#OTD in Irish History – 9 July:

1751 – The foundation stone of the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, is laid by the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

1790 – The “Gentleman’s Magazine” reports, regarding the MP for Cork, James Bernard who died on this date: ‘Though he had an immense fortune, he did not live at the rate of £300 a year. His tailor’s bill never amounted to £61 per annum. He did not absolutely starve himself to death, as he lately showed himself a mere voluptuary, having a few months since married a fortunate girl of tender years, to whose tender embraces, it is feared, he fell a sacrifice’.

1797 – Death of the political theorist, Edmund Burke, in Dublin. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in the development of parliamentary democracy.

1809 – Birth of John O’Donovan, Irish language scholar and author of The Annals of the Four Masters, in Attateemore, Co Kilkenny.

1917 – Muriel MacDonagh, wife of executed 1916 leader Thomas MacDonagh, drowns while swimming on Skerries south beach. Muriel disappeared under the water and her body was later recovered and the coroner determined that she died of heart failure due to shock or exhaustion, during her swim.

1921 – Four British Soldiers are captured and executed at Ellis Quarry, Cork City, Co Cork by IRA.

1921 – Truce terms were signed in Dublin, to be effective on 11 July.

1921 – Filling in a trenched area at Kilgobnet, just north of Dungarvan, six civilians were killed when a secretly buried British mine exploded. The device was reportedly planted on orders of Captain Thomas of the Dungarvan Buffs. Thomas had, earlier at the mid March Burgery Ambush, been captured and released on orders of Seoirise Plunkett, GHQ Officer.

1922 – The Free State barracks in Bailieboro, Cavan is attacked and taken, the arms of its garrison are seized. An anti-Treaty prisoner, Edward Boylans is shot dead in Cavan barracks as he tries to escape.

1943 – In a Dáil Éireann debate on The Emergency Powers Act which was primarily designed to curtail IRA activity, independent TD Oliver Flanagan unleashed an astonishing attack on Jews.

1959 – Mary Browne from Roscommon becomes the first Bhan Gardaí – female police officer – pounding the beat in Dublin.

1959 – Birth of Offaly Gaelic footballer, Matt Connor.

1967 – Birth of Michael Carruth, a southpaw Irish Olympic boxer from Dublin who won the welterweight gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Carruth has just finished a stint as expert boxing analyst for RTÉs Olympic coverage. He is currently involved in the GAA, being a masseur to the Westmeath senior football team.

1968 – Dáil Éireann discusses the vital topic of the retail price of Irish whiskey. George Colley, Minister for Industry and Commerce tells the country that “three complaints (including one anonymous complaint) were received in my Department this year regarding overcharging in licensed premises for Irish whiskey.”

1972 – Springhill Massacre: British snipers shot dead five Catholic civilians and wounded two others in Springhill, Belfast.

1974 – Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, Merlyn Rees, announced at Westminster that Internment would be gradually phased out.

1974 – The Barron Report (published on 15 December 2003) revealed that the Garda Síochána Chief Superintendent in charge of the investigation into the Dublin bombings on 17 May 1974 had written a memo (on 9 July 1974) which noted that “the investigation unit … have returned to their stations”. Over the years the Garda Síochána investigation of the bombings has been heavily criticised.

1976 – Two Catholic civilians, a husband and wife (Mervyn and Rosaleen McDonald), were killed in an attack on their home by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a covername for the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

1977 – Queen Elizabeth II began a two-day visit to Northern Ireland as part of her jubilee celebrations. It was the first visit by the Queen in 11 years.

1981 – Patrick McGeown, an IRA prisoner, joined the hunger strike to replace Joe McDonnell.

1981 – A Catholic teenager, Danny Barrett (15), was shot dead by the British Army while he was standing outside his home in Havana Court in the Ardoyne area of Belfast.

1981 – A Catholic civilian, Nora McCabe (30), died one day after being shot by a plastic bullet fired by the RUC.

1986 – Two British soldiers were killed by a remote-controlled bomb while they were on foot patrol near Crossmaglen, County Armagh. The attack was carried out by the IRA.

1995 – The RUC prevented an Orange Order parade from returning from Drumcree Church to Portadown along the Garvaghy Road, a mainly Nationalist area. The parade organisers were told by the police to return by the same route they had taken to the church. The decision sparked a stand-off between RUC officers and Orangemen. There were also disturbances and blocked roads across Northern Ireland as protests were organised by loyalists in support of the Orange Order. Later in the day Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and David Trimble, Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP, attempted to broker a compromise but failed.

1996 – The British government sent an extra 1,000 troops to Northern Ireland to support the RUC. The resources of the RUC were seriously stretched across Northern Ireland. Hundreds of roads, including motorways, were blocked by members of the Orange Order and loyalist supporters. Several Catholic families felt sufficiently intimidated to leave their homes in the Torrens area of Belfast. Gunshots were also reported in north Belfast.

1997 – At the end of four days of rioting and disturbances the RUC released figures which showed that: there had been 60 RUC officers injured; 56 civilians injured; 117 people arrested; 2,500 plastic bullets fired by the security forces; 815 attacks on the security forces; 1,506 petrol bombs thrown; and 402 hijackings.

1997 – The British government promised Sinn Féin that in the event of an IRA ceasefire, representatives of Sinn Féin would be allowed to meet with government ministers.

1998 – Orange Order demonstrators at Drumcree attempted to cross security force barriers. Security force members, who came under attack from guns and blast bombs, replied with plastic bullets.

1998 – Leaders of the Orange Order travelled to London for a meeting with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to discuss the situation in Portadown, Co Armagh. Before the meeting, David McNarry, a senior member of the Orange Order, said that they could ‘paralyse the country in a matter of hours’. His comments were made on the BBC Radio 4 programme Today. Following the meeting the Orange Order representatives said that there appeared to be little change in the government’s attitude to the Drumcree issue.

2001 – British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, began a series of intensive political talks with the pro-Agreement parties in the secluded setting of Weston Park, a stately home-cum-hotel on the Shropshire-Staffordshire border in England. Although the talks went on until Saturday there was no agreement on a way forward. The two Prime Ministers said they would publish a document which tried to resolve the remaining issues.

2007 – Following a short illness, former Tanaiste, John Wilson, passes away at St Jame’s Hospital, a day after his 84th birthday. He was a TD for 20 years and held posts in seven government departments, serving under three Taoisigh: Jack Lynch, Charles Haughey and Albert Reynolds. On the sportsfield, he played for Cavan and an illustrious career brought him significant honours, including two All-Ireland medals (in 1947 and 1948) and five Ulster Football Championship medals.

2008 – Death of politician, Séamus Brennan. Born in Co Galway, he was a Fianna Fáil politician and a Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin South. He served as a Minister of State, Minister for Tourism and Transport (1989–91), Minister for Tourism, Transport and Communications (1991–92), Minister for Education (1992–93), Minister for Transport (2002–04), Minister for Social and Family Affairs (2004–07) and Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (2007–08). His death brought about a by-election at which his son Shay Brennan was the unsuccessful Fianna Fáil candidate. It was won by George Lee of Fine Gael.

2015 – Death of Seán Foran. He was a footballer who played as a midfielder for the Offaly senior team. Born in Edenderry, Co Offaly, Foran first excelled at football during his schooling at St. Mary’s Knockbeg College. He arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of seventeen when he first linked up with the Offaly minor team. He made his senior debut during the 1949 championship. Foran immediately became a regular member of the starting fifteen and won one Leinster medal.

Image | Wicklow Mountains, Co Wicklow | Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

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