#OTD in Irish History | 11 June:

1534 – Thomas Garrett (Lord Offaly and grandson of Garret Mór Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare), rides through Dublin with a large band of followers. Known as ‘Silken Thomas’ because of the silk worn on his followers’ helmets, he has heard the false rumour spread by Henry VIII that his father, Garrett Óg has been executed in the Tower of London. He enters the Chapter House of St. Mary’s Abbey where the King’s Council is awaiting him and flings down his Sword of State. This is a dramatic act of defiance, by which he hopes to force his claim to power. Henry VIII treats it as an act of open revolt and confines his father, Garret Óg, to the Tower where he dies two months later.

1690 – William of Orange departs for Ireland.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: In Co Wexford, the Rebel southern division moves camp from Slievecoilte to Lacken Hill. In Co Down, the Main rebel army moves from Saintfield to Ballynahinch.

1837 – The Broad Street Riot occurred in Boston, fueled by ethnic tensions between English-Americans and Irish-Americans.

1862 – Violet Martin (pen-name Martin Ross; writer, sometimes in partnership with her cousin Edith Somerville) is born in Ross House, Co Galway.

1903 – Thomas Sloan and others found the Independent Orange Order in Belfast. The Independent Loyal Orange Institution is an off-shoot of the Orange Institution, a Protestant fraternal organisation based in Northern Ireland. It was formed in Ireland in 1903 by Tom Sloan and others, who had been expelled from the Orange Order when they voiced opposition to it being used for party political ends by Ulster Unionists. Originally it was associated with the labour movement, but it soon realigned itself with traditional unionist politics.

1919 – Birth of actor Richard Todd in Dublin. In 1950, he won a Golden Globe Award (‘Most Promising Newcomer’) for his performance in the film “The Hasty Heart” (1949). The film also earned him an Academy Award Nomination for “Best Actor”.

1936 – Birth of Norman Cohen in Dublin. He was a film director and producer, best known for directing two feature films based on television comedy programmes, Till Death Us Do Part (1969) and Dad’s Army (1971). He was also a director of several of the Confessions of… sex comedy series: Confessions of a Pop Performer (1975), Confessions of a Driving Instructor (1976) and Confessions from a Holiday Camp (1977).

1966 – John Scullion, a Catholic civilian, dies from his injuries two weeks after being shot by the UVF in the Clonard area of west Belfast.

1972 – Colonel Muammar Gaddafi announced that he had supplied arms to ‘revolutionaries’ in Ireland.

1980 – The IRA issued a statement that threatened to renew attacks on prison officers.

1981 – A general election was held in the Republic of Ireland. When counting was completed a minority government was formed between a coalition of Fine Gael and Labour. On 30 June 1981 Garret FitzGerald replaced Charles Haughey as Taoiseach. Two H-Block prisoners were elected to the Dáil.

1983 – In the new British cabinet announced by British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, James Prior, was reappointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

1984 – Birth of professional boxer, Andy Lee, in Bow, London, to Irish Traveller parents. He held the WBO middleweight title from 2014 to 2015, and the Irish super middleweight title in 2007.

1986 – Five people, one of whom was Patrick Magee, were found guilty at the ‘Old Bailey’ court in London of conspiring to cause explosions in Britain including the Brighton bomb on 12 October 1984. Magee later received eight life sentences.

1987 – A general election was held across the United Kingdom. The Conservative Party was returned to power. In Northern Ireland the Social Democratic and Labour Party increased their vote and their share of the poll. The overall Unionist vote fell as did the vote of Sinn Féin.

1990 – The Republic of Ireland plays their first ever match in the finals of the World Cup, drawing 1-1 with England in Cagliari, Sardinia.

1993 – Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to Northern Ireland.

1993 – John Hume, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), held another meeting with Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin (SF).

1993 – Amnesty International criticised certain aspects of emergence powers in Northern Ireland.

1996 – The second day of the Stormont talks were again spent in argument over the appointment of George Mitchell as chair and the extent of his ‘over-arching’ role. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) agreed to a compromise which reduced the role of George Mitchell but which let talks proceed.

1997 – A former leading member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) ‘Shankill Butchers’ gang, was shot dead while opening the Ex-Prisoners Information Centre on Woodvale Road, Belfast. Initially Republican paramilitaries were blamed for the killing but all the groups denied any involvement, and it later became clear that Loyalist paramilitaries were responsible. Bates had pleaded guilty in January 1979 to 10 murders. Most of the victims were Catholics who were abducted, tortured, and killed with butcher knives, hatchets and sometimes guns. One of Bates’ victims was James Moorehead (30) who at the time was a member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). It was believed that Bates was killed in retaliation for his part in the murder of Moorehead.

1997 – Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to Northern Ireland and travelled to Dungannon, Belfast, and Hillsborough Castle where a garden reception for 2,000 people was held.

1997 – The police and customs officials carried out a series of raids in Britain and Ireland and broke up a drug gang which had links to the UDA. Police seized £6 million pounds of property, £2 million pounds of illicit alcohol, and £500,000 in cash.

1999 – The Police Authority of Northern Ireland warned that the RUC did not have sufficient funds to meet the additional costs in policing the violence surrounding the Drumcree dispute.

2000 – Thousands of Irish Christians march for Jesus. The giant Praise and Prayer Rally takes place outside government buildings in Dublin.

2000 – Bord Glas, now Bord Bia reports that nearly 100% of all households eat potatoes at least once a week or more, putting them in the number one spot when it comes to favourite vegetables. the general functions of Board Glas shall be to develop, promote, facilitate, encourage, co-ordinate and assist the production, marketing and consumption of horticultural produce.

2001 – Writer Keith Ridgway is awarded the Rooney Prize; there is no shortlist, no entry form and no categorisation for the award, now in its 26th year. The only requirement is for the writer to be Irish, under 40 and published.

2015 – Death of Mary Mulvihill. She was a scientist, radio television presenter, author and educator. She founded and served as the first chairperson of Women in Technology and Science (WITS), and is viewed as a pioneer of science communication in Ireland. She was featured in Silicon Republic’s 100 Top Women in STEM list.

Image | Loughros Point, Co Donegal | Fiachra Mangan Photography

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