#OTD in Irish History – 6 July:

1815 – Charles Bianconi, opens his first horse-drawn coach service, between Clonmel and Cahir, Co Tipperary, a distance of 10 miles.1844 – Anti-Irish, anti-Catholic Nativists riot in Philadelphia against the increasing influence of the Catholic (i.e. Irish) Church and the influx of Irish immigrants. At least fifteen people die in the rioting.1858 – Birth of politician and judge, William Irvine, in Newry, Co Down. He was the 21st Premier of Victoria.1868 – Death of songwriter and novelist Samuel Lover. His compositions included Widow Machree, The Low Backed Car and Molly Bawn.1907 – The Irish Crown Jewels were the heavily jewelled star and badge regalia of the Sovereign and Grand Master of the Order of St. Patrick. They were stolen from a safe in the office of Sir Arthur Vicars, the Ulster King of Arms, in Dublin Castle, along with the collars of five knights of the Order. The theft was never solved and the jewels never recovered.1915 – Death of John O’Reily, Kilkenny born Archishop of Adelaide, Australia. In 1886 O’Reilly was elected bishop of the new diocese of Port Augusta, South Australia a position he held until he became the second Bishop of Adelaide, succeeding a fellow Irishman Christopher Augustine Reynolds.1922 – A Free State expeditionary force is sent to County Wexford to re-take the towns there. It comprises 230 men under Colonel Commandant Keogh, with one field gun and four armoured vehicles.1922 – Two Anti-Treaty fighters are killed in a skirmish outside a pub in Urlingford, Co Kilkenny.1936 – Birth of comedian and satirist, Dave Allen, in Firhouse, Co Dublin.1940 – Birth of Olympic gold medalist, Mary Peters, in Lancashire, UK. Her family moved to Ballymena (and later Belfast) at age eleven when her father’s job was relocated to the north of Ireland. She now lives in Lisburn just outside Belfast.1946 – Clann na Poblachta, a radical new republican party is founded by Sean MacBride.1962 – The first Late Late Show, hosted by Gay Byrne, is broadcast.1970 – Irish Minister for External Affairs, Patrick Hillery, paid an unofficial visit to the Falls Road area of Belfast. The visit was criticised by Northern Ireland Prime Minister, Chichester-Clark, and by the British government.1971 – Martin O’Leary of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) was killed in a premature explosion in Co Tipperary.1974 – Members of the failed Executive, together with a number of Northern Ireland Office (NIO) ministers, held a meeting in Oxford with Harry Murray, the chairman of the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC).1986 – The annual Orange Order parade in Portadown, Co Armagh, to Drumcree Church was permitted by the RUC to pass through the mainly Catholic Obins Street area of the town. The RUC also announced that the ‘Twelfth’ parade would be re-routed from Obins Street. There was rioting in the town when the RUC prevented George Seawright, a Loyalist councillor, and other non-local Orangemen from entering the Catholic area.1992 – As part of Strand Two of the political talks (later known as the Brooke/Mayhew talks) there were discussions in London between the British and Irish Governments and the Northern Ireland political parties. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) also attended the discussions although three members of the party resigned in protest at the development.1993 – Yorkshire Television broadcast a documentary entitled ‘Hidden Hand – the Forgotten Massacre’ made as part of its ‘First Tuesday’ series. The programme dealt with the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 17 May 1974. The programme came to the conclusion that the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) would have required assistance to carry out the bomb attacks. There was speculation as to where such assistance might have come from. While no firm conclusions were reached, it was suggested that the security forces in Northern Ireland were the most likely source of help. Allegations concerning the existence of a covert British Army unit based at Castledillon were considered; as well as alleged links between that unit and Loyalist paramilitaries. It was shown that Merlyn Rees, former Secretary of State, had known of the unit’s existence. On 15 July 1993 the UVF issued a statement in which it claimed sole responsibility for the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings. https://youtu.be/yRQh0ZJBpq81997 – At 3.00am the RUC, in large numbers, entered the Garvaghy Road area of Portadown to ensure that the path of the planned Orange Order parade was free for the marchers. Police officers sealed off both sides of the road and kept the Catholic residents hemmed into their homes and side streets. These actions sparked rioting in the area. The RUC were supported by hundreds of British soldiers. Residents were unable to get to the local Catholic chapel and five priests celebrated an open-air mass in front of British Army armoured vehicles. Some people speculated that this was the first time since the ‘penal laws’ that British soldiers had prevented Catholics from attending mass.1998 – Cranberries’ bass player, Mike Hogan, marries Siobhan O’Carroll.1998 – An estimated 10,000 people gathered through the early morning hours at Drumcree, Portadown, Co Armagh, to protest at the decision not to allow the Orange Order parade to pass through the mainly Catholic Garvaghy Road area of Portadown. Violence flared in a number of Loyalist areas of Northern Ireland with the RUC being fired at by Loyalist paramilitaries. A number of main roads across the region were blocked at different times during the day. Most of the roads were reopened after a few hours but were blocked again at various times during the next few days. A number of Catholic families were the subject of violent attacks and intimidation. A Catholic family living in Coleraine, Co Derry, were lucky to escape alive when their home was petrol bombed. A Catholic business in the town was badly damaged by Loyalists using petrol bombs. A Catholic home in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, was attacked by a home-made bomb. The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) and a number of other ‘fringe’ Loyalist paramilitary groups were believed to be behind the attacks. The Parades Commission ruled that the Twelfth of July Orange Order ‘feeder’ parade would be allowed to proceed along the mainly Catholic Ormeau Road in Belfast on Monday 13 July 1998.1999 – The RUC uncovered a cache of petrol bombs in Ballymena, Co Antrim. The devices had been prepared by Loyalists.1999 – Republican sources were reported as saying that the IRA had drawn up an inventory of its weapons that it may present to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD) chaired by John de Chastelain (Gen.).1999 – Lawyers acting on behalf of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry began an appeal to the High Court in London over the decision to grant anonymity to members of the Parachute Regiment. Derek Wilford, who had commanded Paratroops on Bloody Sunday, was interviewed on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 during which he described the relatives of those killed as “representing the republican organisation”. Families of the dead reacted angrily to the remarks.2000 – In an effort to curb inflation, the government orders a freeze on the price of drinks; publicans consider a Hight Court challenge to overturn the order.2000 – Tensions intensify in the north as a second major parades ban is placed on the Orange order.2001 – Official figures show that the average price of a new house is £144,116 – more than double what it was in 1996.2001 – U2 opens the European leg of the Elevation Tour at the 10,000 Forum in Copenhagen.Image | Port, Co Donegal | Fiachra Mangan Photography#irishhistory #ireland #irelandinspires

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