#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 1871 – Birth of poet and playwright, John Millington Synge, in Dublin.

Birth of Irish playwright, poet and author John Millington Synge in Rathfarnham, Co Dublin. Synge was one of the leading lights of what was known as the Irish Literary Revival and along with William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory, founding members of the Abbey Theatre. His most famous work is The Playboy of the Western […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 16 April:

1660 – Birth of physician and naturalist, Sir Hans Sloane, in Killyleagh, Co Down. Perhaps, the biggest impact Sloan made on Europe, was the introduction of drinking milk chocolate, which he had tasted during a visit to Jamaica. 1701 – Some MPs and gentlemen of Co Carlow petition against the return and residence of Mark […]

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#OTD in 1941 – 15/16 | In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Luftwaffe attacked Belfast, killing one thousand people.

Belfast was poorly prepared for the blitz compared with cities in Britain, few children had been evacuated, air raid shelters were sparse and defensive arrangements weak. Yet the Harland and Wolff ship building yards and Northern Ireland’s strategic role in the battle of the Atlantic made it a likely target. When German bombers struck on […]

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#OTD in 1848 – The tricolour national flag of Ireland was presented to the public for the first time by Thomas Francis Meagher and the Young Ireland Party, in Dublin.

In 1848, Thomas Meagher and William Smith O’Brien went to France to study revolutionary events, and returned to Ireland with the new Flag of Ireland, a tricolour of green, white and orange made and given to them by French women sympathetic to the Irish cause. The acquisition of the flag is commemorated at the 1848 […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 15 April:

1642 – Irish Confederate Wars: A Confederate Irish militia was routed in the Battle of Kilrush when it attempted to halt the progress of a Parliamentarian army. Though outnumbered, Ormonde managed to defeat the rebels and marched on to Dublin by 17 April. 1642 – A Scottish army under Robert Munroe landed at Carrickfergus. 1707 […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Led by Rory O’Connor, forces against the Anglo-Irish Treaty seized the Four Courts in Dublin.

Anti-Treaty forces led by Rory O’Connor seized the Four Courts. O’Connor, with approximately 200 men under his command. Their hope was that the British army, who were still based in Dublin, would attack them, thereby reigniting the war of independence and perhaps healing the split. Arthur Griffith, who was the President of Dáil Éireann, wanted […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Sir Arthur Vicars was assassinated in Kilmorna, Co Kerry by the IRA.

Sir Arthur Vicars is executed by the IRA in Co Kerry and around his neck the IRA placed a placard bearing the inscription ‘SPY. INFORMERS BEWARE. IRA NEVER FORGETS’. Vicars, who played a pivotal (and probably negligent) role in the theft of the Irish Crown Jewels in 1907. Born in England, Vicars spent most of […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 14 April:

1661 – Birth of scientist, archaeologist, physician and MP, Sir Thomas Molyneux, in Dublin. He was the first to assert that the Giant’s Causeway was a natural phenomenon. 1859 – Death of novelist, Sydney, Lady Morgan, née Owenson. Born in Dublin, she is best known as the author of The Wild Irish Girl. 1836 – […]

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