#OTD in Irish History – 17 April:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Saint Donnán of Eigg, a Gaelic priest, likely from Ireland, who died on this date in 617. He attempted to introduce Christianity to the Picts of northwestern Scotland during the Early Middle Ages. Donnán is the patron saint of Eigg, an island in the Inner […]

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#OTD in 1886 – Home Rule Bill introduced in English Parliament by William Gladstone.

The Acts of Union 1800, united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland (previously in personal union) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. At various intervals during this time, attempts were made to destabilise Anglo-Irish relations. Rebellions were launched in 1803, 1848, 1867, and 1916 to try to […]

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#OTD in 1832 – Birth of Captain Charles Boycott, despised English estate manager in Ireland, from whose name the word ‘boycott’ is taken.

Charles Cunningham Boycott was an English landlord who was ostracised by his Irish neighbours and labourers after he attempted to evict a number of his tenants for non-payment of rent. The ‘boycott’ was substantially instigated by Charles Stewart Parnell who on 19th September 1880, a few days prior to the action against Boycott, had suggested […]

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#OTD in 1918 – Chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party, John Redmond dies of heart failure, in Co Wexford.

‘As a Nationalist, I do not regard as entirely palatable the idea that forever and a day Ireland’s voice should be excluded from the councils of an empire which the genius and valour of her sons have done so much to build up and of which she is to remain.’ –John Redmond Born in Kilrane, […]

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#OTD in 1881 – Irish Land League organiser, Michael Davitt, is arrested again for his outspoken speeches when he had accused chief secretary of Ireland W. E. Forster of ‘infamous lying’.

Davitt’s ticket of leave was revoked and he was sent to Portland jail. Parnell protested loudly in the House of Commons and the Irish members protested so strongly that they were ejected from the House. The government passed the Irish Coercion Bill. On Gladstone’s return to office in 1880, William Edward Forster was made Chief […]

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#OTD in 1881 – Anna Parnell, younger sister of Irish Nationalist leader Charles Stewart Parnell, sets up the Committee of the Ladies’ Land League in Dublin.

The height of the Land War (1879-1882) saw the founding of the Ladies Land League. The League was the forerunner for other organisations such as Inghinidhe na hÉireann and Cumann na mBan. Anna Parnell, one of the Anglo-Irish protestant elite, was their leader. Anna’s League was not just for fund-raising or a stand-in until the […]

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#OTD in 1891 – Death of Charles Stewart Parnell, champion of tenants rights and co-founder of the Land League; often called the “Uncrowned King of Ireland”.

Irish Nationalist political leader, Charles Stewart Parnell dies in Brighton, England. Parnell is one of the tragic characters of Irish politics. The disclosure of a long running affair with Katherine (Kitty) O’Shea, wife of Captain William O’Shea, who had been a Parnell supporter ended his political career and effectiveness. The 1889 divorce action and resulting […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 6 October:

1175 – Under the Treaty of Windsor, concluded on this date, Rory O’Connor recognises Henry as his overlord and agrees to collect tribute for him from all parts of Ireland. Henry agrees that O’Connor can be king of the areas not conquered by the Normans. But O’Connor cannot control the territories of which he is […]

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#OTD in 1911 – Statue of Charles Stewart Parnell is unveiled in Dublin.

Charles Stewart Parnell was one of the most significant political figures in Ireland during the second half of the 19th century. As leader of the Home Rule Party, he made a notable contribution to the progress towards national self-determination and he also played an important role in the Land War in post-Greater Hunger Ireland. His […]

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#OTD in 1928 – The last active Fenian, John Devoy, dies in Atlantic City, NJ.

Fenian, John Devoy, whom the London Times called ‘the most dangerous enemy of this country Ireland has produced since Wolfe Tone’. John Devoy was born in Kill, Co Kildare, on the 3 September 1842. He worked for a short time as a clerk before joining the Fenian organisation. In 1861 Devoy travelled to France where […]

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