#OTD in Irish History | 5 October:

1731 – Parliament meets at the new parliament house in College Green for the first time.

1816 – Birth of Ursula Frayne, (born Clara Frayne), in Dublin. She was an Irish nun who became a Mother Superior of the Sisters of Mercy and spent her life in missionary work, initially in Canada but largely in Australia developing schools and academies.

1857 – Birth of Peadar Toner Mac Fhionnlaoich, known as Cú Bladh (The Hound of Ulster). Born in Allt an Iarainn, Co Donegal, he was an Irish language writer during the Gaelic Revival. He wrote stories based on Irish folklore, some of the first Irish language plays, and regularly wrote articles in most of the Irish language newspapers such as An Claidheamh Soluis.

1873 – Leslie Montgomery, comic writer under the pseudonym Lynn C. Doyle, is born in Downpatrick, Co Down.

1877 – Birth of Mike O’Neill in Dublin. Born in Maam, Co Galway, he was a starting pitcher and left fielder in American Major League Baseball. From 1901 through 1907, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1901–04) and Cincinnati Reds (1907). O’Neill batted and threw right-handed. Hee played as Michael Joyce in his 1901 rookie year with the Cardinals.

1911 – Birth of novelist and satirist, Brian O’Nolan, in Strabane, Co Tyrone. Best known for his novels An Béal Bocht, At Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman written under the nom de plume Flann O’Brien. He also wrote many satirical columns in the Irish Times under the name Myles na gCopaleen. He was born in Strabane, County Tyrone. His father was from County Donegal. Eamonn Morrissey recites Brian O’Nolan’s A Pint of Plain: http://youtu.be/nIrX5MfNedM

1922 – An anti-Treaty IRA officer Sean O’Donoghue is shot dead by Free State troops in Cork city, who also arrest 39 men.

1924 – John Joe Barry, athlete who is known as ‘the Ballincurry Hare’, is born in Joliet (near Chicago), Illinois. He was the eldest among four sons and a daughter of Michael Barry, gardener, from Knockview, Co Roscommon, and Mary Jo Barry (née Cashin), from The Commons, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

1938 – Frank Patterson, tenor, is born in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

1941 – Birth of Frank Stagg (Proinsias Stagg) was a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) hunger striker from County Mayo who died in 1976 in Wakefield Prison, Yorkshire after 62 days on hunger strike. Stagg was the seventh child in a family of thirteen children, born at Hollymount near Ballinrobe, County Mayo, in 1941. Stagg was educated to primary level at Newbrooke Primary School and at CBS Ballinrobe to secondary level. After finishing his schooling, he worked as an assistant gamekeeper with his uncle prior to emigrating from Ireland to England in search of work.

1951 – Birth of singer, songwriter, author, and political activist, Bob Geldof, in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. He rose to prominence as the lead singer of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats in the late 1970s and early 1980s, alongside the punk rock movement.

1968 – A civil rights march in Derry, that had been organised by members of the Derry Housing Action Committee (DHAC) and supported by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), was stopped by the RUC before it had properly begun. The marchers had proposed to walk from Duke Street in the Waterside area of Derry to the Diamond in the centre of the City. Present at the march were three British Labour Party Members of Parliament (MP); Gerry Fitt, Republican Labour MP; several Stormont MPs; and members of the media including a television crew from RTE. There were different estimates of the number of people taking part in the march. Eamonn McCann (one of the organisers of the march) estimated that about 400 people lined up on the street with a further 200 watching from the pavements. The RUC broke-up the march by baton-charging the crowd and leaving many people injured including a number of MPs. The incidents were filmed and later there was worldwide television coverage. The incidents in Derry had a profound effect on many people around the world but particularly on the Catholic population in the north of Ireland. Immediately after the march there were two days of serious rioting in Derry between the Catholic residents of the city and the RUC.

1971 – A new sitting of the Northern Ireland parliament at Stormont began. However, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) was absent due to its continuing protest against Internment. The SDLP met in an alternative assembly at Strabane town hall.

1973 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, William Whitelaw, chaired a series of talks at Stormont Castle, Belfast, on the question of forming an Executive to govern Northern Ireland. The talks involved representatives of, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI), and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). The parties disagreed on issues related to internment, policing, and a Council of Ireland, but did manage to make progress on other less controversial areas in the social and economic spheres.

1974 – The IRA planted bombs in two public houses in Guildford, Surrey, England, which killed five people and injured a further 65. The pubs, the Horse and Groom and the Seven Stars, were targeted because they were frequented by off-duty British soldiers. On 22 October 1975, Patrick Armstrong, Gerard Conlon, Paul Hill, and Carole Richardson (who became known as the ‘Guildford Four’) were found guilty at the Old Bailey of causing explosions in London in October 1974. The four were sentenced to life imprisonment. Following an appeal the four were released on 19 October 1989. The court of appeal decided that the ‘confessions’ had been fabricated by the police. In a linked case, members of the Maguire family, the ‘Maguire Seven’, were convicted on 3 March 1976 of possession of explosives (even though no explosives were found) and some served 10 years in prison before the convictions were overturned.

