#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 […]

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#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 […]

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#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 […]

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#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. 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 […]

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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 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 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 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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