#OTD in Irish History | 21 September:

1170 – Diarmait Mac Murchada and the Normans march on the Norse kingdom of Dublin, avoiding an Irish force that awaits them to the south of it. Dublin falls to them on this date. Some Norsemen, including the king of Dublin, Ascall mac Ragnaill, flee to the Hebrides or the Isle of Man.

1601 – A Spanish army under Don Juan del Aguila lands at Kinsale.

1703 – The first Irish parliament of Queen Anne is called; Alan Brodrick is unanimously elected Speaker.

1728 – Philip Embury, founder of the American Methodist Church, is born in Ballingrane, Co Limerick.

1745 – The Jacobites are victorious at Prestonpans.

1795 – ‘Battle of the Diamond’ between (Protestant) Peep o’ Day Boys and (Catholic) Defenders near Loughgall, Co Armagh leaves 30 Defenders dead and leads to the foundation of the Loyal Orange Institution (later the Orange Order) ‘…to defend the King and his heirs as long as they shall maintain the Protestant ascendancy’.

1827 – Michael Corcoran, Union General, is born in Ballymote, Co Sligo.

1881- Revolutionary Éamonn Ceannt, is born in Glenamaddy, Co Galway.

1909 – Birth of artist, Tom Carr, in Belfast.

1922 – Six National Army soldiers are killed in a prolonged engagement with Republican fighters near Ballina, Co Mayo.

1922 – The Free State barracks in Drumshambo, Leitrim is attacked and one soldier is killed.

1932 – Birth of Mariga Guinness, née Princess Hermione Marie Gabrielle von Urach, Countess Württemberg; co-founder of Irish Georgian Society.

1949 – The Republic of Ireland soccer team beats England 2-0 at Goodison Park – England’s first defeat by a foreign side.

1970 – Birth of Samantha Jane Power in Dublin. She is an Irish-American academic, author and diplomat who served as the 28th United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017.

1972 – A member of the UDR and his wife were killed in an IRA attack near Derrylin, Co Fermanagh.

1978 – The IRA carried out a bomb attack on Eglinton airfield, Co Derry. The terminal building, two aircraft hangers, and four planes were destroyed in the attack.

1980 – Kerry beat Roscommon in Croke Park during the All-Ireland Football Final by 1-9 to 1-6 thus winning the championship and a three-in-a-row.

1981 – IRA prisoner, James Devine, joined the hunger strike. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) was openly critical of the hunger strike.

1986 – Kerry GAA beat Tyrone GAA in Croke Park during the All-Ireland Football Final by 2-15 to 1-10 thus winning the championship and a three-in-a-row.

1991 – Loyalist prisoners started a fire in the dining-hall of Crumlin Road Jail, Belfast.

1991 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Brooke, left Northern Ireland to begin a five-day visit to the United States.

1992 – James Molyneaux, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), led a delegation from the UUP to talks in Dublin Castle, with the Irish Government. The talks were based on Strand Two and the topics discussed included constitutional matters, security cooperation, channels of communication between the two states, and identity and allegiance. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) did not attend the talks in Dublin. These were the first formal discussions by Unionists in Dublin since 1922.

1993 – The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), placed bombs at the homes of four Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) councillors. No one was injured in the attacks.

1993 – Senior members of the SDLP expressed support for the ‘Hume-Adams’ talks.

1995 – It was revealed that the total amount of compensation paid by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) for ‘Troubles’ related incidents (to the end of March 1995) was £1.12 billion.

1997 – Frank Steele, a member of MI6, claimed that various British governments had been in contact with the IRA since the first contact was established on 7 July 1972.

1998 – Members of the Garda Síochána and the RUC detained 12 men as part of their investigation into the Omagh bombing. Six were arrested in south Armagh, six in north Louth.

1998 – Jeffrey Donaldson, a Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP) and a critic of the Agreement, said that David Trimble, First Minister designate, had mentioned in several private meetings the possibility of his resignation over the issue of decommissioning. Trimble said that he had never made such a threat.

1999 – Delegations from the Ulster Unionist Party and Sinn Féin meet at Stormont for their first direct talks in two months.

1999 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern pledges support for Arafat and the Palestinians.

2000 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern condemns the missile attack on the MI6 HQ in London.

2000 – Gardaí arrest a man in connection with the bombing of Nelson’s Pillar in O’Connell Street, Dublin, in 1966.

2000 – A 71-year-old Protestant woman in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, escaped injury after she handled a pipe-bomb that had been put through her letterbox. A similar device was put through the letterbox of a house in north Belfast.

2000 – The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) won the Westminster by-election in South Antrim taking the seat from the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). The area had previously been the second safest UUP seat. Willie McCrea (Rev.), who was a strong opponent of the Good Friday Agreement, won the seat by 822 votes to beat David Burnside the UUP candidate who was also an opponent of the Agreement. Commentators speculated that UUP supporters who were in favour of the Agreement had stayed at home and decided not to vote in the election.

2001 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern announces that Ireland will put its airports, airspace, refuelling facilities and garda intelligence at the disposal of the US in the battle against terrorism.

2001 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, John Reid, announced that he was suspending the Northern Ireland Assembly at midnight. The suspension lasted just 24 hours. The effect of the suspension was to allow another period of six weeks (until 3 November 2001) in which the political parties would have an opportunity to come to agreement and elect a First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

2001 – The Irish Times published the results of an opinion poll conducted on a sample of 1,000 people in Northern Ireland. Of those questioned 85 per cent said they thought the IRA should “now begin the process of putting its weapons beyond use”. While 64 per cent of the sample indicated that they had voted in favour of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 only 52 per cent said they would vote in favour of it now. The survey was conducted on behalf of the Irish Times and Prime Time by MRBI Ltd.

2001 – President of Sinn Fein (SF), Gerry Adams, said that Nationalist recruits to the new PSNI would be “accorded the same treatment as the RUC”.  Unionists claimed that the comments implied a threat to Catholic recruits; this was denied by SF. It was reported that the number of RUC officers claiming compensation for trauma had risen to over 3,000.

2006 – Golfing history on Irish soil. The Ryder Cup officially opens at the K Club in Co Kildare. It is the first time golf’s premier team tournament has come to Ireland and to date, it is the biggest sporting event ever staged in the country.

Image | ‘Galactic Express’, Tassagh Viaduct, Co Armagh | Patrick Hughes Photography

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