Christmas in Ireland

The greeting for ‘Happy Christmas’ in Irish is Nollaig Shona Duit or Nollaig Shona Daoibh (plural), the literal translation of this is ‘Happy Christmas to you’. If ‘Nollaig, Shona, Duit/Daoibh’ was literally translated, word for word, into English, it would be “Christmas, happy, to you”. Christmas is also a time for remembering the dead in […]

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#OTD in 1903 – Roger Casement completes report about abuses in Belgian Congo.

‘Failure to meet the rubber collection quotas was punishable by death. Meanwhile, the Force Publique were required to provide the hand of their victims as proof when they had shot and killed someone, as it was believed that they would otherwise use the munitions (imported from Europe at considerable cost) for hunting. As a consequence, […]

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#OTD in 1883 – Birth of songwriter, revolutionary and house-painter, Peadar Kearney, in Dublin; best known for writing the words of the Irish national anthem.

In 1907, Kearney wrote the lyrics to ‘The Soldier’s Song’. It was used as a marching song by the Irish Volunteers and was sung by rebels in the GPO during the 1916 Easter Rising. Its popularity increased among rebels held in Frongoch internment camp after the Rising, and the IRA in the Irish War of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 12 December:

In the Liturgical Calendar, today is the Feast Day of Saint Finnian of Clonard (Cluain Eraird) also Finian, Fionán or Fionnán; or Vennianus and Vinniaus in its Latinised form (470–549). He was one of the early Irish monastic saints, who founded Clonard Abbey in modern-day Co Meath. The Twelve Apostles of Ireland studied under him. […]

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Crow Goddess – Morrigan

Draped over her shoulders, with its full hood pulled around her face and sweeping to the ground behind her, was a cloak made entirely of ravens’ feathers. The crow is a personification of the three Mórrígna in Celtic mythology and especially of Badb Mórrigu, the harbinger of doom. In this form, she seems to be […]

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#OTD in 1936 – Abdication Crisis: King Edward VIII encumbrance creates opportunity for the Irish Free State as the Dáil passes legislation removing the King from the Irish Constitution.

In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire arose when King Edward VIII proposed to marry Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who was divorced from her first husband and was pursuing a divorce of her second. Police detectives following Simpson reported back that, while involved with Edward, she was also involved with a married […]

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#OTD in 1920 – War of Independence: The Burning of Cork.

The Burning of Cork is the name commonly given to a devastating series of fires that swept through the centre of Cork City on the night of 11th December 1920. The burning and the subsequent controversy is one of the most significant events of the Irish War of Independence. During the War of Independence, Cork […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 11 December:

722 – Death of High King of Ireland, Fergal mac Máele Dúin. Fergal belonged to the Cenél nEógain sept of the northern Uí Néill. He was the son of Máel Dúin mac Máele Fithrich, a King of Ailech, and great grandson of the high king Áed Uaridnach. Fergal became High King in 710, on the […]

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Celtic Mythology: The Three Noble Strains

Healer of each wounded warrior, Comforter of each fine woman, Guiding refrain over the blue water, Image-laden, sweet-sounding music! –Book of the O’Connor Don In Celtic mythology, we’re told about The Dagda (the Good god of the Gaelic gods) who was a king within the fairy race known as the Tuatha Dé Danann. The Dagda […]

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Paud O’Donoghue – Heroic Blacksmith of the 1798 United Irishmen Rebellion

We have heard of the great names of the leaders and organisers of the 1798 rebellion, the men who tried to break the iron rules which oppressed the country and had the vast majority of the population treated little better than animals. Their names are remembered in song and story and enshrined in the history […]

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