October 03

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1981 After the deaths of ten republicans on hunger strike in the H-Blocks of the Maze Prison, and further intervention by relatives, the IRA called off the hunger strike. Sixty-one lives, including those of 30 members of the security forces, were lost during the campaign.
  • 1971 Seán Ó Riada (40), musician and composer, notably of the music for George Morrison’s documentary Mise Éire (1956) with his haunting adaptation of the traditional aisling Róisín Dubh, died.
  • 1821 Having spent ten days on a State visit to Ireland—the first peacetime visit by an English monarch since Richard II in the fourteenth century—George IV departed from Dunleary, renamed Kingstown in his honour.
  • 1870 Richard Barter (68), physician who established Ireland’s first hydropathic/water cure establishment in Blarney, Co. Cork (1842), and helped to introduce Turkish baths into Britain, died.
  • 1970 President Richard Nixon arrived on a 48-hour visit to the Republic of Ireland, during which he visited the grave of his distant Quaker ancestors in Timahoe, Co. Kildare.
  • 1971 Seán Ó Riada (40), composer, notably of the music for the historical documentary Mise Éire (1959), died.
  • 1932 In Belfast some 60,000 workers from across the sectarian divide, on strike for higher outdoor relief payments, marched from the Frederick Street labour exchange to a torch-lit rally at the Custom House, led by bands playing the neutral tune Yes, we have no bananas.
  • 1750 James MacLaine, or McLean (26), Monaghan-born gentleman highwayman, was hanged at Tyburn. In his lodgings the authorities had found 23 purses, a quantity of clothes and ‘a famous kept mistress’.
  • 1691 The Treaty of Limerick was signed by the Williamite commander General Ginkel and the Jacobite commander Patrick Sarsfield.
  • 1566 Richard Boyle, earl of Cork, entrepreneur, politician and leading figure in the defence of the Protestant interest in Munster after the outbreak of the 1641 Rebellion, born in Canterbury.
  • 1942 First successful test of the German V2 rocket, later used to attack London in the Second World War. Despite its Nazi origins, after the war the technology and the technicians behind it were later used by the US as the basis for its own missile programmes, most famously for the Apollo space missions.

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