#OTD in Irish History | 25 June:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the feastday of St Moluag of Lismore.

1731 – The Dublin Society for Improving Husbandry (Cumann Ríoga Bhaile Átha Cliath [CRBÁC]), later to become the Royal Dublin Society on 19 June 1820 was founded “to promote and develop agriculture, arts, industry, and science in Ireland”.

1783 – The Bank of Ireland is established in Dublin, by Royal charter. It issues its first notes, and opens to the public on this date; the Irish pound is worth £12/13 sterling.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Northern column fails to take Hacketstown, Co Carlow and returns to camp at Croghan. Southern column marches from Slatt, to camp at Kilcumney Hill, Co Carlow.

1868 – Death of Alexander Mitchell. He was an Irish engineer who from 1802 was blind. He is known as the inventor of the screw-pile lighthouse. He was a native of Dublin, and received his formal education at Belfast Academy where he excelled in mathematics.

1870 – Erskine Childers, novelist, member of the Royal Navy, and later an Irish nationalist, is born in London. He was the author of the influential novel ‘Riddle of the Sands’ and an Irish nationalist, who was executed by the authorities of the nascent Irish Free State during the Irish Civil War.

1876 – Death of Carlow-born Myles Walter Keogh. He fought in Italy during the 1860 Papal War before volunteering for the Union side in the American Civil War (1861 to 1865). During the war years, he was promoted from the rank of Captain to that of Major, finally being awarded the brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After the Civil War ended, Keogh received a permanent commission as Captain of Company I, 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment commanded by George Armstrong Custer during the Indian Wars of the 1870s. Myles Keogh was killed with Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, 25 June 1876. His niece, Margaret Keogh, was the first victim of the Easter Rising; she was a nurse rushing to attend to patients and the wounded.

1891 – Charles Stewart Parnell married Katherine O’Shea in England. It was the greatest scandal of its time, a two-day divorce hearing that changed the course of Irish history. When her husband, Captain William O’Shea, filed for divorce, the resulting scandal ended the political career of the man who had been called “the uncrowned king of Ireland”. The divorce was heard over two days in 1890 – Parnell was not represented, and Katherine did not contest the evidence, in effect, their side of the story was not heard.

1939 – Garech A Brún, founder of Claddagh Records, music publisher and world-traveller, is born in Glenmaroon, Chapelizod, Co Dublin. Samuel Beckett, Robert Graves, Patrick Kavanagh and the Chieftains, which he founded, feature among Claddagh’s diverse recordings.

1949 – Birth of Anglican bishop and author, Richard Clarke, in Dublin. Since 2012, he has been the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. As such, he is the senior hierarch of the Church of Ireland.

1950 – Muiris Ó Súilleabháin, writer, drowns while swimming off Co Galway. Muiris Ó Súilleabháin (aka Maurice O’Sullivan) became famous for his memoir of growing up on the Great Blasket Island off the western coast of Ireland, Fiche Bliain ag Fás (Twenty Years a’ Growing), published in Irish and English in 1933. As one of the last areas of Ireland in which the old Irish language and culture had continued unchanged, the Great Blasket Island was a place of enormous interest to those seeking traditional Irish narratives. Ó Súilleabháin was persuaded to write his memoirs by George Derwent Thomson, a linguist and professor of Greek who had come to the island to hear and learn the Irish language. Thomson edited and assembled the memoir, and arranged for its translation into English with the help of Moya Llewelyn Davies.

1952 – Birth of broadcaster, Alan Green, in Belfast. He has been a BBC Radio sports commentator since 1981, mainly on football but also on golf, rowing and the Olympic Games.

1957 – Death of Elizabeth O’Farrell. She was a nurse and member of Cumann na mBan, best known for delivering the surrender in the Easter Rising of 1916.

1970 – Roman Catholic bishops announce end of ban on RC attendance at Trinity College, Dublin.

