#OTD in 1926 – Dublin-born, Violet Albina Gibson, daughter of Lord Ashbourne, shot Benito Mussolini in Rome on this date.

Italian Fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, had just given a speech in Rome to the International Congress of Surgeons when a bullet nearly ended his life. After Mussolini finished his speech praising modern medicine, he walked to his car. At the time, no one noticed Violet Gibson, a small Irish woman with a long history of […]

Read More

#OTD in Irish History – 7 April:

AD 30 – A favourite exhibit in Dublin’s National Museum is the 12th Century Cross of Cong. The True Cross that was brought to Ireland and displayed in different places around the country. The cross is so-called because it was kept in the Augustinian Friary at Cong, Co Mayo, for centuries. It was made to enshrine […]

Read More

Bully’s Acre, Dublin

Bully’s Acre (officially, the Hospital Fields) is a former public cemetery located near the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin. Behind a black gate off the entranceway to the expansive grounds of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, now the Irish Museum of Modern Art, lies a large, green field that is home to Dublin’s oldest cemetery. […]

Read More

#OTD in 1895 – Oscar Wilde was arrested, in the Cadogan Hotel, London, after losing a libel case against John Sholto Douglas (9th Marquess of Queensberry), who had called Wilde a homosexual.

Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet born in Dublin. At the height of his fame and success, while his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, was still on stage in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for libel. Married to Constance Lloyd and father of two children Cyril and […]

Read More

#OTD in 1837 – ‘Painting the Town Red’: Henry Beresford, 3rd Marquess of Waterford and his fox-hunting friends arrived in Melton Mowbray at the Thorpe End tollgate.

Henry Beresford, 3rd Marquess of Waterford, styled Lord Henry Beresford before 1824 and Earl of Tyrone between 1824 and 1826, was an Irish peer. He was the second son of the 2nd Marquess of Waterford, but became heir apparent to the marquessate on the death of his elder brother, George Beresford, Earl of Tyrone, in 1824. […]

Read More

#OTD in Irish History – 6 April:

1830 – James Augustine Healy, the first black Roman Catholic bishop in America, was born to an Irish planter and a slave on a plantation near Macon, Georgia. He was known as the ‘Children’s Priest’. 1837 – Henry Beresford, 3rd Marquess of Waterford and his fox-hunting friends arrived in Melton Mowbray at the Thorpe End tollgate. […]

Read More

#OTD in 1904 – Death of writer, social reformer, anti-vivisection activist, and leading women’s suffrage campaigner, Frances Power Cobbe.

Born in Newbridge House, Donabate, Co Dublin, Cobbe founded a number of animal advocacy groups, including the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) in 1875, and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in 1898, and was a member of the executive council of the London National Society for Women’s Suffrage. She was the author of a […]

Read More

#OTD in 2012 – Death of Bernard Noël “Banjo Barney” McKenna.

Barney McKenna was the last surviving founding member of the Irish folk group the Dubliners. With Luke Kelly’s powerful voice and force of nature on stage, Ronnie Drew’s gravelly memorable vocal sound, it was McKenna’s playing of the tenor banjo, coupled with John Sheahan’s fiddle, that gave the Dubliners their original instrumental quality. In the […]

Read More

#OTD in 1916 – Birth of actor, Gregory Peck, in La Jolla, California.

Gregory Peck was born in La Jolla, California. One of the world’s most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play major film roles until the late 1970s. Catherine Ashe, the paternal grandmother of Gregory Peck, who emigrated to the United States in the 19th century was a relative of […]

Read More