#OTD in Irish History – 17 June:

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Rebels capture Tinahely, Co Wicklow and burn the town. Tinahely is unusual in that there is no Church in the village. Most of the village dates from the early part of the 19th century as it was rebuilt by Lord Fitzwilliam after it was burnt during the 1798 rebellion. The Fiztwilliam family lived in nearby Coolattin House. The Coollattin estate once comprised 88,000 acres, had 20,000 tenants and occupied almost a quarter of Co Wicklow.

1800 – Birth of William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse; astronomer and telescope constructor, in York.

1845 – Birth of author and poet, Emily Lawless, in Lyons Castle, Co Kildare.

1845 – Paul Kane of Mallow, Co Cork started a series of remarkable wanderings in Canada. Venturing where few Europeans had ever been before, Kane travelled thousands of miles in brutal conditions to sketch the Aboriginal people and record their lives. This feat, unequalled by any other artist ever, produced an utterly unique ethnological document and paintings. His artistic aim was to paint the Ojibwa as accurately as possible in a European tradition.

1859 – Birth of impressionist painter, Walter Frederick Osborne, in Dublin. Most of his paintings featured women, children, and the elderly as well as rural scenes.

1867 – Birth of publisher and inventor of the Gregg shorthand system, John Gregg, in Rockcorry, Co Monaghan.

1899 – Birth of Denis O’Brien in Dublin, often called ‘Dinny O’Brien’. As a 17-year-old, he fought in the 1916 Easter Rising with the Marrowbone Lane Garrison of the Irish Volunteers. He was also a veteran of the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. He joined the Garda Síochána in 1933 and was killed by the Anti-Treaty IRA.

1903 – An elephant named Sita kills her keeper tending her sore foot in Dublin Zoo. She was later put down by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

1921 – Ballyhaunis RIC Barracks is attacked.

1922 – In revenge for the killing of two local Catholics and the sexual assault of a Catholic woman, Frank Aiken’s IRA unit attacked a series of Protestant owned farms in Altnaviegh, south Armagh, killing six Protestant civilians.

1937 – Birth of footballer, Peter Fitzgerald, in Co Waterford. A centre forward Fitzgerald was one of the famous six Waterford brothers who played for the Blues. Tommy, Jack, Ned, Denny and Paul were the others. Along with Alfie Hale he made a scoring League of Ireland debut at Kilcohan Park on St Patrick’s Day 1957 in a 3-1 win over Bohemians. His brother Jack setting up his goal which Peter finished with a grand header.

1957 – Birth of Philip Chevron, an Irish singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is most widely known as guitarist for the Shane MacGowan led punk/folk rock band, The Pogues.

1959 – Éamon de Valera becomes President of Ireland.

1965 – Birth of international ultra runner and professional poker player, Dara O’Kearney, in Ennis, Co Clare. He is the son of Irish language activist and writer Sean Ua Cearnaigh, and nephew of Irish politician Chris Flood. He won the 2005 Tresco marathon, the 2006 New York Road Runners 60K ultra marathon, the 2007 Schinnen 50K, the 2008 Brno Indoor 6 hour race, and was the 2007 Irish 24 hour running champion. In 2015, O’Kearney won the Mini Irish Open, and finished second in event 45 of the WSOP.

1971 – Birth of former Independent politician, Mildred Fox, in Co Wicklow. She was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Wicklow constituency from 1995 to 2007.

1974 – Birth of singer, Brian Dunphy, in Dublin. A well-known performer and member of the Irish folk band The High Kings and son of the late famous show band singer Sean Dunphy, who represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967.

1974 – The Provisional IRA bombed the Houses of Parliament in London, injuring 11 people and causing extensive damage.

1976 – Two Catholic civilians (Brendan Meehan and Gerard  Stitt) were shot dead, by the UDA or  (UVF), as they travelled on a bus on Crumlin Road, Belfast. A Catholic civilian died 11 days after being shot by the IRA in a case of mistaken identity.

1978 – The PIRA killed an RUC officer and kidnapped another near Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. The following day, loyalist paramilitaries kidnapped a Catholic priest and vowed to hold him hostage until the RUC officer was freed. However, they released the priest shortly thereafter. In December 1978 the kidnappers were charged both for the kidnapping and for the murder of a Catholic shopkeeper.

1979 – Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), interrupted the opening proceedings of the European parliament to protest that the Union flag was flying the wrong way up on the Parliament Buildings.

1981 – Death of activist and writer, and member of the Senate, Nora Connolly O’Brien, in Dublin. She was the daughter of Irish republican and socialist leader James Connolly and his wife Lillie Connolly. She was born in Edinburgh, one of seven children. She moved with her family to Dublin when she was three years old. Nora Connolly O’Brien died in Meath Hospital, Dublin, on the 17 June 1981, ten days after being admitted due to failing health. She was 88. She was given a republican funeral and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

1991 – The four main political parties met at Stormont, Belfast, to begin talks on the future of Northern Ireland. The talks (later known as the Brooke/Mayhew talks) began with opening statements from each of the parties. Prospects of a breakthrough however are slim given the fact that a meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) is scheduled for the middle of July. This event is important given the fact that Unionists have stated that they will withdraw from the talks once the two governments begin their preparations for the AIIC.

1994 – A meeting of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference took place in Dublin. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, stated that there would be no successful political solution in Northern Ireland unless Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution were amended. Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dick Spring, replied by saying that the British government would have to make changes to Section 75 of the Government of Ireland Act.

1999 – The High Court in London passed a ruling (by 2 to 1) that the 17 former soldiers giving evidence to the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday could remain anonymous. The ruling was criticised by relatives of the victims.

1999 – Martin McGartland, formerly a member of the IRA who turned informer, was shot seven times and seriously injured at his home in Whitley Bay, England. McGartland blamed the IRA for trying to kill him.

1999 – Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, corrected a statement he had made in the Dáil earlier in the day. In the statement he had said that he believed the Garda Síochána had given up on some of the sites being searched for the remains of those killed and buried in secret by the IRA. He said he had discussions with officials from the Department of Justice and had been assured that the Garda had not given up on the searches.

2008 – More than 1200 people bare all at Blarney Castle in Cork for a naked photo shoot by the US photographer Spencer Tunick. “Dare to Bare” is part of the Cork Midsummer Festival and proves a stunning success with the turnout taking even the most optimistic of the organisers aback.

Image | The Islands of Cloughglass and Inishinny, Burtonport, Co Donegal | Gareth Wray Photography

#irishhistory #ireland #irelandinspires


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