1971 – Birth of football coach and former player, Neil Lennon, in Lurgan, Co Armagh. He is the manager of Scottish Championship club Hibernian. During his playing career he represented English clubs Manchester City, Crewe Alexandra and Leicester City. Lennon moved to Scottish club Celtic in 2000, where he made over 200 appearances and was appointed captain in 2005. Before retiring as a player, he returned to England to represent Nottingham Forest and Wycombe Wanderers. Lennon made 40 appearances for Northern Ireland in nine years, scoring two goals. Lennon was appointed manager of Celtic in March 2010, initially in a caretaker capacity after the departure of Tony Mowbray. Lennon enjoyed significant success as Celtic manager, winning three Scottish league championships, two Scottish Cups and qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League twice, before leaving the club in May 2014.

1973 – Three members of the IRA were killed when a bomb they were transporting exploded prematurely on the Gortin Road, near Omagh, Co Tyrone.

1980 – The Democratic Party in the United States adopted as policy a proposal put forward by Senator Edward Kennedy. The new policy called for an end to the divisions of the Irish people and a solution based on the consent of all of the parties.

1984 – Birth of musical theatre performer, Killian Donnelly, in Kilmessan, Co Meath. He has appeared in musicals and plays, such as Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Commitments and Memphis. Donnelly is currently playing the role of Charlie in the West End musical Kinky Boots.

1985 – The United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) sign a bilateral treaty that would prevent people facing extradition from claiming that their crimes had a political motive.

1990 – Ireland defeated Romania in a penalty shoot-out to reach the quarter-finals of their first ever World Cup in the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa.

1992 – Joan Denise Moriarty, ballet composer, choreographer and founder of the Irish National Ballet, dies. During her career, she choreographed over 100 original works, drawing on themes from Irish mythology and legend, fusing traditional dance forms with ballet. Her aim was to create an original Irish form of this European art.

1992 – James Molyneaux, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), together with Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), put a motion before the House of Commons which called for the setting up of a Northern Ireland Select Committee. The motion was supported by the Liberal Democrats, and the Welsh and Scottish Nationalist parties. However, the government opposed the motion which failed to gain sufficient support.

1995 – Death of Ernest Walton. Born in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, he was a physicist and Nobel laureate for his work with John Cockcroft with “atom-smashing” experiments done at Cambridge University in the early 1930s, and so became the first person in history to artificially split the atom.

1997 – Colin Duffy was charged with the murder of two RUC officers in Lurgan on 16 June 1997. Duffy’s solicitor alleged that the RUC had mistreated Duffy while in custody.

1997 – The RUC carried out a search of a house in Dunmurray, Belfast, and found a number of AK47 rifles. The police had earlier gone to the wrong address.

1997 – The British and Irish governments announced that they were giving the IRA a period of five weeks during which to call an unequivocal ceasefire. Following any ceasefire a further period of six weeks would then elapse before Sinn Féin could enter the talks at Stormont when they resumed on 15 September 1997. The talks were scheduled to conclude in May 1998. Sinn Féin later called for ‘clarification’ of the statement but were told that they would not be given any.

1998 – Northern Ireland Assembly elections were held. David Trimble was elected First Minister. Seamus Mallon was elected deputy.

1999 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, rejected demands for an Inquiry into the killing of Billy Wright inside Long Kesh Prison on 27 December 1997.

1999 – British Prime Minster, Tony Blair, and Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, travelled to Belfast for a series of meetings at Stormont with the political parties. These meetings were held prior to a week of intensive negotiations, beginning on 28 June. The deadline for overcoming the political impasse had been set for 30 June.

Presidents of Ireland inaugurated on this day in:

1938 – Douglas Hyde
1945 – Seán T. O’Kelly
1952 – Seán T. O’Kelly
1959 – Éamon de Valera
1966 – Éamon de Valera
1973 – Erskine Hamilton Childers

Image | Wicklow Gap, Co Wicklow | Gerry Chaney Photography

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