#OTD in Irish History – 2 August:

1800 – The last session of the Irish parliament ends.

1820 – John Tyndall, physicist, and first to discover why the sky is blue, is born in Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow.

1916 – Letter from Roger Casement to Margaret Gavan Duffy.

1920 – The Restoration of Order in Ireland Bill was introduced and first read in the House of Commons. The Government used cloture to limit the debate.

1920 – A gun battle takes place between British soldiers and the IRA on the Ballyhaunis- Claremorris road in Co Mayo.

1922 – Naval Landing of Free State troops in Co Kerry. Paddy Daly and the Dublin Guard, as well as others, a total of about 800, land at Fenit. They fight their way to Tralee at a cost of 9 killed and 35 wounded. Two Republican fighters are killed in the fighting and more are wounded. The remainder retreat.

1922 – Harry Boland dies after he was shot by soldiers of the Free State Army when they attempted to arrest him on 1 August.

1922 – Republican forces under Liam Deasy attack Bruree, Co Limerick with three armoured cars, trying to re-take it from the Free State troops but their attack is beaten off.

1922 – Republicans abandon Tipperary town and retreat to Clonmel; it is then occupied by National Army troops under Paddy O’Connor.

1922 – Fighting around Carrick on Suir between 600 National Army troops under General Prout and 400 Republicans under Dan Breen.

1932 – Birth of actor, Peter O’Toole. Some sources give his birthplace as Connemara, Co Galway, while others cite St James University Hospital, Leeds, England. O’Toole claimed he was not certain of his birthplace or date, noting in his autobiography that, while he accepted 2 August as his birthdate, he had a birth certificate from each country, with the Irish one giving a June 1932 birth date.

1939 – Birth of priest, Niall O’Brien, in Dublin. He was an Irish Columban missionary priest, notable for being falsely accused of and detained in the Philippines in the 1980s on charges of multiple murder. On 6 May 1983, he was arrested along with two other priests, Fr. Brian Gore, an Australian, Fr. Vicente Dangan, a Filipino and six lay workers – the so-called “Negros Nine”, for the murders of Mayor Pablo Sola of Kabankalan and four companions. The priests were held under house arrest for eight months but “escaped” to prison in Bacolod City, the provincial capital, where they felt they would be safer. The case received widespread publicity in Ireland and Australia, the home of one of the co-accused priests, Fr. Brian Gore. Charlie Bird interviewed Fr. O’Brien in his overcrowded prison cell on RTÉ TV. When Ronald Reagan visited Ireland in 1984, he was asked on Irish TV how he could help the missionary priest’s situation. A phone call the next day from the Reagan administration to Ferdinand Marcos resulted in Marcos offering a pardon to Fr. O’Brien and his co-accused. https://youtu.be/0hmjQvCxdOA 

1966 – Birth of international cricketer, Grainne Leahy née O’Brien, in Dublin. She debuted for the Ireland national side in 1997. A top order batter, she played 11 One Day International matches.

1970 – Rubber bullets were used for the first time.

1976 – A Catholic civilian, Cornelius Neeson (49), was killed with an axe as he walked home along the Cliftonville Road, Belfast. Members of he Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang known as the ‘Shankill Butchers’ were responsible for the killing.

1978 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Roy Mason, announced that a sports car factory would be built in west Belfast and would mean 2,000 new jobs. The new factory was seen as a breakthrough in securing American investment in Northern Ireland. However the DeLorean factory required a British investment of £56 million out of a total of £65 million. At the time a number of commentators expressed reservations about the potential success of the venture and indeed the business did fail with the loss of substantial public funds.

1979 – Two British soldiers were killed by the IRA in a landmine attack at Cathedral Road, Armagh. These deaths brought the total number of British Army soldiers killed in Northern Ireland since 1969 to 301.

1979 – A RUC officer was shot dead by the IRA in Belfast.

1981 – Death of Kieran Doherty, TD for Monaghan-Cavan, on the 73rd day of his hunger strike in Long Kesh prison.

1981 – Two RUC officers (John Smyth and Andrew Wood) were killed in a landmine attack carried out by the IRA in Loughmacrory, near Omagh, Co Tyrone.

1988 – The first Aer Lingus flight with an all-female crew departs Dublin for Shannon. The Shorts 360 commuter aircraft is piloted by Capt. Grainne Cronin and co-piloted by Elaine Egan.

1992 – Two bombs, each estimated at 200 pounds, exploded in Bedford Street, Belfast. Extensive damage was done to buildings in the area.

1992 – Chief Constable of the RUC, Hugh Annesley, issued a statement on the Channel 4 programme entitled ‘The Committee’ broadcast on 2 October 1991. Annesley stated that there was no truth to the allegations.

1994 – According to a report in the Irish Press on 8 August 1994 a meeting took place on 2 August between representatives of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and those of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). At that meeting it was decided that Loyalist paramilitaries would continue with their campaigns of attacking Catholics irrespective of any future IRA ceasefire.

1996 – In a statement the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) announced that the Portadown unit of the Mid-Ulster Brigade was to disband. The statement also said that activities of the Portadown unit would be investigated.

1996 – Sinn Féin (SF) denied organising boycotts of Protestant businesses in rural areas of Northern Ireland. Since the stand-off at Drumcree some nationalists had been boycotting Protestant businesses in Armagh, Castlederg, Lisnaskea, Omagh and Pomery. Nationalists claimed that the business people had taken part in Orange roadblocks during the stand-off. 

1998 – Renegade republicans tighten the screw on Northern Ireland’s fragile peace process with a fresh wave of incendiary attacks.

1994 – According to a report in the Irish Press on 8 August 1994 a meeting took place on 2 August between representatives of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and those of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). At that meeting it was decided that Loyalist paramilitaries would continue with their campaigns of attacking Catholics irrespective of any future Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire.

1999 – Ireland’s longest-serving rain observer, John Joe ‘Goggles’ Doyle retires; he has taken daily rainfall readings in his native Tulla since 1943 for Met Eireann and earned his nickname because of the goggles he wears when he takes his daily readings.

2000 – County Kerry, the country’s top tourism area, claims that business is down by about 20% because of the rail strike.

2001 – Former soldiers who were involved in the shootings in Derry on ‘Bloody Sunday’, 30 January 1972, announced that they would seek a judicial review of a ruling by the Inquiry that they must give their evidence in Derry rather than in Britain. The soldiers had won an earlier ruling allowing them to retain anonymity when giving evidence.

2001 – Republican paramilitaries carried out a car bomb attack in the Ealing area of London. The explosion occurred just before midnight and caused six injuries and some damage to property. A telephone warning was received at 11.33pm but the area was still being cleared when the explosion happened. The bomb (estimated at 40 kilograms of home-made explosives) was thought to have been planted by the “real” Irish Republican Army (rIRA). Police in London criticised the warning as being imprecise as to the location; the warning referred to ‘Ealing Broadway Road’ instead of ‘The Broadway, Ealing’ .

2001 – Torrential rain causes flash floods in Cork, Dublin, Tipperary and other areas of the country.

Image | Cloghane and Brandon, Mountain Range, Co Kerry

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