Today in Irish History – 30 August:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of Saint Fiacra. He was born in Ireland in the seventh century. Fiachra is an ancient pre-Christian name from Ireland. The meaning is uncertain, but the name may mean “battle king”, or it may be a derivative of the word fiach “raven”. The name can be found in ancient Irish folklore and stories such as the Children of Lir.

1559 – Lord Sussex, is sworn in as Lord Deputy.

1690 – First siege of Limerick ends.

1708 – Penal Laws passed in 1695 restricting Catholics rights are strengthened for the second time.

1709 – All registered Catholic priests in Ireland are required to renounce the claims of the Stuarts to the thrones of England and Ireland — only 33 out of 1,089 comply.

1841 – The Cork Examiner, now The Irish Examiner, hits the streets for the first time.

1855 – Death of Feargus Edward O’Connor, Chartist leader.

1874 – Michael Banim, storywriter, dies; along with his brother and co-author John, he sought to create sympathetic, yet non-stereotypical Irish characters in his stories.

1875 – National synod of Catholic bishops begins at Maynooth; they renew condemnation of Queen’s Colleges and condemn Trinity College.

1911 – The Chamber of Commerce calls for Ireland to adopt Greenwich Mean Time — 25 minutes behind Irish Standard Time.

1921 – Vicious sectarian rioting breaks out in Belfast resulting in the deaths of at least 9 people. Throughout the year, Catholic and Protestant communities baited and attacked each other. July was a particularly violent month. Sectarian violence was an unfortunate part of working class Belfast culture as evidenced by the riots in 1886.

1921 – De Valera sends another stinging rebuke to Lloyd George as the parties edge closer to negotiations. He was responding to a communication from Lloyd George where the wily old Welshman invoked Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address.

1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA attack Bantry in western Co Cork for several hours. They withdraw after losing four officers and more men killed. Four National Army soldiers are also killed and two wounded in the attack.

1922 – In north Cork, near Millstreet, two lorries of Free State troops are ambushed by IRA Cork 1 Brigade members. Two Anti-Treaty fighters are killed and two wounded. Five Free State troops are wounded.

1928 – William Trevor, pseudonym of William Trevor Cox, short-story writer and novelist, is born in Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

1948 – Birth of Donnacha “The Don” O’Dea, an Irish professional poker player. In his youth he was a swimmer, and represented Ireland in the 1968 Olympics. He was also the first Irish swimmer to swim 100m in less than one minute. His parents were actors Denis O’Dea and Siobhán McKenna.

1951 – Birth of Dana Rosemary Scallon (born Rosemary Brown), known in her singing career as Dana. Dana is a Eurovision Song Contest winner, singer and former Member of the European Parliament

1967 – Black Velvet Band by the Dubliners enters the UK charts.

1997 – U2 returns home for the first of two shows at Dublin’s Lansdowne Road stadium.

2000 – SDLP leader John Hume, announces his intention to quit as a Stormont Assembly member.

2000 – As many as 21 houses in the County Antrim town of Carrickfergus are attacked in incidents linked to the North’s bitter loyalist feud.

2001 – Death of Donal O’Sullivan; he was Cork’s captain in the 1956 All-Ireland football final against Galway and prominent in GAA administration at county and provincial level.

2002 – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson accuses the United States of trying to scale back plans to save the world’s poorest people.

2013 – World-renowned poet and playwright Seamus Heaney died in the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin following a short illness, aged 74.

Photo: Dursey Island, Co Cork

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