‘How Young Cormac Mac Airt was Recogised as King’

In ancient times, the people of Ireland were internationally renowned for their love of law and their intricate justice system. Law was the articulation of fairness and the embodiment of justice, the application of the law to real scenarios was seen as a manifestation of justice in action, an affirmation of the natural harmonising order […]

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#OTD in 1907 – J. M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World is performed for the first time at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

John Millington Synge’s ‘Playboy of the Western World’ opens at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin to riots, literally! What happened is best described by two telegrams Yeats (a founder of the Abbey) received while he was in Aberdeen from a fellow Abbey supporter Lady Gregory. Telegram one read “Play a great success.” Two acts later, she […]

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#OTD in 1764 – United Irishman, William Sampson is born the son of a Presbyterian clergyman in Derry.

William Sampson was one of many non-Catholics who were disturbed by the level of discrimination and violence against members of the Catholic faith. Anticipating an insurrection in March 1798, as a lawyer, Sampson defended United Irishmen for anti-British actions and was imprisoned, disbarred, and banished from Ireland without trial for his courtroom and literary activities. After eight […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 26 January:

1316 – At the battle of Ardscull, Co Kildare, Edward de Bruce defeats the army of Justiciar Edmund Butler. The Scottish dead are buried in the graveyard attached to the Dominican Priory in Athy which occupies the area on the east bank of the River Barrow. Among those buried are two Scottish chiefs, Lord Fergus […]

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#OTD 2017 – John Moore, from Clontarf, Co Dublin, was arrested after criminal damage, with a hammer, was caused to the grave of former president and Taoiseach Éamon de Valera.

John Moore, 57, of Clontarf, is charged with causing criminal damage to Éamon de Valera’s headstone at Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin. He told the court he does not have a solicitor and when asked by Judge Anthony Halpin if he would like to get one, Mr Moore replied: ‘No, I just beg for forgiveness, it was […]

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#OTD in 1877 – Birth of the leader of the alcohol free 1916 Rising, Canon Patrick Murphy, in Whitehill, Kilmore, Co Wexford.

Canon Patrick Murphy was born in Whitehill, Kilmore, Co Wexford. Murphy is a little known figure in Irish history, but he provided a truly fascinating oral account of the 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy in an interview in 1955. ‘Commandant Galligan arrived from Dublin with instructions from James Connolly that the Enniscorthy Battalion of the Irish […]

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#OTD in 1533 – England’s King Henry VIII, Lord of Ireland and ‘self declared’ King of Ireland (1541) marries Anne Boleyn after divorcing Catherine of Aragon.

Norman and English monarchs used the title ‘Lord of Ireland’ to refer to their Irish conquests dating from the Norman invasion of Ireland. In passing the Crown of Ireland Act 1542, the Irish Parliament granted Henry, by his command, a new title – King of Ireland. The state was renamed the Kingdom of Ireland. The […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 25 January:

1356 – The 1st Earl of Desmond dies; Kildare is his replacement as justiciar. 1533 – England’s King Henry VIII, Lord of Ireland and ‘self declared’ King of Ireland (1541) marries Anne Boleyn after divorcing Catherine of Aragon. 1627 – Birth of chemist and alchemist, Robert Boyle, physicist, in Lismore, Co Waterford. Boyle is largely […]

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#OTD in 1973 – Death of piper and folklorist, Willie Clancy.

Clancy was born into a musical family in the outskirts of Miltown Malbay, Co Clare. His parents, Gilbert Clancy and Ellen Killeen, both sang and played concertina, and his father also played the flute. Clancy’s father had been heavily influenced by local blind piper Garret Barry and passed much of Barry’s music on to Willie. […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Death of Percy French, writer of many popular Irish songs, including the Mountains of Mourne.

William Percy French was born on 1 May 1854 near Roscommon. (William would be known as Willie until taking the name Percy as his stage name much later). His father was a landlord and his mother’s father was a clergyman. Despite the lack of music background in his family, Willie demonstrated talent for music and […]

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