#OTD in Irish History | 22 July:

1606 – A commission is instituted to remedy defective land titles.

1691 – The Battle of Aughrim was the decisive battle of the Williamite War in Ireland. It was fought between the Jacobites and the forces of William III on 12 July 1691 (old style Julian calendar), equivalent to 22 July new style (Gregorian calendar), near the village of Aughrim, Co Galway. The battle was one of the more bloody recorded fought on Irish soil – over 7,000 people were killed. It meant the effective end of Jacobitism in Ireland, although the city of Limerick held out until the autumn of 1691.

1817 – William Sadler makes the first balloon crossing of the Irish Sea, from Dublin to Anglesey.

1860 – Johanna Butler is born in the Rower, Co Kilkenny. She entered the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary at the age of sixteen in Béziers, France. Popularly known as Mother Butler, Mother Joseph was the founder of Marymount School and College in Tarrytown, New York. On 26 August 1926, she was elected general superior of the order and remained in that position until her death on 26 April 1940.

1866 – Birth of D.J. O’Donoghue, writer, bookseller and librarian. He began his journalistic work by writing for the Dublin papers upon subjects relating to Irish music, art, and literature. A founder-member of the Irish Literary Society in London, he was also vice president of the National Literary Society, Dublin, and the compiler of a biographical dictionary, The Poets of Ireland (1891–93; revised edition, 1912), with entries on 2,000 authors.

1873 – James Cousins, writer, playwright, actor, critic, editor, teacher and poet is born in Belfast. He used several pseudonyms including Mac Oisín and the Hindu name Jayaram. Cousins produced several books of poetry whilst in Ireland as well as acting in the first production of Cathleen Ní Houlihan (under the stage name of H. Sproule) with revolutionary and beauty Maud Gonne in the title role. After a dispute with W.B. Yeats, who objected to ‘too much Cousins’ the Irish National Theatre movement split with two-thirds of the actors and writers siding with Cousins against Yeats.

1902 – Death of Thomas William Croke D.D., the second Catholic Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand (1870-1874) and later Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Co Tipperary. He was important in the Irish nationalist movement and the main Gaelic Athletic Association stadium in Dublin is named Croke Park, in his honour.

1922 – Birth of John Benignus Lyons was born in Co Mayo. He was a leading Irish medical practitioner throughout his life, once described as “one of the foremost Irish medical writers of the twentieth century”.

1933 – The anti-Fianna Fáil Army Comrades Association, which developed into a fascist-inspired group nicknamed the “Blueshirts,” is outlawed.

1972 – Two Catholics were abducted, beaten, and shot dead in a Loyalist area of Belfast. In a separate incident a Catholic man, Patrick O’Neil (26), was abducted, beaten, and shot dead in Belfast.

1972 – Public Records – Released 1 January 2003: Document prepared for the British government which examined the possibility of redrawing the Northern Ireland border and carrying out a transfer of population.

1986 – A report on the Northern Ireland Civil Service showed that Catholics and women were under-represented in the top grades. The report did show however that there had been an improvement in the percentage of Catholics employed in the Civil Service compared to five years earlier.

1986 – The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) ‘supergrass’ informer Joe Bennett was sentenced by a Nottingham Crown Court to 10 years imprisonment for an armed robbery. Bennett had carried out the crime having been relocated to England by the security services and given a new identity with the name John Graham.

1987 – An inquiry, by the Fair Employment Agency (FEA), into claims of discrimination by Derry City Council against Protestants, cleared the council of these allegations.

1994 – A Catholic civilian, Robert Monaghan (44), was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). He was killed while in a friend’s home in Rathcoole, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim.

1996 – Delegations from the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) and the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) met with British Prime Minister, John Major, in Downing Street, London.

1997 – The relatives of the 33 people killed by bombs in Dublin and Monaghan on 17 May 1974, said that they would take the case to Europe because of the failure of the RUC to establish a murder inquiry.

1997 – A Catholic boy aged 14 who had been critically injured when shot in the head by a plastic bullet on 7 July 1997 was released from hospital. He had spent three days in a coma.

1997 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, wrote an article in response to the renewal of the IRA ceasefire on 20 July 1997.

1999 – Loyalist Volunteer Force rules out any further weapons handover.

1999 – Sinn Féin (SF) and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held separate talks with the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, at Downing Street. Following the meeting Vice-President of SF, Martin McGuinness, said that Blair and David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), had “more influence with the IRA than Gerry Adams or I ever could”.  He also stated that if the UUP maintained its “rejectionist approach” there there was no chance of IRA decommissioning by May 2000.

1999 – The membership of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland was named with Joan Harbison as Chair, Broanagh Hinds as Deputy Chair, and 18 other commissioners. George Mitchell, former Chairman of the multi-party talks, announced that he would begin his review of the Good Friday Agreement on 6 September 1999.

1999 – The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) withheld funding for a drama group called DubbelJoint. The group had intended to perform a play about the RUC entitled ‘Forced Upon Us’. The ACNI said that the script for the play “fell below the artistic standards the Council expected”. DoubleJoint claimed the decision was politically motivated.

2001 – Ranked 25th, Ireland falls below most of Europe in its healthcare.

2007 – Dubliner Padraig Harrington becomes the first Irish golfer to win the British Open in 60 years when he snatches victory from the jaws of defeat at Carnoustie in Scotland. He is the first European golfer to secure a major victory since Paul Laurie on the same course in 1999 and Ireland’s first since Fred Daly in 1947. President McAleese was the first to convey her congratulations to Harrington, while Labour sports spokesman Jack Wall said: “Padraig Harrington’s magnificent victory in the Open without doubt represents one of the greatest days in the history of Irish sport.”

2014 – Death of theatre, film and television director, Louis Lentin. Born in Limerick, in 1933 and worked for over forty years in the arts in Ireland. He graduated from Trinity College, and founded Art Theatre Productions in 1959. RTÉ head of drama Hilton Edwards asked him to work in RTÉ. In 1975, he received a Jacob’s Award for his direction of three television plays broadcast on RTÉ in the previous year: Aleksei Arbuzov’s The Promise, Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage, and Jean Anouilh’s The Rehearsal (“La Répétition ou l’Amour puni”). Lentin was a member of Aosdána.

Image | Wishing Arch, Portrush, Co Antrim | Alistair Hamill Photography 

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