#OTD in Irish History | 17 September:

1711 – John Holwell, surgeon and survivor of ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ is born in Dublin.

1798 – 3,000 French troops depart for Ireland from Brest.

1862 – The Irish Brigade suffered over 60% casualties at the Battle of Antietam at an area that came to be known as Bloody Lane. Over 500 Irish Brigade men died in the bloodiest single battle of the American Civil War.

1903 – Frank O’Connor, (pseudonym of Michael O’Donovan), short-story writer and author of poetic translations from Irish is born in Cork.

1913 – In Newry, Edward Carson says that a Provisional Government will be established in Ulster if Home Rule is introduced. In Dublin, labour unrest grows with a march 5,000 through the city.

1918 – Birth of Chaim Herzog in Belfast. He was an Israeli general and politician, 6th President of Israel.

1922 – CID Headquarters – Oriel House in Dublin – is stormed and a CID officer is shot dead by Anti-Treaty IRA. There is a fire fight on Mount street bridge as the IRA party makes its getaway. Republican fighter Patrick Mannion is shot in the head by Free State troops as he lies wounded.

1922 – An ambush is mounted on Stephens Green in central Dublin. One civilian is killed in the crossfire. Another civilian is killed during an exchange of fire on Merchant’s Quay in the city centre.

1930 – The Free State is elected to the council of the League of Nations.

1937 – Ten young men, potato-pickers from Achill Island, die when a bothy catches fire on a farm at Kirkintilloch, Scotland.

1959 – Birth of film and television actor, Charles (Charlie) Devenish Lawson in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. Best known for playing Jim McDonald in Coronation Street.

1969 – Birth of professional snooker player, Ken Doherty, in Ranalegh, Dublin. He is the only player ever to have been world amateur (1989) and world professional champion (1997). He was also World Under-21 champion in 1989.

1973 – Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, and British Prime Minister, Edward Heath, met at Baldonnell, Co Dublin.

1976 – The founders of the Peace Movement, Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams, are awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

1981 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Prior, arrived in Northern Ireland and went to Long Kesh Prison where he had a three-hour meeting with those on hunger strike.

1993 – Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meeting with British Prime Minister, John Major. In an interview following the meeting Paisley criticised John Hume, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), as being the voice of “pan-Nationalism”.

1994 – There were clashes between Nationalists and RUC officers in Ballymurphy, west Belfast.

1997 – The talks delegation of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) entered Stormont, Belfast, flanked by the delegations of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP), and the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP). The three parties said that they would not directly engage with Sinn Féin (SF) but would attend plenary sessions.

1997 – Mary McAleese, a Pro-Vice Chancellor at Queen’s University of Belfast, secured the Fianna Fáil (FF) nomination for the election for President. McAleese beat former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, by 62 votes to 48. McAleese went on to win the Presidential election.

1999 – Interest rates for thousands of home owners tumble as the mortgage war escalates.

2001 – The Loyalist protest at the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School week began its third week.

2001 – John Hume, Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), announced that he would stand down as leader of the party. Hume (64), who had been leader of the party since 1979, made the announcement at a media briefing at Stormont. He said he had suffered from serious health problems and would be cutting down on his workload.

2003 – Mrs Harriet O’Donovan Sheehy unveils the new stamp of her late husband Frank O’Connor at St Patrick’s National School, Gardiner’s Hill, Cork.

2013 – Death of Fianna Fáil politician, Michael J. Noonan. He served as Minister for Defence from 1987 until 1989. Michael J. Noonan was born in Bruff, Co Limerick in 1935. He was educated locally at Salesian College in Limerick, before graduating from University College Cork with a Diploma in Rural Science. Following his education Noonan worked as a farmer before becoming involved in politics. He first entered local politics when he was elected to Limerick County Council in 1967 and remained a member of this council until 1991. Noonan was elected to Dáil Éireann on his first attempt as a Fianna Fáil TD for the Limerick West constituency at the 1969 general election.

2015 – Death of hurler, Eddie Connolly. Born in Tipperary, the hurler and footballer died after battling brain cancer for two years. The 29-year-old Loughmore-Castleiney native took ill while playing in the Tipperary senior hurling semi-final in 2013, and underwent surgery the following week in Cork.

Image | Ballycarbery Castle, Co Kerry

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