July 4: TODAY in Irish History:
Today in Irish History: Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks
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1863: Coleraine born Colonel Dennis O’Kane dies of wounds sustained the previous day when fighting with the 69th Pa Irish Brigade at Gettysburg.
1870: Bartholemew (Batt) O’Connor was born in Brosna, East Kerry. O’Connor was a member of the Gaelic League and a close friend of Michael Collins. Although not a direct participant in the 1916 Rising, he was sentenced to be shot by British authorities but was deported to Wandsworth Jail and later Frongoch prison camp in Wales.
During the War of Independence he ran a number of safe houses and hit funds and documents for the IRA. He was a strong proponent of Collins going to London for the Anglo-Irish Treaty talks and supported him after the Treaty signing. O’Connor died in 1935.
1939: Michael MacWhite, Irish Ambassador to Italy writes to Joseph (Joe) Walshe Secretary of the Department of External Affairs of the Irish Free State about the rising tensions in Europe.
“The rumour that Mussolini and Hitler met in secret near the Italo-German frontier on June 28th has at last been denied. This denial is said to be due to the deductions drawn to the effect that the former insisted on the latter taking no rash action in connection with Danzig. However that may be, newspaper men here are convinced the meeting took place.
Since Lord Halifax issued his warning to the Totalitarian States last week the Italian papers have raised the unanimous cry that the Democracies are preparing to make war on them because they have asked for justice or as the Germans say ‘lebensraum’. . . . . .
Notwithstanding all this high talk, it would appear that the recent speeches of both the French Premier and the British Foreign Secretary have had a very salutary effect on Fascist leaders. They seem convinced now that France and England mean what they say, but, even if the guns refrain from talking, the tension is likely to continue. It becomes more and more difficult to envisage any solution of the actual international situation by peaceful methods.”
MacWhite served Ireland as a diplomat for over thirty years.
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