#OTD in 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: Battle of Ballynahinch.

The Battle of Ballynahinch was fought outside Ballynahinch, Co Down, between British forces led by Major-General George Nugent and the local United Irishmen led by Henry Munro. Munro was a Lisburn linen merchant and Presbyterian United Irishman who had no military experience but had taken over command of the Down organisation following the arrest of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 25 May:

1315 – Edward Bruce (brother of Robert Bruce, king of Scots), having been invited by some Gaelic chiefs, leads an expedition to Ireland with the aim of conquering it, creating a kingdom of Ireland and driving out the Norman-Irish settlers. He lands at Larne on this date and is proclaimed king of Ireland. 1705 – […]

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#OTD in 1849 – The brig Hannah transported emigrants to Canada during An Gorta Mór.

The brig Hannah transported emigrants to Canada during An Gorta Mór. She is known for the terrible circumstances of her 1849 shipwreck, in which the captain and two officers left the sinking ship aboard the only lifeboat, leaving passengers and the rest of the crew to fend for themselves. Hannah was built at Norton, New […]

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#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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