On This Day in Irish History: July

by Terrence J. Kenneally

1 July 1690 –  The Battle of the Boyne was fought between William of Orange, with an army of 36,000 men, and deposed James II, whose Jacobite forces numbered 25,000. William’s victory helped secure Protestant succession to the throne.           

6 July 1907 – The Irish Crown Jewels vanish from Dublin Castle, never to be found. No culprit was ever caught.

8 July 1921 – Ryanair begins operations with an inaugural flight between Waterford and London Gatwick airport. It was a modest beginning for what would become the largest airline in Europe and fifth largest globally, carrying 138.9 million passengers in 2018.

12 July 1691 – The Battle of Aughrim was fought just outside Galway village, between Ballinasloe and Loughree. It was the bloodiest battle ever fought on Irish soil, claiming more lives than the combined total of those who died in the battles of Clontarf, Kinsale, Vinegar Hill and the Easter Rising combined. It brought a decisive end to the Williamite War in Ireland.

17 July 1935 – George William Russell, poet and essayist who wrote under the pseudonym, “AE”, and was an active member of the Irish nationalist movement, died.

29 July 1871 – Jack Butler Yeats, illustrator and painter, was born in London, the youngest child of portraitist John Butler Yeats and brother of W.B. Yeats.

30 July 1928 – Dr. Pat O’Callaghan, a GP from the city of Cork, became the first athlete to win a gold medal representing Ireland in the Olympic Games.

31 July 1893 – The Gaelic League was established in Dublin solely to keep the Irish language spoken in Ireland. Its founders were Douglas Hyde, Eoin Mac Neill and Fr. Eugene O’Growney.    

*Terrence J. Kenneally is an attorney and owner of Terrence J. Kenneally & Assoc. in Rocky River, Ohio. He represents insureds and insurance companies in insurance defense through the state of Ohio. Mr. Kenneally received his Masters from John Carroll University in Irish Studies and teaches Irish Literature and History at Holy Name High School.

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