Today in Irish History – 3 May:

1714 – Sir Wentworth Harman, MP for Lanesborough, dies from the wounds he receives in a carriage accident on 28 April.

1785 – The Irish Academy, later to become the Royal Irish Academy, meets for the first time. The Book of Ballymote (Leabhar Bhaile an Mhóta), written in 1390 or 1391 in or near the town of Ballymote, now in Co Sligo, but then in the tuath of Corann, by Chevalier O’Gorman who allegedly purchased it from a millwright’s widow in Drogheda for 20 pounds. Notable members, include: Seamus Heaney, Seán Lemass, Éamon de Valera and Henry Grattan.

1903 – Bing Crosby, descendant of Irish immigrants, is born in Tacoma, Washington, as Harry Lillis Crosby.

1915 – Birth in Galway of novelist and playwright, Walter Macken.

1916 – Easter Rising leaders: Pádraig Pearse, Thomas Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh were executed by a firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol.

1916 – Joseph Mary Plunkett and Grace Gifford are married in the chapel of Kilmainham Gaol the night before he was to be executed for his part in the Easter Rising.

1921 – The South Mayo IRA flying column under Tom Maguire together with members of the east Mayo flying column ambush British troops at Tourmakeady. Six British soldiers are killed. The IRA volunteers are then pursued across the Partry Mountains by over 600 members of the crown forces guided by airplanes. They were then surrounded but managed to escape despite Maguire being badly wounded-one volunteer was killed in this engagement. British casualties were not revealed but are believed to have been high. Four RIC constables are killed.

1922 – Pro and Anti-Treaty leaders announce a “truce” in the Dáil to try to prevent civil war.

1924 – The world premiere of Sean O’Casey’s Juno And The Paycock took place at the Abbey Theatre.

1927 – US-born, Ernest Ball, composer of the music for When Irish Eyes are Smiling and Mother Machree dies.

1928 – Fianna Fáil petition with 96,000 signatures, calling for referendum to abolish the Oath of Allegiance rejected by Government which instead abolishes the plebiscite clause in the Constitution.

1933 – Dáil Éireann passed the Constitution (Removal of Oath) Act. The Oath of Allegiance was a controversial provision in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, which Irish TDs and Senators were required to swear before taking their seats in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann. The controversy surrounding the Oath was one of the principal issues that led to the Civil War of 1922–23 between supporters and opponents of the Treaty.

1999 – RTÉ launches their 24-hour classical music station Lyric FM.

2007 – The UVF and RHC issued a statement declaring an end to its armed campaign. The statement noted that they would retain their weapons but put them “beyond reach”.

Photo: Five Finger Strands, Co Donegal, Aidan Monaghan Landscape Photography

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