#OTD in Irish History | 11 May:

1745 – At the Battle of Fontenoy, near Tourney in modern Belgium, the Irish Brigade of the French army under Lieutenant Charles O’Brien repulses the British and wins the day.

1788 – Presbyterian minister, Henry Cooke, is born at Grillagh, near Maghera, Co Derry. Cooke is famous for leading Ulster Presbyterianism away from the free-thinking radicalism which had spawned the United Irishmen’s rising during his childhood.

1916 – During the House of Commons debate on the Irish crises, John Dillon urges the cessation of executions.

1920 – IRA volunteers destroyed the RIC barracks at Hollyford, Co Tipperary.

1920 – The Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, suggested the formation of a “Special Emergency Gendarmerie, which would become a branch of the Royal Irish Constabulary.”

1921 – A party of Black and Tans shoot dead Christopher Folan, Woodquay, Galway, and injure Joseph Folan, while searching the family home for James Folan, Battalion-Quartermaster of the Galway Brigade, who had just been released from prison for republican activities. They then went to another house and shoot dead Hubert Tully, a republican suspect and contact of Sean Broderick, a Galway Republican leader.

1937 – Debate on new Constitution commences.

1967 – The Republic of Ireland applies again to join the Common Market.

1968 – ‘MacArthur Park’ is a song written and composed by Jimmy Webb. Richard Harris was the first to record the song, which was released on this date. Harris’ version peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number four on the UK Singles Chart. ‘MacArthur Park’ was subsequently covered by numerous artists, including a hit version in 1969 by country music singer Waylon Jennings. Among the best-known covers is Donna Summer’s disco arrangement from 1978 which topped the Billboard Hot 100. https://youtu.be/btWynK6h1v4

1971 – Death of former Taoiseach and nationalist, Seán Lemass, in Dublin.

1977 – At Larne, Co Antrim, there were a number of ferry sailings to and from the port despite the fact that workers were still on strike.

1977 – To mark the death of Harry Bradshaw who had been killed by Loyalist paramilitaries on 10 May 1977, bus services were halted. However, elsewhere the situation appeared to be stabilising with electricity supplies continuing as normal and with apparently fewer street disturbances. In Donaghdee, Co Down, the Copelands Hotel was destroyed in a suspicious fire. The incident is alleged to have followed the decision of the owners to stay open during the strike.

1979 – The Riordans, a drama about life in a rural Irish village and the most successful serial in the history of RTÉ (running for 15 years) comes to an end.

1986 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Tom King, recommended the release of William (Budgie) Allen who had served two years of a 14 year sentence. Allen had acted as a ‘supergrass’ informer against his former colleagues in the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

1990 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Brooke, met with Unionist leaders and agreed that there would be a gap in the meetings of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC) to allow talks to begin.

1994 – Following a meeting between representatives of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and the RUC, the police agreed to erect a 20 feet high wall (peaceline) to separate the Springfield and Springmartin areas of Belfast.

1996 – Death of rock journalist, Bill Graham, at his home in Howth, Co Dublin.

1999 – At a special meeting of the Law Society members voted to overturn an earlier decision of its ruling council and instead supported a call for independent inquiries into the killings of Belfast solicitor, Pat Finucane, killed on 12 February 1989, and Lurgan solicitor, Rosemary Nelson, killed on 15 March 1999.

1999 – Gay Byrne, legendary host of the Late Late Show, becomes the 64th Freeman of the City of Dublin.

1999 – Death of Birdy Sweeney in Dublin. Born Edmund Francis Sweeney in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, he was an actor and comedian. He garnered his nickname “Birdy” from his childhood ability to imitate bird calls which he demonstrated on BBC Radio Ulster.

1999 – President of Sinn Féin (SF), Gerry Adams, and Vice-President of SF, Martin McGuinness, travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meeting with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

1999 – The Irish government apologised to children who suffered institutional abuse. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, said: “On behalf of the State and all citizens of the State the Government wishes to make a sincere and long overdue apology to the victims of childhood abuse for our failure to intervene, to detect their pain, to come to their rescue.” The Government also announced that the victims would have an opportunity to have their experiences officially heard in September under a commission to be set up to inquire into the scandal.

2000 – Figures released on this date show that tourist visitors to Ireland in 1999 exceed six million for the first time.

2001 – Visually-impaired adventurer Caroline Casey arrives back in Dublin after a four-month elephant ride across India during which she raises $250,000 for charity.

2003 – Murder victim, Gareth O’Connor goes missing on this day. O’Connor disappeared after driving through Newtownhamilton. On 11 June 2005, his badly decomposed body was discovered in his car in Newry Canal, Co Down. His father, Mark, believes that the IRA were responsible for the murder, as they had threatened father and son. Mark O’Connor said: “I gave those names [of the killers] to Sinn Féin. But nothing has been done. They ignores us and ignore all the families of the Disappeared.”

Image | Dunguaire Castle, Kinvara, Co Galway | Tommy Hannon Landscape Photography

#irishhistory #ireland #irelandinspires



Posted by

Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.