#OTD in 1918 – John Devoy claims Roger Casement to blame for the 1916 Easter Rising’s failure.

New York-based John Devoy, editor of the recently suppressed Gaelic American has claimed credit for being the key individual behind the ‘German Sinn Féiner’ efforts to launch a revolt in Ireland in 1916. The claim comes in a letter, a copy of which was published last month in the USA.   The letter, discovered on the […]

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#OTD in 2016 – Kerry County Museum paid €10,600 for a Treasure Island-style map drawn by Sir Roger Casement to show where he had buried gold and other valuables after landing at Banna Strand on Good Friday 1916.

The map, and accompanying notes, kept by an agent in Britain’s MI5, went under the hammer at Chorley’s Auctioneers in Cheltenham, England on Tuesday with a top pre-sale estimate of £2,000 (€2,500). But, after what auctioneer Simon Chorley described as ‘frenzied bidding’, the hammer fell at £7,000 to an unnamed telephone bidder. Kerry County Museum’s […]

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#OTD in 1884/1920 – Tomás MacCurtain (born in Cork City), revolutionary and Lord Mayor of Cork is both born and assassinated on this date.

On his 36th birthday, Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork Tomás Mac Curtain was shot dead in front of his wife and son by a group of men with blackened faces, who were found to be members of the RIC by the official inquest into the event. Mac Curtain’s house in the city’s Blackpool area, […]

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#OTD in 1877 – Birth of author and revolutionary, Michael O’Hanrahan, in New Ross, Co Wexford.

His father, Richard Hanrahan, was involved in the 1867 Fenian rising. The family moved to Carlow, where Michael was educated at Carlow Christian Brothers’ School and Carlow College Academy. On leaving school he worked various jobs including a period alongside his father in the cork-cutting business. In 1898 he joined the Gaelic League and in […]

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#OTD in 1858 – The Irish Republican Brotherhood was co-founded by James Stephens in Dublin.

The original IRB oath, as quoted by Thomas Clarke Luby and John O’Leary, and which is among several versions in James Stephens’s own papers, ran: ‘I, AB., do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will do my utmost, at every risk, while life lasts, to make [other versions, according to Luby, […]

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#OTD in 1919 – Sinn Fein member, Robert Barton, escapes from Mountjoy Jail, courtesy of some excellent planning by Michael Collins which involved smuggling a file into the prison.

Robert Barton was born in Co Wicklow into a wealthy Irish Protestant land-owning family; namely of Glendalough House. He was the double first cousin of and close friend of Robert Erskine Childers and would later be best man at the wedding of Robert Erskine Childers and Molly Osgood. He became an officer in the Royal […]

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#OTD in 1858 – Birth of Irish revolutionary, Thomas Clarke, at Hurst Castle, Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire, England.

“I have lived to see the greatest hour in Irish history.” –Thomas Clarke As seemed often the case, Clarke’s father was in the British army. At a young age, Clarke took up the nationalist cause, joining the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). In 1883, he was sentenced to penal servitude for life for treason (planning bomb […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Death of Irish patriot, Mary MacSwiney.

Mary MacSwiney (Máire Nic Suibhne) was born in London to an Irish father and English mother. The family returned to Cork when she was six and she was educated at St. Angela’s Ursuline convent school. She obtained a teaching diploma at Cambridge University and taught at schools in England before returning to Cork on the […]

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Ní Saoirse go Saoirse na mBan! ‘Invisible Women’ by Brian Moore

Ní Saoirse go Saoirse na mBan! ‘Invisible Women’ (by Brian Moore) The singer sings a rebel song and everybody sings along. Just one thing I’ll never understand: Every damn rebel seems to be a man. For he sings of the Bold Fenian Men And the Boys of the Old Brigade. What about the women who […]

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