#OTD in 1864 – Roger Casement, British consular official and Irish nationalist, is born in Sandycove, Co Dublin.

Fuar siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. Roger Casement was born in Sandycove, Co Dublin to a wealthy protestant family, he initially served in the British diplomatic corps mainly in Africa. Described as the “father of twentieth-century human rights investigations”, he was honoured in 1905 for the Casement Report on the Congo and knighted […]

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#OTD in 1803 – Robert Emmet is captured and arrested by the British.

Robert Emmet is captured in Dublin following a hopelessly unsuccessful attempt at insurrection. Sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, he was executed 20 September 1803. The ill-planned insurrection ended in utter confusion. The Wicklow contingent never arrived; the Kildare men retired thinking the rising had been postponed; while the men at Broadstairs waited vainly for […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Ongoing correspondence between Lloyd George and Éamon de Valera to bring a halt to the War of Independence sees De Valera write a powerful response to Lloyd George.

The official letter was dictated and sent in Irish. Sir, The anticipatory judgement I gave in my reply of August 10th has been confirmed. I laid the proposals of your Government before Dáil Éireann, and, by an unanimous vote, it has rejected them. From your letter of August 13th it was clear that the principle […]

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#OTD in 1876 – The ship Catalpa arrives in the U.S. with Irish Fenian prisoners rescued from Australia.

The “Fremantle Six” were Irish political prisoners who made an audacious escape from the notorious British prison in West Australia aboard the U.S. whaling ship “Catalpa” in 1876. Captain Anthony and the Catalpa arrive at Rockingham beach near Fremantle to rendezvous with the escaped prisoners; after a fierce confrontation with the Georgette, an armed British […]

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#OTD in 1907 – A memorial arch is dedicated at St Stephens Green Dublin in honour of the Irish soldiers who died fighting for “King and country” in the Boer war.

Five years on from the war, the Fusiliers’ Arch was unveiled in the heart of Dublin, as a testament to the actions of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in South Africa. While the war ended in a British victory, it was a bloody and costly one. In financial terms, a war that would supposedly be over […]

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#OTD in 1745 – At the Battle of Fontenoy, near Tourney in modern Belgium, the Irish Brigade of the French army under Lieutenant Charles O’Brien repulses the British and wins the day.

The role of the Irish Brigade at the Battle of Fontenoy, where the French army won a notable victory over the British and Dutch, has been regarded as the greatest of Irish battle honours. However, this event is now largely forgotten, at least in this country. But that they once loomed very large in the […]

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#OTD in 1926 – Dublin-born, Violet Albina Gibson, daughter of Lord Ashbourne, shot Benito Mussolini in Rome on this date.

Italian Fascist leader, Benito Mussolini, had just given a speech in Rome to the International Congress of Surgeons when a bullet nearly ended his life. After Mussolini finished his speech praising modern medicine, he walked to his car. At the time, no one noticed Violet Gibson, a small Irish woman with a long history of […]

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#OTD in 1957 – Birth of Volunteer, Mairéad Farrell, in Belfast.

‘Your minds your strongest weapon, and that’s how we always counteract whatever they do, because they can’t control our minds, they can’t get inside them, and that’s their failure.’ –Mairead Farrell Mairéad was born in Belfast; the second youngest of six children and the only girl. She was twelve when the British Army took over […]

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#OTD in 1915 – Sir Roger Casement has made public a letter alleging that the British government has been engaged in a criminal conspiracy to have him captured and murdered. 

Roger Casement, currently in Germany, released to the newspapers a letter he has written to Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary. In it, Casement accuses British officials in Norway of conspiring with his man-servant, Adler Christensen, a Norwegian, to kill him. It is further alleged that Christensen was promised a sum of $25,000 to $50,000 […]

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#OTD in 1764 – United Irishman, William Sampson is born the son of a Presbyterian clergyman in Derry.

William Sampson was one of many non-Catholics who were disturbed by the level of discrimination and violence against members of the Catholic faith. Anticipating an insurrection in March 1798, as a lawyer, Sampson defended United Irishmen for anti-British actions and was imprisoned, disbarred, and banished from Ireland without trial for his courtroom and literary activities. After eight […]

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