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Today
in
Irish
History -
June
1st to 7th | 8th to 14th | 15th to 21st | 22nd to 30th




June 15
1555 - After Henry VIII suppresses the Chapter of St Patrick's Cathedral it is restored on this date
1698 - Count George de Browne, governor of Livonia, Latvia, and field marshal in the Russian army, is born in Camas, Co. Limerick
1798 - The Rebel's main division marches to Mountpleasant
1828 - Birth of Sir Thomas Newenhan Deane, architect, in Dundanion, Co. Cork
1919 - Pioneer Atlantic airmen Alcock and Brown land at Clifden, Co. Galway and complete the first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight
1930 - Michelle Wilson is born in New York City USA. She missed being born in Drogheda, County Louth Ireland by four months.
1967 - Black Velvet Band by Johnny Kelly and the Capitol showband reaches no. 1 in the Irish charts
1979 - The memorial to James Larkin (Jan 21, 1876 - Jan 30, 1947) on O’Connell Street, Dublin is unveiled. Larkin, a revolutionary socialist, dominated the Irish Trade Union movement. G. B. Shaw once described him as ‘the greatest Irishman since Parnell’
1982 - Actor Neil Fitzgerald dies at 90, in Princeton NJ
1989 - Ray McAlly, actor, dies in Dublin at 63
1996 - A massive bomb believed to have been planted by the IRA rips through a Manchester city centre and injures more than 200 people
1998 - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern dines at Cardiff Castle as European Union heads of government celebrate the launch of "the people's Europe". Mr. Ahern is given a place of honor on the left of Queen Elizabeth II
1999 - Boyzone singer Stephen Gately confirms that he is gay
2003 - The total ban on smoking in pubs will definitely not go ahead on January 1 next, the country’s leading publicans’ representative confidently predict
2003 - According to a new international survey, Irish women are far more likely to be better educated than their male counterparts. The study based on joint UNESCO, OECD and EU data shows over 93% of 18-year-old females in Ireland are in continuing education, while only 66% of males are still in school or college.
2010 - Prior to the publication of the Saville Report, thousands of people converge at the Bloody Sunday memorial to walk to the Guildhall, symbolically completing the march which was prevented from reaching its destination in 1972. A screen erected to the side of the Guildhall shows live coverage of David Cameron's speech in Westminster. The crowd cheers when he says Bloody Sunday was "unjustified and unjustifiable"; when he says the Army fired the first shot; when he says there was no justification for the soldiers' shooting. And when he says "On behalf of the government and the country, "I am deeply sorry," It is a historic day for the people of Derry and Northern Ireland.
Photo Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
June 16
1721 - The following incident is reported in the state papers: during a trial in the court of King's Bench, Dublin, on this date, 'a neighbouring chimney took fire, blew the smoke into the court and gave a panick to all the people who crowded to get out. Many were actually killed on the spot, and many desperately wounded. Among the first Mr John Ormsby, Member of Parliament and a wealthy man of above £1,800 p.ann., was killed. Judge Caulfeild got half in and half out of a window, but could not pass through, lost his wig and at last was forced back. Lord Chief Justice Whitshed kept his place and temper till at last the truth was known'
1798 - British regulars arrive in Dublin; Rebels march to Tinahely. Co. Wicklow
1871 - The 'Westmeath Act' allows detention without trial for agrarian offences
1904 - Today was when James Joyce had his first date with Nora Barnacle; ultimately, it became the date on which everything takes place in his masterpiece, Ulysses
1924 - Friends send Joyce, who is in the hospital, a bouquet of white and blue hydrangeas. He writes in his notebook: "Today 16 of June 1924 twenty years after. Will anybody remember this date?"
1924 - The first Irish soccer international. A team drawn from the newly formed Football Association of Ireland meets the United States in Dublin
1929 - According to David Norris, a Dublin senator and a leading Joyce scholar, the first official celebration of Bloomsday is held on its twenty-fifth anniversary. That night, Joyce is the guest of honor at a dinner party held at Les Vaux de Cernay, a village near Versailles. After dinner, Joyce and his protege, the Nobel Prize-winning writer, Samuel Beckett, "get pretty tight," Norris says. On the way home, frustrated by the frequency of requests, Joyce and Beckett are making for pit stops, the carriage driver decides not to wait for Joyce's drinking buddy to return from the pissoir, and leaves Beckett "ingloriously abandoned on the outskirts of Paris"
1954 - On the 50th anniversary of the first Bloomsday, Flann O'Brien has a hand in producing a major celebration in Dublin
1945 - Birth of Dr. Ken Egan, former president of the IMO (Irish Medical Organisation)
In the liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St. Colman McRoi, a sixth century abbot in Dublin.
2006 - The State funeral of the former Taoiseach, Charles Haughey, takes place in Dublin.
June 17
1798 - Rebels capture Tinahely, Co. Wicklow and burn the town
1800 - Birth of William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse; astronomer and telescope constructor, in York
1845 - Author and poet, Emily Lawless, is born in Lyons Castle, Co. Kildare
1867 - Birth of John Gregg, publisher and inventor of the Gregg shorthand system, in Rockcorry, Co. Monaghan
1903 - An elephant named Sita kills her keeper tending her sore foot in Dublin Zoo. She was later put down by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary
1959 - Eamon de Valera becomes President of Ireland.
2008 - More than 1200 people bare all at Blarney Castle in Cork for a naked photo shoot by the US photographer Spencer Tunick. “Dare to Bare” is part of the Cork Midsummer Festival and proves a stunning success with the turnout taking even the most optimistic of the organisers aback.

