May 04

Published in On this Day listing

  • 1921 In an incident known as ‘the Smashing of the Van’, IRA volunteers made an unsuccessful attempt to free Brigadier Frank Carty, who was being taken by armed escort to Glasgow’s Duke Street prison. One escorting officer was killed.
  • 1939 In the wake of protests from northern Catholic bishops and Taoiseach Éamon de Valera, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain announced that conscription would not extend to Northern Ireland.
  • 1979 Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first female prime minister.
  • 1869 Tom Lefroy (93), Limerick-born lawyer and Irish chief justice (1852–66) who had a brief relationship with novelist Jane Austen (1795/6), died.
  • 1916 Joseph Mary Plunkett (28), Ned Daly (25), Michael O’Hanrahan (39) and Willie Pearse (34) executed.
  • 1773 Art Ó Laoghaire (26), former captain in the Hungarian Hussars under Empress Maria Theresa and subject of the famous lament Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire by his wife, Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, was killed in a scuffle with soldiers near Millstreet, Co. Cork.
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