#OTD in Irish History – 14 July:

In the Liturgical calendar, it is the Feast Day of Idus of Leinster, an Irish saint of the fifth century. He is said to be a disciple of Saint Patrick, who baptised him, he was made bishop of Alt-Fadha in Leinster by Patrick.

1749 – Birth of Matthew Lyon in Co Wicklow. Lyon attended school in Dublin, before emigrating to America where he worked as a printer, farmer, soldier and politician, serving as a United States Representative from both Vermont and Kentucky.

1791 – Demonstrations are held in Dublin, Belfast and elsewhere to commemorate the fall of the Bastille in 1789.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: John and Henry Sheares are convicted of high treason and were hanged, drawn and quartered in Dublin. They were buried at St Michan’s.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Rebels are defeated at the Battle of Knightstown, Co Louth.

1910 – The Irish Socialist Federation hosts a farewell dinner for James Connolly before he returns to Dublin. Connolly lived in New York 1904-1910 where he was active in socialist and Irish nationalist circles. Connolly co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World (‘the Wobblies’) and was also a national organiser for the Socialist Party of America.

1921 – Just three days after a truce is implemented, Éamon de Valera, President of Dáil Éireann meets with British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in London. Francis Stevenson, Private Secretary to Lloyd George recalled: “I have never seen David so excited as he was before de Valera arrived, at 4.30. He kept walking in and out of my room… As I told him afterwards, he was bringing up all his guns! He had a big map of the British Empire hung up on the wall in the Cabinet room, with its great blotches of red all over it. This was to impress de Valera with the greatness of the British Empire and to get him to recognise it, and the King.” Dev apparently was not impressed. Six days later, Britain made its first formal proposal. The main negotiations would take place in December culminating with the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 6 December.

1922 – Seán Mac Eoin and 400 Free State troops re-take Collooney, after an artillery bombardment and protracted fire-fight, taking 74 Republican prisoners. Only one man is killed, however, an Anti-Treaty IRA fighter.

1969 – Francis McCloskey (aged 67), a Catholic civilian, died one day after being hit on the head with a baton by an officer of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) during street disturbances in Dungiven, Co Derry. In some accounts of ‘the Troubles’ this is recorded as the first death.

1971 – A British soldier, Richard Barton, was shot dead in Belfast.

1972 – There was a series of gun-battles and shootings across Belfast. The PIRA shot dead three British Army soldiers, the British Army shot dead a PIRA volunteer and an OIRA volunteer, while a civilian was shot dead in a crossfire.

1974 – The IRA carried out bomb attacks in Manchester and Birmingham.

1975 – Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, Merlyn Rees, outlined the governments response to the IRA’s truce. There had been a reduction in the level of British Army patrols, and house searches had been scaled down. He also indicated that in the event of a permanent end to paramilitary violence, security would be returned to a ‘peace time level’.

1981 – Matt Devlin joined the hunger strike to replace Martin Hurson. The Irish government asked the United States government to use its influence with Britain on the issue of the hunger strike.

1982 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Prior, announced that elections to the new Assembly at Stormont would be held on 20 October 1982.

1984 – Two Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldiers were killed in an IRA landmine attack at Castlederg, Co Tyrone.

1986 – Around 50 Loyalists attacked Catholic homes in the village of Rasharkin, Co Antrim.

1994 – The Combined Loyalist Military Command (CLMC) issued a statement saying that if the IRA ended its campaign then Loyalist paramilitaries would respond.

1995 – Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, John Hume, and President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, travelled to Dublin for a meeting with Taoiseach, John Bruton, and Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dick Spring. Following the meeting the four men issued a joint statement calling for all-party talks as soon as possible. An article by Adams was published in the Irish Times. He wrote that the IRA would not have called a ceasefire if the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons had been a major issue for the British government.

1996 – Nationalists held large rallies in Belfast, Derry and Lurgan.

1997 – The Royal Black Preceptory (a Protestant fraternal society formed in 1797, two years after the formation of the Orange Order) decided to voluntarily reroute a parade that had been planned to pass through the centre of Newry, Co Down.

1997 – An article in the Irish Times revealed that the British government had maintained regular contacts with the Republican movement since late June.

