Roger Casement’s Last Dying Wish

Roger Casement’s last dying wish to be buried at Murlough Bay, Co Antrim, would never happen due to Unionist opposition, however, a sod of turf was removed from Murlough (the resting place of St Maloge) and placed in his coffin when he was re-interred in Glasnevin Cemetery. A Celtic Cross memorial constructed in 1929 was […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Death of Kieran Doherty, TD for Monaghan-Cavan, on the 73rd day of his hunger strike in Long Kesh prison.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. Kieran went on hunger-strike on Friday, 22nd May, having put his name forward for it long ago, as undaunted and full of fighting spirit as when he roamed free on the streets of Andersonstown. In June 1981, in the Free State general election, Kieran was elected a […]

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Cave Hill, Belfast

Cave Hill, or Cavehill, is a basaltic hill overlooking the city of Belfast. It forms part of the southeastern border of the Antrim Plateau. It is distinguished by its famous ‘Napoleon’s Nose’, a basaltic outcrop which resembles the profile of the famous emperor Napoleon. Cavehill is also the name of an electoral ward in Belfast. […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 17 July:

1221 – Geoffrey de Marisco, justiciar of Ireland, is accused of financial irregularities and resigns: he is replaced by Archbishop Henry of London on this date. 1798 – Death of Henry Joy McCracken. He was a cotton manufacturer and industrialist, Presbyterian, radical Irish republican, and a founding member, along with Theobald Wolfe Tone, James Napper […]

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#OTD in 1998 – The three Quinn brothers, Richard, 11, Mark, 10, and Jason 9, are burned to death by a Loyalist firebomb in Ballymoney, 40 miles northwest of Belfast. 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha. Jason, Richard and Mark Quinn were three brothers killed by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in a firebomb attack on their home in Ballymoney, Co Antrim. Garfield Gilmour, was found guilty of murdering the three brothers 15 months later and sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting that he […]

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#OTD in 1770 – Mary Anne McCracken, patriot and supporter of the United Irishmen, is born in Belfast.

Mary Ann McCracken was a Belfast social reformer. Her father was Captain John McCracken, a prominent shipowner; her mother Ann Joy came from another wealthy family which made its money in the linen trade and founded the Belfast News Letter. Mary Ann’s liberal and far-sighted parents sent her to David Manson’s progressive co-educational school, where […]

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#OTD in 1952 – Birth of actor, Liam Neeson, in Ballymena, Co Antrim.

Liam worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by attending St. Mary’s Teaching College, Newcastle. However, in 1976, Neeson joined the Belfast Lyric Players’ Theater and made his professional acting debut in the play “The Risen People”. After […]

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The Viking Age in Ireland

As Scandinavia was becoming increasingly over-populated the Vikings found a need to discover new land and create settlements, Ireland being one of them. They had also settled in Scotland and, like Ireland, started to settle with the local population. In Scotland these people became known as The Gallowglasses and would later arrive in Ireland as […]

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#OTD in 1754 – Birth of Dr. William Drennan in Belfast; physician, poet, educationalist political radical and one of the chief architects of the Society of United Irishmen.

William Drennan’s poetic output included some powerful and moving pieces. He is chiefly remembered today for “Erin” written in 1800, in which he penned the first reference in print to Ireland as “The Emerald Isle”: “Nor one feeling of vengeance presume to defile The cause, or the men, of the Emerald Isle.” Drennan came to […]

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