#OTD in 1821 – Lady Jane Francesca Wilde is born in Co Wexford. Author, poet and the mother of Oscar Wilde, she is also known as Speranza.

Jane Francesca Agnes Elgee, later Lady Wilde and mother of Oscar is born. She became famous in her own right as a writer and poet under the name of “Sperenza.” Sperenza was an ardent nationalist in addition to being a staunch feminist. Her most famous poem is probably ‘The Famine Year’. Weary men, what reap […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Five Sullivan brothers from Iowa die when their ship the light cruiser SS Juneau is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.

The Sullivan brothers were raised in an Irish-Catholic family, the brothers great-grandfather had emigrated from Ireland. Early on the morning of 13 November, during the naval Battle of Guadalcanal, the SS Juneau was torpedoed and badly damaged. Late that morning, while south of San Cristobal Island withdrawing with other survivors of the 13 November action, […]

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#OTD in 1998 – In tribute to emigrants who sailed to the New World on coffin ships, Coillte announces plans for the establishment of the Forest of Dunbrody on the outskirts of New Ross, Co Wexford.

The story of Ireland is, in many ways, a story of continuous migration. Many disparate groups came to Ireland over the millennia, each one leaving their mark on the character of the island. Early Stone-age settlers came, and were followed by the Iron-age Celts. Viking traders founded the first towns in Ireland. Christian missionaries built […]

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#OTD in 1943 – The US Navy commissions the destroyer The Sullivans.

The Sullivan brothers were raised in an Irish-Catholic family, the brothers great-grandfather had emigrated from Ireland. Early on the morning of 13 November, during the naval Battle of Guadalcanal, the SS Juneau was torpedoed and badly damaged. Late that morning, while south of San Cristobal Island withdrawing with other survivors of the 13 November action, […]

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#OTD in 1803 – Death of John Barry, a native of Ballystampson, Co Wexford, Commodore in the US Navy and renowned as the Father of the American Navy.

John Barry, credited as the “Father of the American Navy” dies in Philadelphia, PA. Barry was born in Ballystampson, Co Wexford on 25 March 1745 to a poor tenant farming family who were at one stage evicted for inability to pay rent. Barry was an exceptional sailor and military tactician. Over his 17 year service […]

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#OTD in 1110 – Birth of Diarmaid Mac Murchada, King of Leinster, best remembered for bringing the Anglo-Normans to Ireland, and one of the most execrated names in Irish history.

In 1167, Diarmaid Mac Murchadha was deprived of his kingdom by the High King of Ireland – Ruaidri Ua Conchobair. The grounds for the dispossession were that Mac Murchada had, in 1152, abducted Derbforgaill, the wife of the King of Breifne, Tiernan O’Rourke. To recover his kingdom, Mac Murchada solicited help from King Henry II […]

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#OTD in 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion/Battle of New Ross.

The Battle of New Ross was the bloodiest of the 1798 rebellion. The southern force of the Wexford rebels had swelled to almost 10,000 by the morning of 5 June. Most of this force was armed only with pikes. If they could succeed in taking New Ross, the way would be open to spread the […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 5 June:

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 victory is celebrated by Pope Innocent X with a Te Deum in Rome. 1686 – Richard Talbot, the Earl of Tyrconnell, appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland, (the first Catholic to hold […]

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