Today in Irish History – 3 January:

1663 – Thomas Crompton of Arklow, a clergyman, petitions the House of Lords that ‘Constantine Neal of Wexford, merchant, refuseth to restore the bell belonging to the steepl (sic) of Arklow, which he saw in his possession’. An order is made for its restoration.

1823 – Death of General Jean Joseph Amable Humbert. He was a French soldier, a participant in the French Revolution, who led a failed invasion of Ireland to assist Irish rebels in 1798. Born in Saint-Nabord, Vosges, he was a sergeant in the National Guard of Lyon, and rapidly advanced through the ranks to become Brigadier General on 9 April 1794, and fought in the Western campaigns before being allocated to the Army of the Rhine. There is a Monument to General Humbert depicting Mother Ireland on Humbert Street, Ballina, County Mayo.

1864 – John Joseph Hughes, first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York dies. Hughes was born in in County Tyrone in 1797. Ordained a priest in 1826, he served as Archbishop from 1850 until his death. Hughes was a strong supporter of Irish immigrants who suffered dreadful discrimination during his life in America. At a time when many Catholics literally faced mortal danger from anti-catholic movements like the Nativists, Hughes was not afraid to invoke the use of firearms to defend the faith. In 1841, he founded St. John’s College which went on to be Fordham University. Hughes laid the foundation stone for St. Patricks’ Cathedral on 5 August 1858.

1905 – Pádraic Fallon, poet and playwright, is born in Athenry, Co Galway.

1922 – Michael Collins Defends Treaty as Debate Resumes.

1923 – An anti-Treaty IRA Volunteer (Morris) is accidentally killed in Co Wexford, after shooting himself while cleaning his revolver.

1925 – Acclaimed singer, actor, comedian and performer Maureen Potter is born in Dublin.

1940 – Emergency anti-IRA legislation is introduced in the Free State.

1999 – Economic history is created with the much-heralded arrival of the euro on the international currency markets. Its first day of trading gets off to a smooth start in Australia, at 6.00pm Irish time.

1999 – Death of boxer “Irish” Jerry Quarry. “Irish” Jerry Quarry who is the only fighter to have fought Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier twice. He lost each time and was virtually a punch bag for Ali in their second fight. Quarry was voted the most popular boxer in the sport by Boxing Illustrated for three years running 1968-1970, partly because he was promoted as the “Great White Hope.”

2007 – Michael Yeats, the only son of the poet W. B. Yeats dies at age 86. A former Fianna Fáil Senator, he served both as a Senator and as Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, and was also one of Ireland’s first members of the European Parliament.

Photo: Lough Leane, Killarney, Co Kerry

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