#OTD in 1939 – IRA Army Council declare war on England and the Sabotage Campaign (S-Plan) begins a day later.

On 12 January 1939, the Army Council sent an ultimatum, signed by Patrick Fleming, to British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax. The communiqué duly informed the British government of “The Government of the Irish Republic’s” intention to go to “war”. Excerpt from the ultimatum:   I have the honour to inform you that the Government of […]

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#OTD in 1861 – Death of Young Irelander, Terence MacManus, in San Francisco, CA.

On 10 November 1861, 100,000 people defied the Irish bishops and followed the remains of Terence Bellew MacManus to Glasnevin Cemetery. Thirteen years previously Bellew had been sentenced to death for treason following the misbegotten Young Ireland Rebellion of 1848. His sentence was commuted in 1849 and he was transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 15 January:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast of St Ita (Íte of Killeedy). Ita, called the ‘Brigid of Munster’, born in present-day Co Waterford. She became a nun, settling down at Cluain Credhail, a place-name that has ever since been known as Killeedy–that is, ‘Church of St. Ita’, in Co Limerick. There, she was […]

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#OTD in 1937 – Irish Feminism Movement suffered greatly, as Éamon de Valera’s new constitution approved that ‘women’s place’ was in the home.

“Dishonesty magnificent in its proportions, and climbing into high places, became at the same time so rampant and so splendid that there seemed to be reason for fearing that men and women would be taught to feel that dishonesty, if it can become splendid, will cease to become abominable.” –Anthony Trollope De Valera’s 1937 constitution […]

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#OTD in 1961 – Death of stage, film and television actor, Barry Fitzgerald.

Barry Fitzgerald was born William Joseph Shields in Walworth Road, Portobello, Dublin. He was the older brother of actor, Arthur Shields. As a child he played with the younger siblings of James Joyce who he called ‘a young man with a beard and very clever.’ He went to Skerry’s College, Dublin, before going on to […]

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#OTD in 1871 – Alexander Sullivan, barrister and last King’s Serjeant of Ireland, is born in Dublin; best known as the leading counsel for the defence in the 1916 treason trial of Roger Casement.

Best known as the leading counsel for the defence in the 1916 treason trial of Roger Casement. Sullivan failed to win the case and Casement was sentenced to death. After Roger Casement’s capture on Banna Strand he was brought to London. During his interrogation on Easter Monday, news of the Rising filtered through, and by […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 14 January:

1753 – Death of George Berkeley, Irish philosopher and Anglican. 1775 – John Hely-Hutchinson, Provost of Trinity College, fights a duel with William Doyle over abusive newspaper articles. Doyle is ill and has to lean on a crutch at the duel; on being challenged he had initially complained of sore eyes, and ‘objected to stand […]

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#OTD in 2000 – It is announced that a 1,000 year old treasure trove has been discovered by a tour guide cleaning up litter from a Co Kilkenny cave.

Located just six and a half miles from Kilkenny city, Dunmore is by far the most historically significant cave on the island of Ireland. With strong links to Celtic mythology; the scene of the massacre of 1,000 women and children; reputed to be the hiding place of Dame Alice Kyteler, who was accused and sentenced […]

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#OTD in 1917 – Hanna Sheehy Skeffington travelled to New York with her son, Owen, to speak about her husband’s murder during the Easter Rising.

In an interview with the New York Times, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington says she was determined to come to America to tell people about ‘my husband’s murder’, despite the British government’s refusal to give her a passport. ‘I am not willing to tell how I got here’, she said, before adding that she had been forced […]

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