#OTD in 1888 – Birth of Irish nationalist, Sorcha MacMahon, in Co Monaghan.

It was said of Sorcha by her contemporaries that there was no ‘woman of that period whose efficiency, selflessness and enthusiasm was greater’. Born Sarah Teresa MacMahon at Coas, Co Monaghan. Born in 1888, she was called after her mother; as well as using her given name, she also used the Irish form, Sorcha. Her […]

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#OTD in 1884 – Louise Gavan Duffy, teacher and revolutionary, is born in Nice, France.

Best known for her involvement in nationalist politics, the Gaelic revival, and the women’s suffrage movement in Ireland, Louise Gavan Duffy joined Cumann na mBan on its foundation in 1914 and was made joint secretary. Louise Gavan Duffy was writing her MA thesis at her lodgings on Haddington Road when she heard the 1916 Easter […]

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#OTD in 1899 – Patriot and politician, Seán Lemass is born in Dublin. He was the second leader of Fianna Fáil and third Taoiseach of Ireland from 1959 to 1966.

Seán Francis Lemass was a Fianna Fáil politician who served as Taoiseach and Leader of Fianna Fáil from 1959 to 1966. He also served as Tánaiste from 1957 to 1959, 1951 to 1954 and 1945 to 1948, Minister for Industry and Commerce from 1957 to 1959, 1951 to 1954, 1945 to 1949 and 1932 to 1939 […]

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#OTD in 1927 – Death of Constance, Countess Markiewicz, politician, revolutionary nationalist and suffragette.

Born in London, her father was a philanthropist, Henry Gore-Booth. He was an Arctic explorer and a landlord in the west of Ireland, who was married to Georgina May Hill, of Tickhill Castle, York, England. Constance was educated at the family estate in Lissadell, Co Sligo. She was noted as a fine horsewoman who had […]

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#OTD in 1917 – Muriel MacDonagh, wife of executed 1916 leader Thomas MacDonagh, drowns while swimming on Skerries south beach.

Muriel Gifford was born in Rathmines, Dublin, of a Catholic solicitor father and a fiercely Protestant mother, the children were raised Church of Ireland, an unremarkable phenomenon among the wealthy professional classes of the time. Among the three Gifford sisters, Nellie, Muriel and Grace, Muriel married Thomas MacDonagh and Grace married Joseph Plunkett, who were […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Death of Cathal Brugha from injuries received when shot by Free State forces on O’Connell Street on 5 July.

Fuair sé bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. Twas England bade our wild geese go, that ‘small nations might be free’; Their lonely graves are by Suvla’s waves or the fringe of the great North Sea. Oh, had they died by Pearse’s side or fought with Cathal Brugha Their graves we’d keep where the Fenians […]

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#OTD in 1976 – Death of insurgent and trade union leader, Rosie Hackett.

Rosie Hackett was a trade unionist, a founder-member of the Irish Women Workers’ Union, and supported strikers during the 1913 Dublin Lockout. She later became a member of the Irish Citizen Army and was involved in the 1916 Easter Rising. Rosie, christened ‘Rosanna’ was born in Dublin on 25 July 1892. At the time of […]

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#OTD in 1870 – Bartholemew (Batt) O’Connor is born in Brosna, East Kerry.

Although not a direct participant in the 1916 Rising, Batt O’Connor was sentenced to be shot by British authorities but was sent to Wandsworth Jail and later Frongoch internment camp in North Wales. During the War of Independence he ran a number of safe houses and hid funds and documents for the IRA. He was […]

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#OTD in 1923 – Noel Lemass, Anti-Treaty IRA officer in Dublin, brother of Seán Lemass is abducted by Free State plainclothesmen and killed.

‘The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass’ by Harry Clifton The life of the country Hardened against you Like frost, and a new front Opened—brother against brother, Choice against choice, Disputing the high ground. Your eyes, Blindfolded, beheld the ideal State As the real one steadied itself To annihilate you. How to survive it, the force […]

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