#OTD in Irish History | 9 October:

1651 – The Navigation Act provides that goods imported to any Commonwealth lands shall be carried in English ships only.

1834 – Opening of the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first public railway on the island of Ireland.

1849 – First tenant protection society established at Callan, Co Kilkenny.

1895 – Victoria Cross winner Billy McFadzean is born in Lurgan, Co Armagh. He was awarded the VC posthumously for his bravery on July 1 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.

1913 – Birth of golfer Harry “The Brad” Bradshaw near Delgany, Co Wicklow.

1921 – The delegation from Dáil Éireann arrived in London.

1922 – A civilian, Henry Moore, was shot dead by raiders to his house at Stillorgan, Co Dublin.

1922 – An ambush of a National Army patrol takes place near Enniscorthy, Wexford, two Free State officers are mortally wounded and two civilians are wounded.

1946 – Eugene O’Neill’s magnificent play The Iceman Cometh premieres in New York City. O’Neill was the son of Irish immigrant actor James O’Neill and Mary Ellen Quinn who were characterized in O’Neill’s autobiographical Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

1965 – USA whips Britain and Ireland in Ryder Cup. The British and Irish Ryder Cup golf team featuring Irishmen Christy O’Connor and Jimmy Martin were beaten 19 ½ to 12 ½ at Royal Birkdale Golf Club. It was not until 1979 that the countries of continental Europe were invited to play as part of an expanded European team. Irish golfer Christy O’Connor was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame 2009. O’Connor played in every Ryder Cup from 1955 through 1973 – 10 appearances as a player.

1967 – A day after being captured, Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara is executed in Bolivia.

1968 – About 2,000 students from Queen’s University Belfast tried to march to Belfast City Hall in protest against ‘police brutality’ on 5 October in Derry. The march was blocked by loyalists led by Ian Paisley. Following the events of the day the People’s Democracy (PD) organisation was formed. PD became an important force in the civil rights movement and a number of those who were leading members in the organisation, for example Bernadette Devlin and Michael Farrell, became prominent political activists. The Derry Citizen’s Action Committee (DCAC) was formed from five protest organisations which had been active in the city. Ivan Cooper was the first chairman and John Hume the first vice-chairman of the DCAC.

1969 – British Home Secretary, James Callaghan, made a second visit to Northern Ireland between 9 and 10 October 1969. Following meetings between Callaghan and the Stormont government, plans for further reforms were agreed in a communiqué. The matters covered included: the establishment of a central housing authority; reforms to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in light of the Hunt Report; reforms to the legal system; and the issue of fair employment.

1968 – Champion racehorse, Arkle, is retired to see out the rest of his days in Bryanstown, Kildare. It was a famous Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. A bay gelding by Archive out of Bright Cherry, his grandsire was the unbeaten (in 14 races) flat racehorse and prepotent sire Nearco. Arkle was bred at Ballymacoll Stud, Co Meath by Mrs. Mary Alison Baker of Malahow House, near Naul, Co Dublin. Owned by Anne Grosvenor, Duchess of Westminster, Arkle was trained by Tom Dreaper at Greenogue, Kilsallaghan in Co Dublin and ridden during his steeplechasing career by Pat Taaffe.

1969 – British Home Secretary, James Callaghan, made a second visit to Northern Ireland between 9 and 10 October 1969. Following meetings between Callaghan and the Stormont government, plans for further reforms were agreed in a communiqué. The matters covered included: the establishment of a central housing authority; reforms to the RUC in light of the Hunt Report; reforms to the legal system; and the issue of fair employment.

1973 – Representatives of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), met again at Stormont for further talks. The parties announced that they had reached agreement on an economic and social programme.

1974 – Death of poet and playwright Padraic Fallon. He was born in Athenry, Co Galway in 1905. His only collection during his lifetime, “Poems” was published a few months before his death.

1975 – A British soldier was killed in an IRA land mine attack near Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. The IRA also exploded a bomb outside the Green Park Underground Station in London and killed one person and injured 20 others.

1978 – Birth of singer-songwriter with the boyband Westlife, radio and TV presenter, dancer, and former semi-professional footballer, Nicky Byrne in Dublin. Before his music career, he played professional football, representing Republic of Ireland at several junior levels. Since then he has had a successful TV and radio presenting career. His wife Georgina is the daughter of former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and they have twin sons called Rocco Bertie Byrne and Jay Nicky Byrne and a daughter called Gia.

