On this day

Published in Issue 4 (July/August 2010), News, Volume 18

July

17   1935

George William Russell, poet, editor, artist and mystic, known as ‘AE’, died.

18   1610

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, belligerent Italian painter best remembered for the uncompromising realism of his religious works, died in mysterious circumstances.

21   1920

In Belfast, ‘Protestant and unionist’ workers from Workman Clark’s shipyard marched into Harland and Wolff’s yard and forcibly expelled all Catholic and socialist workers. Some were forced to swim for their lives. In three days of violence seven Catholics and six Protestants were killed in the city.

22   1873

James Cousins, writer and poet who taught at the Theosophical College in Madanapalle for over twenty years and latterly worked for the Indian government as an adviser on the arts, born in Belfast. He established the first public art galleries in India in Mysore and Travancore.

23   1885

Ulysses S. Grant, eighteenth president of the United States (1869–77), whose maternal great-grandfather emigrated from Dergina, Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone, in 1738, died.

24   1750

John Philpot Curran, lawyer and politician and father of the nationalist heroine Sarah Curran (1782–1808), born in Newmarket, Co. Cork.

26   1575

On the orders of the earl of Essex, English forces under Captain John Norris and Francis Drake massacred the Scots garrison on Rathlin Island, Co. Antrim, along with hundreds of the Clan MacDonnell—mainly women and children, including the family of the clan leader, Sorley Boy MacDonnell (c. 1505–90), who had taken refuge on the island.

28   2005

Seven years after the Belfast Agreement, the Provisional IRA finally and definitively called an end to its armed campaign.

29   1960

Cedric Gibbons, Dublin-born art director and set decorator credited with designing the Oscar statuette (1928), died.

30   1990

Ian Gow, Conservative MP for Eastbourne, was assassinated by the Provisional IRA, who placed a bomb under his car at his home in East Sussex.

 

 

August

1   1980

Seventeen people were killed at Buttevant Station, Co. Cork, when the Dublin–Cork train left the rails.

8   1910

Harry Ferguson flew a distance of three miles at Dundrum Bay, Newcastle, Co. Down, winning him a prize of £100. In December the previous year he had flown some 130 yards at Hillsborough, Co. Down, becoming the first man to build and fly his own plane in Ireland.

12   1970

Two members of the RUC were killed by a bomb in South Armagh—the first of 277 members of the force killed in attacks by Irish Republican groupings during the Troubles (1969–98).

13   1910

Florence Nightingale, English nurse and writer who came to prominence during the Crimean War for her pioneering work in nursing, died.

14   1940

Seán Russell, IRA chief-of-staff, died from a burst gastric ulcer on board a German submarine off the Galway coast. He was returning to Ireland along with fellow Republican Frank Ryan after completing over three months’ training with German intelligence in Brandenburg.

20   1940

Leon Trotsky, exiled Bolshevik revolutionary, Marxist theorist and founder and commander of the Red Army, was assassinated at his home in Coyoacan, near Mexico city.

21   1970

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) was formed in Belfast by a coalition of political figures who had been prominent in the Civil Rights struggle of the late 1960s.The party was initially led by Gerry Fitt, MP for West Belfast.

22   1802

George Thomas, mercenary soldier known as the ‘Rajah from Tipperary’, died at Bahrampur, having been deposed by Sikh forces assisted by the French.

24   1990

Brian Keenan, a teacher from Belfast, was released after spending almost five years imprisoned in extreme conditions as a hostage of a Shi’ah militia group in Beirut, Lebanon.

26   1940

Three women were killed when a German bomb struck a creamery at Campile, Co. Wexford.
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