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 On this day 9 June in Irish History

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PostSubject: On this day 9 June in Irish History   Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:49 pm

9 June 597: The Death of Saint Columba (Colmcille) on the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland. On his father’s side he was the great great grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages. When sufficiently advanced in letters he entered the monastery of Moville under St. Finnian, then at Clonard, governed at that time by Finnian. Another preceptor of Columba was St. Mobhi, whose monastery was at Glasnevin. The pestilence that devastated Ireland in 544 caused the dispersion of Mobhi's disciples and Columba returned to the North. However his following years were marked by the foundation of several important monasteries at Derry, Durrow, and Kells. After political troubles at home for which he was found at fault Columba left Ireland and passed over to the island of Iona. After spending some years among the Scots of Dalriada, Columba began the great work of his life, the conversion of the Northern Picts. After this the remaining years of Columba's life were mainly spent in preaching the Christian Faith to the inhabitants of the glens and wooded areas of Northern Scotland. Columba is said never to have spent an hour without study, prayer, or similar occupations. He is the greatest Saint to have come out of Ireland.

9 June 1798: The Battle of Arklow, Co Wicklow. Following their Victory at Tuberneering two days before the Wexford insurgents, advanced upon the town of Arklow to take the road to Dublin. , They were some 10,000 strong of which one half were equipped with guns and the rest with pikes. The leaders of this column were Billy Byrne, Anthony Perry, Edward Fitzgerald and Fr. Michael Murphy. On the British side Francis Needham a regular officer and latterly the 1st Earl of Kilmorey defended the town. He had under his command about 1,600 British soldiers to match the insurgent force. The Wexfordmen spread their attacks out to cover as wide an area as possible in the hope that by testing the defenses one of the positions would be breached and an entry made that would allow the town to be taken by storm. Though displaying considerable bravery and zeal their repeated efforts could not break the steady lines of the British troops who poured a steady fire upon their assailants until at last the attacks abated. In one of these assaults Fr. Michael Murphy fell mortally wounded. As evening came on the various disparate groups of insurgents started to drift south all hope of Victory gone. Perhaps some 1,000 of them lay dead on the battlefield with many more wounded. The British suffered some 60 dead and about 100 wounded. It was a close call nonetheless as the garrison’s ammunition was all but gone and its unlikely that if the attacks had been renewed the following morning that they could have held on. This battle decided the fate of the Wexford Rising which now became a localised affair instead of acting as a base to spread the Revolution across Leinster and in particular back to Dublin.

9 June 1927: General Election in the Irish Free State.

Cumann na nGaedhael W.T Cosgrave - 47 seats

Fianna Fáil Eamon de Valera - 44 seats

Labour Thomas Johnson - 22 seats

Farmers Party Michael Heffernan - 11 seats

National League William Redmond - 8 seats

Sinn Féin - 5 seats John J O’Kelly (abstained)

W.T Cosgrave formed a minority Government that was short lived due to the subsequent assassination of Kevin O’Higgins.
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