1977 – Seamus Costello, founder member and leader of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), was shot dead near North Strand, Dublin. Both the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) and the Provisional IRA denied that they were responsible for the killing.

1978 – The three leaders of the Peace People, Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan, and Ciaran McKeown, announced that they intended to step down from the organisation.

1978 – Birth of Shane Ryan in Dublin. He is an Irish sportsman who plays hurling for Dublin and a former Gaelic footballer and All Star with Dublin.

1979 – The British and Irish governments agreed to strengthen the drive against paramilitary groups.

1979 – The British Labour Party conference voted against a resolution calling for British withdrawal from Northern Ireland.

1984 – At the Labour Party annual conference in Blackpool, England, a motion was passed that opposed the use of Diplock courts and supergrass evidence in Northern Ireland. The conference also called for a ban on the use of plastic bullets and an end to strip-searching of prisoners.

1985 – Leader of Fianna Fáil, Charles Haughey, said that Fianna Fáil would not support any move away from the principle of a United Ireland.

1988 – Integrated education in Northern Ireland was given a boost when Minister for Education, Brian Mawhinney, stated that the Department for Education of Northern Ireland (DENI) should promote integrated schools.

1997 – Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), Martin McGuinness, addressed a SF rally in Coalisland, Co Tyrone, and told those present that SF were involved in the multi-party talks in order to “smash the union”.

1999 – The Irish Cabinet formally decided that Ireland would join the NATO led Partnership for Peace security programme. In spite of a promise in the Fianna Fáil general election manifesto in 1997, it was confirmed by the FF/Progressive Democrats (PD) Coalition that no referendum would be held on the matter.

2000 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Mandelson, warned hardline Ulster Unionists that if devolution failed they could face joint rule by London and Dublin. The warning came as those Unionists opposed to the Good Friday Agreement mounted yet another attempt to persuade David Trimble to set a deadline for IRA disarmament; parliamentary colleague William Thompson, West Tyrone MP is quoted as saying, ‘‘He is on the skids and he cannot survive’.

2000 – Detective Sergeant in the RUC, Johnston Brown, survived an attempt on his life when a pipe-bomb and petrol canister were thrown at his Co Antrim home. Brown had played an important role in securing the imprisonment in 1995 of Johnny Adair, a leader of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

2000 – In one of the largest operations in the history of the State, over 150 gardaí and officers from the FBI search a warehouse and distribution center. At the centre of the investigation is a Shannon based company that is alleged to have sold counterfeit aircraft parts to aircraft maintenance and repair facilities.

2000 – Ireland’s ban on tobacco advertising stands despite the decision by the European Court of Justice to knock down an EU wide ban.

2000 – Michael Collins who wrote The Keepers of Truth and Brian O’Doherty who wrote The Deposition Of Father McGreevy are among the six authors shortlisted for Britain’s Booker Prize.

2000 – The World Windsurfing Grand Prix is held in Ireland for the first time.

2000 – Midleton Distillery in Co Cork wins the Distillery of the Year award.

2001 – Lord Chief Justice Carswell in the High Court in Belfast upheld an earlier judgement that David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), had acted unlawfully under section 52 of the Northern Ireland Act in preventing Sinn Féin (SF) ministers from attending meetings of the North-South Ministerial Council. Trimble, when First Minister, had decided not to nominate Martin McGuinness (SF), Minister for Education, and Bairbre de Brún (SF), Minister for Health, to attend the Council meetings. Trimble had first suggested the action on 28 October 2000 and introduced the ban in November 2000 and SF had contested the decision on 15 December 2000. SF won the first court case but Trimble had appealed the decision. Trimble announced that he would appeal the latest decision to the House of Lords.

2001 – Ten thousand rail travellers are delayed when Dublin’s Heuston railway station closed because of a bomb alert.

2003 – First Sunday edition of the Star newspaper is published.

2010 – Moss Keane, one of the most loveable (and effective) lugs to play rugby for Ireland dies age 62 from cancer. The great Scottish rugby commentator Bill McClaren referred to Moss Keane in his prime: “Maurice Ignatius Keane, 18 and half stone of prime Irish beef on the hoof, I don’t know about the opposition but he frightens the living daylights out of me.” Keane won 51 caps during a 10-year Test career and toured New Zealand with the 1977 British and Irish Lions. He was also a member of the Munster team which beat the All Blacks in LImerick October 31, 1978.

2015 – Death of Fianna Fáil politician, John O’Leary. He was a TD for Kerry South from 1966 until 1997, and served as a minister of state from 1977 to 1979. Fianna Fáil leader Michaél Martin said his “passing brings to an end a remarkable career defined by his love of his home county of Kerry and his commitment to public service”.

Image | Muckross, Co Donegal | Fiachra Mangan Photography

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