#OTD in Irish History – 18 June:

1264 – The Parliament of Ireland meets at Castledermot in Co Kildare, the first definitively known meeting of this Irish legislature.

1329 – The Bishop of Ossory is charged with fomenting feuds among the magnates; he flees to England and then, when summoned before the king, he flees to Rome. The king (Edward III, aged seventeen) warns the pope against him.

1769 – Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, politician and administrator, is born in Dublin.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: In Leinster, the Rebels are defeated at Ovidstown, near Kilcock; in Wexford, Rebels move back to Kilcavan hill. Government offensive begins; Rebels at Kilcavan are in a strong position. Government advance is stalled; Rebels withdraw from Kilcavan. Moore and Johnston move out of New Ross. General Needham moves out of Arklow; Loftus moves out of Carnew. By evening, Moore is in Foulkesmill, Needham is in Gorey and Loftus is in Craanford. Rebels southern division retreats to Wexford. Rebels northern division camps in Camolin.

1815 – Battle of Waterloo, when British forces, under the command of the Duke of Wellington, a Dubliner, defeat Napoleon’s forces. The Iron Duke wasn’t the only Irish presence on the day — Napoleon’s horse Marengo was reared in Co Wexford, and the Duke of Wellington’s mount was from Co Cork.

1831 – In the ‘tithe war,’ yeomen kill up to 14 people at Newtownbarry, Co Wexford.

1864 – Death of William Smith O’Brien, leading member of the literary-political Young Ireland movement.

1901 – Playwright, Denis Johnston is born in Dublin. His plays include The Old Lady Says ‘No’; The Moon in the Yellow River; The Bride for the Unicorn and Strange Occurrence on Ireland’s Eye. He also published a biography, In Search of Swift, and two autobiographical volumes, Nine Rivers from Jordan and The Brazen Horn.

1915 – Birth of composer and pianist, Joan Trimble, in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. She first gained notice as part of a piano duo with her sister Valerie (1917–1980), earning a first prize at a Belfast music competition as early as 1925. Joan also composed a number of works for two pianos which the duo performed. A 1938 recital at the RCM, at which they performed three of them, was their breakthrough. On 18 June 2015 “Music in Fermanagh” presented A Celebration Concert, as part of the Joan Trimble Centenary Celebration, at the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen.

1919 – Dáil established the National Arbitration Courts.

1921 – Coolbawn Massacre: Thirty-six IRA Volunteers in Kilkenny tried to ambush a British Army convoy, at Coolbawn, between Castlecomer and Athy traveling with a mine. However, the British were tipped off by a local woman, Florrie Draper. The British troops crept up on the ambushers and opened fire, killing two and injuring one. Ms Draper’s house is burned as a reprisal.

1921 – Three British officers, dressed in civilian clothes but carrying pistols, were captured near Fethard, Tipperary, by IRA Volunteers under Ernie O’Malley. O’Malley had them shot by firing squad at dawn the next day in reprisal for the execution of captured IRA men by the British.

1922 – Irish general election: The Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin party wins the election with 239,193 votes to 133,864 for Anti-Treaty Sinn Féin. A further 247,226 people voted for other parties, all of whom supported the Treaty (except Unionist Party).

1936 – Fianna Fáil maintains links with the IRA until 1934 and then, on this date, declares them to be an illegal organisation.

1945 – Sean T. O’Kelly becomes the first elected President of Ireland.

1946 – Ray Treacy, former Irish International, is born.

1969 – A report was published by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) on the British government’s policy in Northern Ireland. The report was critical of both the British government and the Northern Ireland government.

1970 – A general election was held across the United Kingdom with the Conservative Party replacing the Labour Party to form the government at Westminster. Edward Heath became Prime Minister. Reginald Maudling, was appointed as Home Secretary and had responsibility for Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland the Unionist Party held ‘only’ eight of the 12 seats. Ian Paisley, gained North Antrim, Frank McManus, a Nationalist unity candidate, gained Fermanagh-South Tyrone, Gerry Fitt held west Belfast and Bernadette Devlin held Mid-Ulster.

1971 – Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Nationalist Members of Parliament (MPs) refuse to attend the state opening of Stormont.

1971 – Birth of International midfielder, Jason McAteer.

1972 – Twelve of Ireland’s most prominent businessmen are killed in a British Airways crash at Staines (Staines disaster).

1972 – Myles Dillon, Irish scholar of Celtic studies, dies.

1972 – Three members of the British Army were killed by an IRA bomb in a derelict house near Lurgan, Co Down.

1975 – At Westminster a Bill was introduced to make amendments to the Northern Ireland Emergency Provision Act (1973). The main amendment had the effect of giving control of detention to the Secretary of State.

1978 – A Catholic priest, Hugh Murphy, was kidnapped in retaliation for the abduction of a RUC officer the day before, 17 June 1978. The kidnappers issued a statement saying that they would return the priest in the same condition as the RUC officer is returned. A number of Protestant ministers appealed for the priest to be released and he was subsequently returned unharmed. On 10 July 1978 the body of Officer Turbitt was discovered. In December 1978 three RUC officers were charged with kidnapping the Catholic priest. The same officers were also charged, along with two additional officers, of killing a Catholic shopkeeper in Ahoghill on 19 April 1977.

1979 – Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), tried to interrupt Taoiseach and President of the European Council, Jack Lynch, but was shouted down by other Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

1982 – A Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Minister, Lord Gowrie, was quoted as saying: “Northern Ireland is extremely expensive on the British taxpayer… if the people of Northern Ireland wished to join with the South of Ireland, no British government would resist it for twenty minutes.”

1991 – An additional 500 British Army soldiers arrived in Northern Ireland bringing the total number deployed to approximately 11,000.

1993 – President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, paid an unofficial visit to community groups in Belfast. The visit went ahead against the wishes of the British government and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). During the visit Robinson met President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, and shook his hand. This gesture provoked a lot of criticism amongst Unionists. Robinson also visited Coalisland, in Co Tyrone.

1994 – The Republic of Ireland defeat Italy 1-0 in their opening World Cup game at Giants Stadium, New Jersey. The goal was scored by Aston Villa player Ray Houghton.

1994 – Loughinisland Massacre: The UVF shot dead six Catholic civilians and wounded five others during a gun attack on a pub in Loughinisland, Co Down. The people in the pub were watching the televised World Cup football match when the gunmen entered. https://youtu.be/tYqDCNsuVOQ 

1995 – Parts of the centre of Dublin were evacuated in a bomb hoax which was believed to have been made by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF).

1997 – Death of Julia Clifford, a fiddler and Irish traditional musician, born at Lisheen, Gneeveguilla, Co Kerry, part of an area in west Munster known as Sliabh Luachra.

1999 – Lee Clegg, a soldier in the Parachute Regiment, was sentenced to four years for attempting to wound Martin Peake with intent in west Belfast on 30 September 1990. Clegg was, however, immediately released because of the time he had already served in prison. Clegg was originally convicted of the murder of Karen Reilly during the same incident but was cleared on appeal on 11 March 1999.

1999 – Three people from Northern Ireland were appointed as Working Peers by the Labour government. They were John Laird, a former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Stormont MP; Dennis Rogan, then UUP Chairman; and May Bloody, a Shankill Road community worker.

1999 – A Sinn Féin Councillor, James McCarry, became the first Republican to obtain a firearms licence following the personal intervention of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam.

1999 – British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, launched another attempt to find a resolution of the outstanding issues in the peace process. The two leaders held talks with represetatives of the three main pro-Agreement parties: the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Sinn Féin (SF).

Image | Devinish Island, Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh

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