Johnny Giles – Bill Clinton – Owen Roe O’Neill at Today in Irish History

November 6: TODAY in Irish History:

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Johnny Giles

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.



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1649: Death of Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill (Owen Roe O’Neill)

Owen_Roe_O'Neill Eoghan Ruadh O'Neill
Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill 1590-1649


O’Neill was an Irish warlord who with the support of Spain rebelled against English rule. Romanticized in Irish history partly because of the poem written by Young Ireland founder Thomas Davis who wrote The Lament for Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill. Despite Davis’ reference to O’Neill being poisoned, there is no clear evidence as to how he died.

The Lament for Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill.

“Did they dare, did they dare, to slay Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill?”

“Yes, they slew with poison him they feared to meet with steel.”

“May God wither up their hearts! May their blood cease to flow!

May they walk in living death, who poisoned Eoghan Ruadh!”

“Though it break my heart to hear, say again the bitter words.

From Derry, against Cromwell, he marched to measure swords:

But the weapon of the Sacsanach met him on his way,

And he died at Cloch Uachtar upon St. Leonard’s day.

“Wail, wail ye for the Mighty One! Wail, wail ye for the Dead!

Quench the hearth, and hold the breath–with ashes strew the head.

How tenderly we loved him! How deeply we deplore!

Holy Saviour! but to think we shall never see him more.

“Sagest in the council was he, kindest in the hall!

Sure we never won a battle–’twas Eoghan won them all.

Had he lived–had he lived–our dear country had been free;

But he’s dead, but he’s dead, and ’tis slaves we’ll ever be.

“O’Farrell and Clanrickarde, Preston and Red Hugh,

Audley and MacMahon, ye are valiant, wise, and true;

But–what, what are ye all to our darling who is gone?

The Rudder of our Ship was he, our Castle’s corner stone!

“Wail, wail him through the Island! Weep, weep for our pride!

Would that on the battle-field our gallant chief had died!

Weep the Victor of Beann-bhorbh[79]–weep him, young men and old;

Weep for him, ye women–your Beautiful lies cold!

“We thought you would not die–we were sure you would not go,

And leave us in our utmost need to Cromwell’s cruel blow–

Sheep without a shepherd, when the snow shuts out the sky–

Oh! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die?

“Soft as woman’s was your voice, O’Neill! bright was your eye,

Oh! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die?

Your troubles are all over, you’re at rest with God on high,

But we’re slaves, and we’re orphans, Eoghan!–why didst thou die?”

READ: Biography of Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill (Owen Roe O’Neill)




1940: Johnny Giles

Giles in his Leeds heyday

One of Ireland’s greatest ever soccer players, Johnny Giles is born in Dublin. His stature in the game is evidenced by the fact in 2003 he was a winner of UEFA’s Jubilee Award as the best Irish player of the past 50 years.

The diminutive Giles (5 ft 7 in) was a magnificent footballer whose passing ability was legendary. He was also tough as nails and some non-Irish (or non-Leeds United) supporters might even suggest he did not always play the ball!



Originally discovered by legendary Manchester United scout Billy Behan, he signed for the Red Devils in 1957. Although he won an FA Cup medal with United in 1963, United manager Matt Busby failed to appreciate his talent and he was but a peripheral figure as the manager rebuilt a team decimated by the Munich air crash.

Giles dropped down a division to sign for Leeds United in 1963 after which both he and Leeds grew in stature and success.

Following a very successful playing career, Giles went on to manage Ireland and a number of clubs including West Brom Albion. The little fella can be seen regularly in RTE studios providing superb analysis of international and Premier League soccer.

READ: John Giles – Irish Football Great

READ:  Profile Johnny Giles




1996: Bill Clinton is re-elected President.

Clinton does not have Irish heritage, but his presidency will likely be seen as one that had the greatest impact on Ireland. It is quite likely that the Northern Ireland peace process and the Good Friday agreement would never have happened without his cajoling and support.

In 1995, speaking to the employees of the Mackie Plant in sectarian divided Belfast, he said:

“Here in Northern Ireland, you are making a miracle, a miracle symbolized by those two children who held hands and told us what this whole thing is all about. In the land of the harp and the fiddle, the fife and the lambeg drum, two proud traditions are coming together in the harmonies of peace. The cease-fire and negotiations have sparked a powerful transformation.”


clinton mackie plant november 95
Bill Clinton speaking at Mackie Plant Belfast 1995

READ: Bill Clinton Mackie Plant speech

In Ireland (as it seems in so many other places), Bill Clinton is a rock star.





WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish


This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)


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