#OTD in 1803 – Robert Emmet, Irish patriot, is executed in Dublin.

O! BREATHE not his name! let it sleep in the shade, Where cold and unhonoured his relics are laid; Sad, silent, and dark be the tears that we shed, As the night dew that falls on the grave o’er his head. But the night dew that falls, though in silence it weeps, Shall brighten with […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 19 September:

1757 – Having been funded by a bequest from Jonathan Swift, St Patrick’s Hospital for the insane, Dublin, is opened. St Patrick’s University Hospital is a psychiatric facility located in Dublin, near Kilmainham and the Phoenix Park. It was founded in 1747 with money bequeathed by Jonathan Swift following his death in 1745. 1864 – […]

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#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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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 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 Daniel 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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