#OTD in 1928 – The last active Fenian, John Devoy, dies in Atlantic City, NJ.

Fenian, John Devoy, whom the London Times called ‘the most dangerous enemy of this country Ireland has produced since Wolfe Tone’. John Devoy was born in Kill, Co Kildare, on the 3 September 1842. He worked for a short time as a clerk before joining the Fenian organisation. In 1861 Devoy travelled to France where […]

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#OTD in 1921 – The Dáil votes to appoint plenipotentiaries to negotiate with Britain regarding Ireland’s independence.

In what would turn out to be a momentous decision, de Valera opted NOT to be one of the negotiators stating that the Irish parliament “recognised themselves but no one else did. He really believed it was vital at this stage that the symbol of the Republic should be kept untouched and that it should […]

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#OTD in 1919 – An unofficial government policy of reprisals began in Fermoy, Co Cork.

Two hundred British soldiers looted and burned several commercial buildings in the town, after 23 Cork Volunteers, under the leadership of Liam Lynch, augmented by Mick Mansfield and George Lennon of Waterford attacked members of the Royal Shropshire Light Infantry en route to services at the Wesleyan Church. Four soldiers were reportedly wounded, one fatally. […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Féin, dies of a cerebral haemorrhage.

Arthur Griffith was one of the most important players in Irish Independence. Griffith founded Sinn Féin in 1905 as an Irish nationalist party whose objective was “to establish in Ireland’s capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation”. It was not until after the 1916 Rising that Sinn Féin became […]

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#OTD in 1888 – Birth of Irish nationalist, Sorcha MacMahon, in Co Monaghan.

It was said of Sorcha by her contemporaries that there was no ‘woman of that period whose efficiency, selflessness and enthusiasm was greater’. Born Sarah Teresa MacMahon at Coas, Co Monaghan. Born in 1888, she was called after her mother; as well as using her given name, she also used the Irish form, Sorcha. Her […]

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#OTD in 1922 – A leading figure in the Anti-Treaty IRA who had refused to surrender, Cathal Brugha, appeared from the doorway of the Hammam Hotel, revolver in each hand, and was hit by a sniper’s bullet from the Findlater’s building. He would die two days later.

During the Battle of Dublin, Republican leader Cathal Brugha and a rearguard of 15 men, who stayed behind in the Hammam hotel after Oscar Trayner and most other IRA men had left. At 5.00pm, when the fires made the hotel untenable, Brugha ordered his men to surrender. He however, stayed behind, only to emerge from […]

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#OTD in 1929 – Death of historian and nationalist, Alice Stopford Green, in Dublin.

Born Alice Sophia Amelia Stopford in Kells, Co Meath, she lived in London where she met the historian John Richard Green. They were married in Chester on 14 June 1877. He died in 1883. John Morley published her first historical work Henry II in 1888. In the 1890s she became interested in Irish history and […]

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#OTD in 1922 – De Valera and Collins agree to a pact whereby a national coalition panel of candidates will represent the pro- and anti-Treaty wings of Sinn Féin throughout Ireland in the forthcoming general election.

As in the Irish elections, 1921 in the south, Sinn Féin stood one candidate for every seat, except those for the University of Dublin and one other; the treaty had divided the party between 65 pro-treaty candidates, 57 anti-treaty and 1 nominally on both sides. Unlike the elections a year earlier, other parties stood in […]

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#OTD in 1885 – Birth of Michael Staines in Kiltarnaght near Newport, Co Mayo.

Michael Joseph Staines was born in Kiltarnaght near Newport, Co Mayo. His family moved to Dublin in 1904 and lived at Murtagh Road in Stoneybatter. Staines worked at Henshaw’s ironmongers on Parliament Street and joined the Irish Volunteers at their inaugural meeting in November 1913. Following a stint as quartermaster of the Dublin brigade, he […]

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