#OTD in Irish History | 2 November:

1719 – The Toleration Act for Protestant Dissenters is passed.

1752 – Philip Twisden, Bishop of Raphoe and son-in-law of the politician Thomas Carter, dies bankrupt on this date, having been shot while allegedly masquerading as a highwayman.

1795 – Birth of William Grattan Tyrone Power, known professionally as Tyrone Power, was an Irish stage actor, comedian, author and theatrical manager. Born in Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford, to a landed family, he took to the stage achieving prominence throughout the world as an actor and manager. He is said to have purchased the land that would later be occupied by Madison Square Garden, New York shortly before his death at sea when his ship, the SS President, sank shortly after departing for England. The lawyer who held the papers could not be found so the Power family were unable to claim right to the property.

1800 – Thomas (Buck) Whaley, MP for Enniscorthy, dies at Knutsford, apparently on his way from Liverpool to London. It is rumoured ‘that he was stabbed in a fit of jealousy by two sisters to whom he was paying marked attentions at a time when each of them was ignorant of his concealed attachment to the other. Sarah, or Sally Jenkinson is stated to be the lady from whom he received his death-wound.’ She is said to have been won by Whaley from the Prince of Wales in a wager.

1815 – Birth of George Boole, a mathematical genius, educator, philosopher and logician, born in Lincolnshire, England. He was appointed as the first Professor of Mathematics at University College Cork in 1849. Boole died on 8 December 1864 and is buried in the Church of Ireland cemetery of St Michael’s, Church Road, Blackrock, Co Cork.

1821 – Birth of author and colonial administrator, Sir George Ferguson Bowen. Born in Co Donegal, his appointments included postings to the Ionian Islands, Queensland, New Zealand, Victoria, Mauritius and Hong Kong.

1826 – Birth of Henry Smith, mathematician, in Dublin.

1903 – Samhain Festival held in Dublin.

1914 – Roger Casement meets with State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the German Empire, Arthur Zimmerman and German ambassador of Austria-Hungary, Count Georg von Wedel – he was Casement’s day-to-day contact in the German Foreign Office.

1920 – Black and Tans shot dead IRA man Tommy Wall in Tralee, Co Kerry.

1920 – Following a mutiny in India by soldiers of the Connaught Rangers in protest at events in Ireland, Private James Daly is court-martialled and executed by firing squad; he is the last member of the British army to be executed for mutiny.

1920 – Sean MacEoin’s North Longford IRA column defended the village of Ballinalee from a Black and Tans assault, launched in response to the shooting of an RIC man there the previous day. British forces, consisting of eleven lorries of troops, retreated after a two and a half hour gunfight. The IRA column remained in the village for a week.

1921 – Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith met with Lord Birkenhead, Lloyd George and Chamberlain in relation to Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.

1922 – Skirmish near Headford, Co Kerry, one Anti-Treaty IRA man and a Free State soldier are killed.

1922 – Birth of hurler, Seánie Duggan. Born in Co Galway who played as a goalkeeper for the Galway senior team.

1950 – Death of playwright, critic and polemicist, George Bernard Shaw, known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, whose influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912), and Saint Joan (1923).

1959 – Death of Michael Patrick Considine. Born in Co Mayo, he was an Irish-born Australian politician and unionist. He represented the seat of Barrier in the House of Representatives from 1917 to 1922. A controversial figure, Considine was pressured to resign from the Australian Labour Party (ALP). He won in 1919 as an independent before joining the Industrial Socialist Labour Party in 1920, but his seat was abolished for the 1922 election and he was defeated in an attempt to transfer to the seat of Darling.

1968 – There was a march in Derry by the fifteen committee members of the Derry Citizen’s Action Committee (DCAC). The march took place over the route of the banned 5 October 1968 march. Thousands of people walked in support behind the DCAC committee. Due to the number of people taking part the RUC were unable to prevent the march taking place.

1971 – The IRA exploded two bombs on the Ormeau Road in Belfast, one at a drapery shop and the other at the Red Lion bar, and killed three Protestant civilians; John Cochrane (67), Mary Gemmell (55) and William Jordan (31).

1972 – The government of Fianna Fáil, introduced a bill to the Dáil to remove the special position of the Catholic Church from the Irish Constitution.

1978 – Launch of RTÉ 2 television.

1978 – A British Army intelligence document, ‘Northern Ireland: Future Terrorist Trends’, was uncovered. The document contained an assessment of the capacity of the IRA. It noted that the calibre of members was high and that the new ‘cell structure’, the Active Service Units (ASUs) had adopted made them less vulnerable to informers.

1986 – During the second day of the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin, a majority of delegates voted to end the party’s policy of abstentionism – refusing to take seats in Dáil Éireann. The change in policy led to a split in Sinn Féin and Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, President of Sinn Féin, Dáithí Ó Conaill, Vice-President of Sinn Féin, and approximately 100 people staged a walk-out. Ó Brádaigh and Ó Conaill went on to establish a new organisation called Republican Sinn Féin (RSF).

1991 – The IRA exploded a bomb at the military wing of Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast killing two British soldiers. Eighteen people were also injured in the attack.

1993 – British Prime Minister, John Major, proposed a series of bilateral meetings with the leaders of the four main (constitutional) political parties to try to start a talks process. The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said that the parties would not talk to the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) until the Hume-Adams Initiative was ended.

1995 – An article by President of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams, entitled ‘Peace Process in Very Serious Difficulty‘, was published in An Phoblacht. Adams held a meeting with Taoiseach, John Bruton, in Dublin.

1998 – Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, became the first Taoiseach in over 30 years to visit Stormont. Ahern was there to discuss the North-South Ministerial Council.

1999 – In Ireland’s Marian village of Knock, a decision to replace the familiar Cnoc Mhuire road signs with An Cnoc creates major protests among residents.

1999 – RUC detectives found a number of pipe-bombs hidden in a hedgerow while conducting a search of the Loyalist Mourneview area of Lurgan, Co Armagh.

1999 – The RUC in Belfast and police in Glasgow, Scotland, arrested two men in a joint operation. The men were held for questioning about the shooting of Martin McGartland. McGartland, formerly a member of the IRA who turned informer, was shot and injured on 17 June 1999 at his home in Whitley Bay, England. McGartland blamed the IRA for trying to kill him. The two men were questioned by police in Northumbria but were released on 4 November 1999.

1999 – George Mitchell, Chairman of the Review of the Agreement, indicated that he thought the Review would end within a week. He also announced that he was asking John de Chastelain for an assessment of the impasse over decommissioning.

2001 – There was a meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly to try to elect a First Minister and a Deputy First Minister. David Trimble, Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), stood for re-election to the post of First Minister.

2002 – A commuter aircraft, with 40 passengers on board, including rock group Aslan, overshoots the runway and ends up with its nose in the sea; no-one is injured.

Image | Achill Island, Co Mayo | Trevor Dubber Photography

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