#OTD in 1919 – Third meeting of Dáil Éireann – Éamon de Valera was elected President of Dáil Éireann (or Príomh Aire) and appointed a cabinet.

De Valera issued a statement saying that “There is in Ireland at this moment only one lawful authority, and that authority is the elected Government of the Irish Republic”. When the First Dáil met in 1919, Éamon de Valera was the president of Sinn Féin and thus the natural choice for leadership. However he had […]

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#OTD in 1872 – Birth of founder of Sinn Féin and co-signatory of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Arthur Griffith, in Dublin.

Arthur Griffith was one of the most important players in Irish Independence. He 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”. Griffith’s fierce criticism of the Irish Parliamentary Party’s alliance with British Liberalism […]

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#OTD in 1922 – An IRA anti-treaty army convention announced it would no longer accept the authority of Free State Minister for Defence Richard Mulcahy.

Further movement to Civil War: An IRA convention was held in the Mansion House in defiance of a Dáil Éireann 15th March 1922 decree, despite the Dáil prohibiting it. Richard Mulcahy, the new Minister of Defence having succeeded the anti-Treaty Cathal Brugha, promised that the IRA would remain loyal to the government. However, the army […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The seeds continue to be sown for an Irish civil war.

Rory O’Connor holds what was to become an infamous press conference at the headquarters of the republican party (Cumann na Poblachta) in Suffolk Street, Dublin. He declares that the army is ‘in a dilemma, having the choice of supporting its oath to the Republic or still giving allegiance to the Dáil, which, it considers, has […]

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#OTD in 1877 – Birth of author and revolutionary, Michael O’Hanrahan, in New Ross, Co Wexford.

His father, Richard Hanrahan, was involved in the 1867 Fenian rising. The family moved to Carlow, where Michael was educated at Carlow Christian Brothers’ School and Carlow College Academy. On leaving school he worked various jobs including a period alongside his father in the cork-cutting business. In 1898 he joined the Gaelic League and in […]

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#OTD in 1919 – Sinn Féin member, Robert Barton, escapes from Mountjoy Jail, courtesy of some excellent planning by Michael Collins which involved smuggling a file into the prison.

Robert Barton was born in Co Wicklow into a wealthy Irish Protestant land-owning family; namely of Glendalough House. He was the double first cousin of and close friend of Robert Erskine Childers and would later be best man at the wedding of Robert Erskine Childers and Molly Osgood. He became an officer in the Royal […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Michael Collins secretly authorised the formation of a specially paid unit of seventy IRA volunteers, known as the Belfast City Guard, to protect districts from loyalist attack.

In Northern Ireland there were continual breaches of the Truce by ‘unauthorised loyalist paramilitary forces’. The predominantly Protestant, Unionists government of Northern Ireland supported polices which discriminated against Catholics in which, along with violence against Catholics, led many to suggest the presence of an agenda by an Anglo-ascendancy to drive those of indigenous Irish descent […]

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#OTD in 1923 – The Free State suspends executions until 18 February, offering an amnesty to anyone who surrendered before that day.

‘During the Irish Civil War the National Army executed more Irishmen than the British had during the War of Independence.’ In the aftermath of the sudden death of Arthur Griffith and the killing of Michael Collins, in August 1922, William T Cosgrave became chairman of the provisional government. Cosgrave and his colleagues remained wedded to […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 10 January:

1751 – Cornelius Bolton, politician, Volunteer and improving landlord is born. He was a very progressive landlord and was very interested in helping his tenants progress. 1814 – Aubrey Thomas De Vere, a poet who adapted early Gaelic tales, is born in Co Limerick. He helped the Celtic revival encouraging the study of Celtic legend […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Éamon de Valera resigns as President.

In Dáil Éireann, Éamon de Valera resigns as President stating: “In view of the vote that was taken here on Saturday and which I had definitely to oppose as one that was tending to subvert the Republic which I was elected to my present position to defend and maintain; and as it appeared to me […]

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