#OTD in 1961 – Enya (Eithne Ní Bhraonáin) is born in Gweedore, Co Donegal.

Enya began her musical career in 1980, when she briefly joined her family band Clannad before leaving to perform solo. Enya is a four-time Grammy Award-winning singer, an Academy Award-nominated songwriter, and Ireland’s best-selling solo artist (her record sales stand at 80 million as of 2009). As a musical group, Enya is a collaboration between […]

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#OTD in 2012 – Death of Bernard Noël “Banjo Barney” McKenna.

Barney McKenna was the last surviving founding member of the Irish folk group the Dubliners. With Luke Kelly’s powerful voice and force of nature on stage, Ronnie Drew’s gravelly memorable vocal sound, it was McKenna’s playing of the tenor banjo, coupled with John Sheahan’s fiddle, that gave the Dubliners their original instrumental quality. In the […]

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#OTD in 2006 – Death of Proinsias Ó Maonaigh or Francie Mooney, a fiddler from Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair), Co Donegal.

Proinsias Ó Maonaigh or Francie Mooney was a fiddler from Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair), Co Donegal. He is known for his distinguished fiddle playing and his unique and vast contribution to Irish music and culture. He is the father of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (lead vocalist and cofounder of Irish folk music band Altan) and grandfather of […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 13: Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

I’m not superstitious, and it was an uneventful day today. I feel all right, and my weight is 58.5 kgs. I was not so tired today, but my back gets sore now and again sitting in the bed. I didn’t get the Irish News, which makes me think there is probably something in it that […]

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#OTD in 1861 – Birth of poet and songwriter, Patrick McCall, in Dublin.

Known mostly as the author of lyrics for popular ballads: ‘Follow me up to Carlow’, “The Boys of Wexford”, ‘Boolavogue’ and ‘Kelly the Boy from Killanne’. He was assisted in putting the Wexford ballads, dealing with the 1798 Rising, to music by Arthur Warren Darley using traditional Irish airs. His surname is one of the […]

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