June 18
1329 - The Bishop of Ossory is charged with fomenting feuds among the magnates; he flees to England and then, when summoned before the king, he flees to Rome. The king (Edward III, aged seventeen) warns the pope against him.
1769 - Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, politician and administrator, is born in Dublin
1798 - In Leinster, the Rebels are defeated at Ovidstown, near Kilcock; in Wexford, Rebels move back to Kilcavan hill. Government offensive begins; Rebels at Kilcavan are in a strong position. Government advance is stalled; Rebels withdraw from Kilcavan. Moore and Johnston move out of New Ross. General Needham moves out of Arklow; Loftus moves out of Carnew. By evening, Moore is in Foulkesmill, Needham is in Gorey and Loftus is in Craanford. Rebels southern division retreats to Wexford. Rebels northern division camps in Camolin
1815 - Battle of Waterloo, when British forces, under the command of the Duke of Wellington, a Dubliner, defeat Napoleon’s forces. The Iron Duke wasn’t the only Irish presence on the day — Napoleon’s horse Marengo was reared in Co. Wexford, and the Duke of Wellington’s mount was from Co. Cork
1831 - In the 'tithe war', yeomen kill up to 14 people at Newtownbarry, Co. Wexford
1859 - Birth of artist, Walter Osborne in Dublin. His superb images of young girls at play are still cherished by the National Gallery of Ireland: The Dolls School, The House Builders, and other examples of his work are also housed there. From the evidence of the few canvases from his last years, Osborne may be the only Irish artist who could justifiably be called 'an Irish Impressionist'
1864 - Death of William Smith O’Brien, leading member of the literary-political Young Ireland movement
1901 - Playwright, Denis Johnston is born in Dublin. His plays include The Old Lady Says 'No'; The Moon in the Yellow River; The Bride for the Unicorn and Strange Occurrence on Ireland's Eye. He also published a biography, In Search of Swift, and two autobiographical volumes, Nine Rivers from Jordan and The Brazen Horn
1936 - Fianna Fáil maintains links with the IRA until 1934 and then, on this date, declares them to be an illegal organisation
1945 - Sean T. O’Kelly becomes the first elected President of Ireland
1946 - Ray Treacy, former Irish International, is born
1970 - Ian Paisley is elected to Westminster in by-elections
1971 - Birth of Jason McAteer, International midfielder
1972 - Twelve of Ireland's most prominent businessmen are killed in a BA crash at Staines
1972 - Myles Dillon, Irish scholar of Celtic studies, dies.
June 19
1647 - James, Duke of Ormond, agrees to surrender Dublin to English Parliament
1820 - The Dublin Society for Improving Husbandry, which was originally founded on June 25 in 1731, becomes the Royal Dublin Society on this date
1841 - Birth in Roscommon of Sir George Arthur French (a relation of Percy French, the songwriter) who organised the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
1936 - Birth in Dingle, Co. Kerry of Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, née Treasa Kennedy; campaigner against poverty and homelessness
1936 - Mary Holland, noted journalist of the 1970s and 1980s in Northern Ireland and Scoop of the year award winner in 1994 (British Press Awards), is born in London
1972 - In 1971, a contract is signed with Verlome Cork Dockyard (VCD) to build an offshore patrol vessel for the Naval Service. LE Déirdre is launched on the 21st January 1972, and commissioned by LT Cdr Brett on 19th June 1972. The building of L.E. Déirdre marks a milestone in the development of the N.S., being the first ship purpose-built in Ireland to patrol in Irish waters.
2010 - Thousands of people are availed of the “once in a lifetime” opportunity on Saturday when pedestrians were invited to walk through the newly constructed Limerick tunnel, before it opens to traffic later this summer.
Photo Credit: Liam Burke/Press 22
June 20
1210 - King John lands at Waterford. He campaigns in Leinster - many of the de Lacys' followers go over to his side; he then captures Carrickfergus, where the de Lacys have made a stand, after a short siege. On 28 July, he captures William de Braose and confiscates his lands
1715 - There is a general election. The first session of the Irish parliament of George I commences on 12 November, and will continue till 20 June 1716. There will be six sessions of this parliament
