Today in Irish History – 4 February:

1816 – Robert Hobart, 4th Earl of Buckinghamshire and former MP for Portarlington and Armagh Borough, dies from a fall from his horse in St James’s Park, London.

1830 – Daniel O’Connell enters parliament, having taken the new oath of allegiance.

1861 – The Provisional Confederate Congress convenes in Montgomery, Alabama. As many as 30,000 Irish-born would fight on the confederate side during the civil war including Chaplain John B. Bannon. A number of Irish rose to senior leadership in the Confederate army including Patrick Cleburne and Henry Strong. Strong was killed at Antietem while on the opposite Union side on that awful day, 540 members of the Irish Brigade were killed.

1868 – Birth of Irish patriot and revolutionary, Countess Constance Markievicz, née Gore-Booth in London.

1921 – Sir James Craig succeeds Lord Edward Carson as Ulster Unionist leader.

1923 – In Shorne, Rathmore, Co Kerry, Anti-Treaty IRA fighter Micheal McSweeney is shot dead by Free State troops.

1923 – Free State troops use IRA prisoners to clear a blocked road near Bandon, Cork, a booby trap mine explodes while they are clearing a road block, killing two prisoners and injuring seven.

1962 – The first colour supplement is published by The Sunday Times.

1973 – British Army snipers shot dead a PIRA volunteer and three civilians at the junction of Edlingham Street and New Lodge Road, Belfast.

1974 – M62 coach bombing: nine British Army soldiers and three civilians were killed when a PIRA bomb exploded on a bus as it was travelling along the M62 motorway in West Yorkshire, England. It was carrying British Army soldiers and some of their family members.

1992 – An off-duty RUC officer in Belfast kills three people in a Sinn Féin office before committing suicide.

1992 – Mary Robinson becomes the first Irish President to visit Belfast.

2000 – Iseult Law, great-granddaughter of poet Francis Stuart, and hundreds of mourners pay a final tribute to the legendary writer at his funeral in Fanore, Co Clare.

2000 – Actors from every genre of stage and screen show come together in the chapel at Terenure College in Dublin for the funeral service of Ballykissangel star Tony Doyle.

2011 – The Prince of Wales Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit St. Malachy’s Church in Belfast to view a 3.5m restoration project. First Minister Peter Robisnon is quoted as saying ‘Northern Ireland has entered a new era – It is the first time in recent history that we have had a royal in a Roman Catholic Church here.’

Photo: Warrenpoint, Co Down

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