1979 – Birth of actor, Chris O’Dowd, in Boyle, Co Roscommon. Best known for comedic roles such as Roy Trenneman in the Channel 4 comedy The IT Crowd. O’Dowd created and starred in the Sky 1 television series Moone Boy, which aired between 2012 and 2015. He had a recurring role on the drama series Girls and starred in the television series Family Tree.

1990 – A British Army undercover team shot dead two IRA members on a farm near Loughgall, Co Armagh.

1991 – The Conservative Party held its annual conference. Delegates praised the efforts of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Brooke, to find an agreement, and they also recognised the need for an ‘Irish dimension’ in any settlement. The conference also pledged support for Conservative candidates contesting elections in Northern Ireland.

1993 – John Taylor, Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of Parliament (MP), called on Loyalist paramilitaries to end their campaign of violence.

1995 – President of Sinn Féin (SF), Gerry Adams, said that SF was committed to “the democratic and peaceful process”. He went on to state that: “It is self-evident that threats of any description from any quarter have no role in any such process.”

1996 – The IRA issued a statement stating that Diarmuid O’Neill (21), who was shot dead by British security personnel in London on 23 September 1996, was one of their volunteers.

1997 – David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), spoke at a fringe meeting of the Conservative and said that he had “no expectation of an agreement between Unionists of any shape and Sinn Féin”. The meeting was organised by the group ‘Friends of the Union’. Andrew McKay, Conservative spokesperson on Northern Ireland, also spoke at the meeting and said that if the Labour Party did not follow the policies established by John Major it might mean an end to the bipartisan approach to the region in the House of Commons.

1998 – Members of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) opposed to the Good Friday Agreement set up the ‘Union First’ pressure group within the party.

1999 – David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), defended the Good Friday Agreement and criticised anti-Agreement elements within the UUP at the party conference in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh. Anti-agreement dissidents warned the conference against any compromise on Sinn Féin’s entry into the Executive without prior decommissioning. The conference unanimously passed a motion dismissing the Patten recommendations on the RUC as a threat to security.

2000 – The Dinn Ri, Carlow Town, Co Carlow, scoops the Black and White Pub of the Year Award for a third time.

2000 – The BBC Panorama programme named four men living in Ireland, which it claimed were responsible for the Omagh bombing on 15 August 1998 in which 29 people died.

2001 – Nearly 450 jobs are lost as the economic fallout from the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US continues to hit home. More than 1,600 workers at Waterford Crystal are also preparing for a complete shutdown next week for five days.

2001 – President of Sinn Féin (SF), Gerry Adams, and Vice-President of SF, Martin McGuinness, travelled to Downing Street, London, for a meetings with British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. The meeting was requested by SF to discuss the impasse in the peace process. Following the meeting, Adams said that the institutions (of government) would collapse if Unionists withdrew from the Executive.

2001 – The Loyalist protest continued outside the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Chairman of the Board of Governors of the school, Aidan Troy (Fr.), said that he was considering taking legal action to try to end the protest: “The weeks of suffering for these small girls were never justified. … This is no longer a legitimate protest; it is a form of child abuse.” The cost of policing the Loyalist protest at the school was reported as having reached £1 million.

2001 – Minister of Finance and Personnel, Mark Durkan (SDLP), called on Republicans to save the peace process by beginning the process of decommissioning.  There was speculation in some of the media that the IRA was considering a move on decommissioning. The British and Irish governments expressed doubt over the speculation.

2002 – SDLP Leader Mark Durkan urges the British and Irish Governments to do everything possible to minimise the damage to the Good Friday Agreement. Following talks in Downing Street with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr Durkan acknowledges that the power-sharing government in Stormont may have to be suspended after allegations of an IRA spy ring operating within the Northern Ireland Government.

2003 – The famous cranes at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard, which dominate the city’s skyline, are listed as historic monuments to ensure their preservation.

2017 – President Michael D. Higgins unveiled a memorial commemorating the Great Hunger in Subiaco Park in Perth, Australia. The memorial sculpture was designed by Charlie Smith and Joan Walsh-Smith, originally from Waterford. In Sydney, the President visited the Australian Monument to the Great Hunger, in the company of the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of New South Wales.

Image | Ancient Megalith at Reenroe Beach, Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry | Photography by Madaleine Calaido Weber

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