1764 - Birth of Theobald Wolfe Tone, for more on Wolfe Tone click The Wild Geese
1798 - In Wexford, the Rebels retreat to Vinegar Hill. General's Loftus, Needham and Johnston close in on Vinegar Hill. General Moore defeats Rebels at Goffs Bridge
1810 - Parliament passes Unlawful Acts Bill, extending powers against secret societies
1849 - James Clarence Mangan, poet, dies
1867 - Clan Na Gael, Irish revolutionary organization and the counterpart of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, is formed by John Devoy, Daniel Cohalan and Joseph McGarrity in the USA. The objectives of the organization are to secure an independent Ireland
1891 - Birth of John Aloysius Costello, Ireland’s third Taoiseach
1955 - Aonghus McAnally, RTÉ presenter and broadcaster, is born
1992 - U2 takes part in a Greenpeace protest at the Sellafield nuclear power plant in northwest England. Wearing radiation suits, the band travels in rubber dingys with Irish dirt allegedly contaminated by the power plant, depositing the drums back on Sellafield grounds.
Today is midsummer's eve; at one time, young women in Ireland gathered yarrow with the rhyme:
Good morrow, good yarrow, good morrow to thee
Send me this night my true love to see
The clothes he'll wear, the color of his hair
And if he to me, we will marry.
The yarrow was placed under the pillow to induce dreams of the future beloved.
June 21
Today is the summer solstice. At around 3.00 am Irish time the sun reaches the most northerly point of its oscillation and the longest day in Ireland results — just over 17 hours. The sun rises over Dublin at 4.57am, and sets at 9.57 pm
1650 - Cromwell's New Model Army is victorious at Scarrifhollis, Co. Donegal
1691 - Godert de Ginkel, the commanding general of the William of Orange army, begins a ten-day siege of Athlone
1782 - The Declaratory Act, which had given Britain the right to legislate for Ireland and had denied the appellate jurisdiction of the Irish House of Lords, is repealed
1798 - The Rebels are defeated at Vinegar Hill; however, two Rebel columns escape; the Southern column camps at Sleedagh Demense; the Northern column camps at Peppards Castle. Government forces re-take Wexford town
1826 - Frederick Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, diplomat and holder of estates at Clandeboye, Co. Down, is born in Florence
1854 - Charles Davis Lucas from Drumagole, Co Armagh, age 20 and a mate in the Royal Navy, hurls a Russian shell (its fuse still burning) from the deck of his ship during the Crimean War. For this action, he will become the first recipient of the Victoria Cross in 1857. Lucas later achieved the rank of rear admiral
1877 - On a day that will long be remembered as Black Thursday, four members of the Molly Maguires - Alexander Campbell, John Donohue, Michael Doyle and Edward Kelly, shackled with chains, walk to the gallows specially constructed to accommodate four people; their lives are ended at the same split second
1897 - James Connolly is arrested during a demonstration commemorating 1798; Maud Gonne pays the fine for his release
1995 - A mass rally of the entire Irish Press Newspaper workforce and their families and friends takes place through the centre of Dublin in a demonstration of unified protest against the planned closure of the newspaper group. The march, organised by the Dublin Printing Group of Unions, draws more than 1,000 Irish Press workers and their supporters. Led by a samba band, they march through the streets of Dublin, setting off from Parnell Square toward a rally outside the Dail
1997 - At the county prison, which was closed as a jail in 1995 and reopened as The Old Jail Museum, the four Molly Maguires executed on this date in 1877, were remembered in a Memorial Mass attended by 100 of their descendants and members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Sources:
The Celtic League
This organization publishes the annual Celtic Calendar. To order your own copy, visit: The Celtic League.
Irish Abroad
Somewhat sporadic, but they often highlight an important date in Irish history. To visit, please click: Irish Abroad.
The Wild geese
They update Irish history weekly. To visit their keydates page, please click: The Wild Geese.

