#OTD in Irish History – 16 September:

1732 – Birth in Castletown, Co Clare of Thomas O’Gorman, physician, wine trader and courtier in France; made a chevalier by Louis XV.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Small French force under James Napper Tandy makes brief landing on Rutland Island, Co Donegal.

1798 – Belfast United Irish leaders arrested.

1808 – William Trench, land agent and author, is born near Portarlington, Co Laois.

1830 – Birth in Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow of Patrick Moran, Archbishop of Sydney, first Australian cardinal, and church historian.

1845 – Death of Thomas Osborne Davis. He was a revolutionary Irish writer who was the chief organiser and poet of the Young Ireland movement. Thomas Davis was born in the town of Mallow in Co Cork. He studied in Trinity College, Dublin, and received an Arts degree, precursory to his being called to the Irish Bar in 1838.

1865 – Fenian newspaper, Irish People, ceases publication.

1870 – Birth of nationalist politician, John Pius Boland, in Dublin. He served as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and as member of the Irish Parliamentary Party for South Kerry 1900–1918. He was also noteworthy as a gold medallist tennis player at the first modern Olympics.

1903 – Irish author Frank O’Connor is born Michael Francis O’Connor O’Donovan in Co Cork.

1906 – Trevor G. McVeagh, cricket, hockey, squash and tennis player, is born in Athboy, Co Meath.

1920 – British double agent John Henry Gooding aka F. Digby Hardy offers to betray his superior Basil Thomson to the IRA. It is unknown if the offer was genuine or part of a trap for Michael Collins; exposed by Irish press as an ex-convict; forger and bigamist, Gooding admits his past and scores a propaganda victory for the IRA; he is allowed to flee Ireland unharmed and dies of natural causes in 1930.

1922 – Michael Kilroy’s Anti-Treaty IRA men attack Newport, Co Mayo, but fail to take it and withdraw after a day of fighting.

1922 – The IRA mounts three gun and grenade attacks in Dublin city, at Curzon Street, Capel Street and Drumcondra. Two Free Stare troops are wounded along with 5 civilians. One Civilian is killed.

1925 – Charles Haughey, Fianna Fáil leader and seventh Taoiseach of Ireland, is born in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

1934 – Singer, guitarist and founder of the Dubliners, Ronnie Drew, is born in Dublin.

1941 – Sixteen soldiers are killed in the Glen of Imaal, Co Wicklow, while testing mines.

1945 – World renowned Irish tenor, John McCormack, dies in Dublin. https://youtu.be/FQYIEfrHak8

1958 – Birth of singer and actress, Maura O’Connell. She is known for her contemporary interpretations of Irish folk songs, strongly influenced by American country music.

1961 – Hurricane Debbie hits Ireland.

1971 – A number of Unionists resigned over the proposed tripartite talks involving Northern Ireland, Britain, and the Republic of Ireland.

1973 – Tommy Herron, vice-chairman of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), was found shot dead at Drumbo, near Lisburn. Various claims were later made about who was responsible for his killing. Some people suggested that he may have been killed by elements within the UDA because of his alleged involvement in racketeering. Others suggested that a branch of British Army intelligence may have been involved.

1974 – The IRA shot and killed a Judge, Rory Conaghan, and a Resident Magistrate, Martin McBirney, in separate incidents in Belfast.

1974 – Public Records (Released 1 January 2005): Memo from Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, Merlyn Rees, to British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. The memo is entitled ‘Northern Ireland: Extremist Groups’. The memo begins by mentioning the efforts of the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) to promote contacts between Loyalist and Republican paramilitary groups.

1982 – The INLA carried out a booby-trap bomb attack on a British Army patrol in the Divis Flats in Belfast and killed two Catholic children, Stephen Bennett (14) and Kevin Valliday (12), and one soldier, Kevin Waller (20).

1986 – A number of Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Members of Parliament (MPs) attended the funeral of John Bingham (33) who had been a leading member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Bingham was shot dead by the IRA on 14 September 1986 as he claimed he had been behind the recent killings of a number of Catholic civilians.

1991 – Sinn Féin Councillor, Bernard O’Hagan, was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), at his place of work, Magherafelt College of Further Education, Co Derry.

1993 – John Hume, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meeting with British Prime Minister, John Major. Following the meeting Hume stated that he did not “give two balls of roasted snow” for those who were criticising his continuing talks with President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams.

1994 – The British government lifts the broadcasting ban imposed against members of Sinn Féin and Irish paramilitary groups in 1988. The broadcasting ban had been introduced on 19 October 1988. The broadcasting ban had been introduced on 19 October 1988. The corresponding Irish broadcasting ban had ended on 19 January 1994.

1994 – Taoiseach Albert Reynolds pledged there would be a referendum north and south on any constitutional settlement.

1994 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, announced that 10 border roads would be reopened. On 22 September 1994 Mayhew also announced the opening of a further six roads.

1995 – President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, returned from a week-long visit to the United States. During his visit he met with Vice-President, Al Gore, and National Security Adviser, Anthony Lake. It was revealed that Friends of Sinn Féin had raised almost $900,000 between 24 February 1995 and 30 June 1995.

1996 – A Catholic man, Seán Devlin (30), was shot dead in the Markets area of Belfast. Responsibility for the killing was later claimed by Direct Action Against Drugs (DAAD) which was believed by many people to be a cover name used by the IRA.

1996 – In the Stormont talks the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) brought a complaint against the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) stating that their actions during the ‘Drumcree standoff’ (7 July 1996 to 11 July 1996) were a breach of the ‘Mitchell Principles’.

1996 – The Alliance Party also complained of the attendance of William McCrea (DUP Member of Parliament) at a rally in support of Billy Wright (a prominent Loyalist) in Portadown, Co Armagh.

1997 – A bomb estimated at 400 pounds exploded in Markethill, Co Armagh, and caused extensive damage to buildings. The Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) later claimed responsibility for the bombing.

1997 – Ivan Kilpatrick, who had taken part in pickets at Harryville Catholic church, was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for disorderly behaviour during one of the pickets. Six other men were also received shorter sentences in connection with the picket.

1998 – Irish-owned Musgrave Group becomes the biggest food distribution company in the country after signing an historic franchise deal with supermarket chain Roches Stores.

1998 – Books of condolences opened in the aftermath of the Omagh tragedy are closed. More than 150,000 people from across Northern Ireland are estimated to have signed the books.

1999 – There was forensic evidence presented to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry which indicated that Jim Wray, one of those killed on 30 January 1972, had been shot in the back as he lay wounded on the ground.

2001 – A man (41) was shot in a paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack in Spelga Park, Lurgan, Co Armagh. The man was shot in the legs.

2001 – A man (43) was shot at a house in Matilda Avenue, near Donegall Road, south Belfast. A gunman entered the house and fired a single shot on Sunday evening. The man was treated for injuries which were not said to be life threatening.

Image | Knocktopher Abbey, Co Kilkenny | © Aoife Mac Photography

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