#OTD in Irish History – 7 July:

1691 – Ginkel offers pardon and security of property to opponents.

1700 – MP for Co Sligo, Captain Hugh Morgan of Lord Dungannon’s Regiment, is summoned to appear before a board of general officers at the Curragh of Kildare to answer accusations of being ‘a rogue and rascal’ and several other complaints. (On 17 July, he is pardoned for failure to turn up).

1816 – Death of poet, playwright and politician, Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Born in Dublin, he was a long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He is known for his plays such as The Rivals, The School for Scandal, The Duenna and A Trip to Scarborough. For thirty-two years he was also a Whig Member of the British House of Commons for Stafford (1780–1806), Westminster (1806–1807) and Ilchester (1807–1812). He is buried at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

1823 – Francis Fowke, engineer and architect, designer of the Royal Albert Hall, London and the National Gallery in Dublin, is born near Belfast.

1823 – John Kells Ingram, professor, librarian and writer, is born in Temple Carne, Co Donegal.

1913 – Home Rule bill passes in House of Commons for the second time.

1922 – Death of Cathal Brugha from injuries received when shot by Free State forces on O’Connell Street on 5 July.

1922 – Free State troops move south from Dublin and break up the Anti-Treaty concentration at Blessington. They take 60 republican prisoners at Brittas and 13 more at Ballymore Eustace. Oscar Traynor and the main Anti-Treaty force from Dublin abandons Blessington. In exchanges of fire, one man on either side is killed and two Free State troops are wounded.

1922 – Pro-Treaty forces take Galway, with minimal resistance. One Anti-Treaty IRA captain, Donnellan is killed, five of his men are wounded and 12 captured before Free State troops secure the area. The remaining republican fighters set fire to a number of public buildings before fleeing the city. The National Army takes two killed and more wounded in the operation.

1930 – Death of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, born in Scotland of an Irish mother and a father of Irish descent. He is most noted for creating the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and writing stories about him which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction

1960 – Death of Father Francis Browne, a not very well-known but very interesting observer of life via the camera lens. His photographs of the Titanic which he took while on the short trip from Cherbourg to Cork are fascinating historical documents. During World War I, he served as Chaplain to the Irish Guards.

1962 – Birth of entrepreneur, Seán Gallagher in Co Cavan. He is a businessman and 2011 presidential candidate and founder of the company Smarthomes and has featured as a panelist on RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den. In 2009, he won Charity Lords of the Ring. He came second in the 2011 Irish presidential election in which he stood as an independent candidate.

1970 – Birth of Wayne ‘Pocket Rocket’ McCullough, bantamweight boxer; Olympic silver medalist 1992; world champion (WBC) 1995, in Belfast.

1972 – Gerry Adams, who had been released from detention for the purpose, was part of a delegation who went to London for talks with the British Government. The IRA delegation held direct talks with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, William Whitelaw, and other Northern Ireland Office ministers in the Chelsea home of Minister of State for the North, Paul Channon. The IRA delegation also included: Séamus Twomey, Seán MacStiofáin, Dáithí Ó Conaill, Ivor Bell, and Martin McGuinness. The talks failed and the breakdown in the IRA ceasefire finally occurred because of a dispute over the allocation of houses in the Suffolk area and the IRA and the British army became involved in gun battles in Horn Drive, Belfast. The ‘Bloody Friday’ bombings on 21 July 1972 were part of a decision by the IRA to step up its campaign with a view to trying to bring ordinary life in the city to an end. 

1974 – A report on the Monaghan bombing investigation was completed by the Garda Síochána.

1975 – An RUC officer, Andrew Johnston, was killed by a booby-trap bomb planted by the IRA at a school in Lurgan, Co Armagh.

1985 – The RUC took the decision to allow an Orange Order parade to Drumcree Church to pass through Obins Street, a mainly Catholic area of Portadown. The decision led to clashes between Nationalist protestors and the RUC.

1986 – Death in Belfast of Francie McPeake II, uilleann piper and singer. Francis, whose father wrote Will Ye Go Lassie Go, was a crucial figure in preserving the great Ulster piping tradition.

1986 – The National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) published a report which opposed the routine use of strip-searching of prisoners held in Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom (UK).

1988 – A member of the IRA and two Catholic civilians were killed in a premature explosion in Belfast.

1991 – Birth of actress, Eve Hewson, in Dublin. Her first major role was in the drama film This Must Be the Place (2011). She played Nurse Lucy Elkins in Steven Soderbergh’s TV series The Knick (2014–2015). She is the daughter of Ali Hewson and U2 frontman, Bono.

1991 – Nessan Quinlivan and Pearse McAuley use a gun smuggled into them to escape from Brixton Prison in England.

1994 – Prince Charles paid a visit to Derry. There were protests against the visit because of Charles’ role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment. Soldiers of the regiment were responsible for the killings on Bloody Sunday, 30 January 1972.

1994 – The RUC prevented a march by Portadown Orangemen from returning from Drumcree Church via the Garvaghy Road. The decision was taken by Chief Constable of the RUC, Sir Hugh Annesley. The reason given for the decision was to prevent public disorder but the result was to mark the start of Northern Ireland wide protests. Protests and roadblocks began to spread across Northern Ireland.

1994 – A Catholic man, Michael McGoldrick (31), was shot dead outside Lurgan. The attack bore the hallmarks of a paramilitary killing but no group claimed responsibility. Suspicion for the killing fell on a ‘maverick group’ from the mid-Ulster brigade of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). This group, believed to have been led by Billy Wright (a leading Loyalist in Portadown), went on to form the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).

1997 – Over 100 people were believed to have been injured with six considered serious. By the end of the day the RUC estimated that 1,600 plastic bullets had been fired, there had been 550 attacks on the security forces, and 41 people arrested. The fire service had received 500 calls and the ambulance service 150. Gora Ebrahim, a South African Member of Parliament (MP) and an independent observer, said that the scenes on the Garvaghy Road when the RUC cleared Nationalists from the road were reminiscent of police brutality in Sharpeville. He said that he believed the decision to force the parade through the area had come from a higher authority than the RUC.

1998 – Violence continued in a number of areas of Loyalist areas of Northern Ireland. The tactic of blocking roads continued to be used, although most were reopened within a few hours. Up to 1,000 Orangemen blocked all the roads leading to the Catholic village of Dunloy, Co Antrim. The Co Antrim Grand Lodge said that its members had “taken up positions” and “held” the village for three hours. Unlike in previous years the security forces kept open the road to the International airport at Aldergrove near Belfast. Loyalists held a march in Portadown in support of the Orange Order. Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), addressed a rally in Portadown and said that the Twelfth of July would be “the settling day” His use of this phrase was to draw criticism following the events of the early hours of 12 July 1998.

1999 – Supporters of the Loyal Orders were blamed for a series of attacks on Catholic homes and businesses in Belfast, Ballycastle, Carrickfergus, and Woodburn. Nationalists accused the Orange Order of deliberate provocation after its decision to switch its main 12 July 1999 parade from its ‘traditional’ rallying point at Edenderry to Ormeau Park, Belfast.

1999 – George Mitchell, former Chairman of the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement, was in Belfast to launch a new reconciliation fund for Northern Ireland.

2016 – Northern Ireland fans and Republic of Ireland fans received the Medal of the City of Paris on Thursday as a mark of gratitude for their “exemplary behavior” in the city during Euro 2016.

Image | Connemara, Co Galway

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