#OTD in Irish History – 5 May:

1586 – Death of Lord Deputy of Ireland, Henry Sidney. Sidney was brought up at court as the companion of Prince Edward, afterwards King Edward VI, and he continued to enjoy the favour of the Crown, serving under Mary I of England and then particularly throughout the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. He was instrumental in […]

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#OTD in 1868 – Birth of Irish patriot and revolutionary, Countess Constance Markievicz, née Gore-Booth in London.

Countess Markievicz, born Constance Georgine Gore Booth, politician, revolutionary, tireless worker with the poor and dispossessed, was a remarkable woman. Born into great wealth and privilege, she lived at Lissadell House in Co Sligo. She is most famous for her leadership role in the 1916 Easter Rising and the subsequent revolutionary struggle for freedom in […]

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#OTD in 1861 – Death of dancer and courtesan, Lola Montez (Marie Gilbert), in New York. She was born in Grange, Co Sligo.

Famous both for her self-created ‘Spider Dance’, as well as being the inspiration for the expression, ‘Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.’ Barry Manilow’s 1978 smash hit “Copacabana” tells the story of: ‘Lola, she was a showgirl, with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there”. Girlfriend of bartender Tony at the […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 11 January:

1753 – Death of physician, naturalist, Hans Sloane, Killyleagh, in Co Down. He was a collector, notable for bequeathing his collection to the nation, thus providing the foundation of the British Museum. His name was later used for streets and places such as Hans Place, Hans Crescent and Sloane Square in London, and also to […]

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#OTD in 1923 – William Butler Yeats receives Nobel Prize in Literature.

Very early, in the first bloom of youth, William Butler Yeats emerged as a poet with an indisputable right to the name. The honour was conferred “for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.” ‘The Stolen Child’ (W.B. Yeats) Where dips the rocky […]

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Medieval Ireland: Inishmurray Monastic Site

“Saved by its ocean walls from ordinary marauders in former times, and from the wanton tourist of today… Inishmurray has retained a larger number of examples of primitive Irish Art than perhaps any other early Christian settlement in Ireland.” ––William Wakeman, A Survey of the Antiquarian Remains on the Island of Inishmurray, 1893 The first […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 27 October:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Odhran. After serving as abbot of Meath, he journeyed to Scotland with St Columba to promote the faith and died at Iona. Odhran was the first Irish monk to die at Iona. He may have founded Latteragh Abbey in Tipperary and is considered the principal […]

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