#OTD in 1847 – Birth of teacher and founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Michael Cusack, in Co Clare.

Michael Cusack was born in the parish of Carron on the eastern fringe of the Burren in north Clare. He lived in a small cottage with his parents, four brothers and one sister. The Cusack homestead still stands today. Little is know of his childhood. On Sundays after Mass, Cusack and the other boys in […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Kevin Barry is arrested after IRA Volunteers ambushed a lorry full of British Soldiers on Church St, Dublin.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann! Eighteen year old medical student Kevin Barry is captured following an ambush on British troops in Dublin in which one soldier is killed. On 1 November 1920, he would become the first Irish rebel to be executed by Britain since the 1916 executions, thus cementing his place […]

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#OTD in 1803 – Robert Emmet, Irish patriot, is executed in Dublin.

O! BREATHE not his name! let it sleep in the shade, Where cold and unhonoured his relics are laid; Sad, silent, and dark be the tears that we shed, As the night dew that falls on the grave o’er his head. But the night dew that falls, though in silence it weeps, Shall brighten with […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 20 September:

1689 – The Enniskillen Protestants defeat Jacobite forces at Boyle, Co Roscommon. 1784 – Sir Richard Griffith, geologist and civil engineer, is born in Dublin. He was an Irish geologist, mining engineer and chairman of the Board of Works of Ireland, who completed the first complete geological map of Ireland and was author of the […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 19 September:

1757 – Having been funded by a bequest from Jonathan Swift, St Patrick’s Hospital for the insane, Dublin, is opened. St Patrick’s University Hospital is a psychiatric facility located in Dublin, near Kilmainham and the Phoenix Park. It was founded in 1747 with money bequeathed by Jonathan Swift following his death in 1745. 1864 – […]

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#OTD in 1964 – Death of dramatist and memoirist, Sean O’Casey, in England. A committed socialist, he was the first Irish playwright of note to write about the Dublin working classes.

Born John Casey, in Dublin, O’Casey had a strong interest in the Irish nationalist cause. He joined the Gaelic League in 1906 and learned the Irish language. At this time, he Gaelicised his name from John Casey to Seán Ó Cathasaigh. He also learned to play the Uilleann pipes and was a founder and secretary […]

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#OTD in 1851 – Death of Anne Devlin, in The Liberties, Dublin.

Born in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow. Her cousins, Michael Dwyer and Arthur Devlin, took part in the 1798 Rebellion. After the acquittal and release from Wicklow Gaol of her father in 1800, her family moved to Rathfarnham, Co Dublin, where she met Robert Emmet who was leasing a house in nearby Butterfield Lane from where he […]

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#OTD in 1889 – Kathleen Behan, née Kearney, ‘Mother of All the Behans’ and folk singer is born in Dublin.

“What I have, I hold.” –Kathleen Behan History has cast Kathleen Behan in supporting roles, reducing her to the “sister of” or “mother of” someone important. But she deserves so much more – Kathleen was a political powerhouse, raconteur, and gifted singer who, in the course of her long and often tragic life, managed to […]

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#OTD in 1867 – The Escape that Sparked the Manchester Martyrs: Thomas Kelly and Timothy Deasy are rescued in a Fenian attack on a police van in Manchester during which a police sergeant is shot dead.

The Manchester Martyrs – William Philip Allen, Michael Larkin, and Michael O’Brien – were members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, an organisation dedicated to ending British rule in Ireland. They were executed for the murder of a police officer in Manchester, England, in 1867, during an incident that became known as the Manchester Outrages. The […]

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