#OTD in 1916 – Francis Sheehy-Skeffington was apprehended while trying to stop looting during the Easter Rising and was later murdered by the British without trial.

Francis Skeffington, writer and pacifist, was born in Bailieborough, Co Cavan on the 23 December 1878 to Joseph Bartholomew Skeffington and his wife Rose née Magorian. The family moved to Co Down shortly after his birth. He was educated by his father, a schools inspector and enrolled in University College Dublin (UCD) in 1896. While […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 11 April:

1603 – In the revolt of the towns, or recusancy revolt, Catholic worship is re-established in Kilkenny and the main Munster towns between this date and 10 May, in the hope that James I will grant religious toleration; Mountjoy marches south and forces the towns to submit. 1700 – Richard Levinge, an Irish MP and […]

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#OTD in 1831 – Birth of Philip Sheridan, general on Federal side in American Civil War and Commander-in-Chief of the US army, in Albany, NY.

Phil Sheridan’s parents John and Mary Meenagh Sheridan had emigrated from Co Cavan. Philip Henry Sheridan was once described by Abraham Lincoln as ‘A brown, chunky little chap, with a long body, short legs, not enough neck to hang him, and such long arms that if his ankles itch he can scratch them without stooping.’  Still, […]

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#OTD in 1943 – The Cavan Orphanage Fire: a fire broke out in a County Cavan orphanage ran by the enclosed order of Poor Clare nuns killing thirty-five children and an adult.

Thirty-five children and one adult die in a Cavan orphanage fire at St. Joseph’s Orphanage Industrial School run by the enclosed order of Poor Clare nuns. Many of the children were orphans, others were committed either because they were born out-of-wedlock or as in the case of two unfortunates allegedly committed because the local Roman […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Death of Percy French, writer of many popular Irish songs, including the Mountains of Mourne.

William Percy French was born on 1 May 1854 near Roscommon. (William would be known as Willie until taking the name Percy as his stage name much later). His father was a landlord and his mother’s father was a clergyman. Despite the lack of music background in his family, Willie demonstrated talent for music and […]

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#OTD in 1820 – Birth of author, Mary Anne Sadlier, in Cootehill, Co Cavan.

Born Mary Anne Madden in Cootehill, Co Cavan, Sadlier published roughly sixty novels and numerous stories. She wrote for Irish immigrants in both the United States and Canada, encouraging them to attend mass and retain the Catholic faith. In so doing, Sadlier also addressed the related themes of anti-Catholicism, the An Gorta Mór, emigration, and […]

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#OTD in 1878 – Birth of writer and radical activist, Francis Sheehy-Skeffington in Dublin.

Francis Skeffington, writer and pacifist, was born in Bailieborough, Co Cavan on the 23 December 1878 to Joseph Bartholomew Skeffington and his wife Rose née Magorian. The family moved to Co Down shortly after his birth. He was educated by his father, a schools inspector and enrolled in University College Dublin (UCD) in 1896. While […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 5 November:

1688 – William of Orange arrives in England with 15,000 men. 1881 – Death of Robert Mallet FRS, Irish geologist, civil engineer, and inventor who distinguished himself in research on earthquakes and is sometimes called the father of seismology. Mallet was born in Dublin, the son of factory owner John Mallet. He was educated at […]

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#OTD in 1862 – At the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, “Little Phil” Sheridan is one of the key officers leading Union soldiers against the Confederate forces of Braxton Bragg.

Phil Sheridan’s parents John and Mary Meenagh Sheridan had emigrated from Co Cavan. Sheridan’s diminutive stature of five feet five inches earned him the nickname “Little Phil”. In his memoirs, Sheridan writes: “My parents, John and Mary Sheridan, came to America in 1830, having been induced by the representations of my father’s uncle, Thomas Gainor, […]

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