#OTD in 1995 – Father Ted was broadcast for the first time.

A television programme offers to interview Father Ted Crilly. However Ted goes to extreme lengths to ensure the other members of the clergy on the island don’t interrupt his moment in the spotlight. Meanwhile Craggy Island hosts Fun Land, a fun fair to which Dougal is desperate to go. Ted takes the film crew to […]

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#OTD in 1918 – Birth of comedian, writer and actor, Spike Milligan, in India.

‘All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.’ –Spike Milligan Spike Milligan’s early life was spent in India, where he was born, but the majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom. He became an Irish citizen in 1962 after the British government declared him stateless. […]

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#OTD in 1742 – Handel’s Messiah is performed for the first time, conducted by the composer, at Mr. Neale’s Great Music Hall, Fishamble Street, Dublin, before an audience of 700.

George Frideric Handel (who had lived in London for many years) decided to visit Dublin. He also had received an invitation from the British Viceroy of Ireland, the Duke of Devonshire in Dublin.  At the time, Handel apparently was somewhat discontented with recent London reviews and with the treatment of some of his works, as a result […]

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#OTD in 1923 – The Shadow Of A Gunman by Sean O’Casey premiered at the Abbey Theatre.

The Shadow of a Gunman, drama in two acts by Sean O’Casey, performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1923 and published in 1925. Originally titled ‘On the Run,’ it was the fifth play O’Casey wrote but the first to be produced. The comic-tragic play is set in the tenement slums of Dublin in […]

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#OTD in 1816 – Birth of painter, Sir Frederick Burton, in Corofin, Co Clare.

Born in Co Clare, Frederic William Burton moved to London as a young man to make his living as a watercolour painter. His painting, ‘The Meeting on the Turret Stairs’ was voted Ireland’s favourite painting in 2012. Painting is on view at the National Gallery of Ireland | Merrion Square West, Dublin 2, Ireland  SaveSave

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#OTD in 1895 – Oscar Wilde was arrested, in the Cadogan Hotel, London, after losing a libel case against John Sholto Douglas (9th Marquess of Queensberry), who had called Wilde a homosexual.

Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet born in Dublin. At the height of his fame and success, while his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, was still on stage in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for libel. Married to Constance Lloyd and father of two children Cyril and […]

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#OTD in 2012 – Death of Bernard Noël “Banjo Barney” McKenna.

Barney McKenna was the last surviving founding member of the Irish folk group the Dubliners. With Luke Kelly’s powerful voice and force of nature on stage, Ronnie Drew’s gravelly memorable vocal sound, it was McKenna’s playing of the tenor banjo, coupled with John Sheahan’s fiddle, that gave the Dubliners their original instrumental quality. In the […]

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#OTD in 1902 – Premiere of W.B. Yeats’ Cathleen ni Houlihan starring Maud Gonne. The play is about the failed rebellion of 1798, with a woman representing the ideal of an independent Irish republic.

Cathleen ni Houlihan is a one-act play written by William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory in 1902. It was first performed on 2 April of that year and first published in October on Samhain. The play centers on the 1798 Rebellion. The play is startlingly nationalistic, in its last pages encouraging young men to sacrifice their […]

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#OTD in 1955 – Birth of actor, Brendan Gleeson, in Dublin.

“I tend to look for the good in bad people and the bad in good people, to make them human. ‘Cause I don’t think that people generally are that black and white. Maybe in movie-land they can be… but that isn’t necessarily all there is.” –Brendan Gleeson Gleeson is the recipient of three IFTA Awards, […]

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