Today in Irish History – 5 November:

1688 – William of Orange arrives in England with 15,000 men.

1816 – Birth of Ursula Frayne, in Dublin. She became a Mother Superior of the Sisters of Mercy and spent her life in missionary work, initially in Canada but largely in Australia developing schools and academies. Born Clara Frayne, she was born to a wealthy businessman Robert Frayne, and his wife, Bridget. She entered Baggot Street with Catharine McAuley the then recently formed Institute of Mercy in Dublin in 1834 and took Ursula in place of her baptismal name. She was appointed Mother Superior in 1842, taking charge of the Institute’s first foreign mission foundation in Newfoundland.

1881 – Death of Robert Mallet FRS, Irish geologist, civil engineer, and inventor who distinguished himself in research on earthquakes and is sometimes called the father of seismology. Mallet was born in Dublin, the son of factory owner John Mallet. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, entering it at the age of 16 and graduating in science and mathematics in 1830 at the age of 20.

1922 – Four civilians are killed in Tubbercurry, three are shot dead by anti-Treaty fighters and one shot by Free State troops at a roadblock.

1922 – Two British merchant sailors are shot dead by National Army troop in Youghal, Co Cork when they failed to stop at a checkpoint.

1940 – In the House of Commons Churchill bemoans the fact that the Irish ports had been returned to the Free State government in 1938. “The fact that we cannot use the South and West Coasts of Ireland to refuel our flotillas and aircraft and thus protect the trade by which Ireland as well as Great Britain lives, is a most heavy and grievous burden and one which should never have been placed on our shoulders, broad though they be.” The question of the ports would prove to be a contentious issue throughout the war, but giving Britain access to them would almost certainly have doomed Ireland’s efforts to maintain neutrality.

1952 – Death of Larne Gunrunner, Frederick Crawford.

1973 – Birth of journalist, news anchor and documentary and entertainment television presenter, Gráinne Seoige in Spiddal, Co Galway. She is the only television personality to have worked with all four Irish television stations: TG4, TV3, RTÉ One and RTÉ2. Seoige made broadcast history by reading the inaugural news bulletin on Tnag (now TG4), TV3, and Sky News Ireland; and she is the only news anchor to have presented the inaugural news bulletins on two Irish terrestrial stations, TV3 and TG4.

1982 – Five men charged with conspiring to smuggle weapons to the Irish Republican Army were acquitted in Federal Court in Brooklyn, NY, apparently because a jury believed defense contentions that the Central Intelligence Agency had sanctioned their gun-running operation.

1987 – Death of radio and television presenter, Eamon Andrews. Born in Synge Street, Dublin, he began his career as a clerk in an insurance office. He was a keen amateur boxer and won the Irish junior middleweight title in 1944. Andrews chaired the Radio Éireann Authority (now the RTÉ Authority), responsible for the introduction of state television to Ireland.

1991 – Charles Haughey’s leadership of Fianna Fáil is challenged.

1999 – Reinforcing Manchester United’s historic ties with Ireland, the first official Irish club shops open in Dublin, Tallaght and Cork. In Dublin, United legend, Sir Bobby Charlton is on hand to meet and greet the hundreds of fans. For those who can’t get to Old Trafford, the stores will offer greater access to the club’s merchandise, information and promotions. The club’s soccer schools will also be run through the shops.

1999 – History is made when twenty-two newly qualified air traffic controllers are presented with certificates in the first graduation ceremony held by the Irish Aviation Authority.

2000 – The army and Civil Defence are on standby as a further 36 hours of heavy rainfall are predicted for parts of the country. Flood damage costs from the weekend deluge and high winds are expected to run into the millions.

2001 – Politicians from all parties join hundreds of mourners on Achill Island to pay tribute to former Gaeltacht Minister and Mayo Fianna Fáil TD, Denis Gallagher.

2002 – A large area of Dublin’s northside is engulfed by a huge cloud of smoke caused by a massive fire at a scrapyard at Dunsink Lane, Finglas.

2002 – Matt Cooper resigns as Sunday Tribune editor to replace Eamon Dunphy as presenter of the Last Word show on Today FM.

2002 – Mick McCarthy steps down as Republic of Ireland soccer manager.

2015 – Death of football player, Lar O’Byrne. After playing for junior side CY Ringsend, he joined Shamrock Rovers F.C. in 1946 under Bob Fullam and was later managed by Jimmy Dunne. In 1951 he fell out with the owners, the Cunninghams, over wages and left for Drumcondra F.C. He retired from the game in 1960. As of September 2012, O’Byrne was Rovers’ oldest surviving player at age 91.

Photo: Coomasaharn Lake near Glenbeigh, Co Kerry

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