#OTD in 1943 – A mine washes up on a beach in Co Donegal and explodes; 19 men and boys, aged between 14 and 33, who lived in Ballymanus near Kincasslagh, are killed by the blast.

A mine came ashore at Ballymanus and a crowd gathered to watch it. As the mine came closer to the shore it is understood that some of the people present tried to throw a rope around it. Although the mine had been spotted earlier that day and reported to the gardaí at around 6.45pm. it […]

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Eve of Bealtaine/Beltane

The Celtic Festival of Bealtaine/Beltane which marks the beginning of summer in the ancient Celtic calendar is a Cross Quarter Day, half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. While the Bealtaine Festival is now associated with 1st May, the actual astronomical date is a number of days later. The festival was marked […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 15 April:

1642 – Irish Confederate Wars: A Confederate Irish militia was routed in the Battle of Kilrush when it attempted to halt the progress of a Parliamentarian army. Though outnumbered, Ormonde managed to defeat the rebels and marched on to Dublin by 17 April. 1642 – A Scottish army under Robert Munroe landed at Carrickfergus. 1707 […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 5 April:

456 – St Patrick returns to Ireland as a missionary bishop. 584 – Death of St Ruadhan (Ruadán), one of the twelve ‘Apostles of Erin’. He died at the monastery of Lorrha, Co Tipperary. 1605 – Death of Adam Loftus. He was Archbishop of Armagh, and later Dublin, and Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1581. […]

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#OTD in 2006 – Death of Proinsias Ó Maonaigh or Francie Mooney, a fiddler from Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair), Co Donegal.

Proinsias Ó Maonaigh or Francie Mooney was a fiddler from Gweedore (Gaoth Dobhair), Co Donegal. He is known for his distinguished fiddle playing and his unique and vast contribution to Irish music and culture. He is the father of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (lead vocalist and cofounder of Irish folk music band Altan) and grandfather of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 27 March:

In the Liturgical calendar, it is the Feast Day of St Suairlech, Bishop of Fore, Co Westmeath. 1174 – Death of St Gelasius of Armagh (meaning ‘servant of Jesus’). He was the learned abbot of Derry for sixteen years and consecrated bishop of Armagh c. 1138, when Saint Malachy resigned and served as primate of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 23 March:

1845 – Birth of John Thomas Browne in Ballylanders, Co Limerick. He was an Irish Catholic Mayor of Houston, Texas. 1846 – Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey speaks in the House of Lords on the state of Ireland and accepts that ‘Ireland is our disgrace’. If such be the state of things, how then […]

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#OTD in 1824 – Birth of poet, William Allingham, in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

William Allingham was a poet, diarist and editor. He wrote several volumes of lyric verse, and his poem ‘The Faeries’ was much anthologised; but he is better known for his posthumously published Diary, in which he records his lively encounters with Tennyson, Carlyle and other writers and artists. His wife, Helen Allingham, was a well-known watercolourist and […]

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#OTD in 1923 – Anti-Treaty IRA officer Charlie Daly and three other Republican fighters are executed by Free State troops at Drumboe Castle, near Stranorlar in Co Donegal where they had been held since January.

They were shot in retaliation for the death of Lt. Cannon, a pro-treaty National Army soldier, in an ambush at the barracks at Creeslough. CHARLIE DALY, THE KERRYMAN WHO DIED IN FAR DONEGAL (By Seamus G O’Kelly) It was the summer of 1920. Republican forces in Munster, particularly in Cork and Kerry, were being hard […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 12 March:

1295 – Richard de Burgh is released by the council in parliament at Kilkenny. 1672 – Sir Richard Steele (baptised on this dated, birthdate unknown) in Dublin. He was an Irish writer and politician, remembered as co-founder, with his friend Joseph Addison, of the magazine The Spectator. 1685 – George Berkeley, philosopher, physicist, mathematician, Dean […]

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