#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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Giant’s Grave

Moytura is where the Tuatha Dé Danann began their invasion by taking on the Fir Bolg in a battle for the possession of Ireland. It’s name in Irish is Cath Maighe Tuireadh, meaning ‘Battle of the Plain of Pillar’. The Danann won. Some thirty years later, a second battle of Moytura was fought, this time […]

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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 – 29 November:

In the Liturgical Calendar today is the Feast Day of Saint Brendan of Birr (died circa 572). He was one of the early Irish monastic saints. He was a monk and later an abbot, of the 6th century. He is known as ‘St Brendan the Elder’ to distinguish him from his contemporary and friend St […]

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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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#OTD in 1842 – Death of Chilean independence leader, Bernardo O’Higgins.

Although O’Higgins was the second Supreme Director of Chile (1817–1823), he is considered one of Chile’s founding fathers, as he was the first holder of this title to head a fully independent Chilean state. O’Higgins was of Spanish and Irish ancestry. Bernardo O’Higgins, a member of the O’Higgins Family, was born in the Chilean city […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 13 September:

1494 – Edward Poynings, best known for his introduction of “Poynings Law,” which prevented the Irish Parliament from meeting without royal permission and approval of its agenda, is appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland. 1803 – Death of John Barry, a native of Ballystampson, Co Wexford, Commodore in the US Navy and renowned as the Father […]

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#OTD in 1979 – A Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb kills British retired admiral Lord Mountbatten and three others while they are boating on holiday off the coast in Co Sligo.

An IRA bomb kills the Queen’s cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten in Co Sligo. Mountbatten regularly holidayed in the West of Ireland. The bomb exploded on his boat some minutes after he and family friends had departed the little port of Mullaghmore. Mountbatten’s grandson Nicholas, 14, and fifteen year old local, Paul Maxwell, 15, employed as […]

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Maud Gonne Mural, Sligo Town

Painted by the Artist Nik Purdy With poem “When You Are Old” by W.B. Yeats When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved […]

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