#OTD in 1875 – Death of John Mitchel, Irish nationalist activist, solicitor and political journalist. Born in Camnish, near Dungiven, Co Derry.

John Mitchel was born in Camnish, near Dungiven, Co Derry. He became a leading Member of both Young Ireland and the Irish Confederation. He also became a public voice for the Southern American viewpoint in the United States in the 1850s and 1860s before ending up elected to the British House of Commons, only to […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Birth of artist and musician, Phil Coulter, in Co Derry.

Coulter’s father, also called Phil, encouraged music in the house. He played the fiddle whilst his wife played the upright piano. The younger Coulter recalls this piano, made by Challen, as ‘the most important piece of furniture in the house’. ‘I always stayed away from the fiddle, having inflicted enough pain on my family with […]

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#OTD in 1848 – John Mitchel publishes first United Irishmen.

John Mitchel was one of the great propagandists of his day, although the causes he espoused often placed him on the wrong side, he was loved and loathed in equal measure. He was one of the few Irishmen to have incurred the wrath of the British government and of the Federal administration of the USA. […]

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#OTD in 1797 – The US ($) sign is first published in an accountancy textbook – invented by Oliver Pollock.

The cause of the American Revolution was frequently short of men, commonly short of arms and other military supplies, and almost always deprived of cash. Wars–especially wars against great powers such as the United Kingdom–are expensive. Oliver Pollock, an Irish merchant based in Spanish-controlled New Orleans, helped the nascent American government fund its war efforts. […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 30 January:

1649 – King Charles I is beheaded for treason. He was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. When Richard Brandon, Executioner for the City of London refused involvement in the execution, emissaries were sent to Ireland, Scotland and Wales in search of a volunteer. There […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 1 November (Samhain):

In the Liturgical Calendar, today is All Saints’ Day. 1625 – Birth of Archbishop of Armagh, St. Oliver Plunkett, near Oldcastle, Co Meath, who was canonised in 1975. 1688 – William III of Orange sets a second time from Hellevoetsluis in the Netherlands to liberate England, Scotland and Ireland from the tyrannical King James II […]

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#OTD in 1993 – Greysteel massacre: the UDA, using the covername ‘Ulster Freedom Fighters’ (UFF), claimed responsibility for a gun attack on the Rising Sun Bar in Greysteel, Co Derry.

In what was one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles, a night on the eve of Halloween in 1993, UDA gunmen entered the Rising Sun Bar in Greysteel, Co Derry (an Irish Catholic, nationalist area) and shot dead seven people and wounding thirteen. Another man died later from his injuries. Before opening fire, one […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Twenty-seven-year-old Michael “Mickey” Devine, from the Creggan in Derry dies on the 60th day of his hunger strike.

Fuar siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. Mickey Devine was the third INLA Volunteer to join the H-Block hunger strikers and he was the last of the group to give their lives in order to retain their status as political prisoners. Twenty-seven-year-old Mickey Devine, from the Creggan in Derry city, was the third INLA […]

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#OTD in 1981 – After 71 days on hunger strike, Kevin Lynch dies at Long Kesh prison.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. The eighth republican to join the hunger-strike for political status, on 23rd May, following the death of Patsy O’Hara, was twenty-five-year-old fellow INLA Volunteer Kevin Lynch from the small, North Derry town of Dungiven who had been imprisoned since his arrest in 1976. Image | Mural to Kevin […]

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