On the 19th of July 1785
Richard Crosbie’s 3rd Ballon Attempt
- 19 July 1785
Richard Crosbie (1755–1824) was the first Irishman to make a manned flight.
He flew in a hydrogen air balloon from Ranelagh, on Dublin’s southside to Clontarf, on Dublin’s northside on 19 January 1785 at the age of 30.
His aerial achievement occurred just 14 months after the first-ever manned balloon flight by the Montgolfier Brothers in France and is commemorated by a memorial located at the site of this historic event & commissioned by Dublin City Council.
Crosbie intended to cross the Irish Sea, but as darkness fell early in the winter evenings, he decided to land at Clontarf. He attempted a channel crossing on 19 July 1785, (defying a ban on balloon flights by the Lord Mayor of Dublin because the population of the city was spending long periods gaping at the sky instead of working), but came down halfway across due to a severe storm, and was rescued by the Dun Laoghaire barge Captain Walmitt, which was following his progress.