#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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The Great Hunger Memorial – Providence, Rhode Island

A larger-than-life statue of three Irish figures sits on a round stone base, bordered by a walkway that incorporates the donor-bricks and flagstones. The walkway leads to a commemorative wall that narrates the history of the Great Hunger amid Irish immigration. The sidewalk beneath the wall incorporates an outline map depicting the coasts of America […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 3 November:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of Maél Máedoc Úa Morgair, St Malachy of Armagh. 1380 – Edmund Mortimer, 6th Earl of Ulster, holds a parliament at Dublin, which confirms the Statutes of Kilkenny. 1692 – The only session of the exclusively Protestant Irish parliament of William III and Mary ends on […]

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#OTD in 1846 – Cork Examiner reports death by starvation.

‘A Coroners inquest was held on the lands of Redwood, in the Parish of Lorha, on yesterday, the 24th, on the body of Daniel Hayes, who for several days subsisted almost on the refuse of vegetables, and went out on Friday morning in quest of something in the shape of food, but he had not […]

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#OTD in 1998 – In tribute to emigrants who sailed to the New World on coffin ships, Coillte announces plans for the establishment of the Forest of Dunbrody on the outskirts of New Ross, Co Wexford.

The story of Ireland is, in many ways, a story of continuous migration. Many disparate groups came to Ireland over the millennia, each one leaving their mark on the character of the island. Early Stone-age settlers came, and were followed by the Iron-age Celts. Viking traders founded the first towns in Ireland. Christian missionaries built […]

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#OTD in 1847 – In an irate letter published in the Cork Examiner, “A.D.F.” condemns the proselytising (soul-jobbing) of starving Catholics.

“I just now want to draw public attention to a disgraceful practice that was carried on during the period of awful distress, when nothing should sway people from relieving the destitute, the practice of proselytising, a new accompaniment of famine. The duties that devolved on the priest were indeed laborious, inasmuch as they had to […]

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#OTD in 1845 – The Illustrated London News reported on the early stages of An Gorta Mór that was to decimate Ireland in the coming years.

“Accounts received from different parts of Ireland show that the disease in the potato crop is extending far and wide, and causing great alarm amongst the peasantry. Mr. John Chester, of Kilscorne House, in Magshole, Co Louth, in a letter to the Dublin Evening Post, states that he has a field of twenty acres of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 18 October:

1171 – Henry II (1133-1189) King of England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, arrives in Ireland from France with an army and declares himself “Lord of Ireland”. Henry’s involvement was partly at the request of some dissident Irish chieftains and lords who feared losing their own lands. Three years previously Dermot MacMurrough “represented the malice […]

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#OTD in 2017 – President Michael D. Higgins unveiled a memorial commemorating the Great Hunger in Subiaco Park in Perth, Australia.

The memorial sculpture was designed by Charlie Smith and Joan Walsh-Smith, originally from Waterford. In Sydney, the President visited the Australian Monument to the Great Hunger, in the company of the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of New South Wales. The sculpture depicts a grieving mother “bent low by the crushing loss of her children” and […]

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