#OTD in Irish History – 2 April:

World Autism Awareness Day

International Children’s Book Day

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of St Brónach, a 6th-century holy woman from Ireland, the reputed founder and patron saint of Cell Brónche (church of Brónach), now Kilbroney, in Co Down.

1807 – Birth of Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, KCB, a British civil servant and Governor of Madras. Trevelyan is referred to in the modern Irish folk song The Fields of Athenry about ‘An Gorta Mor’. For his actions, he is commonly considered one of the most detested figures in Irish history, along with the likes of Cromwell.

1871 – A census on this date showed the population of Ireland to be 5,412,377; only 285 Jews are recorded in the census.

1878 – Lord Leitrim, one of the most hated landlords in Ireland and no more so than in Co Donegal where he owned 55,000 acres of land, was murdered. https://goo.gl/eNjxGm

1902 – Premiere of W.B. Yeats’ Cathleen ni Houlihan starring Maud Gonne. The play is about the failed rebellion of 1798, with a woman representing the ideal of an independent Irish republic.

1912 – The ill-fated RMS Titanic begins sea trials.

1914 – Cumann na mBan, Irish women’s Republican movement, was founded.

1918 – The annual congress of Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) opened in the Town Hall in Galway.

1918 – Michael Collins was arrested on the charge of  making a speech for ‘inciting raiding for arms’  in Legga, Co Longford on 3 March 1918. Formally charged at Longford courthouse on 3 April 1918, Collins refused to give bail to ‘usurpers, blackguards and tyrants’. He was remanded to and lodged in Sligo Gaol. His detention lasted about three weeks before on instructions from GHQ, he finally gave bail and went on the run to resume his work for Irish freedom. During his many visits to Longford, Michael Collins would stay at the Greville Arms in Granard, run by ‘four beautiful sisters and their brother.’ Michael had fallen in love with Kitty, the second eldest sister. His chief rival for her hand was his comrade in the IRB, Harry Boland.

1919 – Constance Markievicz was appointed Minister for Labour in the First Dáil.

1920 – American women began a picket of the British Embassy, claiming impending massacre in Ireland.

1921 – An IRA informer, Vincent Fovargue from Dublin, was shot dead at a golf course near London, England. A note was left saying, “let spies and traitors beware, IRA”.

1928 – Birth of horticulturist scientist, Professor David Robinson, in Belfast. He made an important contribution to the national and international field of horticulture and agriculture throughout his entire life. After a working life in the field of research, retirement saw his life change; he became a journalist and television/radio presenter and, as a sideline, led gardening tours around the world. He managed the Earlscliffe Gardens in Baily, Co Dublin.

1953 – Birth of Ulster loyalist politician and barrister , James Hugh Allister, in Crossgar, Co Down. He is the leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) political party, serving as the party’s MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly, representing North Antrim. He was formerly a member of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), for which he successfully stood for election in 2004 to the European Parliament, succeeding Ian Paisley. He continued as a member of the European Parliamentfollowing his resignation from the DUP and his subsequent establishment of the TUV, but failed to retain his seat at the 2009 European parliamentary elections.

1970 – [Public Records 1972, Released 1 January 2003] – Telegram from British Prime Minister Edward Heath, to Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, seeking further cooperation between security forces in Northern Ireland and those in the Republic of Ireland.

1970 – Several days of rioting following Easter rising commemorations end on this date.

1972 – Radio na Gaeltachta aired for the first time and was launched by Éamon de Valera.

1973 – Special Powers Act replaced by Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act.

1977 – Birth of Michael Fassbender, a German-Irish actor. He is best known for his roles as Lieutenant Archie Hicox in the film Inglourious Basterds (2009), Magneto in the superhero film X-Men: First Class (2011), and the android David in the science fiction film Prometheus (2012).

1977 – Probably the most famous racehorse of all time, Red Rum galloped into racing history by winning the Grand National for a record third time. Red Rum was bred at Rossenarra stud in Kells, Co Kilkenny. His name came from the last three letters of his Dam (Mared) and sire (Quorum), respectively.

1977 – Airey Neave, Conservative Party spokesperson on Northern Ireland, said that Provisional Sinn Féin should be proscribed (declared illegal).

1982 – Following the invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina, the issue of Northern Ireland fell further down the British political agenda. The Falklands War was ended when British Forces retook the territory on 15 June 1982.

1987 – Birth of professional golfer, Shane Lowry, in Clara, Co Offaly. He has played on the European Tour and PGA Tour. His notable achievements include winning the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009, winning the 2015 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and finishing as runner-up in the 2016 U.S. Open.

1996 – Home Secretary of Northern Ireland, Michael Howard, introduced new emergency legislation to give the police the right to ‘stop and search’ suspected members of paramilitary groups.

1998 – Dissident republicans, aligned to the 32 County Sovereignty Committee and a Louth-based former IRA. Quartermaster are said to be behind a massive explosives find in Dun Laoghaire.

1998 – Mentally exhausted and following the advice of his doctor, Christy Moore announces in an open letter to fans that he is taking a year off from live performances.

1998 – A car bomb, estimated at 1,000 lbs, was intercepted by the Garda Síochána Emergency Response Unit at Dún Laoghaire ferry port close to Dublin. It was thought that the bomb might have been destined for the Aintree Grand National horse race in England. It was believed that Republicans were behind the attempted bombing.

1999 – More than 170 staff at the biggest Dunnes Stores branch in the west of Ireland are suspended in a row over a worker facing dismissal because she sampled food at the delicatessen counter.

1999 – The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) issued a statement in response to the Hillsborough Declaration.

2000 – Westlife make pop history with five consecutive British number one chart hits.

2002 – Linda and Declan Fleming win the second largest individual jackpot in Lotto history – £5.26 million.

2003 – Protestors against the war in Iraq clash with gardaí outside the Dáil.

2003 – Pat Leahy, star of Fair City for eleven years, dies of kidney failure.

2011 – Ronan Kerr, a 25-year-old Catholic PSNI officer, was killed after a bomb exploded under his car in Omagh, Co Tyrone. The Real IRA claimed responsibility.

2013 – Death of actor, Milo O’Shea. He was nominated for the Tony Award for his roles in Staircase and Mass Appeal. O’Shea was born and raised in Dublin and educated by the Christian Brothers at Synge Street school, along with his friend Donal Donnelly. His father was a singer and his mother a ballet teacher. Because he was bilingual, O’Shea performed in English-speaking theatres and in Irish in the Abbey Theatre Company.

2018 – Rioting and violence break out following an illegal dissident republican march in Derry. Five were arrested.

Image | Aerial view of Portstewart Strand, Co Antrim | tibanjax

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