December 17, 1999

The Irish government announced on this day in 1999 that the state had purchased the 550 acre site of the Battle of the Boyne for £9 million. In 1690, forces under rival claimants to the English throne, Catholic King James and Protestant King William, met at the River Boyne near Drogheda and fought. The battle was won by William, ending James’s quest to regain the crown and instituting the Protestant rule in Ireland. The site, which was purchased from an unidentified business man, was redeveloped and is now a tourist centre.

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