#OTD in Irish History – 17 September:

1711 – John Holwell, surgeon and survivor of ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ is born in Dublin. 1798 – 3,000 French troops depart for Ireland from Brest. 1862 – The Irish Brigade suffered over 60% casualties at the Battle of Antietam at an area that came to be known as Bloody Lane. Over 500 Irish Brigade […]

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#OTD in 1830 – The “Wild Colonial Boy” is shot dead in a gun battle with police at Cambelltown, Sydney.

On this date in 1830, The “Wild Colonial Boy” is shot dead in a gun battle with police at Cambelltown, Sydney. Contrary to the popular song, “The Wild Colonial Boy” was John Donohue, transported from Ireland in 1824. This version was outlawed as seditious, so the name in the song was changed to Jack Doolan. […]

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Dún An Óir (Fort Del Oro) | Ballyferriter, Co Kerry

Smerwick sowed with the mouthing corpses Of six hundred papists, ‘as gallant and good Personages as ever were beheld.’ –Seamus Heaney, from “Ocean’s Love to Ireland,” 1974 Dún An Óir witnessed a horrific massacre of Italian and Spanish troops and Irish men and women at the hands of the English. On the 10th of September […]

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#OTD in 1579 – Death of rebel leader, James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald was a Roman Catholic nobleman who led two unsuccessful uprisings against English rule in the province of Munster. He was a member of the 16th century ruling Geraldine dynasty who rebelled against the crown of Queen Elizabeth I in response to the onset of the Tudor conquest of Ireland. He led the first of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 17 August:

1779 – Birth of United Irishman and soldier, William Corbet, in Ballythomas, Co Cork. 1786 – Birth of Davy Crockett, American frontiersman and son of an Irishman. 1791 – Birth of Richard Lalor Sheil, dramatist and politician; first Catholic privy councillor, in Drumdowney, Co Kilkenny. 1846 – Lord John Russell’s Whig administration decides not to […]

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#OTD in 1882 – Unveiling of O’Connell monument in Dublin.

One of Dublin’s finest sculptors, John Henry Foley designed this imposing and remarkably beautiful memorial to Daniel O’Connell which was unveiled at the south end of what was called Sackville street – the name was changed to O’Connell street in 1924 – to admiring crowds gathered in the pouring rain on 15 August 1882. In […]

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Roger Casement | A Man of Mystery

In the week after Roger Casement’s execution, on 3 August 1916, newsreel footage of the nationalist leader was shown in cinemas across America. At a conservative estimate, some 15 million US citizens saw the moving pictures. A century on, this fragment of film provides a fascinating insight. Casement is glimpsed at his desk writing: The […]

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Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha – An Seabhac

Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha was born in the Gaeltacht near Dingle in Co Kerry in 1883. Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha went on to become an organiser for Conradh na Gaeilge, cycling all over the countryside to set up branches and promote the Irish language. As a writer, he took the pen-name ‘An Seabhac’, the Hawk, writing books […]

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#OTD in 1775 – Birth of Daniel O’Connell in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry.

Daniel O’Connell was born in Cahirsiveen, Co Kerry. He would go on to be one of the most important figures in Irish political and Catholic civil rights history. He campaigned for Catholic Emancipation – the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years – and Repeal of the Union […]

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#OTD in 2012 – Death of Sportswriter, Con Houlihan.

Despite only progressing to national journalism at the age of 46, he would become “the greatest and the best-loved Irish sports journalist of all”. A bronze bust of Houlihan was unveiled in his hometown of Castleisland, Co Kerry in 2004. In 2011, another sculpture was erected outside The Palace Bar in Dublin. Just one of […]

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