#OTD in 1923 – International reaction to Government executions.

The Irish government Representative in Washington, Timothy Smiddy wrote to External Affairs minister Desmond Fitzgerald about US concerns regarding the execution of Anti-Treaty Irregulars, especially the PR fallout if women were to be executed. “A report given last week to the American papers by Mrs Despard from Paris (a cutting of which has already been […]

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#OTD in 1903 – Birth of Róisín Madigan O’Reilly in Dublin. At aged 13, she became the youngest member of Cumann na mban.

Daughter to a German-born governess (E. Hessler) and an Irish Literature Lecturer, (E. O’Reilly) Madigan O’Reilly grew up speaking German, Irish and English and travelling sporadically to Potsdam to visit her mother’s affluent relations. Both her parents were staunch republicans. Her father wrote poems and articles for ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’ and, aged just 13, Madigan […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 21 January:

Ireland’s Independence Day – The Centenary of the first Dáil and the Declaration of Independence. The Dáil approved a Democratic Programme, based on the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, and read and adopted a Message to the Free Nations of the World in Irish, English and French. 1600 – Charles Blount, 8th Lord Mountjoy, […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 3 January:

1663 – Thomas Crompton of Arklow, a clergyman, petitions the House of Lords that ‘Constantine Neal of Wexford, merchant, refuseth to restore the bell belonging to the steepl (sic) of Arklow, which he saw in his possession’. An order is made for its restoration. 1823 – Death of General Jean Joseph Amable Humbert. He was […]

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Wren Day, also known as Wren’s Day or the Day of the Wren (Lá an Dreoilín), celebrated on St Stephen’s Day.

The tradition is very much on the wane now but in some few localities Wrenboys still go out in Ireland on St. Stephens Day. The central theme of the wrenboy visit is the wren, an effigy of which is carried about in a holly branch or in a box or cage. Previously it was hunted […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 18 December:

In the Liturgical Calendar, today is the Feast day of St. Flannan. St. Flannan was an Irish saint who lived in the 7th century and was the son of a king of Thomond, an Irish Chieftain. He entered Molua’s monastery at Killaloe and became abbot there. He is remembered as a great preacher. He made […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 10 December:

1479 – Garret More Fitzgerald of Kildare, the ‘Great Earl’, holds a parliament in Dublin from 10 December; it will run, with adjournments, into 1481. 1690 – Sir John Dillon, MP for Co Meath, fights a duel with the Earl of Anglesey. 1826 – Birth of businessman, William Ford in Clonakilty, Co Cork. He moved […]

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#OTD in 1879 – Birth of Anti-Treaty Nationalist and Politician, Austin Stack, in Tralee, Co Kerry.

Under the influence of his father, Austin Stack joined the local Young Ireland Society and the local branch of the Irish National Foresters, and was a keen student of Irish history. Appalled at the Cinderella status of Gaelic football and hurling, he co-founded the John Mitchel club in Tralee and became its secretary. The remarkable […]

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#OTD in 1944 – Charlie Kerins was hanged in Mountjoy Gaol by the English hangman Albert Pierrepoint.

‘All I ask is that the ideals and principles for which I am about to die for will be kept alive until the Irish Republic is finally enthroned’. –Charlie Kerins When the serial killer of Rillington Place, John Christie, complained that his nose itched after his arms had been bound, Albert Pierrepoint assured him: “It […]

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