#OTD in 2015 – Death of actress and singer, Maureen O’Hara, born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, Co Dublin.

Ar deis Dé go raibh a hanam. The famously red-headed O’Hara was known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, and often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne. She was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. In her memoir ‘Tis Herself: An Autobiography, she writes, […]

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#OTD in 1959 – Birth of musician, Gavin Friday, in Dublin.

Birth of Gavin Friday (born Fionán Martin Hanvey) in Dublin. He is a singer and songwriter, composer, actor and painter and founder of post-punk band The Virgin Prunes. Friday was born in Dublin and grew up in Ballygall a neighbourhood located on Dublin’s Northside located between Finglas and Glasnevin where he went to school. When […]

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#OTD in 1979 – Birth of actress and model, Caitriona Balfe, in Dublin.

She is best known for her role as Claire Fraser in the Starz drama series Outlander, for which she has won two People’s Choice Awards, two Saturn Awards, and an Irish Film and Television Award, and received four Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress – Television Series Drama. Balfe was born in Dublin, and […]

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‘The Silver Tassie’ by Sean O’Casey

The Silver Tassie is a four-act Expressionist play about the First World War, written between 1927 and 1928 by playwright, Seán O’Casey. It was O’Casey’s fourth play and attacks imperialist wars and the suffering that they cause. O’Casey described the play as “A generous handful of stones, aimed indiscriminately, with the aim of breaking a […]

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#OTD in 1902 – Death of Thomas William Croke D.D., the second Catholic Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand (1870-1874) and later Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Co Tipperary.

Thomas Croke was born in Castlecor (parish of Kilbrin), Co Cork, in 1824. He became the second Catholic Bishop of Auckland New Zealand before returning to Ireland as Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. He was a strong and public supporter of Irish nationalism aligning himself with the Irish National Land League during the Land War, […]

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#OTD in 1928 – Birth of playwright, novelist and poet, John B. Keane, in Listowel, Co Kerry.

“I was writing about people I knew, people who lived about two miles from Listowel, and that I’d grown up with. They’re all gone now, but they made me their spokesperson and I felt a responsibility to tell their story, to preserve a wonderful tradition in written form.” –John B. Keane John B. Keane was […]

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#OTD in 1940 – Birth of Maeve Binchy, an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, and speaker best known for her humorous take on small-town life in Ireland, her descriptive characters, her interest in human nature and her often clever surprise endings.

Her novels, which were translated into 37 languages, sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, and her death, announced by Vincent Browne on Irish television late on 30 July 2012, was mourned as the passing of Ireland’s best-loved and most recognisable writer. In September 2012, a new garden behind the Dalkey Library in Dublin was […]

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#OTD in 1897 – First publication of Dracula, written by Dublin man Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker.

The well-known theatre manager and part-time writer Bram Stoker released Dracula, a Gothic adventure novel about the exploits of a Transylvanian vampire in England and the attempts by a crew of respectable professional men (and one woman) to destroy the ancient evil. After suffering a number of strokes, Stoker died at No. 26 St George’s […]

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#OTD in 1939 – Birth of musician and composer, John Sheahan, who was a member of the The Dubliners.

John Sheahan was the quiet one in The Dubliners. In that cast of beardy and hairy rogues and rascals, Sheahan stood out by not standing out. Brought in to stand shoulder to shoulder with founder members Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew, Barney McKenna and Ciarán Bourke, Sheahan’s playing brought a touch of elegant class to that […]

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