Today in Irish History – 5 September:

International Day of Charity

1724 – In the guise of an Irish Patriot, M. B. Drapier, Jonathan Swift publishes ‘Drapier Letter III’ – one of a series of letters designed to incite the people against a new coinage.

1771 – Benjamin Franklin commences a visit to Ireland where he would later report he had ‘a good deal of Conversation with the Patriots; they are all on the American side of the Question’.

1785 – Edmond Sexton Pery resigns as Speaker of the Irish parliament on grounds of ill-health. John Foster is unanimously elected to replace him.

1798 – Humbert defeats small government force at Collooney, but suffers serious casualties; he camps at Dromahair. Longford rebels attack Granard and are routed. Westmeath rebels occupy Wilson’s Hospital.

1890 – Birth of Richard Chenevix Trench, prelate, philologist and poet; the New English Dictionary, later the Oxford English Dictionary, was begun at his suggestion, in Dublin.

1922 – A secret meeting takes place between Richard Mulcahy and Éamon de Valera, political leader of the Republicans, to try to arrange a truce. However, according to de Valera, they, ‘couldn’t find a basis’ of agreement.

1922 – A large party of Republican fighters attack Carrickmacross barracks, Monaghan. The attack is unsuccessful but one Free State soldier is killed.

1922 – A Free State soldier is assassinated at Barrack Street, Cork, while visiting his family.

1922 – There are gun attack on Free State posts in Waterford City. One civilian, Kate Walsh is killed. Separately two bodies of anti-Treaty fighters, buried clandestinely after a previous action are dug up in Waterford.

1922 – IRA fighters ambush National Army troops in Glenacone, Co Limerick, but are worsted in the ensuing action, One IRA officer, D Finich of Cork 2 Brigade is killed and 12 prisoners are taken. Two National Army soldiers are wounded

1926 – Forty eight die when a fire breaks out in a make-shift cinema on the upper floor of the village hall in Drumcollagher, Co Limerick. During the screening a spool of highly inflammable nitrate film caught fire. Not only was it an unauthorized film showing, it appears that the two promoters of the event ‘borrowed’ the film reels from a Cork city cinema intending to return them the following day.

1930 – The first edition of the Irish Press, a Dublin daily newspaper founded by De Valera as a platform for Fianna Fáil, is published.

1934 – Birth of Kevin McNamara MP, former Labour spokesman on Northern Ireland.

1950 – Birth of Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Fianna Fáil politician.

1954 – Twenty-seven people die when KLM Flight 633 crashes two minutes after taking off from Shannon Airport.

1960 – Muhammad Ali wins the gold medal in the light heavyweight boxing competition at the Olympic Games in Rome.

1964 – Taoiseach Seán Lemass attended celebrations marking the silver jubilee of the first commercial transatlantic flight.

1964 – Birth of William Francis “Liam” O’Brien in Dublin. He is a former footballer who played for Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Tranmere Rovers and Cork City.

1998 – President Clinton followed in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy and became a Freeman of Limerick. This date marked the end of his three-day visit to Ireland.

1999 – History comes alive at Phoenix Park as the beating of the Millennium Drum signals the beginning of a week-long celebration of Irish history and heritage.

2000 – The Church of Ireland criticises Portadown Orange Order leader Harold Gracey for refusing to condemn the violence surrounding the Drumcree protest.

2001 – The violent scenes of sectarian hatred witnessed at the Holy Cross school in Belfast make headlines in newspapers all over the world.

2002 – US-owned communications equipment firm, Tellabs, announces it will close its Shannon plant in December with the loss of more than 400 jobs.

Photo: Skellig Michael, Co Kerry, Bryan Hanna Photography

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