#OTD in Irish History – 30 May:

1630 – Birth of Charles Stuart who will become Charles II of Great Britain and Ireland.

1784 – Belfast’s first Catholic church, St. Mary’s, opens for public worship.

1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: The Battle of Three Rocks – Rebels capture Enniscorthy and Wexford town.

1807 – During the election for Co Wexford, two of the candidates, William Congreve Alcock and John Colclough, fight a duel in front of the county sheriff, 16 magistrates and a large crowd of spectators. Alcock shoots Colclough dead; he is elected; he is also tried and acquitted for killing Colclough, but his mind is badly affected; two years later, he will be confined in an asylum for the insane.

1817 – Micheal William Balfe, one of Ireland’s greatest composers, gives his first public performance, aged nine.

1844 – Daniel O’Connell is fined and sentenced to 12 months in prison for ‘conspiracy’.

1906 – Death of Michael Davitt, “Father” of the Irish Land League.

1921 – Vol Tommy Murphy shot dead in his home in Foxrock, Co Dublin by British forces. Before leaving his house the raiders attached a label to Murphy’s body “Executed by the IRA”. This allegation was refuted in a subsequent issue of An tOglach.

1921 – Attack on RIC patrol at Kill O’The Grange. Returning from this attack the IRA party (Volunteers from the Deans Grange Coy, 6th Battalion, Dublin Brigade) encountered another party of RIC at Monaloe under Sgt. Cullen. An engagement ensued but both parties retired safely

1944 – Éamon de Valera is returned as Taoiseach.

1951 – Fianna Fáil regains power in a general election.

1953 – Birth of actor, Colm Meaney in Dublin. Best known for playing Miles O’Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He has guest-starred on many TV shows from Law & Order to The Simpsons, and during its run, starred as railroad magnate Thomas Durant on AMC’s drama series Hell on Wheels. Meaney received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for his role in The Snapper.

1955 – Birth of Colm Tóibín in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. He is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic and poet. Tóibín’s first novel, 1990’s The South, was partly inspired by time he spent in Barcelona, as was, more directly, his non-fiction Homage to Barcelona (1990). In 2015, ahead of the Marriage Equality referendum, Tóibín delivered a talk titled “The Embrace of Love: Being Gay in Ireland Now” in Trinity Hall, featuring Roger Casement’s diaries, the work of Oscar Wilde, John Broderick and Kate O’Brien, and Senator David Norris’s 1980s High Court battles. In the same year, he released On Elizabeth Bishop, a novel which made The Guardian’s Best Books of 2015 list twice.

1969 – Irish nationalist and the first Jewish Lord Mayor of Dublin, Robert Briscoe, dies in Dublin.

1972 – The Official IRA announces a ceasefire, but the Provisional IRA says it will continue fighting until the British leave Northern Ireland.

1973 – In a political upset, Erskine Childers defeats Tom O’Higgins by a very narrow margin and is elected President of Ireland.

1973 – Local government elections were held in Northern Ireland based on the new 26 District Councils. The elections were contested on a ‘proportional representation’ (PR) basis, using the single transferable vote (STV) system, for the first time in Northern Ireland since 1920. The turnout for the election was 68.1 per cent of the electorate. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) took 41.4 per cent of the vote, while the SDLP won almost all of the Nationalist/Catholic vote.

1977 – A statement written by four members of the Church of Ireland, who were also graduates of Trinity College Dublin, appeared in the Irish Times and other newspapers. The statement contained an apology for the deeds of the ‘Ascendancy Church’ in its dealing with the Catholics of Ireland.

1983 – The new Ireland Forum of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour and the SDLP meets in Dublin.

1986 – Connacht Regional Airport at Knock, Co Mayo (now Horan International) is officially opened by Charles Haughey.

1994 – At a press conference in Belfast, Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), described James Molyneaux, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), as: ‘a Judas Iscariot’. On 1 June 1994, Molyneaux said that the remark was ‘a shattering blow’ to Unionist unity. 

1995 – An Inquest opened in Craigavon, Co Armagh, into the killing of Eight IRA members and one other person at Loughgall, Co Armagh, on 8 May 1987.

1996 – Elections to the proposed Northern Ireland Forum and all-party negotiations were held across Northern Ireland. The most significant outcome was that Sinn Féin attracted a record vote of 15.5%.

1997 – Chief Constable of the RUC, Ronnie Flanagan, gave an interview to the BBC in which he said that major reform of the RUC would take place following an IRA ceasefire.

1997 – Representatives of all of Northern Ireland political parties flew to South Africa for a conference with those who had negotiated the peace settlement in that country. The conference was organised by Padraig O’Malley. Unionists only agreed to take part after assurances that there would be separate facilities so as to avoid direct contact with the Sinn Féin representatives.

1998 – The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) voted to retain ‘Rule 21’ which bans members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and British Army from joining the GAA. However, a motion was agreed which pledged the organisation to removing the rule when “effective steps are taken to implement the amended structures and policing arrangements envisaged in the British-Irish agreement.” The decision was strongly criticised by Unionist politicians in Northern Ireland.

2000 – The British government restored devolution to the Northern Ireland Assembly and the power-sharing Executive.

2000 – Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness returns to his job as Northern Ireland’s Education Minister.

2001 – Bord Fáilte (now Fáilte Ireland) launches a major marketing campaign aimed at domestic holiday-makers in an effort to combat losses of £500m caused by the foot-and-mouth crisis.

2002 – Writer John B. Keane dies at his home in Listowel, Co Kerry.

2002 – The Liss Ard estate, on the seaward side of Skibbereen and near historic Castle-townsend in west Cork goes on the market for €6m.

2003 – A collection of previously unpublished works by John B. Keane is launched on the first anniversary of his death at Writers’ Week, the annual literary festival in his native Listowel, Co Kerry.

2003 – Less than a year after taking up the post as chief executive of Northern Ireland’s Policing Board, Bob McCann resigns for personal reasons.

Image | ‘Waiting on Shore’, Rosses Point, Co Sligo | By Stratheden

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