#OTD in 1911 – Birth of novelist and satirist, Brian O’Nolan, in Strabane, Co Tyrone.

Born in Strabane, Co Tyrone, Brian O’Nolan is regarded as a key figure in postmodern literature. He was an Irish novelist and satirist, best known for his novels ‘An Béal Bocht’, ‘At Swim-Two-Birds’ and ‘The Third Policeman’ written under the nom de plume Flann O’Brien. He also wrote many satirical columns in the Irish Times […]

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#OTD in 1866 – Birth of nationalist poet and writer, Alice Milligan, in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

Alice Milligan was born and brought up as a Methodist in Gortmore, near Omagh, Co Tyrone. Alice was one of eleven children and from 1877 to 1887 attended Methodist College, Belfast, after which she completed a teacher-training course. Together with her father she wrote a political travelogue of the north of Ireland in 1888, Glimpses […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 24 August:

In the Liturgical calendar it is the Feast Day of Abbán moccu Corbmaic, also Eibbán or Moabba, a saint in Irish tradition. He was associated, first and foremost, with Mag Arnaide (Moyarney or Adamstown, near New Ross, Co Wexford) and with Cell Abbáin (Killabban, Co Laois). His cult was, however, also connected to other churches […]

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#OTD in 1998 – Massive bomb explodes in Omagh shopping centre at 3.10pm; Twenty-nine people are killed and hundreds injured.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anama. An IRA bomb explodes in Omagh, Co Tyrone killing twenty-nine people, including a pregnant woman with twins. As a result of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, the people of Northern Ireland thought they had seen the end of violence. However, a tiny breakaway group of IRA dissidents […]

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#OTD in 1646 – The Battle of Benburb | Eoghan Rua O’Neill, a superb military strategist, defeats Robert Munro’s Scottish army at Benburb in Co Tyrone.

The Battle of Benburb took place during the Irish Confederate Wars, the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, between the Irish Confederate Ulster army under Owen Roe O’Neill, and the Scottish Covenanter army in Ulster, commanded by Colonel Robert Monro. After a period of inactivity, O’Neill, who was a very cautious general, […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 22 April:

1365 – Lionel returns to England, leaving Ormond as his deputy. 1671 – An English Navigation Act prohibits direct importation of sugar, tobacco and other produce from the colonies to Ireland; act expires in 1681 but is renewed in 1685 and extended in 1696. 1717 – John Marshall, a successful attorney and father of Robert […]

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#OTD in 1865 – Oliver Sheppard, sculptor, is born in Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

Oliver Sheppard was born in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. After his birth the family moved to Dublin, and he studied at the Metropolitan School of Art. He won a scholarship to the South Kensington Art School, where he studied from 1889 to 1891 before spending a year in Paris. He taught in Leicester and Nottingham. When […]

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#OTD in 1915 – Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of the disease ever identified in the United States, is put in quarantine, where she would remain for the rest of her life.

Mary Mallon was born in 1869 in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. She emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1884. An Irish immigrant cook, Mallon became the focus of one of the best-known episodes in the history of communicable disease when U.S. health officials identified her as a healthy carrier of the organism causing typhoid […]

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#OTD in 1949 – Birth of snooker player and world champion, Dennis Taylor, in Coalisland, Co Tyrone.

Dennis Taylor’s sole world championship victory in 1985 over world number one Steve Davis provided probably the most compelling moments in snooker history. In a final comprising of the best of 35 frames, Taylor lost all frames in the opening session to ultimately fall behind 8-0. A whitewash was on the cards as Davis was […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Civil rights campaigner and former Westminster MP, Bernadette McAliskey (née Devlin) and her husband were shot and seriously injured in a gun attack in their home near Coalisland, Co Tyrone.

“To gain what is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.” –Bernadette Devlin As the gunmen left the house, they were grabbed by British paratroopers. One of the soldiers came into the kitchen. Bernadette heard her husband say they needed an ambulance. That was the first time she knew he was alive. […]

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