#OTD in 1954 – Birth of Bobby Sands in Abbots Cross, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim.

Bobby Sands was the leader of the 1981 hunger strike in which Irish republican prisoners protested against the removal of Special Category Status. During his strike he was elected to the British Parliament as an Anti H-Block candidate. His death and those of nine other hunger strikers, in their efforts to achieve political prisoner status […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 9 March:

1771 – Birth in Dublin of Thomas Reynolds, United Irishman whose information enabled authorities to arrest Leinster Committee in 1798. 1825 – The Catholic Association is dissolved in accordance with the Unlawful Societies Act. The Catholic Association was an Irish Roman Catholic political organisation set up by Daniel O’Connell in the early nineteenth century to […]

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#OTD in 1966 – Nelson’s Pillar in Dublin is blown up.

Nelson’s Pillar was erected in O’Connell St, Dublin in 1809 to honour the exploits of the British naval hero and notorious adulterer Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson who was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The 134ft high monument became an integral part of the city, central to the country’s historic and literary epics, as […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Death of Irish patriot, Mary MacSwiney.

Mary MacSwiney (Máire Nic Suibhne) was born in London to an Irish father and English mother. The family returned to Cork when she was six and she was educated at St. Angela’s Ursuline convent school. She obtained a teaching diploma at Cambridge University and taught at schools in England before returning to Cork on the […]

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#OTD in 1697 – Birth of pirate, Anne Bonny, née Cormac, in Co Cork.

Born in Co Cork, Anne Bonny was the illegitimate daughter of lawyer William Cormac and his housemaid. They immigrated to America after Anne’s birth and settled on a plantation near Charleston, South Carolina. A headstrong young woman ‘with a fierce and courageous temper’, she eloped with James Bonny against her father’s wishes. James took her […]

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#OTD in 1594 – English expedition sets out from Galway to kill pirate queen, Gráinne Ní Mháille (Grace O’Malley).

England used Galway as a launching pad for capturing the Pirate Queen, Gráinne Ní Mháille — and failed miserably. Gráinne Ní Mháille was chieftain of the Ó Máille clan in the west of Ireland, following in the footsteps of her father Eoghan Dubhdara Ó Máille. Commonly known as Gráinne Mhaol (anglicised as Granuaile) in Irish […]

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Ní Saoirse go Saoirse na mBan! ‘Invisible Women’ by Brian Moore

Ní Saoirse go Saoirse na mBan! ‘Invisible Women’ (by Brian Moore) The singer sings a rebel song and everybody sings along. Just one thing I’ll never understand: Every damn rebel seems to be a man. For he sings of the Bold Fenian Men And the Boys of the Old Brigade. What about the women who […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 8 March:

International Women’s Day 1574 – Captain William Martin lays siege to Gráinne Ní Mháille in Rockfleet castle. 1594 – English expedition sets out from Galway to kill pirate queen, Gráinne Ní Mháille (Grace O’Malley). Pádraig Pearse rewrote the lyrics to Óró Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile as a rallying call to Irish nationalists leading up to […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 8 | 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 a few hours time I shall be twenty-seven grand years of age. Paradoxically it will be a happy enough birthday; perhaps that’s because I am free in spirit. I can offer no other reason. I was at Mass today, and saw all the lads minus their beards, etc. An American priest said Mass and […]

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#OTD in 1918 – The SS Kenmare, part of the fleet of the Cork Steampacket Company, was sunk without warning in Irish waters, from a torpedo fired from a German submarine.

Out of the crew of 35, only six were saved. The vessel was en route from Liverpool to Cork when it was struck. Most of the crew were in their bunks asleep when they were awoken by a loud explosion that shattered the ship from end to end. It sank in less than two minutes. Among […]

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