#OTD in 2008 – Death of Brendan ‘The Dark’ Hughes, aged 59.

As leader of the Belfast brigade of the IRA, Hughes led one of the most effective campaigns seen during the Troubles. But he also endured the worst of the British prison regime at Long Kesh, spending 13 years in jail. Hughes spent 53 days on hunger strike in the famous H-Blocks in 1980, was Officer […]

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#OTD in 1972 – As eleven victims of Bloody Sunday are buried, the British Embassy in Dublin is burned to the ground by furious demonstrators.

In Dublin, over 30,000 – 100,000 marched to the British Embassy, carrying thirteen replica coffins and black flags. They attacked the Embassy with stones and bottles, then petrol bombs. The building was eventually burnt to the ground. The three days after the Derry massacre were marked by work stoppages and demonstrations in villages, towns and […]

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#OTD in 1972 – Bloody Sunday Aftermath.

The day after Bloody Sunday, British Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling announces a tribunal of inquiry ‘into the circumstances of the march and the incidents leading up to the casualties which resulted’. After being denied the right to provide an eye-witness account of what happened, an emotional Bernadette Devlin, the 24-year-old MP for Mid-Ulster who had […]

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#OTD in 1972 – In what is to become known as Bloody Sunday, the British Army kills 13 civil rights demonstrators in the Bogside district of Derry. A 14th marcher later dies of his injuries.

Thirteen people were shot and killed when British paratroopers opened fire on a crowd of civilians in Derry. Fourteen others were wounded, one later died. The marchers had been campaigning for equal rights such as one man, one vote. Despite initial attempts by British authorities to justify the shootings including a rushed report by Lord […]

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#OTD in 1835 – The coffin of mummy, Takabuti, was opened and unrolled in Belfast Natural History Society’s museum at College Square North. 

Takabuti was the first Egyptian mummy to be brought to Ireland. After the Napoleonic Wars there was a brisk trade in Egyptian mummies. She was brought to Belfast in 1834 by Thomas Greg of Ballymenoch House, Holywood, Co Down. Her hieroglyphs were deciphered by a leading Egyptologist from Ireland, Dr Edward Hincks, of Killyleagh, Co […]

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#OTD in 1980 – Guiseppe Conlon dies an innocent man in an English prison.

Guiseppe Conlon was arrested while travelling to London from Belfast to help his son, Gerry Conlon. Guiseppe had one lung, emphysema, and had just undergone chemotherapy. He died in prison five years later. On 5 October 1974 the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) targeted Guildford, Surrey, because it was situated close to a number of […]

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#OTD in 1978 – The European Court of Human Rights made its ruling on the case of alleged ill-treatment of internees during 1971.

In 1971 the Hillside Singers, in a song designed to inspire worldwide unity, sang of how they’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony; apparently the inspiration for the song came from the writers’ experiences while delayed at Ireland’s Shannon Airport. Documents unearthed by the Irish human rights NGO and The Pat […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The Parliament of the occupied six counties of Northern Ireland opt out of the Free State.

The parliament of Northern Ireland exercises its option to opt out of the Irish Free State and petitions King George V: “MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN, We, your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Senators and Commons of Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, having learnt of the passing of the Irish Free State Constitution Act, 1922, […]

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#OTD in 1969 – The British Army was deployed on the streets in the north of Ireland, which marked the beginning of ‘Operation Banner’.

Following on from the Peoples Democracy march of 1st January 1969 from Belfast to Derry and the subsequent rioting in the Bogside and other towns in the north of Ireland, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and its supporters were openly condemned by the Government of Northern Ireland as being manipulated by communists, republicans and […]

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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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