#OTD in 1998 – Bridget Dirrane, who was imprisoned with Kevin Barry and who canvassed for John F. Kennedy in the United States, celebrated her 104th birthday with news that she was to be featured in the new edition of the Guinness Book of Records.

Bridget Dirrane was the oldest native of Ireland’s Aran Islands and the second oldest person in Ireland. Éamon de Valera was the Irish political leader she most admired, but in a life touching three centuries, she met Pádraig Pearse, went on hunger strike in Mountjoy gaol, campaigned for John F Kennedy in Boston, and was […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Death of Bridget ‘Brede’ Connolly who played a pivotal role in the 1916 Rising by dispatching messages for James Connolly in the GPO.

Born in Friarstown near Killerig, Co Carlow in 1890, her parents were Peter Connolly and Elizabeth Gaynor, the daughter of a nearby farmer in Grange. By 1911, the Connollys were living in Artane, Dublin and, according to local tradition, they may have been evicted from their home and farm in Friarstown. While no trace of […]

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#OTD in 1881 – Birth of William Pearse, brother of Pádraig, in Dublin.

Pádraig’s younger brother was also educated at Westland Row and was a promising sculptor. He founded the Leinster Stage Society and acted in the Abbey Theatre. William shared his brother’s dream for an independent Ireland and assisted him at St Enda’s. The two brothers fought alongside each other in the GPO. Although not a ringleader, […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 10 November:

1580 – Second Desmond Rebellion: After a three-day siege, the English Army beheads over 600 Papal soldiers and civilians at Dún an Óir, Co Kerry. 1728 – Birth of writer, poet, and physician, Oliver Goldsmith, in Co Longford. 1783 – National Volunteer convention on parliamentary reform begins at the Rotunda in Dublin. 1795 – Edward […]

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#OTD in 1893 – Birth of General Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff, IRA, in Limerick.

Liam Lynch was born in Barnagurraha, Co Limerick to Jeremiah and Mary Kelly Lynch. At 17 he was apprenticed to O’Neill’s hardware in Mitchelstown. Shortly after his apprenticeship began he joined the Gaelic League and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He joined the Irish Volunteers after witnessing the arrests of the Kent family by British […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Ernie O’Malley, Anti-Treaty IRA commander in Dublin, is captured following a shoot out with Free State soldiers on Ailesbury road in Donnybrook.

‘On the base of the Pillar was a white poster. Gathered around were groups of men and women. Some looked at it with serious faces, others laughed and sniggered. I began to read it with a smile, but my smile ceased as I read, ‘Poblacht na h-Eireann, the Provisional government of the Irish Republic – […]

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#OTD in 1890 – Birth of Irish Revolutionary leader, Michael Collins (The Big Fella) in Sam’s Cross, near Clonakilty, Co Cork.

“Give us the future, we’ve had enough of your past, give us back our country to live in, to grow in, to love.” –Michael Collins, during the treaty negotiations. Michael Collins was an Irish revolutionary leader, Minister for Finance in the First Dáil of 1919, Director of Intelligence for the IRA, and member of the […]

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