#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 1981 – Martin Hurson, Irish political prisoner, dies on hunger strike.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. On 29 May 1981, Martin Hurson joined the hunger-strike, replacing South Derryman Brendan McLoughlin who was forced to drop out because of a burst stomach ulcer. Having seriously deteriorated after forty days on hunger-strike, he was unable to hold down water and died a horrifically agonising death […]

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#OTD in 1998 – The three Quinn brothers, Richard, 11, Mark, 10, and Jason 9, are burned to death by a Loyalist firebomb in Ballymoney, 40 miles northwest of Belfast. 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha. Jason, Richard and Mark Quinn were three brothers killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in a firebomb attack on their home in Ballymoney, Co Antrim. Garfield Gilmour, was found guilty of murdering the three brothers 15 months later and sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting that he […]

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#OTD in 1972 – Springhill Massacre | British snipers shot dead five Catholic civilians and wounded two others in Springhill, Belfast.

The Springhill Massacre was a shooting incident on 9 July 1972 in the Springhill estate in west Belfast. Five civilians were killed by British Army snipers firing from a timber yard. Army snipers took up positions in Corry’s timber yard and reinforced them with sandbags. Two cars pulled into Springhill and the snipers fired two […]

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#OTD in 1970 – Falls Road Curfew | Beginning in the afternoon, the British Army carried out extensive house searches in the Falls Road area of Belfast for members of the IRA and IRA arms.

At approximately 4.30pm a mixed patrol of British Army soldiers and RUC pulled up to no.24 Balkan Street, in the Lower Falls in west Belfast. They were acting on a tip-off from a ‘concerned resident’ about a stash of weapons hidden in the property. What happened next is widely seen as having changed the course […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Thomas McElwee began his hunger strike in the H Blocks of Long Kesh prison.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. The tenth republican to join the hunger strike was twenty-three-year-old IRA Volunteer Thomas McElwee, from Bellaghy in South Derry. He had been imprisoned since December 1976, following a premature explosion in which he lost an eye. He was a first cousin of Francis Hughes, who died after […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The newly created Royal Ulster Constabulary took over the policing of Northern Ireland.

Following the partition of Ireland, it was decided to disband the RIC as an All-Ireland police force. In southern Ireland a new police force, the Civic Guard later Garda Siochana was formed, while in Northern Ireland the Royal Ulster Constabulary was established on 1 June 1922 as the police force for Northern Ireland. The RUC […]

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#OTD in 1956 – Birth of Kevin Lynch, an Irish Republican hunger striker and member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) from Park near Dungiven, Co Derry.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. Kevin Lynch  was a republican hunger striker and member of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) from Park near Dungiven, Co Derry. The Dungiven Hurling team was renamed Kevin Lynch’s Hurling Club in his honour after his death. Lynch’s older brother, Frank, was an amateur boxer and he also […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Birth of Joe Cahill, a prominent Irish Republican and former Chief of Staff of the Provisional IRA.

Joe was known for his comment. “I was born in a united Ireland, I want to die in a united Ireland”. In May 1920, Cahill was born in Divis Street in west Belfast where his parents had been neighbours with Irish revolutionary James Connolly. Cahill was the first child in a family of thirteen siblings […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Francis Hughes, Irish political prisoner, dies on hunger strike in Long Kesh Prison.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann! The death of Francis Hughes at the age of 25 after a 59 day hunger strike in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh. Hughes was such an effective guerrilla fighter that British authorities at one stage named him as the most wanted man in the north of Ireland. […]

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