#OTD in 1949 – Birth of Thin Lizzy lead singer, Phil Lynott.

Image | When asked by a journalist what it felt like to be black and Irish, Phil quipped, “Kinda like a pint of Guinness”. Irish rock star, bassist, singer and founder of Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott is born in England to single mom Philomena Lynott. At about age four, Lynott moved to Dublin to live with […]

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#OTD in 1823 – Birth of Irish nationalist and American politician, Thomas Francis Meagher, in Waterford.

‘I am here to regret nothing I have already done, to retract nothing I have already said. The history of Ireland explains this crime, and justifies it.’ –Thomas Francis Meager Born the son of Waterford’s mayor, one of the few wealthy Catholic businessmen in town in 1823; Meagher benefited from a quality education (partly in […]

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#OTD in 2007 – Death of Tommy Makem, an internationally celebrated Irish folk musician, artist, poet and storyteller.

He was best known as a member of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. He played the long-necked 5-string banjo, tin whistle, low whistle, guitar, bodhrán and bagpipes, and sang in a distinctive baritone. He was sometimes known as “The Bard of Armagh” (taken from a traditional song of the same name) and “The Godfather […]

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#OTD in 1608 – Preparations commence for the plantation of six Ulster counties (Armagh, Cavan, Coleraine, Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone).

The Plantation of Ulster was presented to James I as a joint “British”, or English and Scottish, venture to ‘pacify’ and ‘civilise’ Ulster, with at least half the settlers to be Scots. James had been King of Scots before he also became King of England and needed to reward his subjects in Scotland with land […]

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‘Auntie Lizzie’s Bucket’ © Joe Canning 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Auntie Lizzie’s bucket sat on Auntie Lizzie’s table,On a tablecloth of painted garden flowers.Auntie Lizzie’s bucket had a wire handle on it,Connected to the bucket’s upright ears.Semi circled like a rainbow it reached from end to end,With a little wooden handle on the top,Auntie Lizzie’s bucket cost my uncle two and sixpence,When he bought it […]

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#OTD in 2014 – Author and activist, Gerry Conlon dies of cancer, aged 60.

“I have been in prison for something I did not do. I am totally innocent. The Maguire Seven are innocent. Let’s hope the Birmingham Six are freed.” Gerry Conlon, was one of the so-called Guildford Four, convicted on fabricated evidence of the Guildford pub bombings in 1974 which killed five people and injured dozens more; […]

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‘Patient Hero’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved. 

‘Patient Hero’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.  I speak of Robert Emmet And the words he had to say Before the black hat sent him To an unknown place in clay The words that Gael and hero spoke To those that took his life, To those who broke the heart of Sarah. She […]

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‘Seven Days in May’ © Joe Canning 2019. All Rights Reserved.

‘Seven Days in May’© Joe Canning 2019. All Rights Reserved. The Stonebreakers’ yard is a cold and chilling place,Where brave men stood bar one to watch their final dawn.Where the sad whispering priest guided their souls to Paradise. Letters of despair, of farewell, of pride, of patriotism.Fond farewells, of weepings, of love, of “remember me”.Final […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 4 May:

1699 – According to Jonathan Swift’s book, Gulliver’s Travels, it was on this day that Lemuel Gulliver sets sail on board the Antelope from Bristol. 1715 – Joseph Deane, Justice of Assize for Munster and MP for Co Dublin, dies of a fever resulting from a cold he caught (allegedly caused by a total eclipse […]

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