#OTD in Irish History – 9 April:

1346 – Death of Ralph de Ufford, justiciar.

1793 – The Relief Act grants Catholics parliamentary franchise and certain civil and military rights.

1807 – After resigning as Commissioner of the Treasury (UK) over the issue of Catholic relief, Maurice FitzGerald, MP for Co Kerry states on this date that their war effort alone merits concessions to Irish Catholics.

1837 – Edward Hallaran Bennett, surgeon, is born in Cork.

1916 – The merchant ship Aud left the German port of Lübeck disguised as the Norwegian boat of similar appearance, the SS Aud for Ireland that were to be collected by Roger Casement with arms for the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

1917 – Birth of legendary racehorse trainer, Vincent O’Brien.

1921 – Dr. William Walsh, archbishop and nationalist, dies.

1921 – An abortive IRA ambush took place in Mullinglown, Co Carlow – no casualties resulted but several IRA volunteers were arrested.

1922 – The anti-Treaty IRA members reconvene to put into effect their motion from March 26 when it stated the IRA would be the legitimate army of the Irish Republic, which was in defiance of the Dail Eireann vote.

1923 – Anti-Treaty fighters cross the Corrib in boats from Oughterard and attack the Free State Army barracks at Headford, Co Galway. They detonate a mine against the wall of the barracks and then open fire. The gun battle continues until Free State reinforcements arrive and the irregulars withdraw. The Free State troops lose two soldiers killed and five wounded. Two republicans are killed and more wounded. More Anti-Treaty men are captured in the aftermath of the attack.

1926 – Birth in Belfast of Lord Gerry Fitt, politician.

1949 – Birth of actress, Sorcha Cusack in Dublin. She has made many film and television appearances including The Bill, Casualty (as Staff Nurse Kate Wilson from 1994 to 1997), the 1973 BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre and the worldwide hit movie Snatch as the traveller mother of Mickey played by Brad Pitt.

1961 – A census on this date shows the population of the Republic to be 2,818,341 and that of Northern Ireland is 1,425,642.

1961 – Mark Kelly, rock keyboard musician, is born in Dublin.

1971 – Birth of Irish footballer and manager, Peter Canavan in Ballygawley, Co Tyrone. He played inter-county football for Tyrone, and is one of the most decorated players in the game’s history, winning two All-Ireland Senior Football Championship medals, six All Stars Awards (more than any other Ulster player, and joint third overall), four provincial titles, and two National Leagues and several under-age and club championship medals.

1981 – Bobby Sands wins a seat in the British parliament in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election while on hunger strike in the H Blocks of Long Kesh Prison.

1984 – Leslie De Barra, revolutionary, wife of General Tom Barry, dies.

1998 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is back in Northern Ireland to resume his bid with Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to save the peace talks.

2000 – Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, arrives in Ireland to commence a four day private visit. During his visit, he is to receive an honorary degree in law at Trinity.

2001 – Celebrities from the entertainment world turn out in force for the funeral mass of former lead singer with the Capital Showband, Butch Moore, at St Canice’s Church in Finglas.

Image | Newry, Co Down | Mac Creative Photography

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