We also refer to an assortment of references. Among them are the Books of Days - see right margin on this page.

 

Fri, Nov 24, 2017

Holly and Ivy hanging up and
something wet in every cup*

Not so long ago, Irish Christmas decorations were much simpler than they are now. The children gathered holly and ivy for adorning, windows, doorways, mantles and pictures, and the father would carve out a turnip in which would be placed a large red candle. This would go in the window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. Only in relatively recent times did an Irish family have a Nativity scene and a decorated tree in the house. As for Mistletoe, it's quite rare in ireland and is generally associated with ancient Celtic and Druidic fertility celebrations; this is most likely where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
*Old Irish Christmas toast
Image: Pashley Manor Gardens.



Click for More Culture Corner.




“Cahill's lovely prose breathes life into a 1,600-year old history.” The L.A. Times
This is our most popular book. We understand why; the truth is fascinating.

Click here for Saved Civilization.


Not tied to a particular year, this colorful and entertaining journal can be used year after year and features a significant Irish fact for every day of the year. 32 full-color photos.
Click here for Irish Book of Days.


Illuminated Celtic Book of Days
by Louis De Paor

It helped me a great deal in finding out about Celtic traditions, folklore, and many other things! Amazon Reviewer.
Click here for Celtic Book of Days


An Irish Woman's Book of Days

While it's out of print, new and used copies of the 112-page hardcover edition are readily available.
Click here for Irish Woman's Book of days


The Course of Irish History
by Moody & Martin

Concise but comprehensive, highly selective but balanced and fair-minded, critical but constructive and sympathetic. A distinctive feature is its wealth of illustrations.
Click here for Irish History.


Ireland Since The Famine
by Lyons

A full-scale study of the political and social history of Ireland since 1850. The political evolution of the Irish Nation forms the basis of the book. "Will remain for many years an essential standby for every student of the subject" Robert Blake, The Sunday Times.
Click here for Since the Famine.


De Valera
by Tim Pat Coogan

Eamon De Valera is still a major influence on Ireland - a towering presence whose shadow yet falls over Irish life. He played a major part in the 1916 Rising, the troubled Treaty negotiations and the Civil War; some of today's problems are his legacy. But De Valera, or "Dev", was a political mastermind who also achieved some incredible feats which ensured his place in history, including the Irish Constitution, formation of Ireland's largest political party - Fianna Fáil, and the formation of the Irish Press Group.
Click here for DeValera


 

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