#OTD in 1978 – The European Court of Human Rights made its ruling on the case of alleged ill-treatment of internees during 1971.

In 1971 the Hillside Singers, in a song designed to inspire worldwide unity, sang of how they’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony; apparently the inspiration for the song came from the writers’ experiences while delayed at Ireland’s Shannon Airport. Documents unearthed by the Irish human rights NGO and The Pat […]

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#OTD in 1860 – Birth of Irish Celtic Scholar, Eleanor Hull, in England, of a Co Down family.

Eleanor Henrietta Hull was a writer, journalist and scholar of Old Irish. She was educated at Alexandra College, Dublin and was a student of Irish Studies. On 26 April 1898 she was a co-founder of the Irish Texts Society for the publication of early manuscripts. Douglas Hyde was President and Frederick York Powell was chairperson […]

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#OTD in 1547 – Henry VIII suppresses the Chapter of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin; it will not be restored until 15 June 1555.

The Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the head of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, elected by the Chapter of the cathedral. The office was created in 1219 or 1220, by one of several charters granted to the cathedral by Archbishop Henry de Loundres between 1218 and 1220. For centuries, the Dean of St. Patrick’s was […]

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The Stolen Children – Hopes and Dreams Deported Down Under

They were sent from orphanages from the north of Ireland and Britain to Australia with the promise of freedom. Many ended up in the care of the notorious Christian Brothers where they were treated as slave labour and suffered horrific physical and sexual abuse. Between 1947 and 1967 up to 10,000 children were shipped to […]

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#OTD in 2017 – While on a 16 day State visit to Australia, President Michael D. Higgins visited Fremantle Prison near Perth, Australia, where 62 Irish prisoners were held for their part in the Fenian Rising of 1867.

“Most of the evidence on which the men were convicted related to meetings with me. I felt that I, more than any other man then living, ought to do my utmost for these Fenian soldiers.” —John Devoy, writing about his plan to rescue the Fremantle Six An American whaling ship brought together a crew with […]

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#OTD in 1867 – A bomb was planted at Clerkenwell gaol, in London, in an attempt to free Irish Fenian prisoners, notably Richard Burke.

The Fenians simply wheeled a barrel of gunpowder up to the wall of the facility when they expected the inmates to be at exercise in the adjacent yard. The explosion blasted a 60-foot gap in the wall; the inward-collapsing rubble might easily have been the death rather than the salvation of the prospective beneficiaries, except […]

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#OTD in 1936 – Abdication Crisis: King Edward VIII encumbrance creates opportunity for the Irish Free State as the Dáil passes legislation removing the King from the Irish Constitution.

In 1936, a constitutional crisis in the British Empire arose when King Edward VIII proposed to marry Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who was divorced from her first husband and was pursuing a divorce of her second. Police detectives following Simpson reported back that, while involved with Edward, she was also involved with a married […]

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