#OTD in 1933 – The anti-Fianna Fáil Army Comrades Association, which developed into a fascist-inspired group nicknamed the “Blueshirts,” is outlawed.

Éamon de Valera denounced the Blue Shirts organisation as unlawful, yet despite the Government’s ban, the Blueshirts also known as the National Guard paraded throughout the country. The Army Comrades Association (ACA), later the National Guard, then Young Ireland and finally League of Youth, but better known by the nickname The Blueshirts, was a far-right […]

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#OTD in 1888 – Birth of Irish nationalist, Sorcha MacMahon, in Co Monaghan.

It was said of Sorcha by her contemporaries that there was no ‘woman of that period whose efficiency, selflessness and enthusiasm was greater’. Born Sarah Teresa MacMahon at Coas, Co Monaghan. Born in 1888, she was called after her mother; as well as using her given name, she also used the Irish form, Sorcha. Her […]

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#OTD in 1892 – Birth of revolutionary and feminist, Margaret Skinnider, in Coatbridge, Scotland. She fought during the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin.

‘Scotland is my home, but Ireland my country.’ –Margaret Skinnider Margaret Skinnider was born to immigrant parents from Co Monaghan. She became a mathematics teacher in Scotland and was active in the women’s suffrage movement. She also joined the Glasgow branches of the Irish Volunteers and Cumann na mBan in 1914; she also joined the […]

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#OTD in 1961 – Birth in Clones, Co Monaghan of Barry McGuigan, ‘The Clones Cyclone’, world featherweight boxing champion (WBA) 1985-86.

Irish boxing legend, Barry McGuigan, is born in Clones, Co Monaghan. McGuigan’s dad, Pat McGeegan was famous in his own right as a very popular singer in Ireland who represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1968. Known as ‘The Clones Cyclone’, McGuigan won the World Featherweight Title in 1985 when he defeated Eusebio […]

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#OTD in 1903 – Death of the first editor and proprietor of The Nation newspaper, Charles Gavan Duffy, in Nice, France.

Charles Gavan Duffy was born in Monaghan Town on the 12 April 1816. The son of a Catholic shopkeeper, his parents died when he was very young and he was raised by his uncle, Fr James Duffy, the Parish Priest of Castleblayney. Duffy was educated at St Malachy’s college in Belfast and was admitted to […]

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#OTD in 1878 – Death of Fenian General John O’Neill.

O’Neill is best known for his activities leading the Fenian raids on Canada in 1866 and 1871.   He was born in Drumgallon, Clontibrit, Co Monaghan, where he received some schooling. He emigrated to New Jersey in 1848 at the height of An Gorta Mór. He received an additional year of education there and worked […]

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‘A Childhood Christmas’ by Patrick Kavanagh

One side of the potato‑pits was white with frost— How wonderful that was, how wonderful! And when we put our ears to the paling‑post The music that came out was magical. The light between the ricks of hay and straw Was a hole in Heaven’s gable. An apple tree With its December‑glinting fruit we saw […]

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#OTD in 1970 – Death of Irish Nationalist, Sorcha MacMahon, in Dublin.

It was said of Sorcha by her contemporaries that there was no ‘woman of that period whose efficiency, selflessness and enthusiasm was greater’. Born Sarah Teresa MacMahon at Coas, Co Monaghan. Born in 1888, she was called after her mother; as well as using her given name, she also used the Irish form, Sorcha. Her […]

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#OTD in 1967 – Death of poet and novelist, Patrick Kavanagh, who was born in Inniskeen, Co Monaghan in 1904.

Patrick Kavanagh was born on 21 October 1904, in Mucker townland, Inniskeen parish, Co Monaghan, the son of James Kavanagh, a small farmer with sixteen acres who was also a cobbler, and Bridget Quinn. He attended Kednaminsha National School from 1909 to 1916 and worked on the family farm after leaving school. His poem ‘Raglan […]

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#OTD in 1892 – Birth of General Eoin O’Duffy, near Castleblaney, Co Monaghan.

Birth of Eoin O’Duffy, IRA man, Commissioner of the Garda Síochána and General Franco supporter, near Lough Egish, Co Monaghan. O’Duffy first came to fame when he led an IRA group which captured the first RIC barracks at Ballytrain taking from it weapons and explosives, during the War of Independence. Also present at this victory […]

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