#OTD in Irish History – 5 August:

Bank Holiday

1722 – Birth of William Henry Fortescue, politician and sportsman, who tried unsuccessfully in the 1760s to introduce a bill ‘to preserve partridges and hares and to take away the lives of above half the dogs in the nation’.

1829 – Birth of William Coffey VC DCM in Knocklong, Co Limerick. He was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

1854 – Birth of Bolton Hall, in Ireland. He was a teenager when his family moved to the United States in 1868. He was a lawyer, author, and Georgist activist who worked on behalf of the poor and starting the back-to-the-land movement in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century.

1888 – Philip Henry Sheridan, the son of Irish immigrants from Cavan, dies in Nonquit, Massachusetts. He became an officer in the Federal cavalry and is infamously credited with the phrase: ‘The only good Indian is a dead one’.

1891 – The Land Purchase Act further facilitates tenants’ purchase of acreage from former landlords and establishes a board to purchase and redistribute land at a local level in the west.

1901 – Peter O’Connor sets long jump record at 24′ 11 3/4″. He was born in Ashford, Co.Wicklow, but he lived and worked as a solicitor in Waterford City for most of his life. He won his first title in 1899 at the age of 25 years and his last in 1906 – but that was the Olympic title. He was the first IAAF ratified long jump world record holder and his remarkable world, and Irish, long jump record, set in Ballsbridge, Dublin on this date lasted for 20 years.

1918 – The second anniversary of the execution of Roger Casement proved a quiet affair.

1918 – About 1,500 camogie, football and hurling matches were played across Ireland as part of a GAA protest against recent restrictions on the playing of these games without a permit.

1922 – Bridges Job: Plot to isolate Dublin fails when Free State Intelligence officers discover from captured Anti-Treaty officer Liam Clarke that Republicans have planned to destroy all the bridges leading into Dublin.

1922 – About 2,000 Free State troops under Eoin O’Duffy take Kilmallock, Co Limerick. The Republicans retreat towards Charleville.

1931 – Birth of footballer and manager, Billy Bingham, in Belfast.

1934 – Birth of veteran presenter of radio and television, Gabriel Mary “Gay” Byrne (affectionately known as Gaybo), in Dublin. His most notable role was first host of The Late Late Show over a 37-year period spanning 1962 until 1999. The Late Late Show is the world’s second longest-running chat show. His time working in Britain with Granada Television saw him become the first person to introduce The Beatles on screen.

1952 – Birth of entertainment manager and former judge on British television talent show The X Factor, Louis Walsh, in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo.

1969 – The UVF planted their first bomb in the Republic of Ireland, damaging the RTÉ Television Centre in Dublin.

1971 – There was a debate at Westminster on the situation in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland Prime Minister, Brian Faulkner, met with British Prime Minister, Edward Heath, and General Officer Commanding the British Army, Harry Tuzo, in London to discuss the security situation.

1973 – A Catholic husband and wife, Francis Mullan (59) and Bernadette Mullan (39), were found shot dead at their farmhouse near Moy, Co Tyrone. They had been killed by an unidentified Loyalist paramilitary group.

1977 – There was a series of fire bomb attacks in Belfast and Lisburn, Co Antrim.

1981 – The IRA carried out a series of car bomb and incendiary bomb attacks in seven areas of Northern Ireland including Belfast, Derry and Lisburn. The attacks caused serious damage to property and minor injuries to a number of people.

1983 – The ‘supergrass’ trial of 38 alleged members of the IRA ended in Belfast. The trial had lasted 120 days with most of the evidence being offered by IRA supergrass Christopher Black. The judge jailed 22 of the accused to sentences totalling more that 4,000 years. Four people were acquitted and others received suspended sentences. In 1986, 18 of the 22 who received prison sentences had their convictions quashed by the Court of Appeal. https://youtu.be/k_EzmWUHiiQ

1984 – U2 finish recording ‘The Unforgettable Fire’.

1986 – The IRA issued another warning that contractors who were carrying out work for the security services in Northern Ireland would be considered ‘part of the war machine’ and would be ‘treated as collaborators’.

1996 – A meeting between the Apprentice Boys of Derry and the Bogside Residents Association ended without agreement about the march due to take place on 10 August 1996. A series of meetings between the two groups had been chaired by the local Member of Parliament John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

1997 – A Catholic taxi driver survived an attempt to kill him when the gun being used by a Loyalist paramilitary jammed. The attack occurred in the Parkmore estate in Lurgan. The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) later claimed responsibility for the attack.

1997 – A hoax bomb was sent to Sammy Wilson, a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor, at Belfast City Hall.

1997 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, held her first meeting with President of Sinn Féin (SF), Gerry Adams, since the IRA announced its renewed ceasefire.

1997 – The Irish Times carried a report that John Hume, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was considering accepting the position of President of the Republic of Ireland as an agreed all-party candidate. Hume did not comment on the story.

1997 – The Bogside Residents Group (BRG) gave agreement to the planned Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD) march in the city on 9 August 1997. This followed the news that the RUC would reroute a number of ABD ‘feeder’ parades in other Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland.

1999 – Two pipe-bombs were discovered by the RUC in a hedge in Glengormley, Co Antrim. Police made the discovery at 2.45am during a search carried out at the junction between Elmfield Crescent and Elmfield Road in the town.

1999 – A unique exhibition: ’75 Years of Giving’, is officially opened in in Dublin by President Mary McAleese. It comprises a collection of treasures from museums and art galleries throughout the country and marks the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland (FNCI).

1999 – A report of the Victims’ Commission, established by the Irish government, into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings recommended the appointment of a former Supreme Court judge to inquire privately into events surrounding the bombings which killed 33 people and injured over 400. Although it was intended that the findings would eventually be made public, the families of the victims wanted the immediate establishment of a public tribunal of Inquiry. Other recommendations of the report were that a similar Inquiry be established into the killing of Seamus Ludlow on 2 May 1976, and that the Irish government should make a £10,000 payment to the 150 families affected by the bombings.

Image | Ashford Castle, Co Mayo

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