#OTD in Irish History – 6 April:

1830 – James Augustine Healy, the first black Roman Catholic bishop in America, was born to an Irish planter and a slave on a plantation near Macon, Georgia. He was known as the ‘Children’s Priest’.

1837 – Henry Beresford, 3rd Marquess of Waterford and his fox-hunting friends arrived in Melton Mowbray at the Thorpe End tollgate. They had been drinking heavily at Croxton races, and understandably the tollkeeper asked to be paid before he opened the gate for them. Sadly for him some repairs were underway, and ladders, brushes and pots of red paint were lying nearby; the Marquess and his cronies seized these and attacked the tollkeeper, painting him and a constable who intervened red. They then nailed up the door of the tollhouse and painted that red before moving into the town carrying the stolen equipment.

1889 – Actor, Barry Macollum, was born.

1895 – Oscar Wilde was arrested, in the Cadogan Hotel, London, after losing a libel case against John Sholto Douglas (9th Marquess of Queensberry), who had called Wilde a homosexual. Wilde was having an affair with his son. He was sentenced to two years hard labour for gross indecency.

1915 – Roger Casement wrote to Count George Von Wedel asking for some sixty-six ‘named’ men to be removed from Limburg on the grounds that ‘they are Englishmen pure and simple, or wholly pro-English, and therefore hostile to the effort to form an Irish Brigade. Their removal will have a salutary affect, as they have been terrorising the well disposed among the Irish soldiers.’

1918 – The Irish Convention held its 51st and final meeting at Trinity College Dublin. It ended with votes of thanks to its chairman, Sir Horace Plunkett, and to its host, the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College who placed Regent House and its accommodation at the disposal of the Convention.

1918 – The Kerry town of Tralee is preparing for the arrival of Duffy’s Circus later this month. The exciting programme of entertainment will be headlined by John Moriarty, a Tralee native and a World Champion weightlifter.

1919 – Limerick city IRA members attempted to free a prisoner from the Limerick prison workhouse. Two RIC men and the prisoner were killed in the ensuing fire fight.

1922 – Six ex-RIC men were shot dead in counties Mayo, Clare and Kerry.

1922 – Two USC men were shot dead in counties Tyrone and Armagh.

1923 – In Kerry, Free State troops mounted an operation aimed at rescuing Hannafin, an informer held by the Anti-Treaty IRA. They raided a village at Derrynafeana near Carrauntoohil, where he was being held. Three Anti-Treaty fighters were killed in a resulting skirmish and two more captured. The National Army claimed a total of nine Anti-Treaty fighters were killed. Most of the IRA column escaped into the mountains. Hannifin was freed. He had been forced to dig his own grave prior to his imminent execution.

1926 – Birth of clergyman and Unionist politician, Ian Paisley, in Armagh.

1954 – The Flags and Emblems Act legislated against interference with the Union Jack, effectively prohibiting the display of the tricolour in Northern Ireland.

1957 – Kerry GAA footballer Seanie Walsh was born. He played football with his local club Kerins O’Rahilly’s and was a member of the Kerry senior inter-county team from 1976 until 1987, during which he won seven All-Ireland titles.

1964 – Birth of Nick Popplewell, former rugby international.

1965 – Former international footballer Norman Whiteside is born.

1971 – Birth of Robin Seymour in Co Wicklow. He is a professional Mountain bike racer and cyclo cross racer who rides for the WORC (Wicklow Off Road Club) team. Seymour is a former motorbike racer who turned to cycling. Seymour has dominated Mountain biking and cyclo-cross in Ireland and has been Irish Mountain bike champion a total of 20 times, including 15 times consecutively between 1993 and 2008 and 18 times the Irish cyclo-cross champion.

1971 – During a debate at Westminster on Northern Ireland, Leader of the Labour Party, Harold Wilson, claimed that a draft Bill for the imposition of direct rule existed.

