#OTD in Irish History – 29 August:

1170 – Richard de Clare (Strongbow) marries Aoife Ní MacMurrough and sets a precedent for Norman rule in Ireland.

1729 – Birth of David La Touche, banking magnate and MP.

1798 – Cornwallis reaches Tuam, Co Galway.

1803 – Samuel Neilson, one of the founder members of the Society of United Irishmen and the founder of its newspaper the Northern Star, dies.

1807 – British troops under Dublin-born, Sir Arthur Wellesley, defeat a Danish militia outside Copenhagen in the Battle of Køge.

1833 – The United Kingdom legislates the abolition of slavery in its empire.

1844 – Death of missionary and educator, Edmund Ignatius Rice. He was the founder of the Irish Christian Brothers Order.

1890 – The Science and Art Museum and The National Library of Ireland open.

1871 – Birth of Jack B. Yeats, painter and author, in London.

1906 – Death of Medal of Honor Winner, James Quinlan, from Co Tipperary. James J. Quinlan was a Union Army officer during the American Civil War and a recipient of America’s highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions at the Battle of Savage’s Station. His citations states he “led his regiment on the enemy’s battery, silenced the guns, held the position against overwhelming numbers, and covered the retreat of the Second Army Corps.”

1922 – Six Free State soldiers are killed in three separate ambushes. Two in Tullamore, and one in Macroom, and two in an ambush and firefight between Killorglin and Tralee in Co Kerry. An attack is also made on Clonakilty in which one Free State officer is killed. Three Republican fighters are reported killed in fighting in Cork.

1922 – In Marybourogh Jail, where 600 Anti-Treaty prisoners are being held, the republicans riot and set fire to their cells.

1946 – George Bernard Shaw awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin. The Freedom of the City of Dublin is an award bestowed by the people of Dublin on a person nominated by the Lord Mayor.

1950 – Birth of Dick Spring, politician; Labour Party leader and Tánaiste, in Tralee, Co Kerry.

1951 – Bill Graham, rock journalist and author, is born in Belfast.

1969 – Birth of professional snooker player, Joe Swail, in Belfast. He has reached ten major ranking semi-finals, including the 2000 and 2001 World Championships but only one final. Swail is renowned for playing well at the Crucible Theatre, having reached the last 16 on four further occasions. He is also a former English amateur champion and N. Ireland amateur runner-up, and has captained Northern Ireland internationally. He was Irish champion in 2005. Swail is congenitally hearing-impaired. He has told BBC that he regards this as an advantage for snooker, as he is less likely to be distracted by crowd and other background noise. The two-table nature of the Crucible Theatre, in which cheering from the other table can often occur as a player takes a shot, may be one reason his World Championship record is especially strong.

1969 – Following the visit to Northern Ireland by British Home Secretary, James Callaghan, a Communiqué on behalf of the Northern Ireland and British governments was released. This communiqué provided an outline of the work that would be undertaken on a number of further reforms mainly in the area of local government administration, housing, and employment.

1971 – A Catholic man died 16 days after being shot by the British Army in Belfast.

1973 – The IRA planted two bombs in Solihull, England and also planted an incendiary device in Harrod’s store in London.

1975 – The IRA planted a booby-trapped time bomb in Kensington Church Street, London, and then gave a telephone warning. Roger Goad (40), who was a British Army officer in a bomb-disposal squad, was killed as he tried to defuse the device. Goad was posthumously awarded the George Cross.

1975 – Death of Éamon de Valera from pneumonia and heart failure, while in Linden Convalescent Home, Blackrock, Co Dublin, aged 92.

1979 – British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, paid a visit to Northern Ireland to hold discussions on security.

1979 – The Vatican announced that Pope John Paul II would not travel to Armagh during his forthcoming visit to Ireland on 29 September 1979.

1989 – The Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) claimed that they had received security force files on IRA suspects. It was claimed that the death of Loughlin Maginn on 25 August 1989 was due to information supplied to the UFF by members of the security forces. These claims revived accusations of security force collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries.

1991 – Sinn Féin won a by-election for a seat on Belfast City Council. This victory brought the party’s representation to 9 members making it the second-largest party in the council.

1992 – U2 plays the first of two shows at Yankee Stadium in New York. They are only the second rock artist to play in this venue. Billy Joel was the first.

1994 – President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, said that he had met the Army Council of the IRA. He indicated that he told the Council that he believed that the conditions existed for moving the peace process forward.

1997 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, said that she “accepted the veracity” of the renewed IRA ceasefire and would therefore be inviting Sinn Féin (SF) to attend the multi-party talks at Stormont, Belfast, on 15 September 1997. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) said that it would attend the talks but would not sit at the same table as SF. British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, issued a joint appeal to all Unionists to join the multi-party talks on 15 September 1997.

1999 – A British army bomb disposal unit defused a pipe-bomb found near a Catholic church in Co Antrim. The bomb had been left in the graveyard of St Peter the Rock, on the Rock Road in Lisburn. The attack was carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.

1999 – A Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) clubhouse in Ahoghill, Co Antrim, was damaged in an arson attack.

2000 – Irish Travellers are granted the same legal protection as other ethnic minority groups by a judge in London.

2001 – Loyalist paramilitaries carried out a pipe-bomb attack on the home of a Catholic family in Ballynahinch, Co Down. Two devices exploded at the house shortly before 3.00am; there were no injuries in the attack. The owner of the house blamed the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) for the attack. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a cover name that has been used by members of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), claimed responsibility for the attack.

2001 – The RUC press office confirmed that two senior officers, thought to be from Special Branch, had travelled to Colombia to assist the investigation into the activities of the three Irishmen arrested on 13 August 2001.

2002 – Sixteen soldiers are injured during sectarian street clashes in flashpoint east Belfast.

2002 – According to Transparency International’s annual corruption index, Ireland has slipped five places and is now perceived as the third most corrupt country in Europe.

Image | Castlewellan Peace Maze, Co Down

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