#OTD in Irish History – 2 June:

1567 – The Ulster chieftain, Shane O’Neill, takes refuge with the MacDonnells, and is murdered by them at Cushendun, Co Antrim. He is succeeded by Turlough Luineach O’Neill. 1705 – The town of Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh is virtually destroyed by an accidental fire. One hundred and fourteen families and their servants suffer severe losses, and […]

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#OTD in 1863 – American Civil War: Thomas Francis Meagher on Battle of Chancellorsville.

Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas Francis Meagher, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade APRIL 27-MAY 6, 1863 –– The Chancellorsville Campaign BANKS’ FORD, NEAR FALMOUTH, VA. April 28, 1863––1.30 p.m. Maj. JOHN HANCOCK, Assistant Adjutant-General, Hancock’s Division. MAJOR: I have the honour to inform the major-general commanding the division that, in accordance with instructions received […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 28 April:

1714 – Sir Wentworth Harman, MP for Lanesborough, ‘coming in a dark night from Chapel-Izod, his coach overturning, tumbled down a precipice, and he dies in consequence of the wounds and bruises he received’. 1794 – The Reverend William Jackson was arrested in Dublin on this day in 1794. Jackson was born in Newtownards, Co […]

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#OTD in 1861 – The American Civil War began; 150,000 Irishmen would serve with the Union forces, and 40,000 with the Confederacy.

The American Civil War began, a war that would not only pit American against American but also Irish against Irish. An estimated 150,000 Irish fought on the Union side while about 40,000 fought for the confederacy. While the majority fought with the Union, many Irish had a strong antipathy to a northern culture which they […]

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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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#OTD in 1877 – Death of Gaelic scholar, John O’Mahony, founding member of the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States, sister organisation to the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

THE FENIAN MOVEMENT – The Fenians wanted one simple desire for Ireland – Independence from British rule. The Great Hunger had a massive impact on Ireland. Many in Ireland believed that the government in London, to solve the ‘Irish Problem’, had deliberately did as little as possible to aid the people of Ireland – in […]

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#OTD in 1878 – Death of Fenian General John O’Neill.

O’Neill is best known for his activities leading the Fenian raids on Canada in 1866 and 1871.   He was born in Drumgallon, Clontibrit, Co Monaghan, where he received some schooling. He emigrated to New Jersey in 1848 at the height of An Gorta Mór. He received an additional year of education there and worked […]

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#OTD in 1820 – Birth of Thomas Sweeny in Co Cork. He was a soldier who served in the Mexican-American War and then was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Thomas William Sweeny was born in Co Cork on 25 December 1820. He immigrated to the United States in 1833. In 1846, he enlisted as a second lieutenant in the 2nd New York Volunteers and fought under General Winfield Scott in Mexico. Sweeny was wounded in the groin at the Battle of Cerro Gordo, and […]

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Christmas with the Irish Brigade

‘Near one of the huge fires a kind of arbour was nicely constructed of the branches of trees, which were so interwoven on one another as to form a kind of wall. Inside this, some were seated on logs, some reclining in true Turkish style. Seated near the fire was Johnny Flaherty, discoursing sweet music […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 13 December:

In the Julian calendar before the Gregorian reform, this was the shortest day and longest night, and widely celebrated as such. 1779 – The demand for the removal of restrictions on Irish free trade through out the colonies is satisfied on this day. After boycotting British goods and parading on College Green, Dublin in November, […]

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