Gaelic League Carnival Poster, 1912

The Gaelic League was founded in 1893 to revive the Irish language, which was falling increasingly out of use, especially in urban areas where English was dominant. The majority of its members were middle- and working-class English-speakers, and by 1908 it boasted roughly 600 branches, primarily in cities. One of the ways that the organisation […]

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#OTD in 1888 – Birth of Irish nationalist, Sorcha MacMahon, in Co Monaghan.

It was said of Sorcha by her contemporaries that there was no ‘woman of that period whose efficiency, selflessness and enthusiasm was greater’. Born Sarah Teresa MacMahon at Coas, Co Monaghan. Born in 1888, she was called after her mother; as well as using her given name, she also used the Irish form, Sorcha. Her […]

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#OTD in 1616 – Death in Rome of Aodh Mór Ó Néill (anglicised as Hugh The Great O’Neill), 3rd Baron Dungannon and 2nd Earl of Tyrone.

Born in 1550, Hugh O’Neill (Aodh Mór Ó Neill) was the second son of Mathew Ceallaigh the illegitimate son of Conn Bacach O’Neill who had submitted to Henry VIII in 1542 and was regranted his lands with the English title 1st Earl of Tyrone. Mathew Ceallaigh had been murdered by his half-brother Shane the Proud […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 20 July:

1616 – Death in Rome of Aodh Mór Ó Néill (anglicised as Hugh The Great O’Neill), 3rd Baron Dungannon and 2nd Earl of Tyrone. He led an unsuccessful uprising against the English, and was eventually forced into exile as part of “the Flight of Earls.” 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Rebel camp at Timahoe surrenders. […]

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#OTD in 2009 – Death of author, Frank McCourt, in New York.

Writer and educator Francis “Frank” McCourt was born on 19 August 1930, in Brooklyn, New York, as the eldest of seven children. McCourt’s father, Malachy, worked odd jobs while his mother, Angela, worked to raise the children. The family frequently struggled to make ends meet and, after a long stint of unemployment during the Depression, […]

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#OTD in 1972 – Muhammad Ali fights Al “Blue” Lewis in Dublin and defeats him via a TKO (technical knockout) in round 11.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” –Muhammad Ali Twenty-four hours after arriving in Dublin, Muhammad Ali rang his publicist Harold Conrad. “Hey, Hal?” said Ali, “where are all the black people in this country?” “Ali,” replied Conrad, “there aren’t any.” On 19 July 1972, it took Muhammad Ali 11 rounds to defeat Al […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 19 July:

1608 – Preparations commence for the plantation of six Ulster counties (Armagh, Cavan, Coleraine, Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone). 1735 – Garrett Wellesley, 1st Earl of Mornington, politician, musician, and father of Duke of Wellington, is born in Co Meath. 1771 – Colonel Thomas Talbot is born at Malahide Castle near Dublin. He was the fourth […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 18 July:

1561 – Battle of Red Sagums: Shane O’Neill defeats the English, destroying much of Sussex’s withdrawing army. 1579 – James Fitzmaurice lands forces in Dingle with the intention of encouraging an uprising against England. 1689 – The Mountjoy ship breaks the blockading boom and ends the Siege of Derry after 238 days. 1794 – Feargus O’Connor, […]

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