#OTD in Irish History – 31 March:

1711 – Seven women from Island Magee, Co Antrim were imprisoned and pilloried for ‘bewitching’ a woman named Mary Dunbar, who had experienced strange fits and visions. 1790 – A quarrel between John Philpot Curran (MP for Kilbeggan) and Robert Hobart (MP for Portarlington) resulted in a duel in which Hobart allowed Curran to fire […]

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St. Patrick’s Grave | Downpatrick, Co Down

Down Cathedral, illuminated in green for St Patrick’s Day, stands on the site of a Benedictine Monastery built in 1183. A stone placed in the graveyard in 1900 commemorates the fact that Patrick’s burial-place is somewhere on this sacred hill in Downpatrick. One cannot be certain of the exact spot of his burial, but this […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 17 March:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the feast day of St Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. It is a public holiday in Ireland, Montserrat and the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador and widely celebrated across the world. 1762 – St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in New York City for the first time at the Crown and […]

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#OTD in 1839 – John B. Yeats, painter and father of William Butler and Jack B. Yeats, was born in Tullylish, Co Down.

He is probably best known for his portrait of the young William Butler Yeats which is one of a number of his portraits of Irishmen and women in the Yeats museum in the National Gallery of Ireland. His portrait of John O’Leary (1904) is considered his masterpiece (Raymond Keaveney 2002).   His parents were William […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 10 March:

1478 – John De La Pole, the Duke of Suffolk, was appointed lieutenant of Ireland for 20 years, but did not take office. 1653 – Sir Phelim O’Neill was executed by Parliament forces in Dublin, after refusing to confirm that the forged letter from King Charles I which started the rebellion was actually authentic, he […]

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#OTD in 1713 – Nicola Hamilton, widow of Tristram Beresford MP, dies on her 47th birthday.

On the day of her death, she gave a party to celebrate her 48th birthday; one of those present was the priest who had christened her. He pointed out that it was in fact her 47th birthday – she had been born in 1666, not 1665 as she had always supposed. On hearing this she […]

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#OTD in 1978 – La Mon Restaurant Bombing: Twelve people, all Protestant civilians, were killed and 23 seriously injured when an incendiary bomb exploded at the restaurant of the La Mon House Hotel, Gransha, near Belfast.

The La Mon restaurant bombing was an incendiary bomb attack by the IRA on 17 February 1978 that is widely considered to have been one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles. It took place at the La Mon House hotel and restaurant near Belfast. The IRA left a large incendiary bomb, containing a napalm-like […]

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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 1835 – The coffin of mummy, Takabuti, was opened and the unrolled in Belfast Natural History Society’s museum at College Square North. 

Takabuti was the first Egyptian mummy to be brought to Ireland. After the Napoleonic Wars there was a brisk trade in Egyptian mummies. She was brought to Belfast in 1834 by Thomas Greg of Ballymenoch House, Holywood, Co Down. Her hieroglyphs were deciphered by the a leading Egyptologist from Ireland, Dr Edward Hincks, of Killyleagh, […]

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#OTD in 1860 – Birth of Irish Celtic Scholar, Eleanor Hull, in England, of a Co Down family.

Eleanor Henrietta Hull was a writer, journalist and scholar of Old Irish. She was educated at Alexandra College, Dublin and was a student of Irish Studies. On 26 April 1898 she was a co-founder of the Irish Texts Society for the publication of early manuscripts. Douglas Hyde was President and Frederick York Powell was chairperson […]

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