#OTD in Irish History | 17 October:

1171 – Henry II, fearful that Strongbow will grow too powerful in Ireland, lands at Waterford with an army. The Normans, Norse and Irish all submit to him, except for the most remote Irish kings.

1738 – In a duel at Mullingar, Arthur Rochfort, MP for Co Westmeath, shoots Dillon Pollard Hampson in the stomach. Hampson, a former Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Irish Freemasons, recovers.

1803 – Birth of William Smith O’Brien in Dromoland, Newmarket on Fergus, Co Clare. He was an Irish Nationalist and Member of Parliament (MP) and leader of the Young Ireland movement.

1851 – Birth of American financier, Thomas Fortune Ryan, in Charlottesville, Virginia, with ancestry to Protestant Anglo-Irish settlers in the 17th century.

1882 – The Irish Nationalist League is founded.

1886 – John Dillon announces “Plan of Campaign” for Irish tenants against unfair rents.

1920 – Cork IRA volunteer, Michael Fitzgerald, dies following a sixty-seven day hunger strike. Eleven IRA men took part in the hunger strike which claimed the lives of two others, most notably Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney.

1921 – Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations which had commenced 11 October, continued in London, at this stage with little breakthrough.

1922 – An Anti-Treaty force attacks the National Army posts in Charleville, Cork. They claim Two soldiers are killed and one mortally wounded, National Army reports three wounded.

1922 – The National Army garrison in Dundalk is ‘stood to’ in anticipation of night attack by Anti-Treaty fighters. One Free State soldier is accidentally shot and killed.

1960 – Birth of actress, singer and television personality, Bernie Nolan, in Dublin. Formerly lead vocalist of The Nolans, Bernie was the second youngest of siblings Anne, Brian, Denise, Maureen, Tommy, Linda and Coleen Nolan. She was raised in Blackpool, Lancashire, England.

1971 – A British soldier was killed by the IRA in Belfast. Another soldier died two days after he was mortally wounded.

1971 – It was estimated that approximately 16,000 households were withholding rent and rates for council houses as part of the campaign of civil disobedience organised by the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). The campaign was in protest against Internment and had begun on 15 August 1971.

1972 – The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) opened fire on the British Army in several areas of Belfast.

1978 – Birth of former rugby player, Jerry Flannery, in Galway. He played for Munster and Ireland. He played as a Hooker. Flannery retired in March 2012 due to injury problems and now works as Munster’s Forwards Coach.

1981 – Commandant-General of the Royal Marines, Stewart Pringle, was badly injured when the IRA exploded a bomb under his car.

1995 – United States National Security Adviser, Anthony Lake, held a meeting with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Patrick Mayhew, and Political Development Minister, Michael Ancram, at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).

1995 – A Catholic member of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Patrica Campbell, who had been a former assistant to James Molyneaux, lodged an employment discrimination case with the Fair Employment Commission (FEC) against the UUP.

1996 – David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), met with British Prime Minister, John Major, at Downing Street, London.

1997 – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, gave a speech at the Jordanstown campus of the University of Ulster during which she outlined the remit of the Parades Commission. Despite early speculation it was announced that the new commission would not cover other expressions of cultural identity such as Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) sporting activities. Resident groups and the Loyal Orders criticised various aspects of the Parades Commission in particular the membership of the commission and its powers.

1999 – A number of homes were evacuated in the Cliftondene Crescent area of north Belfast as part of a security alert. A pipe-bomb was later found and made safe.

2000 – Ireland becomes the 30th country to pick up the TV show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”.

2001 – Loyalist paramilitaries exploded a bomb close to where parents and children were returning from the Holy Cross Girls’ Primary School on the Ardoyne Road, north Belfast. The bomb had been placed at the rear of a house on Alliance Avenue and it exploded at 3.10pm (15.10BST) causing extensive damage to the house. No one was injured but the householder, and a number of parents and children, were described as being in “shock”.

2002 – Chieftains’ harpist Derek Bell (b. Belfast) dies of cardiac arrest in Phoenix, Arizona. He was a harpist, pianist, oboist, musicologist, and composer.

2021 – Death of poet and novelist, Brendan Kenelly. One of Ireland’s most beloved poets, died in his native Co Kerry at the age of 85.

Image | Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny | © Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

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