#OTD in Irish History | 1 March (Márta):

1703 – Birth of Philip Tisdall, politician and Attorney General noted for his lavish hospitality.

1726 – Abraham Shackleton, a Quaker, opens a school at Ballitore, Co Kildare. Edmund Burke will later be a pupil.

1794 – Statutes of Dublin University amended to allow Catholics to take degrees.

1832 – Robert James Graves was a co-founder and editor of the Dublin Journal of Medical Science, the first issue was published on this date.

1847 – Horrific Report on An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger).

1848 – ‘Starvation Fever of 1847’ article by Dr. Daniel Donovan of Skibbereen, Co Cork was published in the Dublin Medical Press.

1848 – Birth of sculptor of Dublin’s, Charles Stewart Parnell monument, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, in Dublin.

1852 – Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1852 and again from 1858 to 1859.

1883 – Death of boxer, Jimmy Elliott. Born in Athlone, he emigrated to America and became Heavyweight Champion of the World from 1865 to 1868. On 12 December 1870, Elliott was arrested and convicted of highway robbery and assault with intent to kill. He was sentenced to sixteen years and ten months at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. He was released early in the spring of 1879 due to an eye disease. On 1 March 1883, a gambler by the name of Jere Dunn shot Elliot in a Chicago saloon. He died shortly after.

1900 – Birth of painter, Nano Reid, in Drogheda, Co Louth.

1918 – Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, as part of her tour of the United States, met with U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in Washington D.C. in January. During the meeting she petitioned the president, on behalf of Cumann na mBan, to recognise the ‘political independence of Ireland in the form of an Irish republic’. ‘Our appeal is to remind you of a cause which should not be overlooked when so many European nationalities are to be reconstructed in accordance with your declaration’, the petition begins. ‘Our country, having behind it twenty generations of repression, has, we believe, a profound claim upon those who have declared their will to make the world safe for democracy.’

1921 – The IRA North Longford commander Sean MacEoin was captured at Mullingar and charged with the murder of an RIC detective. This was a severe blow to the IRA in that area.

1921 – Two IRA volunteers were killed in a skirmish with British forces at Ballynamrossagh, Co Tipperary.

1952 – Birth of international soccer star and manager of Celtic, Martin O’Neill, in Kilrea, Co Derry.

1965 – Roger Casement’s body is re-interred in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

1972 – Two Catholic teenagers were shot dead by the RUC while ‘joy riding’ in a stolen car in Belfast.

1973 – A general election resulted in a change of government. Fine Gael/Labour coalition government took over from Fianna Fáil which had been in power for 16 years. Liam Cosgrave succeeded Jack Lynch as Taoiseach.

1976 – ‘Special Category’ status is removed from political prisoners in Northern Ireland.

1981 – Bobby Sands begins his hunger strike at Long Kesh prison. The choice of the start date was significant because it marked the fifth anniversary of the ending of special category status. The main aim of the new strike was to achieve the reintroduction of political status for Republican prisoners. Catholic Bishop of Derry, Edward Daly, criticised the decision to begin another hunger strike. Sands was to lead the hunger strike but it was decided that Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane would take over Sands’ role as leader of the IRA in Long Kesh Prison. It later became clear that the IRA leadership outside the prison was not in favour of a new hunger strike following the outcome of the 1980 strike. The main impetus came from the prisoners themselves. The strike was to last until 3 October 1981 and was to see 10 Republican prisoners die in support of their protest. The strike led to a heightening of political tensions in the region. It was also to pave the way for the emergence of Sinn Féin as a major political force in Northern Ireland.

1981 – Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him. In order to secure his status as Irish political prisoner he was willing to fast til death, an event that would earn him a place in the annals of Irish history and in the hearts and minds of Irish republicans world-wide. See Bobby Sands Trust for today’s recording: http://www.bobbysandstrust.com/writings/prison-diary

1982 – The British Enkalon company announced that it would close its factory in Antrim with the loss of 850 jobs.

1982 – Lord Lowry, Northern Ireland Lord Chief Justice, was attacked by the IRA as he paid a visit to the Queen’s University of Belfast. The IRA fired several shots at Lowry who was not injured but a lecturer at the university was wounded by the gunfire.

1990 – An appeal to the Irish Supreme Court by Chris McGimpsey and Michael McGimpsey on the issue of Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution was rejected. The Court ruled that Articles 2 and 3 are a ‘claim of legal right’ over the ‘national territory’. The Court stated that the articles represented a ‘constitutional imperative’ rather than merely an aspiration.

1991 – The IRA carried out a (horizontal) mortar attack on an Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) mobile patrol on the Killylea Road, Armagh. One UDR soldier was killed and another, who was mortally wounded, died on 4 March 1991.

1991 – The European Court of Human Rights agreed to hear another complaint against the British government. The case involved the United Kingdom’s derogation from the European Convention of Human Rights on the matter of the seven-day detention of suspects under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

1998 – President McAleese defends her decision to hold a reception to mark Orange Day celebrations in the face of mounting criticism from unionists.

1998 – DUP councillor Nigel Dodds calls for security to be stepped up following an INLA bomb attack at a school used by Catholic and Protestant children.

1999 – The heroic action of a pilot and the crew of a Channel Express cargo plane avert a major tragedy as they land the plane safely at Shannon after two propellers on their ageing aircraft disintegrated, disabling two of their four engines and leaving a deep hole in the aircraft’s fuselage.

2001 – Fears of a foot and mouth outbreak in Kerry are eased with confirmation from the Department of Agriculture that no animals checked on two farms near Castleisland, Co Kerry show symptoms of the disease.

2002 – It was reported that almost 2,000 Catholics had applied to join the PSNI as part of the latest recruitment drive. Advertisements were placed in a range of outlets during October 2001 as part of the second phase of recruitment to the police service.

2002 – James Sheehan, Sinn Féin director of elections in Kerry North, was released without charge by Garda Síochána in Killarney. He had been questioned as part of an investigation into an alleged vigilante-style abduction in the area that had taken place before Christmas.

2003 – According to a new global survey, Dublin was regarded as one of the safest cities in the world.

Image | Mac Dermott’s Castle, Castle Island, Lough Key, Boyle, Co Roscommon | Gareth Wray Photography

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