#OTD in Irish History – 12 October:

1645 – Archbishop Rinuccini arrives in Ireland. He was a Roman Catholic archbishop in the mid seventeenth century. He was a noted legal scholar who became chamberlain to Pope Gregory XV, who made him the Archbishop of Fermo in Italy. He is best known for his time as Papal Nuncio to Ireland during the time of conflict known as the Irish Confederate Wars (1645-49) during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

1671 – Birth of soldier and memoir author, Peter Drake, in Co Meath.

1798 – French fleet intercepted off Donegal and Wolfe Tone is captured when the Hoche strikes its colours.

1876 – Birth of sculptor, Jerome Connor, near Anascaul, Co Kerry.

1911 – Birth in Portrush of Fred Daly, the only Irishman to win a golf ‘major’ – the British Open in 1947.

1920 – Four RIC men were killed by the IRA in an ambush at Ballinderry, Co Roscommon.

1920 – Birth of hurler, Christy Ring, near Cloyne, Co Cork. His league and championship career with the Cork senior team spanned twenty-four years from 1939 to 1963. He established many championship records, including career appearances (65), scoring tally (33-208) and number of All-Ireland medals won (8), however, these records were subsequently bested by Brendan Cummins, Eddie Keher and Henry Shefflin respectively. Ring is widely regarded as one of the greatest hurlers in the history of the game, with many former players, commentators and fans rating him as the number one player of all time.

1920 – In Co Wexford five IRA volunteers were killed and nine were injured (five severely), when explosives being prepared accidentally detonated in an old unoccupied house located at St. Kearns, Saltmills.

1938 – Birth of singer, Brendan Bowyer, in Co Waterford. Best known for fronting “The Royal Showband” and the “Big 8” band. Also renowned for having The Beatles open for him at a concert in 1962 at the “The Liverpool Empire” and being regarded as one of the first headlining Elvis impersonators. Elvis Presley himself was a big fan of Brendan’s performances and would often attend Brendan’s concerts in the Stardust Resort and Casino, Las Vegas during the 1970s.

1945 – Birth of microbiologist and environmentalist, Emer Colleran, in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

1966 – Birth of singer-songwriter and author, Brian Kennedy, in Belfast. Best known for his ballads, and as representing Ireland at Eurovision 2006.

1969 – Death of Irish language educator, Louise Gavan Duffy, in Dublin.

1970 – Founding in Dublin of what is considered to be the first Celtic rock band, Horslips.

1975 – Sir Oliver Plunkett is canonised in Rome. He was beatified in 1920 and canonised in 1975, the first new Irish saint for almost seven hundred years.

1975 – There was a split in the Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party (VUPP) following William Craig’s support for a coalition with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). Craig was expelled from the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC) for advocating a coalition with the SDLP.

1978 – The IRA planted a bomb on the Belfast to Dublin train and one woman was killed and two others injured when it exploded without adequate warning.

1984 – Brighton Hotel Bombing: The PIRA carried out a bomb attack on the Grand Hotel, Brighton, England, which was being used as the base for the Conservative Party’s annual conference. Four people were killed in the attack and another person died later from injuries received. The attack was an attempt to kill British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and members of her cabinet and it very nearly succeeded. It was later discovered that the bomb had been planted with a long delay timing device in one of the rooms of the hotel. The PIRA later issued a statement directed at Thatcher: Today, we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once – you will have to be lucky always.

1986 – Charles Haughey, Leader of Fianna Fáil, said that since the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) the position of Nationalists in Northern Ireland had ‘seriously worsened’ and that when Fianna Fáil returned to government his party would seek to renegotiate the Agreement.

1999 – Former US Senator George Mitchell moves his make or break review of the Good Friday Agreement to London, just hours after new Secretary of State Peter Mandelson arrives in Northern Ireland to meet the North’s political leaders.

2000 – Roman Catholic and Protestant Bishops are on a collision course following Archbishop Dr Desmond O’ Connell’s backing of the controversial document “Dominus Iesus” which proclaims the Catholic Church to be the one true church.

2001 – The trial of Colm Murphy, charged in connection with the Omagh bombing, began in the Special Criminal Court in Dublin. Murphy was accused of conspiring with another person to cause an explosion. Murphy, originally from Co Armagh, had an address at Ravensdale, Co Louth. He was also charged with membership of an illegal organisation.

2002 – Paddy’s Bar, owned by Cork woman Natalia Daly, is destroyed in a series of explosions which kill more than 200 people in Bali. Most of those killed or injured are Australian tourists; the dead and injured also include Swiss, Germans, Swedes, Americans, Britons and Italians. Three Irish people are still unaccounted for.

2010 – Death of unionist politician, Austin Ardill, in Belfast. He served in the Royal Irish Fusiliers from 1939 to 1946, winning the Military Cross for his bravery on the Greek island of Leros and retiring as a captain. He was a prisoner of war for 18 months before being freed by Allied troops after the D-Day landings. He also served as chairman of the Irish Temperance League.

Photo: Lough Eske, Co Donegal, submitted by Amy Meehan

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