1972 – The Scarman Tribunal Report (Cmd. 566) was published. The report was regarding the causes of violence during the summer of 1969. The report found that the RUC had been seriously at fault on a number of occasions.

1975 – Daniel Loughran (18), a member of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA; later to become the Irish National Liberation Army, INLA), was shot dead at Divis Flats, Belfast, by members of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) in the continuing feud between the OIRA and the INLA.

1982 – James Prior launches ‘rolling devolution’ for the north of Ireland.

1984 – Death of Jimmy Kennedy. He was an Irish songwriter, predominantly a lyricist, putting words to existing music such as “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” and “My Prayer”, or co-writing with the composers Michael Carr, Wilhelm Grosz (aka Hugh Williams) and Nat Simon amongst others.

1990 – Death of Peter Doherty, one of the finest footballers to play for Northern Ireland.

1990 – The Irish Supreme Court rejected an application for the extradition of Owen Carron. Carron had been charged with a firearms offence in Northern Ireland but had fled to the Republic of Ireland before his trial. This decision, following earlier decisions on 1 March 1990 and 13 March 1990 caused further strains on relations between the British and the Irish Governments.

1994 – The IRA called a three-day ceasefire (6 April 1994 to 8 April 1994).

1996 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, said that the IRA was ‘out of a touch’ with the wishes of Irish People.

1996 – Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Ian Paisley, celebrated his 70th birthday and stated his intention to continue as leader of the DUP and the Free Presbyterian Church.

1998 – Chairman of the multi-party talks at Stormont, George Mitchell, presented a draft settlement paper to the parties involved in the talks late in the evening. Mitchell appealed for the document not to be leaked: ‘Lives and deaths are at stake here’. The paper had been delayed because of disagreement between the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) over how ‘consensus’ decisions would be reached in the proposed Northern Ireland Assembly and also whether or not cross-border bodies would be accountable to the Assembly. Sinn Féin (SF) said that 12 people had resigned from the party over its decision to be involved in the multi-party talks. SF denied however that there had been large-scale resignations from the party. Those people who had left the party claimed that they had been expelled to stop criticism of the party’s leadership at the forthcoming Ard Fheis.

1998 – Telecom Eireann launches a commemorative 50 unit Call Card to mark the 25th anniversary of the University of Limerick.

1999 – Members of the Orange Order in Ballynafeight, Belfast, accepted calls to enter proximity talks with the Lower Ormeau Concerned Community Group. This did not involve face-to-face discussions between the Orangemen and the residents.

2000 – Gregory Peck receives an honorary Doctor of Literature from the National University of Ireland in recognition of his contribution to the art of film.

2000 – British soldiers and police search the perimeter fence of Ebrington Army Base in Derry after a bomb explodes inside the base.

2000 – The IRA undertook to open some of its arms dumps for inspection and said it was prepared to ‘initiate a process that will completely and verifiably put IRA arms beyond use’.

2001 – The Government pledges to give the GAA £60 million over the next three years in return for their commitment to staging matches — including All Ireland semi finals — in the new National Stadium. This deal effectively undermines the argument to open up Croke Park for rugby and soccer matches.

2001 – The Parades Commission agrees to allow an Apprentice Boys’ march along Belfast’s flashpoint Ormeau Road on Easter Monday.

2002 – Galway man, Richard Donovan becomes the first person in history to run a marathon at both the North and South Pole. Between 30 January – 5 February 2009, he set a world record for running seven marathons, on seven different continents, in fewer than seven days. Starting 1 February 2012 he improved on this by completing the 7 on 7 in under 120 hours or in less than five days. Donovan has won the Antarctic Ice Marathon, the Inca Trail Marathon, the Everest Challenge Marathon, the Antarctic 100 km and the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race. He ran from San Francisco to New York in May–September 2015; the Trans-Antarctica run followed later that year. In 2008 he ran the length of Ireland from Mizen Head to Malin Head.

Image | Lickbevune Castle, Co Kerry | Photo credit: Hartney Photographics

#irishhistory #ireland #irelandinspires

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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.