On this day

Published in Issue 4 (July/August 2012), On this Day, Revolutionary Period 1912-23, Volume 20



5 1812

Frederick Edward Maning, adventurer and naturalised Maori, born in Johnville, Co. Dublin.


6 1939

Mary Peters, Olympic gold medal-winner in the pentathlon (Munich, 1972), born in Halewood, Lancashire.


5 1922

Cathal Brugha (47) was mortally wounded fighting on the republican side against Free State forces in Dublin’s O’Connell Street and died two days later.


18 1862

Lord John George Beresford, Church of Ireland archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland since 1822, died.


20 1996

Michelle Smyth/de Bruin won the first of three gold medals in swimming at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, making her Ireland’s most successful Olympian. Two years later she received a four-year ban from the Court of Arbitration for Sport for tampering with her urine sample.


21 1972

‘Bloody Friday’ in Belfast. Over a period of 65 minutes the IRA detonated twenty bombs in the city, killing nine and injuring at least 130 others.


26 1987

Stephen Roche became the first Irish rider to win the Tour de France.


27 2004

Bob Tisdall (96), Olympic gold medal-winner in the 400m hurdles (Los Angeles, 1932) in a world record time of 51.7 seconds—which was not recognised under the rules at the time because he had hit a hurdle—died.


30 1862

Eugene O’Curry, scholar, author notably of Manners and customs of the ancient Irish (1873), died.


31 1972

‘Operation Motorman’: over 36,000 members of the British Army, RUC and UDR move in to dismantle barriers and take over Catholic ‘no-go’ areas in Derry and Belfast. That same day the IRA detonated three large car bombs in the village of Claudy, Co. Derry, killing ten people.


31 2007

‘Operation Banner’, the British army’s 38-year role in support of the police in Northern Ireland in which 763 members of British forces died, ended at midnight.




1 1932

Dr Pat O’Callaghan retained his Olympic hammer-throwing title at the Los Angeles games. In that event at the previous Olympics (Amsterdam, 1928), he became the first person from an independent Ireland to win a gold medal.


2 1812

Edward Smyth, sculptor, notably of the sixteen heads symbolising the rivers of Ireland and the statue of ‘Commerce’ on Gandon’s Custom House, Dublin, died.


4 1812

Robert Peel, MP for Cashel, was appointed chief secretary for Ireland.


5 1962

Marilyn Monroe (36), film actress, died in Los Angeles.


12 1922

Arthur Griffith (51), president of Dáil Éireann, died from a cerebral haemorrhage.


12 1984

John Treacy won a silver medal for Ireland in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.


16 1982

Patrick Connolly, the Republic of Ireland’s attorney general, resigned after a man was arrested in his home and charged with two murders. Taoiseach Charles Haughey referred to the events as ‘grotesque, unprecedented, bizarre and unique’, which led Conor Cruise O’Brien to coin the term ‘GUBU’.


17 1878

Oliver St John Gogarty, surgeon, wit and writer, and Olympic bronze medal-winner (literature, Paris, 1924) for his ‘Tailteann Ode’ (described by himself as ‘rather tripe’), born in Rutland Square, Dublin.


20 1912

William Booth (83), English social reformer, evangelist and founder of the Salvation Army, died.


22 1922

Michael Collins (31), commander-in-chief of pro-Treaty government forces, was killed in an ambush at Béal na mBláth, near Macroom, Co. Cork.


24 1962

Anew MacMaster (68), actor-manager and brother-in-law of Mícheál MacLiammóir, died.


28 1987

John Huston (81), film director, screenwriter and actor, whose last film, released that same year, was an acclaimed adaptation of James Joyce’s The Dead, died.


29 1871

Jack Butler Yeats, painter and Olympic silver medal-winner for his painting The Liffey Swim (experimental painting division of the art contests, Paris, 1924), born in London.


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