#OTD in Irish History – 17 January:

1649 – Marquis of Ormond James Butler and the confederates sign a peace treaty which grants toleration for Catholics in exchange for troops.   1814 – One of the earliest references to ‘Irish Stew’ is in ‘The Devil’s Drive: An unfinished Rhapsody’ by Lord Byron: “The Devil return’d to hell by two, And he stay’d […]

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Irish Mythology | Donn Fírinne, The Dark One

In Irish mythology, Donn is a god of the dead. Donn is the modern Irish word for the colour brown and appears as an element in many Irish surnames like Donegan, Donovan, Donnelly and on its own as Dunn/Dunne. However in the case of Donn the word derives from the Celtic word ‘dhuosnos’ meaning dark […]

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#OTD in 1925 – Nellie Cashman known variously as the ‘Angel of the Yukon’ and ‘Angel of the mining camp’ dies in Victoria, British Columbia aged seventy-nine.

Nellie was born in the farming village of Midleton a few miles from Queenstown (now Cobh) in Co Cork, in 1845. Her parents were Patrick and Fanny (nee Cronin) O’Kissane, a family name later anglicized to Cashman. A sister, Frances or young Fanny, was born a year or two later. The Cashman family was Catholic […]

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#OTD in 1892 – Ellis Island becomes reception center for new immigrants. The first immigrant through the gates is Annie Moore, 17, of Co Cork.

When Ellis Island officially opened on 1 January 1892, the first passenger processed through the now world-famous immigration station was an Irish girl named Annie Moore. The 17-year-old girl was travelling with her two younger brothers, Anthony and Phillip, on the S.S. Nevada. The ship had departed from Queenstown (now Cobh, Co Cork) on 20 […]

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#OTD in 1602 – The O’Sullivan Beara’s are driven out of West Cork by the English who had defeated the combined Spanish and Irish forces at the Battle of Kinsale.

Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare, Prince of Beare, 1st Count of Berehaven, was the last independent ruler of the O’Sullivan Beara sept, and thus the last O’Sullivan Beare, a Gaelic princely title, in the southwest of Ireland during the early seventeenth century, when the English crown was attempting to secure their rule over the whole island. […]

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#OTD in 1796 – The French invasion fleet, with Theobald Wolfe Tone, which had hoped to land in Ireland is marooned off Bantry Bay, Co Cork in dreadful weather conditions unable to land.

Thirty-six ships arrive at Bantry Bay but do not attempt a landing and return to France, thus preventing what might have been an Irish/French victory over the English. Wolfe Tone writes in near despair of efforts to land French invasion forces at Bantry Bay. High winds and storms would mean the planned landing would be […]

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#OTD in 1820 – Birth of Thomas Sweeny in Co Cork. He was a soldier who served in the Mexican-American War and then was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Thomas William Sweeny was born in Co Cork on 25 December 1820. He immigrated to the United States in 1833. In 1846, he enlisted as a second lieutenant in the 2nd New York Volunteers and fought under General Winfield Scott in Mexico. Sweeny was wounded in the groin at the Battle of Cerro Gordo, and […]

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#OTD in 1601 – The Battle of Kinsale | Hugh O’Neill and Red Hugh O’Donnell are heavily defeated by Mountjoy.

If any one single battle of Ireland’s Nine Years War was pivotal in nature, it is the Battle of Kinsale. Kinsale is a sleepy little port town in the southeastern portion of the country. Through tactical blunder, it became the focus of a battle that would permanently destroy Ireland’s hopes for independence during this time […]

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#OTD in 1891 – Annie Moore departs Queenstown (now Cobh, Co Cork), becoming the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island.

Annie Moore stood in line with her two younger brothers, Philip and Anthony. They were waiting to board the SS Nevada, a ship that would take them from Ireland to New York. Even though she was sad, she was also excited about seeing her parents again. They had gone to America two years earlier with […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 16 December:

1653 – English Interregnum: The Protectorate, Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. 1780 – John Beresford is appointed Chief Commissioner of Revenue. 1838 – Birth of racehorse owner and breeder, John Gubbins, in Kilfrush, Co Limerick. For fifty years, the first loves of the big, bluff Co Limerick […]

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