#OTD in 1871 – Thirty Fenian prisoners are released by the British in a general amnesty.

British authorities release over thirty Fenian prisoners including John Devoy and Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. The conditional amnesty of 1871 required those released not to return to Ireland for the term of their respective sentences for treason. Devoy, O’Donovan Rossa and three others: Charles Underwood O’Connell, Henry Mulleda, and John McClure boarded the S.S. Cuba bound […]

Read More

#OTD in 1903 – Roger Casement completes report about abuses in Belgian Congo.

‘Failure to meet the rubber collection quotas was punishable by death. Meanwhile, the Force Publique were required to provide the hand of their victims as proof when they had shot and killed someone, as it was believed that they would otherwise use the munitions (imported from Europe at considerable cost) for hunting. As a consequence, […]

Read More

#OTD in 1921 – After lengthy negotiations, the British give the Irish a deadline to accept or reject the Anglo-Irish treaty.

Negotiations on Irish independence from Britain enter their final and crucial stage at Downing Street. The Irish delegates including Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith had returned from an acrimonious cabinet meeting in Dublin where unfortunately clarity did not exist. The negotiators again met with the British team which included Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. It […]

Read More

#OTD in 1984 – Brighton Hotel Bombing: The PIRA attempted to assassinate British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and her cabinet.

The IRA detonated a 100lb bomb at the Grand Hotel Brighton where the Conservative Party was holding its annual conference. Five people died while Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher narrowly escaped injury. Following the bombing, the IRA issued a statement, “Today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once; you will have […]

Read More

#OTD in 2017 – President Michael D. Higgins unveiled a memorial commemorating the Great Hunger in Subiaco Park in Perth, Australia.

The memorial sculpture was designed by Charlie Smith and Joan Walsh-Smith, originally from Waterford. In Sydney, the President visited the Australian Monument to the Great Hunger, in the company of the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of New South Wales. The sculpture depicts a grieving mother “bent low by the crushing loss of her children” and […]

Read More

#OTD in 2017 – While on a 16 day State visit to Australia, President Michael D. Higgins visited Fremantle Prison near Perth, Australia, where 62 Irish prisoners were held for their part in the Fenian Rising of 1867.

“Most of the evidence on which the men were convicted related to meetings with me. I felt that I, more than any other man then living, ought to do my utmost for these Fenian soldiers.” —John Devoy, writing about his plan to rescue the Fremantle Six An American whaling ship brought together a crew with […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#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. Emmet’s rebellion itself where the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland was killed was little more than a riot. His place in Irish history is primarily due to his speech […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More