Today in Irish History – 30 January:

1846 – Katharine O’Shea, also known as Katie O’Shea, Kitty O’Shea or following her second marriage Katharine Parnell was an English woman of aristocratic background, whose family relationship over many years with Charles Stewart Parnell eventually caused his political downfall.

1859 – Edward Martyn, playwright, co-founder of Irish Literary Theatre, and Sinn Féin president, is born in Tulira, Co Galway.

1864 – The National Gallery of Ireland opens.

1865 – Birth of John Hughes, sculptor, in Dublin.

1900 – The Irish Party reunites ten years after it split.

1920 – Tomás MacCurtain is elected Lord Mayor of Cork for Sinn Féin.

1923 – Free State Senator John Bagwell is kidnapped in Dublin by Anti-Treaty fighters. Senator O’Sullivan’s house is also burned in Killarney, Kerry.

1947 – Jim Larkin, Irish labour leader dies.

1948 – Paul “Dingus” Magee (born in Belfast) is a former volunteer in the Belfast Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) who escaped during his 1981 trial for killing a member of the Special Air Service (SAS) in 1980. After serving a prison sentence in the Republic of Ireland, Magee fled to England where he was imprisoned after killing a policeman in 1992. He was repatriated to the Republic of Ireland as part of the Northern Ireland peace process before being released from prison in 1999, and subsequently avoided extradition back to Northern Ireland to serve his sentence for killing the member of the SAS.

1950 – Birth of Paddy Keenan. He is a player of the uilleann pipes who first gained fame as a founding member of The Bothy Band. Since that group’s dissolution in the late 1970s, Keenan has released a number of solo and collaborative recordings, and continues to tour both as a soloist, and with singer/guitarist Tommy O’Sullivan.

1972 – In what is to become known as Bloody Sunday, the British Army kills 13 civil rights demonstrators in the Bogside district of Derry. A 14th marcher later dies of his injuries.

1984 – Death of Luke Kelly, lead vocalist and 5-string banjo member of the Dubliners.

1990 – Haughey resigns as Taoiseach.

1996 – Death of Gino Gallagher, an Irish republican who was Chief of Staff of the Irish National Liberation Army. He was killed in Belfast on 30 January 1996, while waiting in line for his unemployment benefit. His killing followed internal disagreements over the future of the republican socialist movement. The opposing “INLA-GHQ” faction, led by former Chief of Staff Hugh Torney disbanded in September of the same year following Torney’s killing. Drug dealer Kevin McAlorum who was paid to kill Gallagher by Torney’s faction was himself murdered in 2004. This was not linked to any political dispute.

1998 – Relatives of those killed during the Bloody Sunday Massacre in Derry’s Bogside, gather to remember their dead. It is a ritual observed every year, but this year it is given extra poignancy by the announcement of a new inquiry into the killing of 14 unarmed civilians by the Parachute Regiment. (The Bogside (Taobh an Bhogaigh) is a neighbourhood outside the city walls of Derry. The area has been a focus point for many of the events of The Troubles, from the Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday in the 1960s and 1970s. The large gable-wall murals by The Bogside Artists, Free Derry Corner and the Gasyard Feile (an annual music and arts festival held in a former gasyard) are popular tourist attractions. The Bogside is a majority-Catholic area, and shares a border with the majority-Protestant Fountain neighbourhood; this interface area is largely responsible for the Bogside’s history of unrest).

1998 – Thousands participate in a united peace rally to protest at recent sectarian killings.

1998 – Buried in the sand at Lahinch for almost 100 years, the ship-wrecked Elizabeth McClean emerges to allow a salvage operation to take its valuable cargo. The 58-foot schooner, laden down with Liscannor stone, sank off the Clare coast in 1904, bound for Glasgow.

2000 – Three RUC officers are injured and another man is in serious condition after mobs attack them in Derry and Belfast.

2002 – Figures released by the Central Statistics Office show that Dubliners have more money to spend than everyone else in Ireland with people in Laois, Offaly and Kerry having the least.

2002 – Publicans warn Health Minister Micheál Martin not to proceed with a proposed ban on smoking in pubs after he announces changes to tough anti-tobacco laws, which will allow him to ban smoking in all or part of licensed premises
2003 – Vintners claim that next year’s ban on smoking in pubs will be unworkable and accuse Health Minister Micheál Martin of overreacting.

2011 – Thousands of people join what is intended to be the last Bloody Sunday march in memory of the fourteen people who lost their lives on 30 January 1972 when British paratroopers opened fire on a civil rights march in Derry’s Bogside area. A number of options are now being considered to mark future anniversaries, including an annual gathering of remembrance at the Bloody Sunday monument, a remembrance Mass, a human rights weekend and an annual Bloody Sunday lecture.

Photo: Free Derry Corner, Co Derry

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