#OTD in Irish History – 20 November:

1762 – Francis Andrews is appointed first professor of history at the University of Dublin. 1800 – Richard Rothwell, painter, is born in Athlone, Co Westmeath. 1830 – Birth of Patrick Henry Jones, who attained the rank of Brigadier General in the Union army during the American Civil War is born in Co Westmeath. Jones […]

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#OTD in 1998 – Bridget Dirrane, who was imprisoned with Kevin Barry and who canvassed for John F. Kennedy in the United States, celebrated her 104th birthday with news that she was to be featured in the new edition of the Guinness Book of Records.

Bridget Dirrane was the oldest native of Ireland’s Aran Islands and the second oldest person in Ireland. Éamon de Valera was the Irish political leader she most admired, but in a life touching three centuries, she met Pádraig Pearse, went on hunger strike in Mountjoy gaol, campaigned for John F Kennedy in Boston, and was […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Catholic priest, Father Michael Griffin was killed.

Fr Griffin would have been known to the Crown Forces, as a known republican sympathiser. On the night of 8 September 1920, he was called out to attend Seamus Quirke, a First-Lieutenant in the local IRA after he was shot seven times at the docks. He also took part in the funeral mass of Michael […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 19 October:

1610 – Birth of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond; royalist soldier; and three times Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. 1649 – New Ross town, Co Wexford, surrenders to Oliver Cromwell. 1680 – Birth of minister and church leader, John Abernethy, in Coleraine, Co Derry. 1745 – Death of Jonathan Swift. He was an Irish satirist, […]

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#OTD in 1967 – A day after being captured, Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara is executed in Bolivia.

Socialist revolutionary and guerilla leader Che Guevara, aged 39, is killed by the Bolivian army. The U.S.-military-backed Bolivian forces captured Guevara on 8 October while battling his band of guerillas in Bolivia and assassinated him the following day. His hands were cut off as proof of death and his body was buried in an unmarked […]

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#OTD in 1891 – Death of Charles Stewart Parnell, champion of tenants rights and co-founder of the Land League; often called the “Uncrowned King of Ireland”.

Irish Nationalist political leader, Charles Stewart Parnell dies in Brighton, England. Parnell is one of the tragic characters of Irish politics. The disclosure of a long running affair with Katherine (Kitty) O’Shea, wife of Captain William O’Shea, who had been a Parnell supporter ended his political career and effectiveness. The 1889 divorce action and resulting […]

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#OTD in 1891 – Charles Stewart Parnell makes his last public appearance at Creggs, Co Galway.

“Why should Ireland be treated as a geographical fragment of England – Ireland is not a geographical fragment, but a nation.” –Charles Stewart Parnell Charles Stewart Parnell made his final public appearance speaking at Creggs, Co Galway in torrential rain. Already in poor health, the drenching rain effectively proved fatal. He returned to his home […]

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#OTD in 1953 – Birth of folk singer, Dolores Keane, in Sylane, Co Galway.

Dolores Keane was a founding member of the successful group De Dannan, and has since embarked on a very successful solo career, establishing herself as one of the most loved interpreters of Irish music. Keane was born in a small village called Sylane (near Tuam) in rural Co Galway. She was raised by her aunts […]

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#OTD in 1892 – Death of Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore.

Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore served as a musician and stretcher-bearer in the 24th Massachusetts Infantry during the American Civil War. His incredible post-army musical career includes penning “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, the tune he took from an old Irish antiwar folk song, “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye”, that was published under the name Louis Lambert. […]

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#OTD in 1903 – Pádraig Pearse arrives in Ros Muc, Co Galway and takes up residence at his cottage in Inbhear.

Pádraig Pearse’s former holiday home in Ros Muc, Co Galway, was restored by Ó Conghaile and then again by Criostóir Mac Aonghusa, by 1943 Pearse’s sisters Senator Margaret Pearse and Mary Brigid Pearse handed the cottage to the State. A new visitor centre, Teach an Phiarsaigh, next to Pearse’s Cottage provides an introduction to the […]

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