988 – The Norse King Glúniairn recognises Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, High King of Ireland, and agrees to pay taxes and accept Brehon Law; the event is considered to be the founding of the city of Dublin.
1614 – Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey, politician and author, is born in Dublin.
1794 – Birth of William Maginn, poet and author, in Co Cork.
1897 – Birth of Jack “Legs” Diamond, also known as Gentleman Jack, was a famous Irish-American gangster in Philadelphia and New York City during the Prohibition era. A bootlegger and close associate of gambler Arnold Rothstein, Diamond survived a number of attempts on his life between 1916 and 1931, causing him to be known as the “clay pigeon of the underworld.” In 1930, Diamond’s nemesis Dutch Schultz remarked to his own gang, “Ain’t there nobody that can shoot this guy so he don’t bounce back?”
1900 – Birth of Paul Carroll, playwright, in Blackrock, Co Louth.
1902 – Death of Annie French Hector. Born in Dublin, she was a 19th-century popular novelist who wrote under the pen name “Mrs Alexander”.
1917 – Éamon de Valera wins the election to Parliament from Clare as a Sinn Féin candidate.
1921 – Belfast’s Bloody Sunday: 16 people are killed (11 Catholics and 5 Protestants) and 161 houses destroyed (150 were Catholic) during rioting and gun battles in Belfast. Four more civilians died in shootings over the next two days.
1921 – A gunfight took place at Castleisland, Co Kerry; five IRA volunteers and four British soldiers were killed and three British troops wounded in the action.
1921 – An Auxiliary is wounded in a gun battle with two members of the east Mayo brigade at Ballaghaderreen.
1927 – Kevin O’Higgins, the Free State Minister for Justice, is assassinated while on his way to Mass at the Church of the Assumption by three anti-Treaty members.
1949 – The last CIE tram service leaves Nelson’s Column, Dublin.
1956 – Birth of international footballer, Frank Stapleton, in Dublin.
1958 – Birth of actress and theatre director, Fiona Shaw, in Co Cork. Although to most international audiences she is probably most familiar for her minor role as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films, she is an accomplished classical actress.
1972 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, William Whitelaw, admitted that secret talks had taken place with the IRA.
1974 – Birth of musician, Imelda May, in The Liberties area of Dublin. May began her career in music at 16 by performing with a number of local bands and musicians. She formed her own band in 2002, and released her debut studio album, No Turning Back. After the release, May relocated to London with her then-husband, guitarist Darrel Higham. Following an appearance on the BBC music programme Later… with Jools Holland in 2008, she released her second studio album, Love Tattoo (2009). Her fifth studio album, Life. Love. Flesh. Blood was released worldwide on April 21st 2017.
1977 – The IRA planted a small bomb in a garden on the campus of the New University of Ulster which was visited by the Queen as part of her jubilee celebrations. The bomb exploded after the Queen had left and it caused no injuries, nor was the Queen’s schedule affected. Members of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) refused to attend a reception in her honour.
1981 – The funeral took place of Joe McDonnell who had died on hunger strike on 8 July 1981. The British Army moved to arrest an IRA firing party at the funeral and seized a number of weapons and made several arrests. Rioting broke out following this incident.
1983 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Prior, said that the reintroduction of the death penalty in Northern Ireland would lead to an increase in ‘violent disorders’ in the region.
1986 – Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and Peter Robinson, deputy leader of the DUP, along with 4,000 Loyalists staged an early morning protest in which they ‘took over’ and ‘occupied’ Hillsborough, Co Down. The action was part of the continuing protest against the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA).
1987 – Only two men in history have won cycling’s Triple Crown: the Giro d’Italia, World Road Race Championship and Tour de France. One of them is Stephen Roche from Dublin, in 1987. He famously nearly killed himself on Stage 21, collapsing over the line and being bundled into an ambulance. A doctor gave him oxygen and asked if Roche was okay. He replied, ‘Oui, mais pas de femmes de soir.’ (Yes, but no women tonight.)
1994 – The IRA carried out a gun attack on the home of William McCrea, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP, in Magherafelt, Co Derry. Forty shots were fired into the house which was empty at the time.
1995 – The stand-off at Drumcree continued for a second day. The numbers involved had increased to approximately 1,000 RUC officers and 10,000 Orangemen and their supporters. During the confrontation there were repeated clashes with the Orangemen and their supporters throwing bricks and bottles at the police officers who replied by firing 24 plastic baton rounds. The disturbances and blocked roads across Northern Ireland also continued as Loyalists acted in support of the Orange Order. The port at Larne was also closed in the action.
1996 – Many towns and villages across Northern Ireland were blocked, either completely or for considerable periods during the day. The RUC reported that since 7th July there had been: 90 civilians and 50 RUC officers injured; 156 arrests; over 100 incidents of intimidation; 758 attacks on the RUC; and 662 plastic baton rounds fired by the RUC.
1997 – Among growing tension in the run-up to the parades planned for 12th July and talk of potential civil war, the Orange Order said that it would voluntarily reroute six contentious parades from Nationalist areas. Hard-line members of the Orange Order accused the leadership of betrayal but the decision was praised in many quarters.
2000 – The north of Ireland shuts up shop ahead of Orange Order demonstrations.
2000 – The Irish government concedes for the first time that a referendum may have to take place in 2001 to get voter approval for a major revision to the European Union treaties.
2001 – A draft chapter from Irish writer James Joyce’s classic novel Ulysses is sold for nearly £900,000 at auction.
2015 – Death of actor, Diarmuid Mac An Adhastair. Born in Co Galway, he was best known for his role as Séamus Mhicil Tom on TG4 soap Ros na Rún.
Photo: Tollymore Forest Park, Co Down
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