#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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#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 1764 – United Irishman, William Sampson is born the son of a Presbyterian clergyman in Derry. A distinguished lawyer and author, he would die in New York in 1836.

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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