#OTD in 1907 – J. M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World is performed for the first time at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

John Millington Synge’s ‘Playboy of the Western World’ opens at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin to riots, literally! What happened is best described by two telegrams Yeats (a founder of the Abbey) received while he was in Aberdeen from a fellow Abbey supporter Lady Gregory. Telegram one read “Play a great success.” Two acts later, she […]

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#OTD in 1961 – Death of stage, film and television actor, Barry Fitzgerald.

Barry Fitzgerald was born William Joseph Shields in Walworth Road, Portobello, Dublin. He was the older brother of actor, Arthur Shields. As a child he played with the younger siblings of James Joyce who he called ‘a young man with a beard and very clever.’ He went to Skerry’s College, Dublin, before going on to […]

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#OTD in 1866 – Birth of Irish revolutionary and patriot, Maud Gonne MacBride, near Farnham, Surrey, England.

Maud Gonne was an Irish revolutionary, suffragette, actress and a romantic muse for William Butler Yeats, as well as the mother to Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Sean MacBride. Maud Gonne was born near Farnham, Surrey, England. She founded the Irish Nationalist group, Inghinidhe na hÉireann (The Daughters of Ireland). She had a relationship with poet, William […]

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#OTD in 1927 – Birth of writer, Críostóir Ó Floinn in Limerick.

Críostóir Ó Floinn has published over 50 works in Irish and English, including novels, plays, short stories, biography, 12 books of poetry and a three-volume autobiography.   Educated at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, Ó Floinn gained much attention for his controversial 1966 play, Cóta Bán Chríost (lit. “The white coat of Christ”), […]

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#OTD in 1955 – Death of Irish Patriot, Grace Gifford Plunkett, in her apartment in South Richmond Street, Portobello, Dublin.

Grace Plunkett, née Gifford was a cartoonist, caricaturist and illustrator who was active in the Republican movement. Her marriage to Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, a few hours before he was executed, is the subject of a popular Republican song, ‘Grace’, written by Frank and Sean O’Meara in 1985. Ar […]

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#OTD in 1946 – Birth of film and stage actor, Stephen Rea (born Graham Rea) in Belfast.

Stephen Rea has appeared in films such as V for Vendetta, The Butcher Boy, This Is My Father, Evelyn, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto. Rea was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead performance as Fergus in the 1992 film The Crying Game. He has had important roles in […]

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‘The Silver Tassie’ by Sean O’Casey

The Silver Tassie is a four-act Expressionist play about the First World War, written between 1927 and 1928 by playwright, Seán O’Casey. It was O’Casey’s fourth play and attacks imperialist wars and the suffering that they cause. O’Casey described the play as “A generous handful of stones, aimed indiscriminately, with the aim of breaking a […]

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#OTD in 1903 – Frank O’Connor, (pseudonym of Michael O’Donovan), short-story writer and author of poetic translations from Irish is born in Cork.

Frank O’Connor’s memoir ‘An Only Child’ is an evocative work detailing his upbringing in poverty in his native Cork. He fought in the Irish War of Independence and supported the Anti-Treaty side in 1922 for which he was interned for a period of time. O’Connor served as a director of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in […]

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#OTD in 1932 – Death of Augusta Persse, better known as Lady Augusta Gregory, Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre director; also a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre.

Lady Gregory was an Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre director; also a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre. George Bernard Shaw once described Lady Augusta Gregory as “the greatest living Irishwoman”. Lady Gregory, also known as Isabella Augusta, was born on 15 March 1852, in Roxborough, Co Galway. She married Sir William Henry Gregory in 1880. […]

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