Irish History Bitesize
Proclamation of Irish Independence prints

June 8


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John Scott 1st Earl of Clonmel1739 John ‘Copper-faced Jack’ Scott, 1st Earl of Clonmel was born In Tipperary on this day in 1739. He was a lawyer and politician, who gained his nickname because of his red-face. As a child, he was friends with Hugh Carleton (the future Viscount Carleton of Clare). Scott was well liked by Carleton’s father, who was known as ‘The King of Cork’.

Scott was sent to Trinity College Dublin and then Middle Temple, London, with his education being financed by Carleton’s father. Once he had qualified, Scott became a barrister and began paying £300 a year to Carleton’s father who had since been declared bankrupt. Scott continued to pay until his friend Hugh was financial abler to support his father.

Scott entered into politics and held several prestigious positions. However, he had a habit of upsetting his peers and was frequently at loggerheads with one opponent or another. After he died and his diaries were made public, it was said; ‘Readers were shocked by the savage attacks on most of his judicial colleagues, including some, who thought of him as a friend.’

One of his contemporaries said;it is hard to believe that the office of Lord Chief Justice could be attained by a man most superficially read in the law and… wholly at variance with truth and justice”.

He did continue to rise through the ranks though, and was made was Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench for Ireland from 1784, a position he held for five years.

Scott’s health began to decline rapidly. He had always drank heavily and eaten too much. This left him with a permanently flushed face which is where his nickname ‘Copper-faced Jack’ came from. Shortly before he died in 1798, Scott told his wife’s cousin: “My dear Val, I have been a fortunate man in life. I am a Chief Justice and an Earl; but, believe me, I would rather be beginning the world as a young (chimney) sweep.”
_John_Scott-near-death Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Dr Richard Carmichael1849 Richard Carmichael died on this day in 1849 after being thrown from his horse as he travelled to his home outside Dublin. He was riding down close to the water’s edge, and drowned after being thrown in when his horse slipped.

Carmichael was a leading doctor in Ireland. He was elected President of the Royal College of Surgeons by his peers. In 1840, he co-founded the School of Anatomy, Medicine and Surgery of the Richmond Hospital. After Carmichael’s death, the hospital was renamed Carmichael School of Medicine. He had also left it £10,000 in his will.

Click here to read about more great Irish scientists

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1886  Gladstone’s Home Rule Bill was defeated. (The Irish Parliamentary Party under Charles Stewart Parnell had been campaigning for Home Rule for Ireland since the 1870s).

Agitators, like Rev Hugh Hanna (nicknamed Roaring Hanna – an evangelical preacher in Belfast known for his anti-Catholicism), were provoking disturbances, and major rioting ensued for a number of months.

The first riots were between the Protestant Loyalists and the RIC (police). Many of the RIC were Catholics drafted in from the southern counties. The Loyalists didn’t like the fact that the RIC was a Catholic-dominated force, and attacked the Southern police.


One journalist wrote;
‘Who have you there, Bill?’
‘A policeman’.
‘Hold on, and let me have a thump at him’.
‘Git along out of this, and find a policeman for yourself’.
Between June and September, it’s estimated that up to 50 peolple were killed in the Sectarian fighting.

Defeat-of-Home-Rule-Bill Image-copyright-Ireland-Calling

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1926 Kevin McClory was born on this day in Dublin in 1926. He was a film producer and actor, with his most famous achievement being turning James Bond from a literary character to a silver screen hero.

McClory joined the British army aged 16, and served during World War II. His ship was torpedoed and him and the rest of the surviving crew spent 14 days stranded in a lifeboat on the Atlantic Ocean before being rescued.

After the war, McClory worked as a soundman and assistant to the legendary director John Huston. McClory was part of the production teams for classic movies such as The African Queen, Moulin Rouge and Moby Dick.

McClory eventually gained the rights to the movie and produced Thunderball in 1965, starring Sean Connery as Bond. The movie was a huge success and James Bond has since grown into a global franchise.

McClory was approached by his friend, the writer Ian Fleming about making a film based on his novel about British secret agent James Bond. The two worked together on a screenplay along with fellow writer Jack Whittingham. The three men bickered and fell out over who had what rights to the possible takings for the film, and resulted in McClory and Whittingham suing Fleming for producing his own James Bond film without paying any credit (or royalties) to them.

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Coca Cola1943 On this day in 1943 in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, Edward Neville Isdell was born. He moved to Zambia as a child and when he grew up, he began working for the international soft drink giant Coca Cola.

Isdell rose through the company and headed the bottling facility in Johannesburg before gaining the position of Regional Manager for Australia. Isdell also led branches in the Philippines, India, and Europe throughout his career. He finally got to the very top when he was made CEO of Coca Cola in 2004, a position he held for four years.

Isdell’s achievements make him one of the most successful international businessmen that Ireland has ever produced.

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1985 Barry McGuigan won the WBA World Featherweight Championship on this day in 1985. The Clones Cyclone was unanimously declared the winner by the judges after 15 rounds with Panamanian Eusebio Pedroza.

McGuigan retired in 1989, and has since set up the Professional Boxing Association, an organisation that helps boxers gain skills and training to get a job if they don’t make it in the sport.

The Professional Boxing Association also offers counselling and guidance to boxers suffering with depression or mental health issues. McGuigan remains one of the most popular figures in Irish sport.

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2003 Hopeful quizzers in Ireland were left disappointed on this day in 2003 as RTÉ confirmed Who Wants to be a Millionaire will not be returning due to a lack of sponsorship. The biggest prize in Ireland was not won by any of the contestants who took part during the show’s two year run.

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