#OTD in 1914 – After 60 cavalry officers at the Curragh resign their commissions – an incident known as ‘the Curragh mutiny’ – the War Secretary stated that the army wi not be used to coerce Ulster into Home Rule.

The effectiveness of the Ulster unionist movement’s opposition (1912-14) to the granting of self-government to Ireland by Britain’s Liberal government was heightened by the support it received from elsewhere in the United Kingdom. In 1912, the Conservative Party backed it even in its formation of a paramilitary force (the UVF) to defy Westminster legislation. Meanwhile, […]

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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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#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 […]

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#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, […]

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#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 […]

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#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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