May 2

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1794 Archibald Hamilton Rowan escaped from British custody on this day in 1794, when facing a charge of treason. He had co-founded the Dublin Society of United Irishmen with William Drennan and Theobald Wolfe Tone.

When Britain and Ireland went to war with France, the United Irishmen movement was made illegal, and Rowan was arrested and imprisoned.
Read his story here

Archibald-Hamilton-Rowan Image copyright Ireland Calling

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Edith Somerville and Violet Ross1858 Edith Somerville was born on this day in 1858 in Corfu, where her father was stationed as part of the British army. She grew up in Cork and became a significant writer of her era, in collaboration with her cousin Violet. The two wrote together under the name Somerville and Ross.

The cousins wrote fourteen books together in total, before Violet died in 1915. Somerville continued to write on her own, and also involved herself in the Irish nationalist movement, as the country fought for independence from British rule.

Click here to read about more Irish writers

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1882 Charles Stewart Parnell was released from Kilmainham Gaol, after negotiating the ‘Kilmainham Treaty’ to protect tenant farmers from unfair landlords. Parnell became a national hero.
Find out why calling it the ‘Kilmainham Treaty’ was important to the Irish.

Charles Parnell released from Kilmainham Gaol-Image copyright Ireland Calling* * *

1916  William N. Rowe was shot dead on this day in 1916 in Cork. He was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary and was carrying out a raid on suspected Easter Rising rebels, Thomas and William Kent. The brothers fought against their arrest, and Rowe was killed by a shot fired by Thomas. The shooting took place in the immediate aftermath of the Easter Rising, when the Republican sympathisers were being arrested.

Thomas Kent was charged with murder, sentenced to death and executed by firing squad at Cork on 9 May 1916.

Click here to read more about the Easter Rising

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1951 Michael Dwyer was born in Kerry on this day in 1951. He was a journalist and film critic. He worked for The Irish Times for more than 20 years, and was also the co-founder of the Dublin Film Festival. Unfortunately, Dwyer became ill and died in 2010. His funeral was attended by numerous journalists and actors including Hollywood stars Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson.

Click here to read about more Irish writers 
Click here to read about Cillian Murphy

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1958 Happy birthday to David O’Leary, born in London on this day in 1958. He moved to Dublin as a child and was raised in Ireland. He was a professional footballer and is widely regarded as one of the most gifted players to have represented the Republic of Ireland.

O’Leary played for Arsenal throughout the 1980s, and won two FA Cups, two League Cups and two league championships during his spell at the club. The highlight of O’Leary’s career was the final match of the 1988/89 season, which was contested between Arsenal and Liverpool.

Arsenal were three points behind first-placed Liverpool going into the match, with an inferior goal difference of four. This meant that Arsenal had to win the game by two clear goals to be crowned champions.

Any other result would see Liverpool win the league. Arsenal did win the game 2-0, in dramatic fashion with a last-minute goal from Michael Thomas clinching the title. It is considered to be the most exciting finale to an English football league in history.

Click here to read about more top Irish sports people

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2003 On this day in 2003, it took just two minutes for the Rolling Stones to sell-out their 16,000 Dublin tour dates. The sales set a new record in Irish box office history.

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