Today in Irish History – 4 April:

1774 – Death of novelist, playwright and poet, Oliver Goldsmith.

1818 – Mayne Reid, pseudonym of Thomas Mayne; soldier, journalist, and writer of boys’ stories, is born in Ballyroney, Co Down.

1893 – Birth of Richard “Dick” McKee at Phibsborough Road in Dublin. He was a prominent member of the IRA. He was also friend to some senior members, including Éamon de Valera, Austin Stack and Michael Collins. Along with Peadar Clancy and Conor Clune, he was killed by his captors in Dublin Castle on 21 November 1920, a day known as Bloody Sunday that also saw the killing of a network of British spies by the “Squad” unit of the IRA and the killing of 14 people in Croke Park by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC).

1922 – Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) stages its final parade in Dublin before its formal disbandment.

1926 – Birth of actress, Ronnie Masterson in Dublin. She trained at the Abbey Theatre and first appeared on stage there in 1944. At the Abbey, she met and then married actor Ray McAnally in 1951, and they remained married until his death, although they resided in different homes. They formed Old Quay Productions, which presented an assortment of plays such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Odd Couple and many others.

1932 – George Bernard Shaw’s “Too True to be Good” premieres in New York City.

1933 – Paddy Hopkirk, international rally driver, is born in Belfast.

1934 – Birth of novelist and journalist Mary Kenny in Dublin.

1951 – The Catholic hierarchy condemns the “Mother and Child” plan for free medical services, fearing the consequences of health education for women. Dr Noël Browne, Minister for Health, resigns; the scheme is abandoned on 6 April.

1951 – Birth of singer and actress Adele King, better known as Twink.

1952 – Gary Moore, rock guitarist, is born in Belfast.

1963 – Birth of Graham William Walker in Clondalkin, Co Dublin, but grew up in Bandon, Co Cork. Better known by the stage name Graham Norton, he is an Irish television and radio presenter, comedian, and actor based in the UK. He is a five-time BAFTA TV Award winner for his comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show.

1966 – Pirate Radio Scotland changes it’s name to Radio Ireland.

1978 – Birth of Alan Joseph Mahon in Dublin. He is a former professional footballer who played a midfielder and was capped by the Republic of Ireland.

1999 – Sinn Féin warns that the peace process stands in crisis over provocative demands for arms decommissioning.

1999 – The annual World Irish Dancing Championships come to an end in Ennis.

2001 – Former employees and staff join three generations of the Barry family in a celebration of 100 years in business for a firm which has become an Irish institution.

2001 – The Supreme Court strongly criticises the State’s failure to provide official Irish translations of laws and important legal materials.

2007 – History is made as Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and DUP leader Ian Paisley shake hands for the first time in public prior to their milestone meeting at Farmleigh House in Dublin.

Photo: Binevenagh, Co Derry, aidymcglynn photography

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