#OTD in Irish History – 26 March:

1787 – The Tumultuous Risings Act imposed penalties for rioting and for interference with the collection of tithes. 1838 – William Edward Hartpole Lecky, historian and philosopher, was born in Blackrock, Co Dublin. 1854 – Harry Furniss, caricaturist, was born in Wexford. 1856 – Birth of New Zealand statesman and Prime Minister from 1912 to […]

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#OTD in 1922 – McMahon killings: In Belfast, policemen break into the home of a Catholic family and shoot all eight males inside, killing six.

At about 1.00 am on 24 March, gunmen broke into the home of a middle-class Catholic family who lived at 3 Kinnaird Terrace, near the Antrim Road in North Belfast. Publican Owen McMahon lived there with his wife, six sons, his daughter, and his barman, Edward McKinney. The McMahon family had no connection to any […]

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#OTD in 2017 – Death of Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander and Sinn Fein political leader who helped negotiate peace in Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian violence, and became a senior official in its power-sharing government.

Martin McGuinness, former IRA chief of staff and a key figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, died just two months after stepping down as deputy first minister. The 66-year-old Irish republican died after a short illness in Derry’s Altnagelvin hospital surrounded by his family. He had a rare genetic disease caused by deposits of […]

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#OTD in 1856 – Birth of Sir John Lavery, an Irish painter best known for his portraits, in Belfast.

John Lavery was born in Belfast, the son of a wine and spirit merchant, but was orphaned at the age of three and for a number of unsettled years wandered between Moira, Magheralin, Saltcoats, Ayrshire and Glasgow. Finally he started working by touching up photographic negatives in Glasgow and attended evening classes at the Haldane […]

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#OTD in 1949 – Birth in Belfast of Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins, snooker player and two-time world-champion.

Alex Higgins started playing snooker at the age of 11, often in the Jampot club in his native Sandy Row area of south Belfast and later in the YMCA in the nearby city centre. At age 14, he left for England and a career as a jockey. However, he never made the grade because he […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 17: Final Entry | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

Lá Pádraig inniú ‘s mar is gnách níor thárla aon rud suntasach, bhí mé ar aifreann agus mo chuid gruaige gearrtha agam níos gaire, agus é i bhfad níos fearr freisin. Sagart nach raibh ar mo aithne abhí ag rá ran aifreann. Bhí na giollaí ag tabhairt an bhia amach do chách abhí ag teacht […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 16 | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

I had a wonderful visit today with my mother, father and Marcella. Wonderful, considering the circumstances and the strain which indeed they are surely under. As I expected, I received a lot of verbal flak from Screws going and coming from the actual visit. Their warped sense of humour was evident in their childish taunts, […]

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#OTD in 1988 – At Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast, a gunman kills three mourners and injures at least 50 people attending a funeral for IRA members Maireád Farrell, Daniel McCann, and Sean Savage executed in Gibraltar.

Loyalist gunman Michael Stone kills three people at a funeral for IRA members (Maireád Farrell, 31, Daniel McCann, 30, and Sean Savage, 23,) who were executed in Gibraltar by SAS troops. Stone wanted to kill Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and others whom he believed to be members of the IRA. He claimed the attack […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 15 | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

Frank has now joined me on the hunger-strike. I saw the boys at Mass today which I enjoyed. Fr Toner said Mass. Again it was a pretty boring day. I had a bit of trouble to get slopped out tonight and to get water. I have a visit tomorrow and it will be good to […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 14 | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

Again, another uneventful somewhat boring day. My weight is 58.25 kgs, and no medical complaints. I read the papers, which are full of trash. Tonight’s tea was pie and beans, and although hunger may fuel my imagination (it looked a powerful-sized meal), I don’t exaggerate: the beans were nearly falling off the plate. If I […]

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