1997 – Unionists called for the imposition of stringent rules on the decommissioning of arms as a precondition for the entry of Sinn Féin into all-party talks.

1998 – The funeral took place of the three Quinn children in Rasharkin, Co Antrim. There was a huge turnout for the funeral. Richard, 11, Mark, 10, and Jason 9, were burned to death by a Loyalist firebomb in Ballymoney, 40 miles northwest of Belfast on 12th July. The three boys were buried in a single grave.

1998 – David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), criticised those people who were claiming that the attack on the Quinn children was not sectarian. There was also Nationalist anger at remarks made by Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), that “Republicans carried out far worse murders”. David Jones, a spokesman for the Portadown Orange Order, accused the security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries of colluding to launch the petrol bomb attack on the Quinn home on 12 July. He claimed the aim of the security forces would have been to discredit the Orange Order.

1998 – Three Orange Halls and a Protestant church were damaged in petrol bomb attacks.

1988 – Birth of Conor McGregor in Dublin. He is a professional mixed martial artist who is currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Throughout his career, he has competed as a featherweight, lightweight and welterweight. In 2015, at UFC 194, McGregor defeated José Aldo for the UFC Featherweight Championship via knockout thirteen seconds into the first round. This was the fastest victory in UFC title fight history. Upon defeating Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 205, McGregor became the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight divisions simultaneously. On 14 June 2017, it was officially announced that McGregor would compete in his first professional boxing match against the undefeated American boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr., on 26 August 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

1998 – Tánaiste Mary Harney announces that a minimum wage of £4.40 an hour will be introduced in April 2000.

1999 – Fidelma Macken is nominated for the European Court of Justice – the first time a woman judge from any member country has reached such a high rank.

1999 – Ulster Unionists under David Trimble rejected a compromise for the creation of a power sharing government.

1999 – The Cabinet approves the construction of Ireland’s first 50 metre swimming pool at the University of Limerick.

1999 – Over 20,000 litres of fuel oil leaks into the popular fishing resort of Mucrós Bay, Co. Donegal from a supply tank at Abbotts Ireland.

1999 – President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, published an article in the Irish News stating that his party was against the safeguard legislation introduced on 12 July and that it is unnecessary under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

1999 – Security force personnel dismantled barriers between Drumcree Church and the Garvaghy Road in Portadown. The barriers had been erected earlier in the month to prevent the Orange Order from marching through the mainly Nationalist area of Garvaghy Road.

2000 – Angry fishermen blockade a State run fishery port as frustration and tension continues to increase over the alleged harassment of Irish tuna boats by the Naval Service.

2000 – Kerry sheep farmer, Patrick Morana, earns a place in the Guinness Book of Records as he hand-shears 206 sheep in nine hours and becomes Irish and UK champion.

2001 – Political talks to try to secure the peace process finally broke down at Weston Park in England. The British and Irish governments said they would now put together a document containing a package of proposals for the parties, on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. The document was finally presented to the parties, and made public, on 1 August 2001.

2014 – Death of Vintage Crop, an Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse best known for becoming the first overseas runner to win Australia’s premier race the Melbourne Cup. The chestnut gelding competed in flat racing in Ireland, England, and Australia from 1992 to 1995. He won 16 races in Ireland, England, and Australia. For his performance during the 1993 racing season he earned the Cartier Award for Top Stayer. Vintage Crop also won international fame in 1993 by becoming the first overseas-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup. He is commemorated by a statue in the Curragh Racecourse. He returned to Australia for the 1994 and 1995 Melbourne Cups, where he finished seventh and third, respectively. Vintage Crop was trained by Dermot Weld, who returned to Australia in 2002 and again won the Melbourne Cup with the Irish horse Media Puzzle. Vintage Crop retired at the Irish National Stud in Kildare and could be visited by the public as part of the stud’s Living Legends exhibit, alongside Kicking King, Beef or Salmon and Moscow Flyer. He died at the Irish National Stud on this date in 2014 at the age of twenty-seven.

Image | The Saltee Islands, St. George’s Channel consisting of the Great and Little Saltee, situated approximately 5 kilometers off the coast of Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford | By Sean Fogarty

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