#OTD in 1930 – Birth of Frank McCourt in Brooklyn, NY. He was an American-Irish teacher and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, best known as the author of Angela’s Ashes.

Writer and educator Francis “Frank” McCourt was born on 19 August 1930, in Brooklyn, New York, as the eldest of seven children. McCourt’s father, Malachy, worked odd jobs while his mother, Angela, worked to raise the children. The family frequently struggled to make ends meet and, after a long stint of unemployment during the Depression, […]

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Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha – An Seabhac

Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha was born in the Gaeltacht near Dingle in Co Kerry in 1883. Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha went on to become an organiser for Conradh na Gaeilge, cycling all over the countryside to set up branches and promote the Irish language. As a writer, he took the pen-name ‘An Seabhac’, the Hawk, writing books […]

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#OTD in 2009 – Death of author, Frank McCourt, in New York.

Writer and educator Francis “Frank” McCourt was born on 19 August 1930, in Brooklyn, New York, as the eldest of seven children. McCourt’s father, Malachy, worked odd jobs while his mother, Angela, worked to raise the children. The family frequently struggled to make ends meet and, after a long stint of unemployment during the Depression, […]

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#OTD in 2003 – James Plunkett, best known for his epic novel of Dublin, ‘Strumpet City’, dies at the age of 83.

“Two divine persons in one. A mother lamenting her children in bondage. A girl ravished by the Saxon, who weeps over her stringless harp. But her young champions keep watch in the mountains, awaiting the dawn of the bright sun of Freedom. They will gather around her with pikes and swords.” –James Plunkett ––Strumpet City […]

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#OTD in 1897 – First publication of Dracula, written by Dublin man Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker.

The well-known theatre manager and part-time writer Bram Stoker released Dracula, a Gothic adventure novel about the exploits of a Transylvanian vampire in England and the attempts by a crew of respectable professional men (and one woman) to destroy the ancient evil. After suffering a number of strokes, Stoker died at No. 26 St George’s […]

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#OTD in 1923 – The Shadow Of A Gunman by Sean O’Casey premiered at the Abbey Theatre.

The Shadow of a Gunman, drama in two acts by Sean O’Casey, performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1923 and published in 1925. Originally titled ‘On the Run,’ it was the fifth play O’Casey wrote but the first to be produced. The comic-tragic play is set in the tenement slums of Dublin in […]

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#OTD in 1883 – Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha, writer under the pseudonym ‘An Seabhac’ and promoter of the Irish language is born in Dingle, Co Kerry.

Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha was born in the Gaeltacht near Dingle in Co Kerry in 1883. Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha went on to become an organiser for Conradh na Gaeilge, cycling all over the countryside to set up branches and promote the Irish language. As a writer, he took the pen-name ‘An Seabhac’, the Hawk, writing books […]

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#OTD in 1929 – Brian Friel, playwright and author of Dancing at Lughnasa, is born near Omagh, Co Tyrone.

“It is not the literal past, the ‘facts’ of history, that shape us, but images of the past embodied in language.” –Brian Friel When asked why he had two birth certificates, one dated 9 January 1929 and the other 10 January, the Irish playwright Brian Friel, replied: ‘Perhaps I’m twins.’ Originally from Tyrone, Friel moved […]

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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 1821 – Lady Jane Francesca Wilde is born in Co Wexford. Author, poet and the mother of Oscar Wilde, she is also known as Speranza.

Jane Francesca Agnes Elgee, later Lady Wilde and mother of Oscar is born. She became famous in her own right as a writer and poet under the name of “Sperenza.” Sperenza was an ardent nationalist in addition to being a staunch feminist. Her most famous poem is probably ‘The Famine Year’. Weary men, what reap […]

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