Today in Irish History – 3 March:

1592 – A charter incorporates the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, near Dublin, later to become known as Trinity College.

1766 – Four pirates are found guilty in Dublin of murdering on the high seas Captain Cochrane, Captain Glass and others, and of plundering and scuttling the Lord Sandwich; they are executed in St Stephen’s Green on this date and later hanged in chains near the Liffey, as a warning to any other pirates; complaints from the public lead to the removal of the corpses to Dalkey Island.

1831 – In the ‘tithe war’, 120 police move in to Graiguenamanagh to seize cattle in payment of the tithe from a Roman Catholic priest. The priest had taken ownership of the animals to enable the members of his parish to refuse to pay ‘tithes’. This incident is reported to be the first of many over the next few years, with more violent and brutal conflicts to follow.

1918 – Birth of Sir Peter O’Sullevan, ‘the voice of horse racing’.

1919 – Éamon de Valera escapes from Lincoln Jail. The New York Times debunks some of the myths surrounding Éamon de Valera’s escape:

1920 – Frank Shawe-Taylor, land agent, was shot dead near Athenry, Co Galway.

1922 – IRA shot dead two RIC constables in Co Tipperary.

1923 – The body of a National Army sergeant, Thomas McGrath, is found near, Clonmel, Tipperary. Killed by four gunshots. He is reported to the fourth soldier assassinated in the area within a month.

1952 – Birth of Dermot John Morgan in Dublin. He was a comedian, actor and former schoolteacher, who achieved international renown as Father Ted Crilly in the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted.

1954 – Birth of Ollie Campbell, rugby player, in Dublin.

1957 – Birth of Mairéad Farrell in Belfast. She was an Irish volunteer of the Irish Republican Army.

1968 – Pat McGeegan, father of Irish boxing great and featherweight world champion, Barry McGuigan, wins the national competition to represent Ireland in the Eurovision song contest. At the time, the Eurovision song contest was a social phenomenon guaranteeing the Irish representative fame and fortune in the Emerald Isle. ‘Chance of a Lifetime’:

1977 – Birth of Ronan Keating of Boyzone fame.

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:

1991 – Cappagh killings: three PIRA volunteers and a Catholic civilian were shot dead by the UVF at Boyle’s Bar in Cappagh, Co Tyrone. The volunteers arrived in a car as a UVF gang was about to attack the pub. The UVF fired at the car (killing the volunteers) then fired into the pub (killing the civilian). According to nationalist sources, UVF Mid-Ulster Brigade commander Billy Wright was involved.

1998 – Two friends, one a Catholic the other a Protestant, are shot dead, after being ordered to lie on the floor of a bar in Pontyz Pass, near Newry, Co Down.

2000 – The hearing of the longest ever action in the High Court ends after a total of 281 days spread over a number of law terms since its 1997 opening.

2002 – The Government has again refused to bail out RTÉ after a new consultants’ report concludes that the national broadcaster will run out of cash by next year.

2002 – It is anticipated that by 2035, total forestry production in Ireland will be €1.7 billion.

2003 – According to a survey by the Dublin Institute of Technology’s Tourism Research Centre, the US is the most desirable destination for Irish tourists. In second place is South Africa, while Italy is the favourite continental destination.

2003 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair conduct talks at Hillsborough Castle in the latest bid to restore devolution and secure the Provisionals’ disarmament.

2003 – Ambulance workers in Kilkenny abandon their fleets (responding to 999 calls only) in protest over changes in their working terms which they say are being enforced by their health board.

2013 – Death of Junior Heffernan, an Irish triathlete and then bicyclist. Heffernan represented Ireland in international competitions both at the World and European championship levels in the triathlon from 2007 until 2009 when a hip injury sent him in the direction of bicycling. Prior to his setback he was widely considered to have been Ireland’s most promising triathlete. As a bicyclist Heffernan competed for the Herbalife Leisure Lakes Team. Heffernan was fatally injured in a collision during the Seven Bridges Road race near Olveston in Gloucestershire, England.

Photo: Achill Island, Co Mayo, George Karbus Photography

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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.