate in the hunger strikes of 1981 when ten Republican prisoners died.

1981 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Humphrey Atkins, was appointed as deputy Foreign Secretary. James Prior was appointed by the British government to take over the post of Secretary of State.

1983 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Prior, defended the use of evidence supplied by ‘supergrasses’.

1987 – Birth of former a rugby player, Luke Fitzgerald, in Co Wicklow. He played at winger or fullback for Leinster. He retired in June 2016. Having previously studied at Blackrock College he won two Leinster Schools Senior Cups, in 2004 and 2006. He won his first cap for Ireland in November 2006. Fitzgerald has earned the nickname “Pivot” from Leinster and Irish rugby fans due to his exciting runs and sidesteps from broken play

1999 – Former US Senator George Mitchell returns to Northern Ireland as he embarks on the second week of his review of the Good Friday Agreement.

1999 – Clonakilty, Co Cork wins the Tidy Town competition.

Photo: Enniscrone, Co Sligo, Gareth McCormack Photography

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