#OTD in Irish History | 15 August:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is also the feast day of St. Daga, 6th century Bishop of Iniskin, Dundalk.

Lady’s Day in Ireland, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, and is a day when fairs are celebrated in many country towns.

1599 – Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass – Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell successfully ambush English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.

1649 – Oliver Cromwell arrives in Ireland as Commander-in-Chief and Lord Lieutenant with an army of 20,000, a huge artillery train and a large navy.

1715 – On this date, Frederick Hamilton, former MP for Donegal, writes to George I that although the county is well affected, ‘The great scarcity of armes in ye country is beyond anything I could have imagin’d till about three days ago that I had occasion to send some men after seven Tories that were hunted out of Fermanagh, and in the barony of Kilmakrenan, I could not get thirty men tolerably armed tho’ I believe the country will be able to array seven thousand men’.

1755 – Molesworth Phillips, sailor and companion of Captain James Cook, is born in Swords, Co Dublin.

1803 – Edmund Rice opens a school for poor boys in Waterford – precursor of the schools run by the Christian Brothers.

1843 – Daniel O’Connell holds meetings for Repeal of the Union, attended by hundreds of thousands, at Trim and the Hill of Tara.

1880 – Five people drown in Derrybeg, Co Donegal when a chapel is flooded during Mass.

1882 – Unveiling of Daniel O’Connell monument in Dublin.

1917 – Birth of footballer, politician and fifth Taoiseach of Ireland, Jack Lynch, in Co Cork.

1919 – Birth of Benedict Kiely, novelist, short story-writer and critic, in Dromore, Co Down.

1922 – Free State troops take Clifden in Co Galway without resistance. The Republicans abandon the town and burn the local radio transmitter station.

1923 – Éamon de Valera arrested in Ennis, when he tried to make an election speech. He is imprisoned for over a year at Arbour Hill Prison in Dublin.

1965 – Galway Cathedral consecrated by Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston and Papal Legate. The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas (Ard-Eaglais Mhaighdean na Deastógála agus Naomh Nioclás), commonly known as Galway Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Galway and is one of the largest and most impressive buildings in the city.

1969 – Six people were killed and many more injured during sectarian riots in Belfast. Many families were also forced to move from their homes. British troops took up duties on the streets of west Belfast.

1971 – The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) announced that it was starting a campaign of civil disobedience in response to the introduction of Internment. The SDLP also withdrew their representatives from a number of public bodies.

1980 – An elderly Protestant man and his daughter were found dead at their home in Belfast; they had been beaten, stabbed and shot.

1982 – During a visit to the United States, Martin Smyth, Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP), alleged that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in Northern Ireland.

1984 – There were serious riots in Protestant areas of Belfast following protests against a ‘surpergrass’ trial involving William ‘Budgie’ Allen. The riots continued for three nights.

1986 – Peter Robinson, deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), was remanded to Ballybay, following a hearing in Dundalk, Co Louth, because of a demonstration he led on 7 August 1986. A number of Robinson’s supporters were attacked in Dundalk with stones and petrol-bombs.

1994 – John Bruton, leader of Fine Gael (FG), said that Sinn Féin (SF) could not be involved in political talks until the IIRA had called a total cessation of violence.

1996 – The Police Authority of Northern Ireland estimated a cost of £10 million for police overtime during and after the Drumcree standoff.

1998 – Massive bomb explodes in Omagh shopping centre at 3.10pm; Twenty-nine people are killed and hundreds injured. The death toll represented the single worst incident within Northern Ireland since the beginning of the conflict. https://youtu.be/KKiBee3zVYc

1999 – The Portmarnock Hotel in Dublin wins the Powers World Irish Coffee Making Championship for the second successive year.

1999 – Mobs in Derry attack police, loot businesses and torch buildings.

1999 – Thousands gathered in Omagh and Buncrana to mark the first anniversary of the Omagh bombing. Silent vigils were kept at 3.10pm throughout the country to commemorate the 29 people killed and 300 injured in the attack which caused the biggest loss of life of any incident in the North.

1999 – Founder member of the SDLP, Paddy Devlin, dies in Belfast’s Mater Hospital after a long illness.

2001 – A remembrance service was held in Omagh, Co Tyrone, to mark the third anniversary of the bomb attack on the town that left 29 people, and two unborn children, dead. The service took place at the Garden of Remembrance near the site of the bombing. The RUC and the Garda Síochána held a joint press conference to appeal to members of the public for more information on the bombing. A relative of one of those killed interrupted the conference to criticise both the RUC and the Garda for their lack of progress in the investigation of the bombing.

2001 – Two men were treated in hospital after being shot and wounded in separate paramilitary ‘punishment’ attacks in west Belfast. The first shooting happened at about 8.30pm at Lower Glen Parade, when the man was shot in both ankles. The other man was shot in one ankle at Vere Foster Walk at about 10.40pm.

2001 – There was rioting in the Duncairn Gardens area of north Belfast. Nationalist residents claimed that the RUC had to intervene to rescue two young girls who had been surrounded by a Loyalist mob.

2001 – There was a series of bomb hoaxes in four towns in Co Derry. British Army personnel dealt with suspect devices that were found in Desertmartin, Moneymore, Maghera, and Magherafelt. The hoaxes caused widespread disruption.

2001 – Sinn Féin released a report containing details of what the party claimed was more than 180 sectarian attacks carried out this year (to date) by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) a Loyalist paramilitary group.

Image | “Inishkea Island” – Mayo’s Forgotten Isle, Offshore Mullet Peninsula, Co Mayo | Gareth Wray Photography 

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