How and When the 32 Counties of Ireland Formed

The division of Ireland into shires or counties is of Anglo-Norman and English origin. The counties generally represent the older native territories and sub-kingdoms. King John formed twelve counties in 1210. Those parts of Ireland which were under English jurisdiction he parcelled out into twelve shires or counties: namely, Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Uriel (or Louth), […]

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#OTD in 1835 – The coffin of mummy, Takabuti, was opened and unrolled in Belfast Natural History Society’s museum at College Square North. 

Takabuti was the first Egyptian mummy to be brought to Ireland. After the Napoleonic Wars there was a brisk trade in Egyptian mummies. She was brought to Belfast in 1834 by Thomas Greg of Ballymenoch House, Holywood, Co Down. Her hieroglyphs were deciphered by a leading Egyptologist from Ireland, Dr Edward Hincks, of Killyleagh, Co […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 27 January:

1835 – The coffin of mummy, Takabuti, was opened and the unrolled in Belfast Natural History Society’s museum at College Square North. Takabuti was a married woman who reached an age of between twenty and thirty years. She lived in the Egyptian city of Thebes at the end of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt. Her mummified body and […]

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Rathcroghan | Tulsk, Co Roscommon

Rathcroghan, Cruachan Aí, is known as the Ancient Capital of Connacht, where the festival of Samhain (Halloween) is said to originate. This majestic landscape is the oldest and largest unexcavated Royal Site in Europe.  The Rathcroghan landscape boasts over 240 identified archaeological sites, spanning a staggering period of over 5,500 years of human history. It […]

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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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