#OTD in Irish History – 14 June:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of Caomhán of Inisheer, a 6th-century saint. Caomhan is the patron saint of Inisheer (Inis Oírr), the smallest of the Aran Islands. Even though he is “by far the most celebrated of all the saints of the Aran Islands”, little is known about him. He is […]

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#OTD in 1974 – Michael Gaughan dies on hunger strike at Parkhurst Prison in England.

Michael Gaughan was born in Ballina, Co Mayo in 1950. He grew up at Healy Terrace and was educated at St Muredach’s College, Ballina, and after finishing his schooling, he emigrated from Ireland to England in search of work. Whilst in London, Gaughan became a member of the Official IRA (OIRA) through its English wing […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 31 May:

1430 – Charges are made against Thomas Foster, Archdeacon of Glendalough, that he has sold the lands of the dignity, has kept concubines, has had offspring, is ignorant of letters and does not know the language of the country: if they are true, he is to be deprived on this date. 1744 – Birth of […]

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#OTD in 1906 – Death of Michael Davitt, “Father” of the Irish Land League.

Michael Davitt was born at the height of the Great Huger in Straide, Co Mayo. At four, his family was evicted and forced to emigrate to England. He joined the Fenians in 1865, became organising secretary and was arrested in 1870 for arms smuggling. Released after seven years, he returned to Co Mayo as a […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 24 May:

1487 – Lambert Simnel (aged 10), the Yorkist pretender to the English throne, is brought to Ireland. It is claimed that he is Edward, Earl of Warwick (Clarence’s son), but in fact, he is a baker’s son – the real Warwick is a prisoner in the Tower of London and will be executed in 1499. […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Irish patriot and a leader of the 1916 Easter Rising, John MacBride, is executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol.

Born in Westport, Co Mayo, MacBride travelled to America in 1896 to further the aims of the IRB, thereafter travelling to South Africa where he raised the Irish Transvaal Brigade, which became known as MacBride’s Brigade, to fight against the English during the Second Boer War where, as happened far too often in history, Irish […]

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#OTD in 1885 – Birth of Michael Staines in Kiltarnaght near Newport, Co Mayo.

Michael Joseph Staines was born in Kiltarnaght near Newport, Co Mayo. His family moved to Dublin in 1904 and lived at Murtagh Road in Stoneybatter. Staines worked at Henshaw’s ironmongers on Parliament Street and joined the Irish Volunteers at their inaugural meeting in November 1913. Following a stint as quartermaster of the Dublin brigade, he […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 9 April:

1346 – Death of Ralph de Ufford, justiciar. 1793 – The Relief Act grants Catholics parliamentary franchise and certain civil and military rights. 1807 – After resigning as Commissioner of the Treasury (UK) over the issue of Catholic relief, Maurice FitzGerald, MP for Co Kerry states on this date that their war effort alone merits […]

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#OTD in 1881 – Birth of Martin John Sheridan. He was ‘one of the greatest athletes [the United States] has ever known’ according to his obituary in the New York Times.

Martin John Sheridan was ‘one of the greatest athletes the United States has ever known’ according to his obituary in the New York Times. He was born in Bohola, Co Mayo, and died in St Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, New York, the day before his 37th birthday, a very early casualty of the 1918 flu […]

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#OTD in 1846 – Michael Davitt, known universally as ‘The Father of the Land League’, was born in Straid, Co Mayo.

Michael Davitt founded the Irish Land League in 1879, a non-violent action group designed to help Irish tenant farmers who effectively had no rights in 19th century Ireland. The objectives of the Land League were “to bring out a reduction of rack-rents; second, to facilitate the obtaining of the ownership of the soil by the […]

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