#OTD in Irish History – 5 February:

1703 – Birth of Gilbert Tennent, a pietistic Protestant evangelist in colonial America. Born to a Presbyterian Scots-Irish family in Co Armagh, he migrated to America as a teenager, trained for pastoral ministry, and became one of the leaders of the Great Awakening of religious feeling in Colonial America, along with Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. 1811 – […]

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#OTD in 1972 – In what is to become known as Bloody Sunday, the British Army kills 13 civil rights demonstrators in the Bogside district of Derry. A 14th marcher later dies of his injuries.

Thirteen people were shot and killed when British paratroopers opened fire on a crowd of civilians in Derry. Fourteen others were wounded, one later died. The marchers had been campaigning for equal rights such as one man, one vote. Despite initial attempts by British authorities to justify the shootings including a rushed report by Lord […]

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An Gorta Mór / Diaspóra na Gael

The potato is a tuberous vegetable that is native to the Andes of South America. Following the Spanish exploration and exploitation of the South American Indians, the potato was introduced to Europe where it had a profound, beneficial effect on diets of Europeans from Ireland well into Russia. It grew well all over Western Europe […]

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#OTD in 2017 – President Michael D. Higgins unveiled a memorial commemorating the Great Hunger in Subiaco Park in Perth, Australia.

The memorial sculpture was designed by Charlie Smith and Joan Walsh-Smith, originally from Waterford. In Sydney, the President visited the Australian Monument to the Great Hunger, in the company of the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of New South Wales. The sculpture depicts a grieving mother “bent low by the crushing loss of her children” and […]

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#OTD in 1845 – The arrival of the potato blight in Ireland is reported in the Dublin Evening Post.

To this day, all over Ireland the landscape bears mute testimony to the events that occurred in the horrific period from 1845–1850. Starvation graveyards offer silent tribute to the millions of Irish men,women,and children buried in unmarked mass graves. Thriving villages were replaced by heaps of moss-covered stones. Although historians have not agreed on the […]

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‘An Opening of Eyes’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.

‘An Opening of Eyes’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.   Sit a while and listen whilst a tale I tell ye all, Close thine eyes and picture well the scene. Let me take ye back to sad and distant times, To places like Mayo and Skibbereen.   Gaze across a barren field, see […]

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#OTD in 1807 – Birth of Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, KCB, a British civil servant and Governor of Madras.

Trevelyan is referred to in the modern Irish folk song The Fields of Athenry about ‘An Gorta Mór’. For his actions, he is commonly considered one of the most detested figures in Irish history, along with the likes of Cromwell. Image | Charles Trevelyan accompanied by a poem written by Joe Canning Friends of Ireland! Please […]

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‘The Land Of Lonely Women’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.

‘The Land Of Lonely Women’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved. The harbour is silent now, ‘Tis only the seagulls that cry. Gone are the ghosts of yesteryear; Banished are the Botany bound manacled, Those that dared to feed their brood, That uprooted the master’s turnip, Gone are they to sore backs and sledgehammer. […]

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#OTD in 1847 – Letter published in the Cork Examiner on The Great Hunger.

“SIR– On Friday last, the day for distributing a scanty ration, a large body of those who have been looked upon as “able-bodied,” but who are now in reality infirm from hunger, assembled around the issue-shop, in the vain hope that a few “crumbs” might remain for them. Their hope was vain. Even some of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 11 June:

1534 – Thomas Garrett (Lord Offaly and grandson of Garret Mór Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare), rides through Dublin with a large band of followers. Known as ‘Silken Thomas’ because of the silk worn on his followers’ helmets, he has heard the false rumour spread by Henry VIII that his father, Garrett Óg has been executed […]

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