#OTD in Irish History – 3 February:

1537 – Thomas FitzGerald, Lord of Offaly and five of his uncles are executed in London. This is the end of the FitzGeralds as a major power.

1729 – Foundation stone laid of the new Irish Houses of Parliament in College Green.

1744 – Lord Netterville, indicted in August 1743 for the murder of Michael Walsh, is tried by his peers in the parliament house and honorably acquitted.

1801 – Prime Minister William Pitt resigns over royal veto on Catholic emancipation.

1881 – Irish Land League organizer Michael Davitt is arrested again for his outspoken speeches when he had accused chief secretary of Ireland W. E. Forster of “infamous lying”. His ticket of leave was revoked and he was sent to Portland jail. Parnell protested loudly in the House of Commons and the Irish members protested so strongly that they were ejected from the House.

1896 – Lady Jane Wilde (Speranza), poet, nationalist and the mother of Oscar, dies in London.

1911 – Death of Dublin-born Robert Noonan, better known as Robert Tressell, author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

1919 – Éamon de Valera (president of Sinn Féin) escaped from Lincoln Gaol along with Seán McGarry and Seán Milroy. The escape was masterminded by Harry Boland (TD for South Roscommon) and Michael Collins (TD for South Cork). All were members of Sinn Féin.

1921 – The Limerick IRA unit ambushed an RIC patrol at Dromkeen, County Limerick. Eleven policemen were killed; some were allegedly killed after surrendering. The Dromkeen Ambush.

1922 – Two RIC constables were shot dead after leaving a pub in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare.

1923 – A Postmaster J O’Reilly, is shot dead by republican raiders on the post office at Clonakilty, County Cork.

1922 – Death of John Butler Yeats (Born Tullylish, County Down, 16 March 1839), an Irish artist and the father of William Butler Yeats and Jack Butler Yeats. He is probably best known for his portrait of the young William Butler Yeats which is one of a number of his pictures in the Yeats museum in the National Gallery of Ireland. His portrait of John O’Leary (1904) is considered to be his masterpiece.

1929 – Val Doonican, entertainer, is born in Waterford.

1939 – Amanda M’Kittrick Ros, novelist and poet, dies.

1991 – The PIRA launched a “proxy bomb” attack on a British Army (Ulster Defense Regiment) base in Magherafelt, County Derry. The bomb caused major damage to the base and nearby houses, but the driver escaped before it exploded.

1998 – Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, warns that substantive progress in the Northern peace talks would not be made by Easter unless the parties start discussing a single document containing the outline proposals for an agreement.

1998 – Northern Ireland politician, Billy Hutchinson, facing a death threat from the Loyalist Volunteer Force brands the outlawed terror group as “a bunch of thugs, drug dealers and police informers”.

2001 – It is announced that Irish celebrities in showbusiness, sport and the world of writing are among the top earners in England and Ireland. The Irish stars on the rich list include U2, The Corrs, Enya, Ronan Keating, Pierce Brosnan, Eddie Irvine, Roy Keane, Marian Keyes and Maeve Binchy.

2001 – The Department of the Marine appeals for help in identifying a long legged deep sea creature, which was netted off the Kerry coast. A seasoned specialist on rare fish says he is baffled by the strange grasshopper like specimen found in nets 220 miles from the shore.

2002 – British abortion providers are taking legal advice after Golden Pages inform them they are pulling ads for their services from its 2003 directory.

2002 – Gales of up to 65 miles per hour ground flights at Dublin Airport and cause a Delta flight carrying 167 passengers and 14 crew to overshoot the main runway. No passengers are injured.

Image | Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare | Hibernia Landscapes by Stephen Wallace

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