#OTD in 1738 – Irish harpist and composer, Turlough O’Carolan, died at Alderford House, the home of his patron Máire MacDermott Roe, in Ballyfarnan, Co Roscommon.

Death of Irish harpist and composer Turlough O’Carolan. His wake lasted four days! At age 18, he was blinded by smallpox and took to playing the harp. O’Carolan travelled Ireland most of his life as a wandering minstrel and composer achieving a level of fame that was unusual for the time. At age fifty he […]

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#OTD in 1846 – Michael Davitt, known universally as ‘The Father of the Land League’, was born in Straid, Co Mayo.

Michael Davitt founded the Irish Land League in 1879, a non-violent action group designed to help Irish tenant farmers who effectively had no rights in 19th century Ireland. The objectives of the Land League were “to bring out a reduction of rack-rents; second, to facilitate the obtaining of the ownership of the soil by the […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The first ‘Black and Tans’ (auxiliary policemen) officially arrived in Ireland.

Although they would be operational for less than two years, the ‘Black and Tans’ would become one of the most reviled names in Irish history. The English recruits to the RIC were mainly the unemployed veterans of World War I. Their principal motivation: employment for ten shillings a day. When the first recruits arrived in […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 25 March:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of the Annunciation to Our Lady. 1306 – Robert the Bruce becomes King of Scots. 1635 – A shower of hailstones, with stones as large as four inches in circumference, was reported in Castletown, Co Offaly – a hen was killed and a woman was injured. […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Seaman and Antarctic explorer, Tom Crean, from Annascaul, Co Kerry, retired from the Royal Navy, after almost 27 years of service.

The reasons why history has been unkind to Crean are twofold: first, the politics of post-independence Ireland; and second, what George Bernard Shaw described as the greatest of evils and worst of crimes — poverty. Tom Crean was an Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer from Annascaul, Co Kerry. He was a member of three major […]

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#OTD in 1922 – McMahon killings: In Belfast, policemen break into the home of a Catholic family and shoot all eight males inside, killing six.

At about 1.00 am on 24 March, gunmen broke into the home of a middle-class Catholic family who lived at 3 Kinnaird Terrace, near the Antrim Road in North Belfast. Publican Owen McMahon lived there with his wife, six sons, his daughter, and his barman, Edward McKinney. The McMahon family had no connection to any […]

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Ballyseede Castle, Co Kerry

The stunning Ballyseede Castle is steeped in a long and bloody history, built back in the 16th Century. Just three miles outside of Tralee. Covering some 30 acres and approached from the road via a sweeping drive, the Castle is now a majestic four-star hotel and favourite wedding venue, however, its current status is far […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 24 March:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Saint Mac Cairthinn, also Macartan, a very early generation of saints in Ireland and is recognised as the first Bishop of Clogher. He is known as Saint Patrick’s ‘Strong Man’ for his dedication and faithfulness. 1603 – James VI of Scotland comes to the throne […]

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#OTD in 1968 – An Aer Lingus plane, the St Phelim, crashed into the sea near Tuskar Rock, Co Wexford, killing all 61 passengers and crew.

Relatives of the 61 people who died on Flight 712 will attend a special 50th anniversary Mass on Sunday, 25 March 2018 at the Church of the Assumption in Ballyphehane, Co Cork. A special memorial service is also expected to take place in Wexford – the last point of land crossed by the Aer Lingus plane […]

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