#OTD in Irish History – 4 April:

1774 – Death of novelist, playwright and poet, Oliver Goldsmith.

1818 – Mayne Reid, pseudonym of Thomas Mayne; soldier, journalist, and writer of boys’ stories, was born in Ballyroney, Co Down.

1893 – Birth of Richard ‘Dick’ McKee at Phibsborough Road in Dublin. He was a prominent member of the IRA. He was also friend to some senior members, including Éamon de Valera, Austin Stack and Michael Collins. Along with Peadar Clancy and Conor Clune, he was killed by his captors in Dublin Castle on 21 November 1920, a day known as Bloody Sunday that also saw the killing of a network of British spies by the ‘Squad’ unit of the IRA and the killing of 14 people in Croke Park by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC).

1918 – The Father Mathew Feis takes place with competitions across numerous categories of performance, including singing, violin, instrumental trio, double jig, literature and Irish history.

1922 – Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) staged its final parade in Dublin before its formal disbandment.

1926 – Birth of actress, Ronnie Masterson in Dublin. She trained at the Abbey Theatre and first appeared on stage there in 1944. At the Abbey, she met and then married actor Ray McAnally in 1951, and they remained married until his death, although they resided in different homes. They formed Old Quay Productions, which presented an assortment of plays such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Odd Couple and many others.

1932 – George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Too True to be Good’ premiered in New York City.

1933 – Birth of Paddy Hopkirk, international rally driver, in Belfast.

1934 – Birth of novelist and journalist, Mary Kenny, in Dublin.

1951 – The Catholic hierarchy condemned the ‘Mother and Child’ plan for free medical services, fearing the consequences of health education for women. Dr Noël Browne, Minister for Health, resigned; the scheme was abandoned on 6 April.

1951 – Birth of singer and actress Adele King, better known as Twink.

1952 – Birth of rock guitarist, Gary Moore, in Belfast.

1963 – Birth of actor and talk show host, Graham Norton in Clondalkin, Co Dublin. He grew up in Cork before moving to London. He is a five-time BAFTA TV Award winner for his comedy chat show, The Graham Norton Show.

1966 – Pirate Radio Scotland changes its name to Radio Ireland.

1969 – There was an explosion at a water installation at Dunadry, Co Antrim. This was one of the main water supply pipes to Belfast. It was later established that the bomb was planted by Loyalists who were members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Protestant Volunteers (UPV).

1974 – Merlyn Rees, Secretary of Sate for Northern Ireland, announced that he will de-proscribe (remove the illegal status from) the Ulster Volunteer Force and Sinn Féin, and also phase out Internment.

1978 – Birth of Alan Joseph Mahon, in Dublin. He is a former professional footballer who played a midfielder and was capped by the Republic of Ireland.

1984 – The British government issued an apology to the Irish government about undercover operations by the RUC in the territory of the Republic of Ireland in December 1982.

1986 – The leaders of the main Protestant churches condemned Loyalist attacks on the homes of RUC officers and Catholic-owned property.

1999 – In his Easter Sunday address Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin, praised the IRA’s ‘commitment’ to searching for a peaceful settlement. He said the Hillsborough Declaration of the previous week ‘may have merit, but it may also be counterproductive if it amounted to an ultimatum to armed groups.’

1999 – The annual World Irish Dancing Championships came to an end in Ennis.

2001 – Former employees and staff joined three generations of the Barry family in a celebration of 100 years in business for a firm which has become an Irish institution.

2001 – The Supreme Court strongly criticised the State’s failure to provide official Irish translation of laws and important legal materials.

2007 – History is made as Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and DUP leader Ian Paisley shook hands for the first time in public prior to their milestone meeting at Farmleigh House in Dublin.

2017 – Kerry GAA footballer, Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper, brought the curtain down on a on a 14-year spell that lit up Croke Park, Fitzgerald Stadium and just about every other venue he adorned. Cooper played in ten All-Ireland finals, winning four in 2004, ’06, ’07 and ’09.

Photo: ‘Binevenagh Plateau and Lake’, Binevenagh, Magilligan peninsula, Gareth Wray Photography


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