Today in Irish History – 30 October:

1751 – Birth in Dublin of dramatist and orator, Richard Brinkley Sheridan.

1816 – Sir Richard Quain, physician to Queen Victoria, is born in Mallow, Co Cork.

1921 – Eithne Coyle, May Burke, Linda Kearns and Aileen Keogh, escape from Mountjoy Prison.

1922 – National Army troops raid Ballyheigue, Co Kerry. One Anti-Treaty fighter is killed, allegedly after he had been taken prisoner.

1922 – The bodies of four Anti-Treaty IRA men are found in a hay stack at Rockview, Delvin, Westmeath. They were killed by their own bomb while trying to blow up a bridge.

1928 – Birth of Sir Charles Brett, architectural historian.

1846 – Cork Examiner reports death by starvation.

1865 – Birth of Rose Maud Young (Róis Ní Ógáin) at Galgorm House, Ballymena, Co Antrim. She was educated at home by a governess and then trained as a teacher in Cambridge. Although she came from a unionist family who were linen merchants, she was committed to learning the Irish language, and kept diaries charting her progress. While in England she visited the Bodleian Library to see their collection of Gaelic manuscripts. She attended Irish classes run by the Gaelic League in London, and on her return to Ireland in the early 1900s, went regularly to Shan O’Cahan’s Irish College in Belfast. She was a close friend of Margaret Dobbs, and supported the Glens of Antrim Feis. She published three collections of Irish songs, and observed the keening tradition that was on the decline.

1963 – Death of Domhnall Ua Buachalla. He was an Irish politician, shopkeeper and member of the First Dáil who served as third and final Governor-General of the Irish Free State and later served as a member of the Council of State. Ua Buachalla was from Maynooth in Co Kildare and ran a combined grocery, bicycle shop and pub in the town. He was an Irish language activist and member of Conradh na Gaeilge. In 1907, he was arrested and had his groceries seized when he refused to pay a fine for having his grocery wagon painted with Domhnall Ua Buachalla (his name in the Irish language), as the law required grocery wagons to be registered only in the English language.

1972 – Northern Ireland Secretary of State, William Whitelaw’s paper “The Future of Northern Ireland” declares no UK opposition to unity by consent.

1973 – Birth of rugby player and head coach of Munster, Anthony Foley in Limerick. He was attached to the same squad during his professional playing career. He was a member of the Munster team that won the 2002–03 Celtic League and was the winning captain during their 2005–06 Heineken Cup success. Foley played for Ireland from 1995 to 2005, and captained the squad on three separate occasions. Foley died in his sleep on 16 October 2016, while staying at a hotel in the Paris suburb of Suresnes with the Munster squad; heart disease had caused an acute pulmonary oedema. The team was preparing to face Racing 92 in its opening game of the 2016–17 European Rugby Champions Cup. The match was postponed as a result of Foley’s death. President Michael D. Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny made tributes to Foley, and the Irish flag flew at half mast at government buildings in Munster.

His body was returned to Killaloe for his funeral and burial which took place on 21 October.

1974 – Muhammad Ali becomes heavyweight champion of the world for the second time when he knocks out champion George Foreman in the eighth round of the “Rumble in the Jungle,” in Kinshasa, Zaire.

1993 – Greysteel massacre: the UDA, using the covername ‘Ulster Freedom Fighters’ (UFF), claimed responsibility for a gun attack on the Rising Sun Bar in Greysteel, Co Derry. Eight civilians (six Catholic, two Protestant) were killed and twelve wounded. One gunman yelled ‘trick or treat!’ before he fired into the crowded room; a reference to the Halloween party taking place. The UFF claimed that it had attacked the “nationalist electorate” in revenge for the Shankill Road bombing.

1998 – The South County Bar in West Douglas became the first pub in Cork to win the James Joyce Pub Award.

2000 – The Good Friday Agreement hanged in the balance with the Government seeking to establish whether or not the North’s First Minister David Trimble can ban Sinn Féin Ministers from cross-Border committee meetings.

2001 – One of the country’s largest estates, Farnham, on about 1,200 acres in Cavan, was bought for around £5m by a locally born businessman, pharmacist, Roy McCabe.

2001 – A major anti-litter initiative was launched which holds every town in Ireland accountable for its cleanliness.

2002 – The crisis in the Northern Ireland peace process deepened after the IRA announced its decision to end contact with the arms decommissioning body.

2003 – A wreath to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, the Vatican priest who is credited with saving the lives of thousands of people during the second World War was laid on his grave in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry.

2005 – The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) instructed its forces to ‘stand down’.

Photo: The entrance passage to the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara is aligned with the rising sun around Samhain.

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