#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 honourably acquitted.

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

1881 – Irish Land League organiser, 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 His ticket of leave was revoked and he was sent to Portland jail.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 – Harry Boland and Michael Collins engineer Éamon de Valera’s escape from Lincoln Jail in England. He is dressed as a woman.

1922 – Death of John Butler Yeats (Born Tullylish, Co Down). He was 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.

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

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

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

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

1971 – 3-7: Under pressure from the Unionist government, the British Army began a series of raids in nationalist areas of Belfast, sparking three days of violence. On 6 February, British soldiers shot dead a Catholic civilian in Ardoyne and an IRA member in Oldpark, claiming both were armed. Shortly after, the IRA shot dead British soldier Robert Curtis during rioting in New Lodge. He was the first British soldier killed in the Troubles. The next day, James Chichester-Clark, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, declared that ‘Northern Ireland is at war with the Irish Republican Army Provisionals’.

1991 – The PIRA launched a ‘proxy bomb’ attack on a British Army (Ulster Defense Regiment) base in Magherafelt, Co 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 show business, 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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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.