#OTD in 1689 – Siege of Derry began.

In 1685, the Roman Catholic James II came to the throne of England. His agent Richard Talbot, earl of Tyrconnell, started to dismiss Protestant officers from the army in Ireland, replacing them with Roman Catholics. For English Protestants, the last straw came when the birth of a son to his second wife meant that his […]

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#OTD in 1949 – The Republic of Ireland withdraws from the British Commonwealth. The British Parliament recognises the declaration but asserts sovereignty over the six northern counties.

The withdrawal of the twenty-six counties from the British Commonwealth is recognised officially by Britain, thereby, becoming the independent Republic of Ireland. The Ireland Act 1949 passed by the House of Commons recognised the withdrawal. Éamon de Valera had introduced his Constitution (Bunreacht na hÉireann) in 1937, the Irish Free State, or Éire as it […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 18 April:

1608 – Sir Cahir O’Doherty of Inishowen revolted and sacked Derry. 1689 – Siege of Derry began. In 1688, James II, a Catholic, was deposed by his Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange, in a bloodless coup known as the Glorious Revolution. James fled to France and in 1689 landed in Ireland, […]

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#OTD in 1969 – Bernadette Devlin was elected MP for Mid Ulster, standing as the Independent Unity candidate; at 21 years old, she was Britain’s youngest ever female MP and the third youngest MP ever.

Devlin was born in Cookstown, Co Tyrone to a Roman Catholic family. She attended St Patrick’s Girls Academy in Dungannon. She was studying Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast in 1968 when she took a prominent role in a student-led civil rights organisation, People’s Democracy. Devlin was subsequently excluded from the university. She stood unsuccessfully against […]

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1920 – The inquest into the death of Tomás MacCurtain, Lord Mayor of Cork killed by policemen in disguise on 20 March, returns a verdict of willful murder against the RIC, and indicts Lloyd George and the British government.

A Cork jury returns a verdict of willful murder against British Prime Minister Lloyd George following the killing in March of Lord Mayor Tomas MacCurtain. The verdict read: “We find that Alderman Tomas MacCurtain, Lord Mayor of Cork, died from shock and haemorrhage, caused by bullet wounds, and that he was wilfully wounded under circumstances […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 17 April:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Saint Donnán of Eigg, a Gaelic priest, likely from Ireland, who died on this date in 617. He attempted to introduce Christianity to the Picts of northwestern Scotland during the Early Middle Ages. Donnán is the patron saint of Eigg, an island in the Inner […]

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#OTD in 1918 – Birth of comedian, writer and actor, Spike Milligan, in India.

‘All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.’ –Spike Milligan Spike Milligan’s early life was spent in India, where he was born, but the majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom. He became an Irish citizen in 1962 after the British government declared him stateless. […]

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#OTD in 1871 – Birth of poet and playwright, John Millington Synge, in Dublin.

Birth of Irish playwright, poet and author John Millington Synge in Rathfarnham, Co Dublin. Synge was one of the leading lights of what was known as the Irish Literary Revival and along with William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory, founding members of the Abbey Theatre. His most famous work is The Playboy of the Western […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 16 April:

1660 – Birth of physician and naturalist, Sir Hans Sloane, in Killyleagh, Co Down. Perhaps, the biggest impact Sloan made on Europe, was the introduction of drinking milk chocolate, which he had tasted during a visit to Jamaica. 1701 – Some MPs and gentlemen of Co Carlow petition against the return and residence of Mark […]

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