#OTD in 1892 – Death of Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore.

Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore served as a musician and stretcher-bearer in the 24th Massachusetts Infantry during the American Civil War. His incredible post-army musical career includes penning “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, the tune he took from an old Irish antiwar folk song, “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye”, that was published under the name Louis Lambert. […]

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Map of Ireland in the Heroic Times

A rare and hard to obtain map of Ireland in the Heroic Times, found in Standish O’Grady’s History of Ireland. Here is an effort to map the lands most associated with Ireland’s mythologies and heroes and even charts the course of the Children of Lir from the House of Donn to the Isle of Rachlin. […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 24 September:

1661 – Faithful Tadpole is admitted as a clerical vicar choral of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. 1786 – Birth of Irish passenger-car entrepreneur, Charles Bianconi, in Costa Masnaga, Italy. 1798 – United Irishman, Bartholomew Teeling, is hanged in Dublin. 1801 – James Moore O’Donell, former MP for Ratoath, is killed in a duel with Major […]

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High Crosses of Ireland

High Crosses or Celtic Crosses as they are also known, are found throughout Ireland on old monastic sites. Along with the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow, these High Crosses are Irelands biggest contribution to Western European Art of the Middle Ages. Some were probably used as meeting points for religious ceremonies and […]

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‘The Silver Tassie’ by Sean O’Casey

The Silver Tassie is a four-act Expressionist play about the First World War, written between 1927 and 1928 by playwright, Seán O’Casey. It was O’Casey’s fourth play and attacks imperialist wars and the suffering that they cause. O’Casey described the play as “A generous handful of stones, aimed indiscriminately, with the aim of breaking a […]

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The Banshee

As we move into the darkest months of the year, it seems fitting to visit a spectre as ancient as life itself – the Banshee. A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology who heralds the death of a family member, usually by shrieking or keening. Her name is connected to the mythologically-important tumuli […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 23 September:

1586 – At the Battle of Ardnaree in Co Mayo, Sir Richard Bingham, governor of Connacht, surprises a force of redshanks (Scottish mercenary light infantrymen) engaged by the Burkes of Mayo; 1,000 redshanks and 1,000 camp followers are killed. Bingham hangs the leaders of the Burkes. 1922 – Anti-Treaty fighter Michael Neville, is taken from […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Rineen Ambush | Six RIC men were killed by the IRA in an ambush in Rineen, Co Clare.

One of the most memorable encounters of the War of Independence took place at Dromin Hill, Rineen on this date. The purpose of this act was to get revenge for the murder of Martin Devitt, an Irish soldier who was shot dead in an ambush in February of that year in the locality. A secondary […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Sinn Féin County Councillor John Lynch of Kilmallock, Limerick was assassinated by British agents at the Exchange Hotel, Dublin.

At 1.15 am Captain Geoffrey Thomas Baggallay, a “one-legged” courts-martial officer had phoned Dublin Castle telling of John Lynch’s presence at the Exchange Hotel. A group of 12 soldiers entered the Exchange Hotel, wearing military caps and long black Burberry coats. They held the hotel porter, William Barrett, at gunpoint. After consulting the register they […]

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#OTD in 1601 – Battle of Kinsale.

The Spanish forces arrived in Kinsale, Co Cork in September 1601. However, their army was much smaller than the Irish leaders had hoped for. In spite of this, the Irish were in a good position at the onset of the battle. Red Hugh O’Donnell persuaded a more cautious Hugh O’Neill to attack the assembled English […]

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