#OTD in Irish History – 11 July:

National Day of Commemoration (Lá Cuimhneacháin Náisiúnta) held on the nearest Sunday to this date commemorating all Irish people who died in past wars or United Nations peacekeeping missions. 1792 – A gathering of some ten Irish harpers and one Welsh begins in Belfast; the objective is to collect the remaining fragments of the tradition; […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Coolbawn Massacre: Thirty-six IRA Volunteers in Kilkenny tried to ambush a British Army convoy, at Coolbawn, between Castlecomer and Athy traveling with a mine.

Ireland lost two of its finest men on this date when John Hartley (Glenmore) and Nicholas Mullins, (Thomastown) were killed while attempting to ambush a force of Black and Tans who were escorting explosives to the nearby mines. The ambush had been set on the orders of Michael Collins who directed that pressure needed to […]

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#OTD in 1650 – Kilkenny surrendered to Oliver Cromwell.

The success of Oliver Cromwell’s Irish campaign during the autumn of 1649 caused further divisions in the Marquis of Ormond’s Royalist-Confederate coalition. With the defeat of British and Scottish forces in Ulster and the defection of most of Lord Inchiquin’s Protestant troops to the Parliamentarians, Ormond was obliged to rely increasingly upon Catholic support. Early […]

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#OTD in 1831 – In the ‘tithe war’, 120 police move in to Graiguenamanagh to seize cattle in payment of the tithe from a Roman Catholic priest.

The Tithe War was a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience, punctuated by sporadic violent episodes, in Ireland between 1830 and 1836 in reaction to the enforcement of tithes on subsistence farmers and others for the upkeep of the established state church – the Church of Ireland. Tithes were payable in cash or kind and payment […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 29 January:

1768 – Oliver Goldsmith’s ‘The Good-Natured Boy’ is first performed at London’s Covent Garden. 1794 – Archibald Hamilton Rowan, United Irishman, is tried on charges of distributing seditious paper. 1817 – Birth of geographer and explorer, John Palliser, in Dublin. Following his service in the Waterford Militia and hunting excursions to the North American prairies, […]

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#OTD in 2000 – It is announced that a 1,000 year old treasure trove has been discovered by a tour guide cleaning up litter from a Co Kilkenny cave.

Located just six and a half miles from Kilkenny city, Dunmore is by far the most historically significant cave on the island of Ireland. With strong links to Celtic mythology; the scene of the massacre of 1,000 women and children; reputed to be the hiding place of Dame Alice Kyteler, who was accused and sentenced […]

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#OTD in 1920 – IRA officer, Ernie O’Malley, was captured by British forces in Co Kilkenny with a notebook containing names of his IRA colleagues.

‘On the base of the Pillar was a white poster. Gathered around were groups of men and women. Some looked at it with serious faces, others laughed and sniggered. I began to read it with a smile, but my smile ceased as I read, ‘Poblacht na h-Eireann, the Provisional government of the Irish Republic – […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 30 November:

1667 – Birth in Dublin of Jonathan Swift, poet, satirist and clergyman. 1670 – Birth of rationalist philosopher, freethinker and occasional satirist, John Toland, in Inishowen, Co Donegal. He wrote numerous books and pamphlets on political philosophy and philosophy of religion. He also produced some highly controversial polemics, including the Treatise of the Three Impostors, in […]

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