#OTD in 1922 – Bridges Job: Plot to isolate Dublin fails when Free State Intelligence officers discover from captured Anti-Treaty officer Liam Clarke that Republicans have planned to destroy all the bridges leading into Dublin.

The IRA in Dublin were realistic enough to know that militarily they could not oust the pro-Treaty forces, or indeed the remaining garrison of 6,000 British troops, from the Irish capital, but with a Free State expedition due to attack Cork city from the sea, the Republicans planned to cut communications to and from the […]

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Uraicecht Becc – Old Irish for ‘Small Primer’

Uraicecht Becc is an Old Irish legal tract on status. Of all status tracts, it has the greatest breadth in coverage, including not only commoners, kings, churchmen and poets, but also a variety of other professional groups, including judges. However, it does not go into as much detail for each group and level as do […]

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#OTD in 1879 – Birth of Irish patriot and Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney, in Co Cork.

Terence Joseph MacSwiney was a playwright, author and politician. He was elected as Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork during the Irish War of Independence in 1920 after the murder of his friend Tomás Mac Curtain, the Lord Mayor of Cork on 20 March 1920. Like Tomás Mac Curtain, he had been a member of […]

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#OTD in 1918 – The SS Kenmare, part of the fleet of the Cork Steampacket Company, was sunk without warning in Irish waters, from a torpedo fired from a German submarine.

Out of the crew of 35, only six were saved. The vessel was en route from Liverpool to Cork when it was struck. Most of the crew were in their bunks asleep when they were awoken by a loud explosion that shattered the ship from end to end. It sank in less than two minutes. Among […]

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#OTD in 1867 – Fenian Rising begins in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Clare and Tipperary.

The Fenian Rising of 1867 was a rebellion against British rule in Ireland, organised by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. After the suppression of the Irish People newspaper, disaffection among Irish radical nationalists had continued to smoulder, and during the later part of 1866, IRB leader James Stephens endeavoured to raise funds in the United States […]

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#OTD in 1925 – Hugh O’Flaherty was ordained on this date and posted to the Vatican.

When Germany occupied Rome in 1943, O’Flaherty and some like-minded friends hid Jews and Allied soldiers from the Nazis. They used convents, farms and even flats beside the SS headquarters. When Rome was liberated, 6,500 of O’Flaherty’s escapees were still alive. Monsigner Hugh was also amateur golf champion of Italy. From to 1942-43, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty […]

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#OTD in 1845 – Frederick Douglass delivers a speech in Belfast: ‘The Cambria Riot, My Slave Experience, and My Irish Mission’.

In 1845, as Ireland was descending into the despair of the Great Hunger, Frederick Douglass arrived for a four-month lecture tour of the island. Douglass had escaped slavery in Maryland seven years earlier, and had recently published his autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Douglass was greeted in Dublin, Belfast, […]

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#OTD in 1845 – Abolitionist Frederick Douglass speaks to a packed house in Cork on the subject of slavery.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass speaks to a packed house in Cork on the subject of slavery. “Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,—There is perhaps no argument more frequently resorted to by the Slaveholders in support of the slave system, than the inferiority of the slave. In the name of Christianity, I demand that people of these countries […]

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#OTD in 1920 – RIC Detective Swanzy was shot dead by Cork IRA volunteers while leaving Church in Lisburn, Co Antrim.

On 20 March 1920, Oswald Swanzy was in charge of a group of masked RIC policemen who entered the home of Tomás Mac Curtain, Lord Mayor of Cork, and killed him. Mac Curtain was also the leader of Cork No. 1 Brigade of the IRA. On 17 April 1920, a coroner’s inquest was held into […]

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