#OTD in Irish History – 5 September:

1724 – In the guise of an Irish Patriot, M. B. Drapier, Jonathan Swift publishes ‘Drapier Letter III’ – one of a series of letters designed to incite the people against a new coinage.

1771 – Benjamin Franklin commences a visit to Ireland where he would later report he had ‘a good deal of Conversation with the Patriots; they are all on the American side of the Question’.

1785 – Edmond Sexton Pery resigns as Speaker of the Irish parliament on grounds of ill-health. John Foster is unanimously elected to replace him.

1798 – Humbert defeats small government force at Collooney, but suffers serious casualties; he camps at Dromahair. Longford rebels attack Granard and are routed. Westmeath rebels occupy Wilson’s Hospital.

1890 – Birth of Richard Chenevix Trench, prelate, philologist and poet; the New English Dictionary, later the Oxford English Dictionary, was begun at his suggestion, in Dublin.

1922 – A large party of Republican fighters attack Carrickmacross barracks, Monaghan. The attack is unsuccessful but one Free State soldier is killed.

1922 – A Free State soldier is assassinated at Barrack Street, Cork, while visiting his family.

1922 – There are gun attack on Free State posts in Waterford City. One civilian, Kate Walsh is killed. Separately two bodies of anti-Treaty fighters, buried clandestinely after a previous action are dug up in Waterford.

1922 – IRA fighters ambush National Army troops in Glenacone, Co Limerick, but are worsted in the ensuing action, One IRA officer, D Finich of Cork 2 Brigade is killed and 12 prisoners are taken. Two National Army soldiers are wounded

1926 – Forty eight die when a fire breaks out in a make-shift cinema on the upper floor of the village hall in Drumcollagher, Co Limerick. During the screening a spool of highly inflammable nitrate film caught fire. Not only was it an unauthorized film showing, it appears that the two promoters of the event ‘borrowed’ the film reels from a Cork city cinema intending to return them the following day.

1930 – The first edition of the Irish Press, a Dublin daily newspaper founded by De Valera as a platform for Fianna Fáil, is published.

1934 – Birth of Kevin McNamara MP, former Labour spokesman on Northern Ireland.

1950 – Birth of Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Fianna Fáil politician.

1954 – Twenty-seven people die when KLM Flight 633 crashes two minutes after taking off from Shannon Airport.

1960 – Muhammad Ali wins the gold medal in the light heavyweight boxing competition at the Olympic Games in Rome.

1964 – Taoiseach Seán Lemass attended celebrations marking the silver jubilee of the first commercial transatlantic flight.

1964 – Birth of William Francis “Liam” O’Brien in Dublin. He is a former footballer who played for Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Tranmere Rovers and Cork City.

1971 – The Army Council of the IRA proposed the idea of a nine county Ulster Assembly (Dáil Uladh) in a set of constitutional proposals which were reported in Republican News on 11 September 1971. The Assembly was to be one of four regional Assemblies covering the whole of any future united Ireland. The fact that the Ulster Assembly would have a Unionist majority was considered as meeting Unionist concerns over being “swamped” in any new Republic.

1975 – The IRA exploded a bomb at the Hilton Hotel in London and killed two people and injured a further 63. It was later established that a 20 minute warning had been given but this was not passed on to the hotel.

1979 – British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, met in London to discuss security matters.

1982 – Brian Smyth (30), who had been a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) until 1978, was shot dead by members of the UVF in Crimea Street, Shankill, Belfast. This killing was reported as an internal feud but was a personal grudge between Lenny Murphy, who had been leader of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang known as the ‘Shankill Butchers’, and Smyth to whom Murphy owed money.

1986 – A group of politicians from the main Unionist parties advised district councillors to resign on 15 November 1986 (the first anniversary of the Anglo-Irish Agreement; AIA) as a protest against the Agreement and to force the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) to appoint commissioners to run the councils. Later the councillors themselves decided against mass resignations.

1987 – Eleven Unionist Members of Parliament (MPs) were summoned for their part in demonstrations on 10 and 11 April 1987.

1995 – A Catholic civilian, Tony Kane (29), was shot dead, while sat in his stationary car, St. Agnes Drive, Andersonstown, Belfast. The IRA was believed to be responsible for the killing. It was alleged that Kane was a drug dealer and this was the reason why he had been killed.

1995 – Irish government officials cancelled a summit meeting planned for 6 September 1995 between Taoiseach, John Bruton, and British Prime Minister, John Major. Irish and British officials had failed to reach agreement on the need for a commission to oversee the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons.

1998 – US President Clinton followed in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy and became a Freeman of Limerick and in his acceptance speech he said the United States would support Irish people in the path to peace. Earlier in the day he had played a round of golf at Ballybunnion in Kerry with, amongst others, former Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dick Spring. This date marked the end of his three-day visit to Ireland.

1998 – Seán McGrath (61) who had been injured in the Omagh bombing on 15 August 1998, died as a result of his injuries bringing the total of those killed to 29. David Trimble, First Minister designate and leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), repeated his view that decommissioning of IRA weapons was necessary before the UUP would enter an Executive with Sinn Féin.

1998 – President of Sinn Féin (SF), Gerry Adams, said that there was nothing in the Good Friday Agreement that prevented the immediate establishment of an Executive which would include SF members. President Clinton left Ireland from Shannon Airport after what he considered to be a successful visit. The President was conferred with the Freedom of Limerick

1999 – History comes alive at Phoenix Park as the beating of the Millennium Drum signals the beginning of a week-long celebration of Irish history and heritage.

2000 – The Church of Ireland criticises Portadown Orange Order leader Harold Gracey for refusing to condemn the violence surrounding the Drumcree protest.

2001 – Loyalists threw a blast bomb towards Catholic children and their parents as they were attempting to enter the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School on the Ardoyne Road in north Belfast. There was panic as the device exploded. Four RUC officers were injured by the blast and a woman collapsed with shock. It made headlines all over the world.

2002 – US-owned communications equipment firm, Tellabs, announces it will close its Shannon plant in December with the loss of more than 400 jobs.

Image | Portmarnock, Co Dublin | Bryan Hanna Photography

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