#OTD in 1796 – Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin receives its first prisoners.

Kilmainham Gaol is one of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe, covering some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland’s emergence as a modern nation from the 1780s to the 1920s. Attractions include a major exhibition detailing the political and penal history of the prison and its restoration. Located approximately three miles outside […]

Read More

#OTD in Irish History – 7 August:

1690 – William of Orange and his army reached Limerick with 25,000 men and occupied Ireton’s fort and Cromwell’s fort (built during the Siege of Limerick (1650–1651), outside the city. However he had with him only his field artillery, as his siege cannon were still making their way from Dublin with a light escort. This […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#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. […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More