#OTD in 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: John and Henry Sheares are convicted of high treason and were hanged, drawn and quartered in Dublin.

John and Henry Sheares were the sons of John Sheares, a member of the Irish Parliament who represented the Borough of Clonakilty. They were born at Goldenbush, Co Cork. Henry was the elder of the two, and was educated at Trinity College Dublin. Henry was called to the bar in 1790. John, who was three […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Just three days after a truce is implemented, Éamon de Valera, President of Dáil Éireann meets with British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in London.

Francis Stevenson, Private Secretary to Lloyd George recalled: “I have never seen David so excited as he was before de Valera arrived, at 4.30. He kept walking in and out of my room… As I told him afterwards, he was bringing up all his guns! He had a big map of the British Empire hung […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 14 July:

In the Liturgical calendar, it is the Feast Day of Idus of Leinster, an Irish saint of the fifth century. He is said to be a disciple of Saint Patrick, who baptised him, he was made bishop of Alt-Fadha in Leinster by Patrick. 1749 – Birth of Matthew Lyon in Co Wicklow. Lyon attended school […]

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Devil’s Bit, Co Tipperary

According to local legend, the mountain got its name because the devil took a bite out of it. There is a small gap in the mountain between one outcrop of rock (known as the Rock) and another small plateau. The bite the devil allegedly took made this gap. The legend suggests that the devil broke […]

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#OTD in 1863 – Large numbers of Irish immigrants are involved in Draft Riots in New York City.

On the morning of 13th July 1863, thousands of mostly Irish-immigrant workers in Manhattan erupted in what’s still the deadliest rioting in American history. Mobs rampaged through most of the week in a fury of savage murder, arson and looting. They hung African-American men from lampposts and dragged their mutilated bodies through the streets. They […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Martin Hurson, Irish political prisoner, dies on hunger strike.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. On 29 May 1981, Martin Hurson joined the hunger-strike, replacing South Derryman Brendan McLoughlin who was forced to drop out because of a burst stomach ulcer. Having seriously deteriorated after forty days on hunger-strike, he was unable to hold down water and died a horrifically agonising death […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 13 July:

1344 – Ralph de Ufford arrives in Ireland as justiciar with a small English army and investigates the situation in Cork. 1809 – Founding of the Dublin Harp Society. 1815 – Birth of physician, surgeon, newspaper proprietor, journalist and politician, John Gray, in Co Mayo. Gray was active both in municipal and national government for […]

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#OTD in 1998 – The three Quinn brothers, Richard, 11, Mark, 10, and Jason 9, are burned to death by a Loyalist firebomb in Ballymoney, 40 miles northwest of Belfast. 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha. Jason, Richard and Mark Quinn were three brothers killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in a firebomb attack on their home in Ballymoney, Co Antrim. Garfield Gilmour, was found guilty of murdering the three brothers 15 months later and sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting that he […]

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Marriage and Brehon Law in Ancient Ireland

Irish history is immersed in centuries of oppression that was particularly harsh in respect to the Catholic religion. The late 17th and 18th century Penal Laws prevented priests from celebrating mass never mind conducting the sacrament of marriage. If a priest was caught, sanctions were quite severe, in fact, punishable by death. The last of […]

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Twelfth of July Orange Order Marches | Demonstrations: A History of Violence

The Orange community is the inheritor of a tradition and a set of religious and cultural sensibilities that purport to come from the period of Britain’s Glorious Revolution, the 1688-90 Williamite Revolution when the last Stuart, James II, was ousted and the Protestant Settlement secured. As the defenders of the Crown and the faith, then, […]

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