#OTD in 1907 – J. M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World is performed for the first time at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

John Millington Synge’s ‘Playboy of the Western World’ opens at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin to riots, literally! What happened is best described by two telegrams Yeats (a founder of the Abbey) received while he was in Aberdeen from a fellow Abbey supporter Lady Gregory. Telegram one read “Play a great success.” Two acts later, she […]

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#OTD in 1764 – United Irishman, William Sampson is born the son of a Presbyterian clergyman in Derry.

William Sampson was one of many non-Catholics who were disturbed by the level of discrimination and violence against members of the Catholic faith. Anticipating an insurrection in March 1798, as a lawyer, Sampson defended United Irishmen for anti-British actions and was imprisoned, disbarred, and banished from Ireland without trial for his courtroom and literary activities. After eight […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 26 January:

1316 – At the battle of Ardscull, Co Kildare, Edward de Bruce defeats the army of Justiciar Edmund Butler. The Scottish dead are buried in the graveyard attached to the Dominican Priory in Athy which occupies the area on the east bank of the River Barrow. Among those buried are two Scottish chiefs, Lord Fergus […]

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#OTD in 1877 – Birth of the leader of the alcohol free 1916 Rising, Canon Patrick Murphy, in Whitehill, Kilmore, Co Wexford.

Canon Patrick Murphy was born in Whitehill, Kilmore, Co Wexford. Murphy is a little known figure in Irish history, but he provided a truly fascinating oral account of the 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy in an interview in 1955. ‘Commandant Galligan arrived from Dublin with instructions from James Connolly that the Enniscorthy Battalion of the Irish […]

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#OTD 2017 – John Moore, from Clontarf, Co Dublin, was arrested after criminal damage, with a hammer, was caused to the grave of former president and Taoiseach Éamon de Valera.

John Moore, 57, of Clontarf, is charged with causing criminal damage to Éamon de Valera’s headstone at Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin. He told the court he does not have a solicitor and when asked by Judge Anthony Halpin if he would like to get one, Mr Moore replied: ‘No, I just beg for forgiveness, it was […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 25 January:

1356 – The 1st Earl of Desmond dies; Kildare is his replacement as justiciar. 1533 – England’s King Henry VIII, Lord of Ireland and ‘self declared’ King of Ireland (1541) marries Anne Boleyn after divorcing Catherine of Aragon. 1627 – Birth of chemist and alchemist, Robert Boyle, physicist, in Lismore, Co Waterford. Boyle is largely […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Death of Percy French, writer of many popular Irish songs, including the Mountains of Mourne.

William Percy French was born on 1 May 1854 near Roscommon. (William would be known as Willie until taking the name Percy as his stage name much later). His father was a landlord and his mother’s father was a clergyman. Despite the lack of music background in his family, Willie demonstrated talent for music and […]

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#OTD in 1921 – While the War of Independence was supported (actively or passively) by the majority of Irish, the Catholic church railed against the violence.

A letter from the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr. Thomas P Gilmartin is read at masses, following an ambush on English forces near Kilroe, Co Galway where members involving ‘D’ company, the ‘Auxiliary’ company in Galway had been ambushed: ‘The misguided criminals who fired a few shots from behind a wall and then decamped to a […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 24 January:

1851 – Charles Plummer, Irish language scholar and editor of Lives of the Irish Saints, is born. 1897 – Death of novelist, Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, née Hamilton. Born in Rosscarbery, Co Cork, her light romantic fiction was popular throughout the English-speaking world in the late 19th century and is best known by her book, Molly […]

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‘The Plantation of Ulster’ © Aine Kelly 2016. All Rights Reserved.

‘The Plantation of Ulster’ © Aine Kelly 2016. All Rights Reserved. We stood and watched the ships as they sailed into the bay, little realising that they’d come to enslave us and take our homes and lands away. I held my newborn baby tight, and stood in defiance of that fearsome sight, little knowing that […]

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