#OTD in Irish History – 31 March:

1711 – Seven women from Island Magee, Co Antrim were imprisoned and pilloried for ‘bewitching’ a woman named Mary Dunbar, who had experienced strange fits and visions. 1790 – A quarrel between John Philpot Curran (MP for Kilbeggan) and Robert Hobart (MP for Portarlington) resulted in a duel in which Hobart allowed Curran to fire […]

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#OTD in 1856 – Birth of Sir John Lavery, an Irish painter best known for his portraits, in Belfast.

John Lavery was born in Belfast, the son of a wine and spirit merchant, but was orphaned at the age of three and for a number of unsettled years wandered between Moira, Magheralin, Saltcoats, Ayrshire and Glasgow. Finally he started working by touching up photographic negatives in Glasgow and attended evening classes at the Haldane […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Three IRA prisoners Ernie O’Malley, Frank Teeling and Simon Donnelly escape from Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin.

Ernie O’Malley, Frank Teeling and Simon Donnelly escaped from Kilmainham Gaol. The escape was carried out under the orders of Michael Collins, and he had specific reasons for arranging the escape of each of the men. Simon Donnelly had only been in the prison for four days, but he was well-known to the authorities and […]

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‘The Fairies’ by William Allingham

‘The Fairies’ by William Allingham Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren’t go a-hunting For fear of little men; Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together; Green jacket, red cap, And white owl’s feather! Down along the rocky shore Some make their home, They live on crispy pancakes Of yellow tide-foam; Some […]

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#OTD in 1877 – Death of Gaelic scholar, John O’Mahony, founding member of the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States, sister organisation to the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

THE FENIAN MOVEMENT – The Fenians wanted one simple desire for Ireland – Independence from British rule. The Great Hunger had a massive impact on Ireland. Many in Ireland believed that the government in London, to solve the ‘Irish Problem’, had deliberately did as little as possible to aid the people of Ireland – in […]

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‘Local Hero’ © Joe Canning 2019. All Rights Reserved.

‘Local Hero’ © Joe Canning 2019. All Rights Reserved. Joe Canning ‘ A look at Ireland in verse’   In our street there’s a chap I can’t mention, A character famed in the town, Sure he’s partial to selling the poitín, And many’s a flagon I downed. It’s brewed from his crop on the mountain, […]

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‘Dedication’ by Patrick MacGill – The Navvy Poet

‘Dedication’ by Patrick MacGill –The Navvy Poet I speak with a proud tongue of the people who were And the people who are, The worthy of Ardara, the Rosses and Inishkeel, My kindred– The people of the hills and the dark-haired passes My neighbours on the lift of the brae, In the lap of the […]

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#OTD in 1941 – James Joyce, considered by many to be one of the most important modern authors in English because of his revolutionary approach to the novel, dies in Zurich.

When I die Dublin will be written in my heart. –James Joyce James Joyce published ‘Portrait of the Artist’ in 1916 and caught the attention of Ezra Pound. With ‘Ulysses,’ Joyce perfected his stream-of-consciousness style and became a literary celebrity. The explicit content of his prose brought about landmark legal decisions on obscenity. Joyce’s relationship […]

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‘Prayers in a Foreign Field’ © Joe Canning 2019. All Rights Reserved.

‘Prayers in a Foreign Field’ © Joe Canning 2019. All Rights Reserved. Joe Canning ‘ A look at Ireland in verse’ The bells rang out at 6am, at noon and six at night, To still the lands and living rooms for just a little while. As eighteen times the hammer struck, The old folk stood […]

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‘A Walk Among Snowdrops’ © Joe Canning 2019. All Rights Reserved.

‘A Walk Among Snowdrops’ © Joe Canning 2019. All Rights Reserved. Joe Canning ‘ A look at Ireland in verse’   My warm breath creates a brief mist, The crisp fallen leaf and twig crackles underfoot. My heavy boots rustle the natural compost. The earthen floor is soft, cushioning, comforting.   The alert squirrel darts […]

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