#OTD in 1848 – John Mitchel publishes first United Irishmen.

John Mitchel was one of the great propagandists of his day, although the causes he espoused often placed him on the wrong side, he was loved and loathed in equal measure. He was one of the few Irishmen to have incurred the wrath of the British government and of the Federal administration of the USA. […]

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#OTD in 1847 – Eyewitness report on The Great Hunger by James Mahoney in The Illustrated London News.

‘I started from Cork… for Skibbereen and saw little until we came to Clonakilty, where the coach stopped for breakfast; and here, for the first time, the horrors of the poverty became visible, in the vast number of famished poor, who flocked around the coach to beg alms: amongst them was a woman carrying in […]

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#OTD in 1847 – An ailing Daniel O’Connell makes his final speech to House of Commons pleading for help for a starving Ireland.

‘She is in your hands — in your power. If you do not save her, she cannot save herself. I solemnly call on you to recollect that I predict, with the sincerest conviction, that one-fourth of her population will perish unless you come to her relief.’ Featured Image | The crypt of Daniel O’Connell | […]

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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 author, Mary Anne Sadlier, in Cootehill, Co Cavan.

Born Mary Anne Madden in Cootehill, Co Cavan, Sadlier published roughly sixty novels and numerous stories. She wrote for Irish immigrants in both the United States and Canada, encouraging them to attend mass and retain the Catholic faith. In so doing, Sadlier also addressed the related themes of anti-Catholicism, the An Gorta Mór, emigration, and […]

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#OTD in 1849 – Án Gorta Mór horror.

The horrifying recollections of An Gorta Mór sufferer Brigid O’Donnel were published in the London Illustrated News: “I lived on the lands of Gurranenatuoha. My husband held four acres and a half of land, and three acres of bog land; our yearly rent was £7 4s.; we were put out last November; he owed some […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 22 December:

1691 – Patrick Sarsfield and The Wild Geese sail out of Cork harbour for France. The Flight of the Wild Geese refers to the departure of an Irish Jacobite army under the command of Patrick Sarsfield from Ireland to France, as agreed in the Treaty of Limerick on 3 October 1691, following the end of […]

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#OTD in 1848 – The Paddle Steamer ‘The Londonderry’, with immigrants fleeing The Great Hunger, took shelter in Derry harbour.

The ‘Londonderry’, a paddle-steamer which berthed at the quayside in Derry one Sunday in the winter of 1848 was only seven years old, big for a ship of her kind, weighing 222 tons. She was manned by a crew of 26 and often sailed between Sligo and Liverpool. On this winter trip, while hugging the […]

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#OTD in 1848 – ‘Saturday Review’ Racist Anti-Irish Rant.

On this day in 1848, the ‘The Saturday Review’ responded to comments from Archbishop John McHale (The Lion of St. Jarlaths) as to how emigration was bleeding Ireland dry with an astonishingly racist rant. “(A)nd in a letter to Mr. Gladstone he sighs… over the departing demons of assassination and murder. Like his friend Mr. […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 28 November:

1727 – William Connolly is unanimously re-elected Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. 1848 – ‘Saturday Review’ Racist Anti-Irish Rant. As Ireland haemorrhaged population via starvation and emigration, it received little support from elements of the English press. 1856 – Birth of Cardinal Patrick O’Donnell near Glenties, Co Donegal. 1863 – Foundation of the […]

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