‘A Childhood Christmas’ by Patrick Kavanagh

One side of the potato‑pits was white with frost— How wonderful that was, how wonderful! And when we put our ears to the paling‑post The music that came out was magical. The light between the ricks of hay and straw Was a hole in Heaven’s gable. An apple tree With its December‑glinting fruit we saw […]

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#OTD in 1920 – IRA officer, Ernie O’Malley, was captured by British forces in Co Kilkenny with a notebook containing names of his IRA colleagues.

‘On the base of the Pillar was a white poster. Gathered around were groups of men and women. Some looked at it with serious faces, others laughed and sniggered. I began to read it with a smile, but my smile ceased as I read, ‘Poblacht na h-Eireann, the Provisional government of the Irish Republic – […]

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#OTD in 1845 – Frederick Douglass delivers a speech in Belfast: ‘The Cambria Riot, My Slave Experience, and My Irish Mission’.

In 1845, as Ireland was descending into the despair of the Great Hunger, Frederick Douglass arrived for a four-month lecture tour of the island. Douglass had escaped slavery in Maryland seven years earlier, and had recently published his autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Douglass was greeted in Dublin, Belfast, […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 9 December:

1791 – Birth of politician and diplomat, Sir Thomas Wyse, in St John, Co Waterford. 1845 – Frederick Douglass delivers a speech in Belfast: ‘The Cambria Riot, My Slave Experience, and My Irish Mission’. 1850 – Stokes Law was published on this date. Why do clouds float through the air? It’s one of those questions […]

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The Celtic Goddess, Boann

BOANN (Boínd, Boínn) is the Goddess of water, fertility, inspiration and knowledge. Her name is interpreted as ‘white cow’ (bó fhionn) in the Dindsenchas. According to the Lebor Gabála Érenn she was the daughter of Delbáeth, of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Her husband is variously Nechtan, Elcmar or Nuada Airgetlám. Her lover is the Dagda, […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Liam Mellows, Rory O’Connor, Joseph McKelvey and Richard Barrett, Irish patriots – one from each of the four provinces – are executed by the Free State forces.

It was just one more harrowing chapter in a vicious civil war fought between erstwhile friends. Just one year and two days after Ireland achieved a level of independence, four of the men who fought in the War of Independence against British forces were executed by Irish government edict. On the evening of 7 December, […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 8 December:

In the Liturgical Calendar, today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. If it falls on a week day, Roman Catholic schoolchildren are given a holiday, marking the beginning of the Christmas season. 1757 – The Rotunda Hospital opened in Dublin. Initially located in George’s Lane on the site of a recently closed theatre, the […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The Parliament of the occupied six counties of Northern Ireland opt out of the Free State.

The parliament of Northern Ireland exercises its option to opt out of the Irish Free State and petitions King George V: “MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN, We, your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Senators and Commons of Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, having learnt of the passing of the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922, […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Éamon de Valera Summons Collins, Griffith to Emergency Meeting.

Disturbed at reports from London as to the signing of the Treaty, a furious De Valera issued an announcement that ‘in view of the nature of the Treaty with Great Britain, members of the cabinet in London were to provide an immediate report to a Cabinet meeting arranged for the next day, 8 December at […]

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