#OTD in Irish History – 4 October:

1331 – Birth of James Butler, 2nd Earl of Ormond, as a noble in the Peerage of Ireland. He was Lord Justice of Ireland in 1359, 1364, and 1376. The son of James Butler, 1st Earl of Ormond and Eleanor de Bohun, James was born at Kilkenny and given in ward, 1 September 1344, to Maurice FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Desmond, for the fine of 2306 marcs; and afterward to Sir John Darcy who married him to his daughter Elizabeth. He was usually called The Noble Earl, being a great-grandson of King Edward I of England.

1582 – Pope Gregory reforms the calendar introduced by Julius Caesar in 45BCE: 4 October is followed by 15 October. However, the reform will not be implemented in Ireland till 1752.

1693 – Irish Brigade of France fights in the battle of Marsaglia.

1733 – Henry Boyle, the future Earl of Shannon, is unanimously elected Speaker of the Irish parliament. He will serve till 1756 – the longest-serving Speaker of the 1692-1800 parliaments.

1741 – Edmund Malone, editor and Shakespearian scholar, is born in Dublin.

1842 – Birth of heavyweight bare-knuckle boxer Jim Dunne in Co Kildare. Dunne won the American heavyweight title from fellow Irishman Jim Elliot – the pair were jailed after the illegal event.

1886 – Lennox Robinson, playwright and one-time Abbey Theatre manager, is born in Douglas, Co Cork.

1936 – Birth of former footballer, Charles Hurley, in Co Cork. He played mainly in the centre back position. Hurley is best known for his long career at Sunderland, where he was named the Black Cats’ “Player of the Century” by their fans on the occasion of the club’s centenary in 1979. Nicknamed ‘The King’, Hurley was a classy defender for both Sunderland and the Republic of Ireland. He ended his playing career at Bolton Wanderers and was later manager of Reading.

1939 – In one of the more intriguing episodes of World War II, German U-Boat 35 under the command of Kapitan Werner Lott disembarked 28 men at Dingle, Co Kerry from the Greek cargo ship Diamantis. About 15.40 hours on 3 Oct, 1939, the Diamantis was torpedoed by U-35 and sank 40 miles west of the Scilly Islands. Because the lifeboats were not suited for use in the bad weather, Lott decided to take all crew members aboard and landed them the next day in Dingle Bay, Co Kerry. Lott survived the war.

1942 – Birth of Frank Stagg (Proinsias Stagg) was a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) hunger striker from County Mayo who died in 1976 in Wakefield Prison, Yorkshire after 62 days on hunger strike. Stagg was the seventh child in a family of thirteen children, born at Hollymount near Ballinrobe, County Mayo, in 1942. Stagg was educated to primary level at Newbrooke Primary School and at CBS Ballinrobe to secondary level. After finishing his schooling, he worked as an assistant gamekeeper with his uncle prior to emigrating from Ireland to England in search of work.

1944 – In 1928, Alfred Emanuel “Al” Smith was the first Catholic to represent any of the major political parties in a presidential election. Smith’s grandmother hailed from Co Westmeath. Smith grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a melting pot that included Irish, Germans, French, Polish, Italian emigrants. Smith was known as a “man of the people” and is memorialized as such by The Alfred E Smith Foundation, founded by Francis Cardinal Spellman. Today it is a significant fund-raiser for charity. Each election year, presidential candidates are expected to attend, make witty remarks and profound commentary about Smith. In 2008, then candidate Obama spoke eloquently of a man who a man who fought for many years to give Americans nothing more than fair shake and a chance to succeed. He touched the lives of millions as a result.”

1959 – Direct dialing is launched in Ireland.

1961 – General election is held in the Republic. Fianna Fáil gains 70 of the 144 seats.

1968 – A Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) delegation met with the Derry March organisers and tried to have the march cancelled. Eventually it was decided to go ahead with the march.

1971 – A British soldier was killed when the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) carried out a bomb attack on a British Army observation post in Belfast.

1979 – Birth of actress and model, Caitriona Balfe, in Dublin. She is best known for her role as Claire Beauchamp in the Starz series Outlander, for which she won a People’s Choice Award and two Saturn Awards, and received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama.

1981 – Republican prisoners issued a statement blaming pressure on their families as the reason for the ending of the hunger strike: “Mounting pressure and cleric-inspired demoralisation led to [family] interventions and five strikers have been taken off their fast.”

1993 – The IRA exploded five bombs in north London and injured four people.

1993 – The IRA issued a statement welcoming the Hume-Adams Initiative.

1994 – President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, led a Sinn Féin delegation to a meeting with senior United States government officials in Washington, DC. Staff Director of the National Security Council, Nancy Soderberg, was one of the US officials present at the meeting. The meeting was able to take place due to a change of US policy on Sinn Féin. Following the meeting Adams took part in a television debate with Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP, Ken Maginness.

1995 – United States Ambassador to the UK, William Crowe, together with Staff Director of the National Security Council, Nancy Soderberg, held separate meetings with a number of party representatives in Belfast. The pair met with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

1999 – Aer Lingus announces it will drop its Knock Birmingham route. The decision by the national airline to cease operations on this route also means the severing of its only regular link with Knock Airport. A spokesperson for Aer Lingus confirms that the last flight on the Knock Birmingham route will be on 29 October.

1999 – Decommissioning remained the main issue preventing the UUP from accepting SF’s participation in the new Northern Ireland Executive.

1999 – The results of a survey conducted by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) indicated that the average weekly income of Catholic families was £306 compared to £351 for Protestant families.

1999 º The Irish Government announced an Exchequer surplus of £1.7 billion. Employers’ organisations, along with major unions, also called for significant tax concessions in the Budget.

2001 – Cork will be Europe’s Culture Capital in 2005 after landing the prestigious title ahead of Galway.

2001 – Police Ombudsman, Nuala O’Loan, held a media briefing in Derry to announce that she was upholding a complaint that the RUC never communicated directly with the family of Samuel Devenny (42) about the investigation into the attack on him by RUC officers. The attack took place in Devenny’s home on 19 April 1969 and he died as a result of his injuries on 17 July 1969. O’Loan stated that disciplinary action could not now be taken against the former RUC officers. A report into the incident carried out by Metropolitan police officers under Detective Chief Superintendent, Kenneth Drury, failed to identify the RUC officers concerned because of “a conspiracy of silence”.

2001 – Sinn Féin lost a high court challenge to the ruling by Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Mandelson, that the union flag should be flown over ministerial offices in Northern Ireland on 17 days each year. Martin McGuinness and Bairbre de Brún had contested the Flags Order that had been introduced by Mandelson when the Northern Ireland Executive failed to reach agreement over the issue in 2000.

2002 – Thousands of people from all over the country march in protest over redundancy payments.

2002 – The North’s police service launch dawn raids on Sinn Féin’s offices at the Northern Ireland parliament at Stormont.

2010 – Graeme McDowell delivered the match-winning point for Europe in his final singles match against the USA’s Hunter Mahan at the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales. For the first time in its history, the Ryder Cup stretched into a fourth day due to inclement weather.

2017 – Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave died in Dublin at the age of 97 years. Mr Cosgrave, who led a successful Fine Gael-Labour Coalition from 1973 until 1977, was the son of the first head of government of the Irish Free State, WT Cosgrave. Father and son, who had a very close relationship, dominated Irish political life for the first six decades of the State’s existence, as both government leaders and leaders of the opposition.

Photo: Dingle Bay, Co Kerry, Barbara Walsh Photography

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