Today in Irish History – 3 July:

1746 – Henry Grattan, Irish statesman, is born in Dublin.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Remnants of Southern column reach Croghan.

1853 – Birth of painter, Aloysius O’Kelly in Dublin. Aloysius’ brothers, Charles and Stephen, also became artists, whereas the eldest brother, James J. O’Kelly, set forth on a successful political career. In October 1881, Charles Stewart Parnell was arrested and imprisoned in Kilmainham. Two days following his arrest, Aloysius’ brother, James J. O’Kelly, along with some other Party members, including John Dillon, were imprisoned where they remained until May 1882. A number of Aloysius’ drawings during this period portrayed the political situation dealing with his brother’s incarceration.

1863 – The Irish Brigade at Gettysburg – Pickett’s Charge, Day 3: Pickett’s Charge had begun and the 69th Pa would suffer dreadful losses. 151 of the 258 who started the day would be killed, wounded or captured. Colonel Dennis O’Kane from Coleraine was one of those mortally wounded.

1878 – Legendary song and dance man George M. Cohan is born in Providence Rhode Island to Irish Catholic parents. His catalogue of songs include Give My Regards to Broadway, Yankee Doodle Boy and Over There.

1891 – Birth of Bridget Hitler, née Dowling in Dublin. She was Adolf Hitler’s sister-in-law via her marriage to Alois Hitler, Jr. She was the mother of Alois Hitler’s son William Patrick Hitler. Alois went to Germany in 1914 to establish himself in business but these plans were interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. Bridget refused to go with him, as he had become violent and started beating their son. Alois decided to abandon his family. He returned to Germany, remarried bigamously, and sent word after the war that he was dead. His deception was later discovered, and he was charged with bigamy by the German authorities in 1924.

1921 – Death of athlete, James Mitchel. Born in Tipperary, he represented the United States at the 1904 Summer Olympics. Mitchell competed as a member of the New York Athletic Club at the games, which were held in St Louis, Missouri. In the 56 lb weight throw he won the bronze medal. In the hammer throw competition he finished fifth and in the discus throw event he finished sixth. John Flanagan, Martin Sheridan of the Irish American Athletic Club, with fellow Irishman James Mitchel of the New York Athletic Club at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, Missouri.
He was part of a group of Irish-American athletes known as the “Irish Whales.”

1922 – Free State soldiers take the side streets around O’Connell street in Dublin, isolating the Republican held buildings there. They also detonate a bomb under the YMCA building held by Republicans, leaving just Oscar Traynor and a little over 100 men holding out in a “Block” of buildings at the northeastern corner of O’Connell street. Traynor evacuates most of his men, leaving just 15 in the “block” under Cathal Brugha. Casualties so far in Dublin are reported as 49 killed and 178 wounded, including combatants, civilians and one British soldier; 400 Republicans are reported taken prisoner.

1922 – A National Army officer is shot dead in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, causing the Free State troops to attack Republican held positions in the town. The Republicans retreat, burning the barracks they were holding.

1923 – Noel Lemass, Anti-Treaty IRA officer in Dublin, brother of Seán Lemass is abducted by Free State plainclothesmen and killed. His body is later found in the Wicklow Mountains on 13 October.

1940 – Birth of Bernadette Greedy in Clontarf, Dublin. She was a mezzo-soprano, founder and artistic director of the Anna Livia Dublin International Opera Festival. She was the first artist-in-residence at the Dublin Institute of Technology’s Faculty of Applied Arts.

1952 – Bord Fáilte – The Irish Tourist Board, is founded. Fáilte Ireland (Ireland’s Welcome) is the National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland.

1970 – Falls Road Curfew: Beginning in the afternoon, the British Army carried out extensive house searches in the Falls Road area of Belfast for members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and IRA arms. A military curfew was imposed on the area for a period of 34 hours with movement of people heavily restricted. The house searches lasted for two days and involved considerable destruction to many houses and their contents. During the searches the army uncovered a lot of illegal arms and explosives. However the manner in which the searches were conducted broke any remaining goodwill between the Catholic community and the British Army. During the period of the curfew there were gun battles between both wings of the IRA and the Army. Two people were killed by the British Army during the violence; one of them deliberately run over by an Army vehicle. Another person was shot and mortally wounded by the Army and died on 10 July 1970.

2000 – The Taoiseach’s brother, Maurice Ahern, is elected Lord Mayor of Dublin; Fine Gael’s P. J. Hourican, a native of Co Longford, is elected Lord Mayor of Cork; Sinn Féin’s Sean McManus is elected Mayor of Sligo.

2001 – The National Museum of Ireland launches a new range of craft and souvenir items which range in price from just £1 for a biro with the museum logo to £10,000 for a unique, hand crafted piece of jewelry.

2014 – Death of hurler, Timothy “Tim” Flood. Born in Clonroche, Co Wexford, he played as a left corner-forward for the Wexford senior team. Flood is widely regarded as one of the greatest hurlers of his era and has been voted onto teams made up of the sport’s greats, including at left corner-forward on a specially chosen greatest ever Wexford side in 2002.

Photo: Molls Gap, Co Kerry

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