#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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#OTD in 1948 – Birth of guitarist, Rory Gallagher, in Donegal.

Irish blues guitarist legend Rory Gallagher is born in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. Rory’s family moved to Cork where he discovered blues music on American Forces Radio. By the time he was twenty-one, he was recognised as one of the finest guitarists in the world. In 1971, the UK music paper Melody Maker voters gave Gallagher […]

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Dún Bhaloir | Balor’s Fort | The Anvil, Tory Island, Co Donegal

From its craggy cliffs to its wind-beaten shores, Ireland has long exuded an aura of mystery and magic. Its culture and traditions have been forged from a unique mixture of warrior ballads, clan sagas, fairy tales, and bardic narratives. A magnificent combination of myth, legend, and historic fact embroiders the very fabric of Irish culture. […]

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#OTD in 1893 – Peadar O’Donnell, novelist, editor of the newspaper An Phoblacht (The Republic) and social reformer, is born in Co Donegal.

A school teacher by profession, he taught on Arranmore Island before leaving for Scotland to assist migrant labourers in their strike for improved pay and conditions. Returning to Ireland, he became involved in the Republican Movement and played an active part in the War of Independence. O’Donnell opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty and in January 1922 […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 21 February:

1710 – Elizabeth St. Leger, was known in her time as ‘The Lady Freemason’ and was the first recorded woman to be initiated into Regular Freemasonry. 1775 – Edward Denny, MP for Tralee, commits suicide. 1760 – François Thurot lands French forces at Carrickfergus in Belfast Lough, increasing English anxiety about an Irish-Catholic alliance with […]

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‘Dedication’ by Patrick MacGill – The Navvy Poet

‘Dedication’ by Patrick MacGill –The Navvy Poet I speak with a proud tongue of the people who were And the people who are, The worthy of Ardara, the Rosses and Inishkeel, My kindred– The people of the hills and the dark-haired passes My neighbours on the lift of the brae, In the lap of the […]

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#OTD in 1761 – John MacNaghten, a gambler, duellist and criminal, is hanged at Strabane jail for his involvement in the killing of Mary Anne Knox, daughter of Andrew Knox MP.

One of the earliest recorded public hangings associated with Lifford Courthouse is that of John MacNaghten in 1761. Such was the publicity surrounding the case that even though it is over 250 years ago, the incident is still remembered this day and is now part of local folklore. It was in the newly-built County Gaol […]

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