Today in Irish History – 2 March:

1718 – Birth of John Gore, Baron Annal, lawyer, politician and Chief Justice of the King’s Bench from 1764 to 1784.

1836 – Texas declares its independence from Mexico at a meeting in Washington on the Brazos, Texas. At the time, at least ten Irish-born soldiers were fighting at the Alamo (23 Feb-6 March) with Davy Crockett (Irish extraction). All would die four days later.

1871 – William Gladstone gives his first speech in the House of Commons on Home Rule.

1880 – Death of Sir John Benjamin Macneill FRS, an eminent Irish civil engineer of the 19th century, closely associated with Thomas Telford. His most notable projects were railway schemes in Ireland. He was born near the town of Dundalk, Co Louth.

1888 – Birth in Dublin of Cyril Bentham Falls, military historian and journalist.

1914 – Pádraig Pearse gave a Commemoration address for Robert Emmet in Brooklyn, New York. Emmet was executed by the British in 1803 for this part of a rebellion against British rule in 1803. Pearse was executed by the British in 1916 for his part in the Easter Rising.

1920 – British Intelligence double agent John Charles Byrnes aka Jameson is killed by Michael Collins’s Squad.

1921 – IRA fighters from the 2nd Cork Brigade and 2nd Kerry Brigade laid landmines near Millstreet. Thirteen British soldiers were killed and fifteen wounded when the landmines were exploded under their lorry.

1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA smuggled weapons from Germany to Helvic Head, Co Waterford.

1923 – Anti-Treaty IRA officers in North Tipperary, Paddy Ryan Lacken and Seán Gaynor are captured by the Free State.

1948 – Birth in Donegal of guitarist Rory Gallagher.

1979 – Birth of Damien Anthony Duff in Ballyboden, Dublin. He is a retired professional footballer who played predominantly as a winger. Duff played international football for the Republic of Ireland for 14 years, winning 100 caps between 1998 and 2012. He played at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and captained the country at UEFA Euro 2012.

1979 – Death of hurler Christy Ring, one of the greatest hurlers of all time, played as a right wing-forward for the Cork senior team. Ring won eight All-Ireland medals, nine Munster medals and three National Hurling League medals.

1981 – Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him. In order to secure his status as Irish political prisoner he was willing to fast til death, an event that would earn him a place in the annals of Irish history and in the hearts and minds of Irish republicans world wide. See Bobby Sands Trust for today’s recording:

1996 – Thomas P. O’Neill, Irish historian, dies.

1998 – The Kerry Bog Pony receives its ‘passport’, from Weatherbys, which proves pedigree and opens up sales opportunities worldwide. The passport contains height, breeding details and blood type.

1999 – Death of ‘Dusty Springfield’ (real name, Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien). Of all the female British pop artists of the 1960s, she made one of the biggest impressions on the American market. Owing to her distinctive sensual sound, she was one of the most notable white soul artists. Catherine came from a family originally from Tralee, Co Kerry, that included a number of journalists.

2001 – In measures adding to the effects of Ireland’s countrywide lock up, the United States bans Irish meat, and the Philippine government returns 1,000 plus boxes of processed Irish beef just 24 hours after France bans Irish livestock.

2001 – Bill Whelan (born in Limerick) receives Lifetime Achievement Award from IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation), presented by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern at Dublin Castle. While he is best known for his Riverdance composition, Whelan has been involved in many ground-breaking projects in Ireland since the 1970s. As a producer he has worked with U2 (on their War album), Van Morrison, Kate Bush, The Dubliners, Planxty, Andy Irvine and Davy Spillane, Patrick Street, Stockton’s Wing and fellow Limerickman Richard Harris.

2001 – Three farms in Monaghan and one in Louth are sealed off in a bid to stop the spread of foot and mouth disease.

2001 – The massive beef and lamb slaughtering facility at Kildare Chilling — capable of processing almost 2,000 animals a day is closed as a precautionary measure against spreading foot and mouth disease.

2004 – Death of Cormac McAnallen, who was born in Dungannon, Co Tyrone. He was an Irish sportsperson. He played Irish football at senior inter-county level for Tyrone, as well as at club level for Eglish St. Patrick’s. McAnallen died suddenly, aged 24. Despite his relatively short career, he won almost every honour in the game. He was often captain of successful teams, and was known as a particularly inspirational captain.

Photo: Cottage on Aran Islands, Co Galway, Susan Stockton Photography

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