#OTD in 1973 – Death of piper and folklorist, Willie Clancy.

Clancy was born into a musical family in the outskirts of Miltown Malbay, Co Clare. His parents, Gilbert Clancy and Ellen Killeen, both sang and played concertina, and his father also played the flute. Clancy’s father had been heavily influenced by local blind piper Garret Barry and passed much of Barry’s music on to Willie. […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Death of Percy French, writer of many popular Irish songs, including the Mountains of Mourne.

William Percy French was born on 1 May 1854 near Roscommon. (William would be known as Willie until taking the name Percy as his stage name much later). His father was a landlord and his mother’s father was a clergyman. Despite the lack of music background in his family, Willie demonstrated talent for music and […]

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#OTD in 1921 – While the War of Independence was supported (actively or passively) by the majority of Irish, the Catholic church railed against the violence.

A letter from the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr. Thomas P Gilmartin is read at masses, following an ambush on English forces near Kilroe, Co Galway where members involving ‘D’ company, the ‘Auxiliary’ company in Galway had been ambushed: ‘The misguided criminals who fired a few shots from behind a wall and then decamped to a […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 24 January:

1851 – Charles Plummer, Irish language scholar and editor of Lives of the Irish Saints, is born. 1897 – Death of novelist, Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, née Hamilton. Born in Rosscarbery, Co Cork, her light romantic fiction was popular throughout the English-speaking world in the late 19th century and is best known by her book, Molly […]

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‘The Plantation of Ulster’ © Aine Kelly 2016. All Rights Reserved.

‘The Plantation of Ulster’ © Aine Kelly 2016. All Rights Reserved. We stood and watched the ships as they sailed into the bay, little realising that they’d come to enslave us and take our homes and lands away. I held my newborn baby tight, and stood in defiance of that fearsome sight, little knowing that […]

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#OTD in 1881 – Birth of trade unionist and Labour politician, William O’Brien, near Clonakilty, Co Cork.

O’Brien moved with his family to Dublin in 1897, and quickly became involved in the Irish Socialist Republican Party (ISRP). O’Brien is described as a very significant figure in the ISRP.   A close friend and associate of James Connolly, O’Brien helped establish the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union in 1909, and was instrumental […]

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#OTD in 1980 – Guiseppe Conlon dies an innocent man in an English prison.

Guiseppe Conlon was arrested while travelling to London from Belfast to help his son, Gerry Conlon. Guiseppe had one lung, emphysema, and had just undergone chemotherapy. He died in prison five years later. On 5 October 1974 the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) targeted Guildford, Surrey, because it was situated close to a number of […]

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#OTD in 1923 – International reaction to Government executions.

The Irish government Representative in Washington, Timothy Smiddy wrote to External Affairs minister Desmond Fitzgerald about US concerns regarding the execution of Anti-Treaty Irregulars, especially the PR fallout if women were to be executed. “A report given last week to the American papers by Mrs Despard from Paris (a cutting of which has already been […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 23 January:

1774 – Dudley Cosby (Baron Sydney), former MP for Carrick, commits suicide. 1803 – Death of brewer and the founder of the Guinness brewery, Arthur Guinness, in Dublin. He was also an entrepreneur and philanthropist. 1837 – Death of pianist, composer, and teacher, John Field. He was born in Dublin into a musical family, and […]

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The Grave of the Yellow Men

It’s said that the blood that flows in all of us; every one of us in the country is blood that came from across the sea. Our identity is best understood from a maritime perspective. For centuries, Ireland has been a haven for explorers, settlers, colonialists, navigators, pirates and traders absorbing goods and people from […]

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