#OTD in 1972 – Lord Widgery’s report exonerating “Bloody Sunday” troops was issued.

Publication of the Widgery Report into the events of Bloody Sunday brings an avalanche of criticism and incredulity amongst nationalist and independent commentators. The man who served as the Lord Chief Justice of England from 1971-80 found that British paratroopers were not responsible for the deaths of 13 civilians on the day and that “there […]

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#OTD in 1941 – 15/16: In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Luftwaffe attacked Belfast, killing one thousand people.

Belfast was poorly prepared for the blitz compared with cities in Britain, few children had been evacuated, air raid shelters were sparse and defensive arrangements weak. Yet the Harland and Wolff ship building yards and Northern Ireland’s strategic role in the battle of the Atlantic made it a likely target. When German bombers struck on […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Bobby Sands was elected to Westminster in the Fermanagh/South Tyrone by-election, while on hunger strike in Long Kesh Prison, as MP for the constituency.

Shortly after the beginning of the strike, Frank Maguire, the Independent Republican MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, died suddenly of a heart attack, precipitating the April 1981 by-election. The sudden vacancy in a seat with a nationalist majority of about five thousand was a valuable opportunity for Bobby Sands’ supporters to unite the nationalist […]

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#OTD in 1886 – Home Rule Bill introduced in English Parliament by William Gladstone.

The Acts of Union 1800, united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland (previously in personal union) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. At various intervals during this time, attempts were made to destabilise Anglo-Irish relations. Rebellions were launched in 1803, 1848, 1867, and 1916 to try to […]

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#OTD in 1941 – A Luftwaffe bomb kills 13 people in Belfast.

The British government appeals to Éamon de Valera for help and he authorises fire brigades from Dublin, Dundalk, Drogheda and Dún Laoghaire to give assistance. On the evening of 7 April 1941, Fifteen German bombers believed to have been from the Kampfgruppe 26 path finder’s left their airfield in Northern Holland near the town of […]

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#OTD in 2018 – A new stamp goes on sale to commemorate the centenary of the founding of Cumann na mBan, designed by Ger Garland. 

Featuring Cumann na mBan members leading the funeral of people shot during the Howth arms landing. Cumann na mBan was a women’s nationalist organisation founded to advance the cause of Irish liberty. Its constitution provided for the use of force by arms against British forces in Ireland. Founding members included Jennie Wyse Power, Agnes O’Farrelly, Louise Gavan […]

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#OTD in 1980 – Kincora Scandal: ‘Boys suicide bids brought Kincora scandal to light’. Three staff members of the Kincora Boys Home, Belfast, were charged with acts of gross indecency.

The Kincora Boys’ Home was a boys’ home in Belfast, that was the scene of serious organised child sexual abuse, causing a scandal and attempted cover-up in 1980, with allegations of state collusion. The Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry began examining allegations relating to the Home on 31 May 2016, including claims that there […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The ‘Arnon Street Massacre’ – Belfast.

Six Catholic civilians, three in Arnon Street, were shot dead. It is believed that members of either the Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) or of the RIC were responsible, acting in retaliation for the killing of an RIC officer by the IRA. Although the Irish War of Independence officially ended in July 1921, the IRA’s conflict with […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 17: Final Entry | 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.

Lá Pádraig inniú ‘s mar is gnách níor thárla aon rud suntasach, bhí mé ar aifreann agus mo chuid gruaige gearrtha agam níos gaire, agus é i bhfad níos fearr freisin. Sagart nach raibh ar mo aithne abhí ag rá ran aifreann. Bhí na giollaí ag tabhairt an bhia amach do chách abhí ag teacht […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 16 | 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 had a wonderful visit today with my mother, father and Marcella. Wonderful, considering the circumstances and the strain which indeed they are surely under. As I expected, I received a lot of verbal flak from Screws going and coming from the actual visit. Their warped sense of humour was evident in their childish taunts, […]

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