#OTD in 1844 – Birth of poet and novelist, John Boyle O’Reilly, in Co Meath.

Poet, writer and nationalist John Boyle O’Reilly was born in Dowth Castle, Co Meath, near Drogheda. For his part in the IRB and Fenian conspiracy, O’Reilly was sentenced to twenty years’ penal servitude. He served nearly two years in English prisons before being put aboard the convict ship Hougoumont, and transported to Australia in 1868, […]

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#OTD in 1915 – Joseph Mary Plunkett travelled to Germany to join Roger Casement and assist him in his efforts to raise an Irish Brigade and garner German support for the planned 1916 Rising.

Once in Germany, Plunkett met with Casement, a former member of the British Foreign Office, who had travelled from America, funded by Clan na Gael under the leadership of John Devoy. Arriving in Berlin on 31 October 1914, Casement’s mission to Germany had three basic aims: 1. To secure German help for Ireland; 2. To […]

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#OTD in 1847 – Choctaw Indians collect money to donate to starving Irish Hunger victims.

Moved by news of starvation in Ireland, a group of Choctaws gathered in Scullyville, Ok, to raise a relief fund. Despite their meager resources, they collected $170 and forwarded it to a U.S. famine relief organisation. The Choctaw Indians may have seen echoes of their own fate in that of the Irish. Just 16 years […]

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#OTD in 1875 – John Mitchell returns from America one day after being elected MP for Tipperary.

Mitchel’s election was deemed invalid as he was a convicted felon for his activities with the Young Ireland movement. In poor health, he would die weeks later on 20th March. Mitchel wrote for The Nation and was founder of The United Irishman newspaper which openly preached rebellion against England returns to Ireland. Convicted of treason […]

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Ireland, Germany and the Freedom of the Seas: A Possible Outcome of the War of 1914 by Roger Casement.

A widely available version of Roger Casement’s political writings on Ireland as collected in 1914 in Casement’s own handwriting is a unique source in that the text constitutes what he viewed as his key writings on Ireland in the context of history, pre-First World War politics and international relations, with annotations delineating some of his […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Éamon de Valera returns from America.

Éamon de Valera had presented himself as ‘President of Ireland’ during his trip although he was not recognised in this capacity by the US government. De Valera evoked generous financial, emotional and political good will for Ireland during his eighteen month trip. He spoke at Madison Square Garden and Fenway Park drawing audiences in some […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The American Committee for Relief in Ireland is founded in New York to provide support for those affected by the War of Independence.

The American Committee for Relief in Ireland (ACRI) was formed through the initiative of Dr. William J. Maloney and others in 1920, with the intention of giving financial assistance to civilians in Ireland who had been injured or suffered severe financial hardship due to the ongoing Irish War of Independence. Apart from the ACRI, bodies […]

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#OTD in 1951 – Death of athlete and gold medal winner, Tom Kiely.

Born in Ballyneale, just outside Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, Kiely competed in the 1904 Summer Olympics held in St. Louis, Missouri. Kiely faced a monumental task in St. Louis; the ten events by which all-around ability was measured were all contested in a single day, in the following order: 100 yards, shot put, high jump, 120 […]

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#OTD in 1845 – Abolitionist Frederick Douglass speaks to a packed house in Cork on the subject of slavery.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass speaks to a packed house in Cork on the subject of slavery. “Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,—There is perhaps no argument more frequently resorted to by the Slaveholders in support of the slave system, than the inferiority of the slave. In the name of Christianity, I demand that people of these countries […]

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#OTD in 1861 – The 10th Tennessee Infantry Regiment enters Confederate service in the American Civil War.

Company D was known as the ‘Rebel Sons of Erin’ because so many of them were Irish. Indeed, the roster of Company D reads like any small town in a 19th century Irish village (every surname was Irish). While the Fighting 69th on the Union side is the most famous “Irish Brigade,” it is estimated […]

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