#OTD in Irish History – 4 September:

1607 – The Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, along with a close circle of family and associates, boarded a ship at Rathmullan on Lough Swilly, bound for Spain. This event has become known as ‘The Flight of the Earls’ and is widely regarded as one of the most enigmatic events in Irish history, virtually defying explanation.

1794 – Death of John Hely-Hutchinson, lawyer, statesman, and Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. Born at Gortroe, Mallow, son of Francis Hely, a gentleman of Co Cork, he was educated at Trinity College (BA 1744), Dublin, and was called to the Irish bar in 1748.

1798 – Cornwallis moves forward from Tuam to attack Castlebar. Humbert leaves Castlebar with 800 French troops and 1000 Irish rebels and moves into Co Sligo. His plan is to march to Ulster. Humbert marches all night. Rising takes place in Longford and Westmeath.

1844 – Conspiracy judgment against Daniel O’Connell is reversed by House of Lords.

1848 – Birth of Fanny Parnell, Land League agitator and sister of Charles Stewart Parnell.

1851 – Birth of nationalist politician, John Dillon, in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

1866 – Birth of nationalist poet and writer, Alice Milligan, in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

1887 – Birth of Roy William Neill on a ship off the coast of Ireland. He was a film director best known today for directing several of the Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, made between 1943 and 1946 and released by Universal Studios.

1922 – Dónal Foley, journalist, humorist and author of ‘Man Bites Dog’ column in the Irish Times, is born in Ring, Co Waterford.

1922 – Anti-Treaty IRA unit under Liam Pilkington takes Dromhaire barracks, Co Sligo. Free State garrison there surrenders.

1921 – Michael Collins paid a visit to Armagh on, in what the ‘Irish News’ described as, ‘his first official visit to the city’.

1922 – A civilian is shot dead by Free State troops in a raid on a shop at Capel Street, Dublin.

1922 – A National Army convoy is ambushed near Aughatubrid, Co Kerry. Two Free State soldiers are killed and two wounded. One Republican is wounded and captured.

1954 – Death of Galway born World War I air ace Thomas Falcon Hazell. Hazell was a fighter pilot with the Royal Flying Corps, (Royal Air Force) downing forty three enemy planes during World War I. He was one of a number of very skilled Irish born air aces of the war including Edward “Mick” Mannock and George McElroy. He was the only one of the three to survive the war and the most successful air ace to survive the war.

1974 – Brian Faulkner and a group of his supporters launched the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (UPNI).

1976 – There was a Peace People’s rally in Derry which was attended by approximately 2500 people. During the following weeks there were a number of rallies all over Ireland and Britain. Ciaran McKeown directed the movement. The Peace People were criticised by both Republicans and Loyalists and some of those taking part suffered intimidation.

1976 – Women protest against men-only bathing at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Co Dublin.

1981 – The family of Matt Devlin, then on day 52 of his hunger strike, intervened and asked for medical treatment to save his life.

1983 – Although a version of the band still tours today, THE definitive Thin Lizzy lineup (according to the official Thin Lizzy website) plays its last concert at the Monsters Of Rock Festival in Nuremburg, Germany after which Phil Lynott leaves the band. Formed in 1969 featuring Lynott and drummer Brian Downey, the band went through various members including Gary Moore before Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson joined in the mid-70s. Their big breakthrough came with Jailbreak in 1976 featuring The Boys are Back in Town. In 1981, Thin Lizzy headlined the very first Slane festival in Ireland supported by U2 and Hazel O’Connor.

1985 – An RUC base in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, was seriously damaged in an IRA mortar attack. The base was used to train new recruits.

1993 – There was a suspension in IRA attacks for one week. Commentators believed this was done to coincide with a visit by an Irish-American fact-finding group to Ireland led by Bruce Morrison (former United States Democratic congressman). The group requested a meeting with Sinn Féin. The meeting with SF was considered important by the Irish-American group, which had talks over 3 days with political leaders in Dublin and Belfast. The group believed that SF’s inclusion in the peace process was essential to bring about an end to violence. This was the second temporary ceasefire during 1993 – the first in May coincided with the visit of the then co-chairman of the Irish group, former mayor of Boston, but fizzled out according to Republican sources when his expected meeting with SF failed to take place.

1994 – Birth of professional footballer, Kenny McEvoy, in Co Waterford. McEvoy who plays as a winger for Midland League Premier Division South Normanton Athletic, started his career with Tottenham Hotspur, and had loan spells at Peterborough United, Colchester United, Stevenage and York City. He joined York permanently in January 2016, before being released at the end of the 2015–16 season. He signed for hometown club Waterford in early 2017 but departed the club in July.

1994 – The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) left a car bomb outside a Sinn Féin office in west Belfast.

1994 – Local people living along border roads in Co Fermanagh and Co Tyrone reopened several roads that had been closed and blocked by the British Army. In the following weeks there were to be further unofficial openings of blocked border roads around Northern Ireland.

1995 – President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, had a meeting with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, at Stormont. The meeting failed to resolve the deadlock over the issues of decommissioning of paramilitary weapons and the start of all-party talks.

1996 – There was a rally in Portadown, Co Armagh, in support of Billy Wright and Alex Kerr. The rally was addressed by William McCrea, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Member of Parliament.

1997 – Over 600 guests paid $500 a plate at a fund-raising dinner on behalf of Sinn Féin in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The main speaker was President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams.

1999 – The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) held a meeting to decide on its approach to the Mitchell Review of the Good Friday Agreement. It was decided that representatives of the party would take part in the review. There was also a meeting of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle at which the decision was taken to participate in the Mitchell Review.

2001 – Approximately 50 children, together with their parents, attempted to enter the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School by the main entrance on the Ardoyne Road in north Belfast. Loyalist protestors tried to block access to the school and shouted abuse and threw stones at the children and their parents. Some of the children were forced to turn back from the school. There was a heavy security force presence in the area from early morning to secure a route to the front door of the school.

2001 – A Protestant boy, Thomas McDonald (16), was knocked down and killed by a ‘hit-and-run’ motorist as he cycled through the Longlands estate in north Belfast. A woman (32) was later arrested by the RUC. RUC officers stated that they were investigating a possible sectarian motive for the incident. On 6 September 2001 the woman appeared before Belfast Magistrate’s Court charged with murder. A 15 year old boy and a 20 year old man were charged in the same court with attempting to pervert the course of justice in relation to the killing. There was serious rioting during the evening and night in the Glenbryn area close to the Holy Cross school. A crowd of Loyalists from the area attacked patrolling security forces with bricks, bottles, stones, fireworks, and ballbearings. Two RUC officers were injured during the riot. A volley of shots was also heard in the Glenbryn estate.

2001 – A blast bomb was thrown in the Twaddell Avenue area as police baton-charged rioters. A police officer was injured in the blast. Two cars were hijacked and set on fire and rioters pushed them towards police vehicles.

2001 – The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission published a series of proposals detailing what it believed should be contained in any future bill of rights for Northern Ireland.

Image | Mellifont Abbey, Drogheda, Co Louth

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