Today in Irish History – 2 May:

1332 – Sir Anthony Lucy’s campaign in Munster ends on this date.

1656 – Birth of Sir Richard Levinge, Tory politician and Speaker of the House of Commons.

1788 – An Act on this date repeals tests imposed on Protestant Dissenters.

1794 – Archibald Hamilton Rowan, a founding member of The Dublin Society of United Irishmen was arrested on a charge of distributing a seditious paper, beginning ‘Citizen soldiers, to arms!’. Rowan was sentenced to be fined £500, imprisoned for two years, and to find security for his good behaviour.

1806 – John Jones, sculptor, is born in Dublin.

1858 – Birth of Edith Oenonne Somerville, novelist most famous for Some Experiences Of An Irish R.M written in collaboration with her cousin Violet Martin (also known as Martin Ross); in 1903, she becomes the first female Master of Foxhounds in Corfu.

1872 – St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin becomes the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland

1882 – Charles Stewart Parnell is released under the terms of the “Kilmainham Treaty”; writing off the debts of tenants in arrears. A landmark in the land agitation movement (and Parnell’s career).

1884 – Birth of William Casey, dramatist and Times editor.

1912 – The British Wreck Commissioner inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic opens in London seventeen days after the disaster.

1916 – Easter Rising: update.

1916 – Letter written by Thomas MacDonagh to his family.

1921 – An IRA column ambushed British troops near Lackelly, Co Limerick, but took heavy casualties in the ensuing fire fight. The IRA columns was itself ambushed another three times as it retreated during a five and a half hour running fight. Between five and fourteen IRA volunteers were killed and up to thirty wounded.

1922 – The IRA launched a series of attacks on RIC barracks in counties Derry and Tyrone. Six RIC and USC men were killed in the attacks. In reprisal for the attacks, Ulster Special Constabulary personnel killed nine Catholic civilians in the area, two on 6 May, three in Magherafelt on 11 May, and four more in Desertmartin on 19 May.

1922 – Republicans take over the centre of Kilkenny, including the city hall and Kilkenny Castle. The Provisional government sends 200 troops by train from Dublin to dislodge them. Fighting breaks out when the troops from Dublin arrive and there are up to 18 casualties. A truce is then brokered whereby both sides garrison different posts in the town.

1923 – Two Republican prisoners are executed in Ennis, Co Clare.

1923 – Birth in Milltown Malbay, Co Clare of Patrick Hillery, surgeon, politician and former president from 1976 to 1990. He negotiates Ireland’s entry into the European Community in 1973 and is later E.C. vice president for three years.

1929 – The Fianna Fáil proposes a motion to retain the Land Annuities. It is defeated in the Dáil.

1945 – Éamon de Valera offers his condolences to the German Ambassador, Edouard Hempel, on the death of Adolf Hitler.

1951 – Birth of journalist and film critic, Michael Dwyer in Tralee, Co Kerry. He wrote for The Irish Times for more than 20 years and previously in this role for the Sunday Tribune, the Sunday Press and the magazine In Dublin. Dwyer was central to the foundation of two film festivals in Dublin and served on the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art until shortly before his death. He appeared often on the country’s top radio shows, Morning Ireland and The Marian Finucane Show. He died after an illness on 1 January 2010.

1957 – Death of Fr. Aloysius Roche, Irish patriot. He was the son of an Irish father and English mother, born in Scotland in 1886. He studied for the priesthood and following his ordination, he was transferred to Dublin where he was attached to the Capuchin Order in Church Street.

1958 – Birth of David O’Leary, footballer for Arsenal, Leeds United and the Republic of Ireland footballer; Leeds United manager.

1982 – The Irish government affirms its neutrality in the Falklands conflict between the UK and Argentina, and opposes EEC sanctions against Argentina.

2000 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, arrives at Number 10 Downing St, London where he and Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair are hosting talks aimed at trying to breathe fresh life into the flagging Northern Ireland peace process. The two premiers will have separate meetings with the Ulster Unionists, Sinn Féin and the SDLP to see if they can find a way to overcome the deadlock over devolution and decommissioning.

2001 – Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness confirms publicly for the first time that he was the IRA’s second-in-command in Derry on Bloody Sunday. The admission prompts a swift call from the Ulster Unionists for Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams to come clean about his IRA past.

2003 – The Rolling Stones set a new Irish box office record when more than 16,000 tickets for their Dublin concerts sell within two minutes.

2009 – Croke Park, the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association hosts a world record crowd for a non-international rugby match as 82,000 fans watch Leinster defeat Munster 25-6 in the Heineken Cup rugby semi-final.

Photo: Hog’s Head (Reenearagh), Waterville, Co Kerry

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