Today in Irish History – 3 October:

1691- Treaty of Limerick is signed, ending the Williamite War in Ireland; the treaty allows evacuation of the Irish army to France and promises tolerance of Irish Catholics.

1750 – Birth of “Captain” James MacLaine (occasionally “Maclean”, “MacLean”, or “Maclane”). He was a notorious highwayman with his accomplice William Plunkett. He was known as the “Gentleman Highwayman” as a result of his courteous behaviour during his robberies. He famously robbed Horace Walpole, and was eventually hanged at Tyburn. The film ‘Plunkett and Macleane’ was based loosely on his exploits.

1871 – Gen. John O’Neill and a small force of Fenians invade Canada at Pembina, Manitoba.

1916 – Birth of James Francis “Frank” Pantridge, CBE (b. Hillsborough, Co Down). He was a physician and cardiologist from the north of Ireland who transformed emergency medicine and paramedic services with the invention of the portable defibrillator.

1943 – Richard Caborn, Sports Minister, is born.

1961 – Ireland applies for membership of the European Economic Community on 1 August and joins UNESCO on this date.

1966 – Birth of Niall Quinn, footballer.

1971 – Death of Seán Ó Riada, founder, composer, and arranger for the Chieftains. He composed Mná na hÉireann (Women of Ireland). Guided by his vision, traditional music changed radically, and became accessible to a modern Irish audience, and through this traditional music, the cultural life of Ireland was invigorated.

1975 – Dr Tiede Herrera, chief executive of the Dutch-owned Ferenka factory in Ballyvarra, Co Limerick, is kidnapped by the IRA.

1979 – Birth of singer-songwriter, Danny O’Donoghue, in Dublin. Best known for being the frontman of the Irish pop band The Script and as a coach on the first two series of the television singing talent show The Voice UK.

1981 – IRA hunger strike called off at Long Kesh prison. Ten IRA members died during the hunger strikes. While the IRA did not win immediate concessions, in some ways it was a Pyrrhic victory for Margaret Thatcher’s government. It galvanised support and membership for the IRA and generated huge sympathy for the strikers in the United States where fund-raising was a major priority. The death of the first hunger striker, Bobby Sands, created a martyr and an iconic figure.

2000 – The death toll in storms that have raged for two days off the coast of Galway reaches 20.

2002 – Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness condemns a weekend gun attack on a bus driver in his home city of Derry which police believe was the work of the IRA.

Photo: Adare, Co Limerick

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