#OTD in 1944 – Charlie Kerins was hanged in Mountjoy Gaol by the English hangman Albert Pierrepoint.

‘All I ask is that the ideals and principles for which I am about to die for will be kept alive until the Irish Republic is finally enthroned’. –Charlie Kerins When the serial killer of Rillington Place, John Christie, complained that his nose itched after his arms had been bound, Albert Pierrepoint assured him: “It […]

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#OTD in 1759 – Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness.

Arthur Guinness is left £100 (about $147 US dollars) in the will of Archbishop Price. He uses the money and signs a 9,000-year lease on an unused brewery at St. James’s Gate, Dublin. It costs him an initial £100 with an annual rent of £45 – this includes crucial water rights. The brewery covers four […]

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#OTD in 1848 – The Paddle Steamer ‘The Londonderry’, with immigrants fleeing The Great Hunger, took shelter in Derry harbour.

The ‘Londonderry’, a paddle-steamer which berthed at the quayside in Derry one Sunday in the winter of 1848 was only seven years old, big for a ship of her kind, weighing 222 tons. She was manned by a crew of 26 and often sailed between Sligo and Liverpool. On this winter trip, while hugging the […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 1 December (Nollaig):

World AIDS Day 1494 – Poynings Law enacted. This forbid the Irish parliament to convene without the King’s prior permission, and all intended legislation had to be approved by him. Coming in the aftermath of the divisive Wars of the Roses, Poynings’ intention was to make Ireland once again obedient to the English monarchy. 1848 […]

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#OTD in 1957 – Birth of Thomas McElwee, Irish political prisoner, who died on the sixty-second day of his hunger strike in Long Kesh Prison.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. The tenth republican to join the hunger strike was twenty-three-year-old IRA Volunteer Thomas McElwee, from Bellaghy in South Derry. He had been imprisoned since December 1976, following a premature explosion in which he lost an eye. He was a first cousin of Francis Hughes, who died after […]

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#OTD in 1900 – Death of playwright, novelist, and poet, Oscar Wilde, in Paris.

Oscar Wilde was an Irish author, playwright and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of the most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is remembered for his epigrams, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, his plays, as well as the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death. […]

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#OTD in 1967 – Death of poet and novelist, Patrick Kavanagh, who was born in Inniskeen, Co Monaghan in 1904.

Patrick Kavanagh was born on 21 October 1904, in Mucker townland, Inniskeen parish, Co Monaghan, the son of James Kavanagh, a small farmer with sixteen acres who was also a cobbler, and Bridget Quinn. He attended Kednaminsha National School from 1909 to 1916 and worked on the family farm after leaving school. His poem ‘Raglan […]

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#OTD in 1922 – In reprisal for the executions, Liam Lynch, Anti-Treaty IRA Commander, issues a general order to his forces to kill members of the Dáil (T.D.s) and senators who had voted for the Emergency Powers legislation.

In response to the executions, on 30 November, Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff of the Anti-Treaty IRA, ordered that any member of Parliament (TD) or senator who had signed or voted for the ‘murder bill’ should be shot on sight. He also ordered the killing of hostile judges and newspaper editors. On the same day, […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 30 November:

1667 – Birth in Dublin of Jonathan Swift, poet, satirist and clergyman. 1670 – Birth of rationalist philosopher, freethinker and occasional satirist, John Toland, in Inishowen, Co Donegal. He wrote numerous books and pamphlets on political philosophy and philosophy of religion. He also produced some highly controversial polemics, including the Treatise of the Three Impostors, in […]

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#OTD in 1895 – Death of Young Irelander, Author and Poet, Denny Lane.

Denny Lane, one of the most popular of the Young Ireland leaders, and the writer of the two well-known poems, ‘Kate of Araglen’ and ‘Carraigdhoun’ (or ‘Lament of the Irish Maiden’). Although a Catholic, he graduated from the mainly Protestant Trinity College, Dublin, where he joined the College Historical Society, became a friend of Charles […]

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