#OTD in 1916 – Eoin MacNeill’s last minute bid to call off the Easter Rising.

The letter penned on Easter Saturday, 22 April 1916, by Irish Volunteers chief Eoin MacNeill, dispatched to rebel leaders in an effort to call off the planned revolution. “Volunteers completely deceived. All orders for to-morrow Sunday are entirely cancelled,” says the note signed by MacNeill on what is now a tatty piece of paper, embossed […]

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#OTD in 1875 – Birth of Michael Joseph O’Rahilly in Ballylongford, Co Kerry.

Michael Joseph O’Rahilly was born in Ballylongford, Co Kerry in 1875. He was a republican and a language enthusiast, a member of An Coiste Gnótha, the Gaelic League’s governing body. He was well-travelled, spending at least a decade in the United States and in Europe. He was a reasonably wealthy man; the Weekly Irish Times […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 22 April:

1365 – Lionel returns to England, leaving Ormond as his deputy. 1671 – An English Navigation Act prohibits direct importation of sugar, tobacco and other produce from the colonies to Ireland; act expires in 1681 but is renewed in 1685 and extended in 1696. 1717 – John Marshall, a successful attorney and father of Robert […]

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#OTD in 1994 – Northern Ireland Lord Chief Justice, Sir Brian Hutton, quashed the conviction of Paul Hill for the murder of a former British soldier in 1974. Hutton declared that the conviction was ‘unsafe and unsatisfactory’.

An appeals court overturned a 19-year-old murder conviction against Paul Hill, who spent nearly 15 years in prison for two IRA attacks that he insisted he never committed. The decision was the latest rebuke to the British police for mishandling high-profile terrorist cases in which innocent people have gone to jail. The court ruled that […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 21 April:

1738 – A Mr Lorimer, receiver of Sir Arthur Acheson (MP for Mullingar), is killed in a duel. 1816 – Birth of author of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë, daughter of an Irish father and eldest of the three Brontë Sisters. 1871 – Birth of Labour leader and Irish nationalist, John Fitzpatrick, in Athlone, Co Westmeath. […]

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#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 1912 – Death of Bram Stoker, the Dublin born writer who created Dracula.

Death of novelist Bram Stoker, author of Dracula which was first published in 1897. Born in Dublin, Stoker was bed-ridden for much of his childhood, but lived a relatively healthy life during his adulthood. Educated at Trinity College, he moved to London in 1878 and married actress Florence Balcombe. Dracula received some praise on its […]

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#OTD in 1608 – Sir Thomas Phillipps was granted a license by James I to the Old Bushmills distillery in Co Antrim, which is thought to date from at least 1276 – the oldest distillery in the world.

Uisce beatha is the name for whiskey in the Irish language. The word “whiskey” itself is simply an anglicised version of this phrase, stemming from a mispronunciation of the word uisce. This may in turn have influenced the Modern Irish word fuisce (“whiskey”). The phrase uisce beatha, literally “water of life”, was the name given […]

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