Irish History Bitesize
Proclamation of Irish Independence prints

June 11


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1534 Silken Thomas rode through Dublin and publicly renounced his allegiance to King Henry VIII, Lord of Ireland.

Silken Thomas' attack Dublin Castle Image Ireland Calling
Discover how he was betrayed and executed in the Tower of London.

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Richard Todd1919 Richard Todd was born in Dublin on this day in 1919. He fought in the British army during the Second World War before entering into a long and successful career as an actor.

Todd starred in several major films such as The Hasty Heart for which he received an Oscar nomination. He went on to work with legendary director Alfred Hitchcock in Stage Fright. His most notable role was as Wing Commander Guy Gibson in the World War II film The Damn Busters.

Interestingly, Todd was also the first choice of writer Ian Fleming to play his suave British secret agent James Bond, but due to other commitments he was unable to take up the role and it was given to Sean Connery.

Click here to read about more Irish actors

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1936 Norman Cohen was born on this day in Dublin in 1936. He was a director and made numerous films in the 1970s, notably adapting the British television comedy favourite Dad’s Army for the big screen.

Cohen also made the feature film, Adolf Hitler; My Part in his Downfall, written by Irish comedian Spike Milligan.

Click here to read some of the best quotes from Spike Milligan

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1990 Ireland’s first ever World Cup game took place in Cagliari, Italy on this day in 1990. More than 35,000 people were in the stadium and millions more watching on TV as Ireland took on their old foes England in the first of three group qualifiers. The game finished with a 1-1, after Kevin Sheedy snatched a point for Ireland who were trailing to a Gary Lineker goal.

World Cup Italia '90, Group F: England 1 - 1 Ireland

It was a tremendous achievement for a country of Ireland’s size and population to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Ireland went on to draw their other two group games, against Egypt and Holland, to progress through to the knockout stage. They beat Romania in a penalty shootout to reach the quarter-finals where they were finally eliminated by hosts Italy. It was a tremendous achievement for a country of Ireland’s size and population to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup, especially at their first finals. The team were welcomed back by thousands of proud supporters when they landed at Dublin airport.

World Cup Italia ’90

Group F: Ireland 1 – England 1. See both goals

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2000 On this day in 2000, the Irish food board, Bord Bia, reported that nearly 100% of Irish people were eating potatoes at least once a week. The potato had been a permanent fixture on Irish dinner tables for centuries and nothing had changed as the country enters the 21st century.

However, just over ten years later it seemed that the Irish people were turning their backs on the humble spud in favour of more exotic and exciting dishes.

Irish potatoes Image copyright Ireland CallingClick here to read why Ireland is turning its back on the potato
This is an old nursery rhyme from Donegal. Do you remember it?

Are you from Cork
I am – are you?
Do you eat praties?
I do – do you?
How do you eat them?
Skins and all.
Do they choke you?
Not at all.

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2001 Dublin-born writer Keith Ridgway was awarded the Rooney Prize on this day in 2001. The award is given to any Irish writer under the age of 40 who has contributed to Irish literature. Ridgway received the award for his collection of short stories, Standard Time.

Click here to read about more Irish writers

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