#OTD in 1887 – Birth of trade unionist and revolutionary, Winifred Carney, in Bangor, Co Down.

Close to the entrance of Milltown Cemetery is a limestone monument which marks the grave of a remarkable woman – Maria Winifred Carney. Winnie was born in Bangor, Co Down, but moved to the Falls Road in Belfast at an early age. She was born into a fairly comfortable family, and was one of seven […]

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Kilmainham Gaol

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 two miles outside […]

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#OTD in 1913 – The Irish Volunteers is founded by Eoin MacNeill at a mass meeting at the Rotunda, Dublin.

The Irish Volunteers (IVF) was a military organisation publicly launched in Dublin by Irish nationalists. It emerged in response to an article, ‘The North Began’ written by Eoin MacNeill in the Gaelic League paper ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’. The IRB knew they would need a highly regarded figure as a public front that would conceal the […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Death of Peadar Kearney, writer of the Irish National Anthem, ‘A Soldier’s Song’.

Peadar Kearney was born at 68 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin in 1883, he often walked along Gardiner Street to the Custom House and along the Quays. His father was from Louth and his mother was originally from Meath. He was educated at the Model School, Schoolhouse Lane and St Joseph’s Christian Brothers School in Fairview, […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Robert Erskine was executed by a Free State firing squad at 7am in Dublin.

Nationalist, Robert Erskine Childers, author of Riddle of the Sands, arms smuggler, father of the fourth president of Ireland Erskine Childers was executed by Free State government for carrying an unlawful weapon at 7am in Dublin (as well as eight other IRA members). Childers supported the Anti-Treaty forces in the vicious Irish civil war which […]

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#OTD in 1912 – Birth in Dublin of poet, dramatist and lawyer, Donagh MacDonagh, son of 1916 Easter Rising Leader, Thomas MacDonagh.

Donagh MacDonagh was a writer, judge, presenter, broadcaster, and playwright. He was still a young child when his father Thomas MacDonagh, an Irish nationalist and poet, was executed in 1916. Tragedy struck again when his mother died of a heart attack a year afterwards while swimming at Skerries to Lambay, Co Dublin on 9 July […]

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#OTD in 1943 – Death of suffragist, trade unionist and Irish independence activist, Winifred Carney, in Belfast.

Close to the entrance of Milltown Cemetery is a limestone monument which marks the grave of a remarkable woman – Maria Winifred Carney. Winnie was born in Bangor, Co Down, but moved to the Falls Road in Belfast at an early age. She was born into a fairly comfortable family, and was one of seven […]

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#OTD in 1887 – Birth of Irish patriot and poet, Joseph Mary Plunkett, in Dublin.

Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the 1916 rising and a signatory of the Proclamation is born into a privileged background. His father was a Papal Count. A gifted writer, he met Thomas MacDonagh when he was tutored by him in Irish in preparation for the University College, Dublin, matriculation examinations. MacDonagh was to […]

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#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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