#OTD in Irish History – 30 August:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of Saint Fiacra. He was born in Ireland in the seventh century. Fiachra is an ancient pre-Christian name from Ireland. The meaning is uncertain, but the name may mean “battle king”, or it may be a derivative of the word fiach “raven”. The name can be found in ancient Irish folklore and stories such as the Children of Lir.

1559 – Lord Sussex, is sworn in as Lord Deputy.

1690 – First siege of Limerick ends.

1708 – Penal Laws passed in 1695 restricting Catholics rights are strengthened for the second time.

1709 – All registered Catholic priests in Ireland are required to renounce the claims of the Stuarts to the thrones of England and Ireland — only 33 out of 1,089 comply.

1841 – The Cork Examiner, now The Irish Examiner, hits the streets for the first time.

1855 – Death of Feargus Edward O’Connor, Chartist leader.

1874 – Michael Banim, storywriter, dies; along with his brother and co-author John, he sought to create sympathetic, yet non-stereotypical Irish characters in his stories.

1875 – National synod of Catholic bishops begins at Maynooth; they renew condemnation of Queen’s Colleges and condemn Trinity College.

1911 – The Chamber of Commerce calls for Ireland to adopt Greenwich Mean Time — 25 minutes behind Irish Standard Time.

1921 – Vicious sectarian rioting breaks out in Belfast resulting in the deaths of at least 9 people. Throughout the year, Catholic and Protestant communities baited and attacked each other. July was a particularly violent month. Sectarian violence was an unfortunate part of working class Belfast culture as evidenced by the riots in 1886.

1921 – De Valera sends another stinging rebuke to Lloyd George as the parties edge closer to negotiations. He was responding to a communication from Lloyd George where the wily old Welshman invoked Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address.

1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA attack Bantry in western Co Cork for several hours. They withdraw after losing four officers and more men killed. Four National Army soldiers are also killed and two wounded in the attack.

1922 – In north Cork, near Millstreet, two lorries of Free State troops are ambushed by IRA Cork 1 Brigade members. Two Anti-Treaty fighters are killed and two wounded. Five Free State troops are wounded.

1928 – William Trevor, pseudonym of William Trevor Cox, short-story writer and novelist, is born in Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

1948 – Birth of Donnacha “The Don” O’Dea, an Irish professional poker player. In his youth he was a swimmer, and represented Ireland in the 1968 Olympics. He was also the first Irish swimmer to swim 100m in less than one minute. His parents were actors Denis O’Dea and Siobhán McKenna.

1951 – Birth of Dana Rosemary Scallon (born Rosemary Brown), known in her singing career as Dana. Dana is a Eurovision Song Contest winner, singer and former Member of the European Parliament

1967 – Black Velvet Band by the Dubliners enters the UK charts.

1977 – US President, Jimmy Carter, gave a keynote speech on Northern Ireland. In the speech he said that the American government would support any initiative that led to a form of government in Northern Ireland which had the support of both sections of the community. In particular the support would take the form of trying to create additional jobs in the region. He also called on Americans not to provide financial and other support for groups using violence in Northern Ireland.

1979 – A decision was taken by the British government to increase the size of the RUC by 1,000 officers to 7,500. This reflected a continuation of the policy of ‘Ulsterisation’ or ‘police primacy’. There was some continuing friction between the British Army and the RUC over this policy. On 2 October 1979 a new post of security Co-ordinator for Northern Ireland was created to try to improve relations between the BA and the RUC.

1985 – James Molyneaux, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), attended a meeting at Downing Street, London, with British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. The two Unionist leaders had asked for the meeting to protest at the continuing Anglo-Irish talks between the two governments.

1988 – Three members of the IRA were shot dead by soldiers of the Special Air Force (SAS) near Drumnakilly, Co Tyrone.

1996 – Following a series of interviews the Police Authority of Northern Ireland announced that Ronnie Flanagan was to be appointed as the new RUC Chief Constable. Ronnie Flanagan took over from Hugh Annesley in November 1996.

1997 – The New Barnsley RUC police station in west Belfast was attacked by a crowd of people who threw petrol bombs and set a lookout post on fire. The RUC responded by firing plastic baton rounds. The Royal Black Preceptory cancelled or rerouted planned parades in Strabane and Pomeroy, Co Tyrone, and Bellaghy, Co Derry.

1997 – U2 returns home for the first of two shows at Dublin’s Lansdowne Road stadium.

2000 – SDLP leader John Hume, announces his intention to quit as a Stormont Assembly member.

2000 – As many as 21 houses in the County Antrim town of Carrickfergus are attacked in incidents linked to the North’s bitter loyalist feud.

2001 – Death of Donal O’Sullivan; he was Cork’s captain in the 1956 All-Ireland football final against Galway and prominent in GAA administration at county and provincial level.

2002 – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson accuses the United States of trying to scale back plans to save the world’s poorest people.

2013 – World-renowned poet and playwright Seamus Heaney died in the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin following a short illness, aged 74.

Photo: Dursey Island, Co Cork

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