#OTD in Irish History | 28 July:

1210 – King John captures William de Braose and confiscates his lands.

1674 – Birth of Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery; Jacobite soldier and editor.

1689 – The siege of Derry finally ends as naval boats in support of Williamite forces finally break the boom intended to prevent ships from resupplying the starving Protestant masses.

1769 – Birth in Galway of Sir Hudson Lowe, soldier, and governor of St Helena responsible for guarding Napoleon.

1846 – O’Connell and the Young Irelanders party split over use of physical force.

1895 – Birth of John Charles McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, in Cootehill, Co Cavan.

1920 – Two British soldiers were killed and two wounded, in an IRA ambush at Oola, Co Limerick.

1922 – Ambush of National Army troops by Anti-Treaty IRA at Tonduff, Abbeyleix, on the main road to Maryborough, Co Laois. A mine is exploded and fire is exchanged, Vol. Grace from Mountrath is killed while retrieving his rifle from the road. Brigadier Mick Gray is wounded. In the rounding up operation, 21 Republicans are taken prisoner but two Free State officers, Comdt. General Austin McCurtin and Comdt. Seán (Jack) Collison are killed on 4 August 1922.

1922 – Two Free State soldiers are killed in an ambush on the road from Killorglin to Tralee in Kerry.

1927 – The first automatic telephone exchange in Ireland, serving more than 700 customers, is opened at Ship Street.

1954 – Birth of Kerry football legend Mikey Sheehy. Sheehy would win eight All-Ireland titles with the dominant Kerry team of the 70s/80s. He is best remembered for his sensationally executed goal against Dublin in the 1978 All Ireland.

1984 – Martin Galvin, leader of NORAID (Irish Northern Aid Committee), was banned from entering Northern Ireland. Despite the ban Galvin appeared at rallies in Derry (9 August 1984) and Belfast (12 August 1984).

1986 – The IRA issued a statement threatening any civilians who worked for the RUC or the British Army. On 30 July 1986 the IRA killed a civilian contractor who worked for the RUC. On 5 August 1986 the IRA issued a further threat to people working with the security.

1991 – The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) exploded seven incendiary devices in shops in the Republic of Ireland.

1995 – The British government transferred three Republican prisoners involved in a ‘dirty’ protest at Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire to prisons in Northern Ireland. Four other prisoners continued with their protest at Whitemoor. This brought the number of prisoners transferred to Northern Ireland to 21.

1995 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, lifted a fund-raising ban on organisations suspected of having paramilitary links. The ban had been imposed 10 years earlier.

1998 – Chief Constable of the RUC, Ronnie Flanagan, announced that the Union Flag would not be flown outside RUC stations on public holidays. Flanagan said that this would bring RUC policy on the matter into line with the rest of the United Kingdom. Some Unionists reacted angrily to the announcement.

1998 – The Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act became law. The legislation allowed for the early release of paramilitary prisoners. Only prisoners who were members of organisations that were observing ceasefires could benefit from the legislation. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, declared that the IRA, Ulster Defence Association (UDA), and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), were inactive. There was criticism of this decision by those who highlighted continuing violence by these organisations.

1998 – Marine Minister Dr. Michael Woods firmly rules out an extension of the salmon season.

1999 – Relatives of the 14 men shot dead and 13 people wounded by British soldiers in Derry on 30 January 1972 expressed disappointment at an Appeal Court ruling that the soldiers who opened fire would not be named during the proceedings of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

1999 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, retained her position in a British government reshuffle that left all but one member of Tony Blair’s cabinet in place. Mowlam had earlier briefed journalists that she wanted to stay in post to complete the Good Friday Agreement. Peter Robinson, deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), called the decision “a disaster”, however, Nationalists welcomed the development.

1999 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern predicts on local radio that Moscow Express will win the Galway Plate at Ballybrit. The horse is steered to victory by current Irish champion jockey Ruby Walsh.

1999 – TV3 announces that model Amanda Byram will spearhead Ireland’s first ever breakfast television program me.

1999 – The Central Statistics Office publishes the most popular baby names for the previous year; the leading boy’s name is Conor, followed by Seán, Jack, James and Adam. Across the gender divide, Chloe tops the list, ahead of Ciara, Sarah, Aoife and Emma.

2000 – Seventy-eight republican and loyalist prisoners are released from Long Kesh prison.

2001 – BirdWatch Ireland appeals for loans of ghettoblasters as part of a bid to save the corncrake. The blasters are needed to replay the sounds of farm traffic – tractors and their grass mowers – in areas where the rasping, croaking corncrake can still be heard, mainly along the banks of the River Shannon. The hope is they will attract the birds so they can be banded and tracked.

2003 – Death of Valerie Hamilton, Hon. Lady Goulding. She was a campaigner for disabled people and senator who set up the Central Remedial Clinic in 1951, now the largest organisation in Ireland looking after people with physical disabilities. She served as a member of Seanad Éireann from 1977 to 1981.

2005 – IRA issues statement ending its armed campaign. Gerry Adams says that it offered an unprecedented opportunity to revive the peace process. He called on unionists to fully embrace the principles of the Good Friday Agreement. The 36-year campaign of armed conflict has cost 3,500 lives, 1,800 of them at the hands of the Provisionals.

Image | Dunree Strand, Co Donegal

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