#OTD in Irish History – 23 April:

1014 – Battle of Clontarf: The Dublin Norse and the king of Leinster, with Viking allies from overseas, are defeated by Brian Boru’s army at Clontarf. Brian, now an old man, is killed. This thwarts the potential domination of Ireland by the Norse, but they are well established in the coastal towns, and will continue […]

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#OTD in 1825 – Birth of Young Irelander, journalist and promoter of Canadian Federation, Thomas D’Arcy McGee, in Carlingford, Co Louth.

Thomas D’Arcy Etienne Hughes McGee was an Irish-Canadian politician, Catholic spokesman, journalist, poet, and a Father of Canadian Confederation. The young McGee was a Catholic Irishman who hated British rule in Ireland, and worked for a peasant revolution to overthrow British rule and secure Irish independence. He escaped arrest and fled to the United States […]

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The Legend of Cú Chulainn

There are a number of versions of the story of Cú Chulainn’s birth. In the earliest version of Compert C(h)on Culainn (The Conception of Cú Chulainn), his mother Deichtine is the daughter and charioteer of Conchobar mac Nessa, king of Ulster, and accompanies him as he and the nobles of Ulster hunt a flock of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 26 March:

1787 – The Tumultuous Risings Act imposed penalties for rioting and for interference with the collection of tithes. 1838 – William Edward Hartpole Lecky, historian and philosopher, was born in Blackrock, Co Dublin. 1854 – Harry Furniss, caricaturist, was born in Wexford. 1856 – Birth of New Zealand statesman and Prime Minister from 1912 to […]

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#OTD in 1955 – Birth of singer/songwriter, Liam Reilly, in Dundalk, Co Louth.

Liam Reilly is an Irish singer/songwriter and a member of the popular Irish rock band Bagatelle. After receiving an offer from Gus Dudgeon (Elton John’s producer, now deceased) Reilly began a solo career. It didn’t gain much popularity but he wrote some of Bagatelle’s most popular songs during this time such as ‘Somewhere In Europe’. Reilly […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 23 November:

In the Liturgical Calendar today is the Feast Day of St Columbanus. 1074 – Donatus (or Dunan), the first Bishop of Dublin, dies and is buried in Christ Church Cathedral. Patrick, his successor, is sent to Canterbury for consecration. 1499 – Death of Perkin Warbeck, pretender to the English throne during the reign of King […]

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#OTD in 1845 – The Illustrated London News reported on the early stages of An Gorta Mór that was to decimate Ireland in the coming years.

“Accounts received from different parts of Ireland show that the disease in the potato crop is extending far and wide, and causing great alarm amongst the peasantry. Mr. John Chester, of Kilscorne House, in Magshole, Co Louth, in a letter to the Dublin Evening Post, states that he has a field of twenty acres of […]

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Soldiers Point, Dundalk, Co Louth

Bronze sculpture “Sea God Managuan and Voyagers” at Soldiers Point, Dundalk Bay, Co Louth by the artist, Ann Meldon Hugh. Manannan is the Celtic God of the Sea and is the leader of a group of the Fair Folk whose values and ideals are associated with the water element and the deep blue-green light of […]

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#OTD in 1649 – Siege of Drogheda ends: The first siege occurred during the Irish Rebellion of 1641, when Phelim O’Neill and the insurgents failed to take the town.

Drogheda was one of the best-fortified towns in Ireland. The main part of the town was north of the River Boyne, with a smaller district to the south. The two districts were connected by a drawbridge across the river. The town was protected by a circuit of walls four to six feet wide and twenty […]

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#OTD in 1315 – Battle of Connor: Major victory for Edward the Bruce in his invasion of Ulster.

The Battle of Connor was fought on 10 September 1315, in the townland of Tannybrake just over a mile north of what is now the modern village of Connor, Co Antrim. It was part of the Bruce campaign in Ireland. Edward Bruce landed in Larne, in modern-day Co Antrim, on 26 May 1315. In early […]

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