#OTD in 1896 – Birth of stage and film actor, Arthur Shields (younger brother of Barry Fitzgerald), in Portobello, Co Dublin.

While Sean Connolly claimed the unfortunate title of being the first rebel fatality, others were luckier and escaped from Easter Week, 1916 with their lives. For Arthur Shields, his role in the Rising was to become merely an interesting titbit in what was a fascinating career as an actor at home and in the US. […]

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#OTD in 1850 – Birth of patriot and women’s rights advocate, Sophie Bryant, in Sandymount, Co Dublin.

Sophie Bryant, mathematician, suffragette and pioneer of education for women, also had the distinction of being described by her friend, the playwright George Bernard Shaw, as having ‘a literary style that outdid George Eliot’s.’ Bryant was born Sophie Willock in Dublin in 1850. Her father was a mathematician and a fellow of Trinity College Dublin. […]

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#OTD in 1981 – The Stardust Ballroom in Artane, Dublin goes up in flames; forty-eight young people are killed and more than 100 are injured.

Forty-eight young people die in a fire at the Stardust club in Artane, Dublin. After sitting for 122 days and hearing evidence from three hundred and sixty-three witnesses, a government report found that the fire was ‘probably started deliberately,’ a finding long deemed contentious. The 2009 Report of Reopened Enquiry found that “on a prima […]

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Baldongan Church and Tower | Skerries, Co Dublin

This national monument are the ruins of a fortified church constructed by the Knights Templar in the 13th century. A castle which lay adjacent to the church has completely disappeared. The church was built in the 15th century and was furnished with a 70 foot high fortified bell tower. The castle was the home of […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The Siege of Tralee | Ten people die in a day and night of violence in Co Kerry.

“When the hills were bleedin’ And the rifles were aflame To the rebel homes of Kerry, The Saxon strangers came, But the men who dared the Auxies And fought the Black and Tan Were the Boys of Barr na Sráide Who hunted for the wren.” Two RIC constables were shot dead in Abbeydorney by IRA […]

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#OTD in 2004 – Care International aid worker Margaret Hassan is kidnapped in Iraq.

Margaret Hassan, also known as “Madam Margaret”, was an Irish aid worker who had worked in Iraq for many years until she was abducted and murdered by unidentified kidnappers in Iraq in 2004, at the age of 59. Her remains have never been recovered. She was born Margaret Fitzsimons in Dalkey, Co Dublin, to parents […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 8 October:

1822 – Birth in Dublin of Richard D’Alton Williams. He is educated at Carlow Academy and studies medicine at Saint Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin. He becomes a member of the Young Ireland movement and contributes poetry to The Nation under the pseudonym ‘Shamrock’. In 1848, he is tried for treason for articles he publishes in the […]

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Don’t Go Far | The Young Boys from Dublin Who Ran Away to New York

It was August 1985 and two boys from Darndale, Dublin, aged 10 and 13, hop on a DART train for a ride that will take them a few thousand miles beyond their stop. Keith and Noel were friends. They had a knack for bunking off. One day they hopped on a Dart and skipped out […]

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The Oratory of the Sacred Heart

“Let those who come after to see it that their names never be forgotten.” In July 1847, a group of six Dominican nuns arrived in Kingstown (Dún Laoghaire) from Cabra Convent. Their job was to open schools in the town so that the young would be educated. They took possession of a house, known as […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 5 September:

1724 – In the guise of an Irish Patriot, M. B. Drapier, Jonathan Swift publishes ‘Drapier Letter III’ – one of a series of letters designed to incite the people against a new coinage. 1771 – Benjamin Franklin commences a visit to Ireland where he would later report he had ‘a good deal of Conversation […]

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