#OTD in Irish History – 17 August:

1779 – Birth of United Irishman and soldier, William Corbet, in Ballythomas, Co Cork.

1786 – Birth of Davy Crockett, American frontiersman and son of an Irishman.

1791 – Birth of Richard Lalor Sheil, dramatist and politician; first Catholic privy councillor, in Drumdowney, Co Kilkenny.

1846 – Lord John Russell’s Whig administration decides not to interfere with internal or export markets for food.

1878 – Birth of Oliver St. John Fogarty, writer, and the model for the ‘stately, plump Buck Mulligan’ in Joyce’s “Ulysses”.

1896 – Bridget Driscoll, who was born in Ireland in 1851, was run over by a Benz car in the grounds of The Crystal Palace, London. She was the UK’s first pedestrian motoring fatality.

1920 – Birth of Maureen O’Hara, born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, Co Dublin. She was a film actress and singer. The famously red-headed O’Hara was noted for playing fiercely passionate heroines with a highly sensible attitude. She often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne. Her autobiography, ‘Tis Herself, was published in 2004. She passed away on 24 October 2015 in Boise, Idaho.

1922 – The RIC is disbanded to be replaced by the RUC in Northern Ireland and the Garda Síochána in the Irish Free State.

1922 – Free State troops under Dan Hogan re-occupy Dundalk unopposed. One civilian is killed in the operation.

1922 – Two unarmed National Army medics are shot dead by a sniper at Inisfallen, Co Kerry.

1923 – Voting in Irish general election, 1923 takes place. Cumann na nGaedheal win 63 seats; Sinn Féin 44; Independents 16; Farmers 15; Labour 14; and Independent Labour 1. About 415,00 first preference votes were given to Pro-Treatyites and 286,000 to Anti-Treatyites. (64% of the electorate voted.) Some of the Anti-Treaty members elected are still imprisoned.

1936 – Birth of Seamus Mallon in Markethill, Co Armagh. He is a politician who was the first deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2001. He was also the Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party from 1979 to 2001. In 2001 Seamus Mallon retired, along with John Hume, from the leadership of the SDLP. Mark Durkan replaced both; Hume as leader and Mallon as Deputy First Minister, when the Northern Ireland Executive was re-established following a suspension. Mallon did not contest his seat in the Stormont Assembly in the 2003 elections, and stood down at the 2005 Westminster election. His seat was taken, as expected, by Conor Murphy of Sinn Féin.

1951 – Death of Winston Dugan, 1st Baron Dugan of Victoria. Born in Co Offaly in 1876 he enlisted in the British Army in 1896 serving in South Africa during the Boer War.

1978 – Thousands gather in Carnsore Point to protest against nuclear power.

1981 – Jackie McMullan, an IRA prisoner, joined the hunger strike.

1999 – Mandate, the largest union representing bar and retail workers, demands the Millennium New Year’s Eve off for their workers.

1999 – Emir Holohan Doyle is crowned Miss Ireland.

1999 – Junior doctors threaten a period of industrial action throughout the country.

1999 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, met with Vice-President of Sinn Féin, Martin McGuinness, at Stormont. She was seeking further information from US and Irish authorities on the attempt to import arms from Florida and the recent murder in west Belfast of Charles Bennett, before deciding if the IRA had broken its ceasefire.

2000 – The last RUC passing out parade takes place in Belfast before the force’s controversial name change to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

2000 – President Mary McAleese leads mourners at the funeral of former Fine Gael Minister John Boland in St Patrick’s Church, Skerries, Co Dublin.

2000 – Beo 2000, the inaugural festival of Irish traditional music, takes place at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

2001 – General SemiConductor announces that its plant in Macroom, Co Cork will close; 670 jobs are lost.

2001 – Policing Implementation Plan Published: Entitled ‘The Patten Report, the report was issued by the British government. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, John Reid, urged everyone to back the Implementation Plan and said it offered “unprecedented opportunities for a new start, a real partnership to policing”. He set a deadline of midday on 21 August 2001 for the political parties to respond to the plan. The Northern Ireland Police Federation welcomed the fact that many of the recommendations in the plan were dependent on an assessment of the security situation. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) rejected the plan stating that the measures it contained went far beyond the Patten Report. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) said it would consider the plan in detail before responding. Some of the pro-Agreement political parties had been shown a copy of the plan prior to its publication. Sinn Féin (SF) had rejected the document for not going far enough and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) stated that it would not consider the issue of policing without IRA decommissioning. The Irish government called on the SDLP and SF to support the Implementation Plan and to nominate representatives to the Northern Ireland Policing Board. Nuala O’Loan, Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, announced that her office would investigate claims that security sources had prior warning about the Omagh bomb. The claim was made by former British Army informant who uses the pseudonym Kevin Fulton. Ronnie Flanagan, Chief Constable of the RUC, welcomed the investigation but said the claim was “preposterous”.

2001 – Catholic bishops in Northern Ireland issued a statement calling on people to support the latest proposals on policing in the region: “We believe the time is now right for all those who sincerely want a police service that is fair, impartial and representative to grasp the opportunity that is presented and to exercise their influence to achieve such a service.”

2012 – Death of Lou Martin. He was a piano and organ player from Belfast, most famous for his work with the London-based band Killing Floor, and with fellow Irish musician Rory Gallagher.

Photo: Rossbeigh Hill, Glenbeigh, Co Kerry

#irishhistory #ireland #irelandinspires

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