O’Doherty’s Keep and Buncrana Castle

On the northern bank of the River Crana as it enters Lough Swilly sits the three-story O’Doherty’s Keep, which is the only surviving part of an original 14th-century Norman castle. The first two levels of the keep were built after 1333. In 1601 the O’Doherty’s Keep was described as being a small, two-story castle, inhabited […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 23 July:

1803 – In opposition to the Act of Union, Robert Emmet leads an armed outbreak that is easily suppressed. 1830 – Birth of Fenian, John O’Leary, in Tipperary; referred to famously by Yeats in his poem “September 1913″: ‘Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone/It’s with O’Leary in the grave’. 1834 – St. Vincent’s Hospital, established by […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 21 July:

1688 – Death of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde PC, an Anglo-Irish statesman and soldier. He was the second of the Kilcash branch of the family to inherit the earldom. He was the friend of Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, who appointed him commander of the Cavalier forces in Ireland. From 1641 to […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 20 July:

1616 – Death in Rome of Aodh Mór Ó Néill (anglicised as Hugh The Great O’Neill), 3rd Baron Dungannon and 2nd Earl of Tyrone. He led an unsuccessful uprising against the English, and was eventually forced into exile as part of “the Flight of Earls.” 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Rebel camp at Timahoe surrenders. […]

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#OTD in 1798 – Death of United Irishman, Henry Joy McCracken.

“The rich will always betray the poor.” –Henry Joy McCracken Henry Joy McCracken was a cotton manufacturer and industrialist, Presbyterian, radical Irish republican, and a founding member, along with Theobald Wolfe Tone, James Napper Tandy, and Robert Emmet, of the Society of the United Irishmen. McCracken was born in High Street, Belfast on 31 August […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 17 July:

1221 – Geoffrey de Marisco, justiciar of Ireland, is accused of financial irregularities and resigns: he is replaced by Archbishop Henry of London on this date. 1798 – Death of Henry Joy McCracken. He was a cotton manufacturer and industrialist, Presbyterian, radical Irish republican, and a founding member, along with Theobald Wolfe Tone, James Napper […]

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#OTD in 1803 – Irish Rebellion of 1803 | Following an explosion at his arms depot on this date, Robert Emmet brings forward his planned rebellion in Dublin to 23 July.

The glorious failure of the 1798 rebellion had a profound impact on the young Robert Emmet. He romanticised the nationalist ideals held by the organisers, as demonstrated by an ode he wrote to them: “And those who were laid at rest Oh! Hallowed be each name; Their memories are forever blest – Consigned to endless […]

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#OTD in 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion | John and Henry Sheares are convicted of high treason and were hanged, drawn and quartered in Dublin.

John and Henry Sheares were the sons of John Sheares, a member of the Irish Parliament who represented the Borough of Clonakilty. They were born at Goldenbush, Co Cork. Henry was the elder of the two, and was educated at Trinity College Dublin. Henry was called to the bar in 1790. John, who was three […]

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#OTD in 1770 – Mary Anne McCracken, patriot and supporter of the United Irishmen, is born in Belfast.

Mary Ann McCracken was a Belfast social reformer. Her father was Captain John McCracken, a prominent shipowner; her mother Ann Joy came from another wealthy family which made its money in the linen trade and founded the Belfast News Letter. Mary Ann’s liberal and far-sighted parents sent her to David Manson’s progressive co-educational school, where […]

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