#OTD in 1887 – Birth of trade unionist and revolutionary, Winifred Carney, in Bangor, Co Down.

Close to the entrance of Milltown Cemetery is a limestone monument which marks the grave of a remarkable woman – Maria Winifred Carney. Winnie was born in Bangor, Co Down, but moved to the Falls Road in Belfast at an early age. She was born into a fairly comfortable family, and was one of seven […]

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#OTD in 1919 – Birth of Máire Drumm in Newry, Co Down.

‘The only people worthy of freedom are those who are prepared to go out and fight for it every day, and die if necessary.’ –Máire Drumm Máire Drumm was the vice president of Sinn Féin and a commander in Cumann na mBan. She was killed by Ulster loyalists while recovering from an eye operation in […]

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#OTD in 1943 – Death of suffragist, trade unionist and Irish independence activist, Winifred Carney, in Belfast.

Close to the entrance of Milltown Cemetery is a limestone monument which marks the grave of a remarkable woman – Maria Winifred Carney. Winnie was born in Bangor, Co Down, but moved to the Falls Road in Belfast at an early age. She was born into a fairly comfortable family, and was one of seven […]

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#OTD in 1871 – Margaret Dobbs, Irish historian, language activist and defender of Roger Casement, is born in Dublin.

‘Ireland is a closed book to those who do not know her language. No one can know Ireland properly until one knows the language. Her treasures are hidden as a book unopened. Open the book and learn to love your language’. –Margaret Dobbs Dobbs’ father was Justice of the Peace for Co Antrim, High Sheriff […]

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#OTD in 1998 – Bridget Dirrane, who was imprisoned with Kevin Barry and who canvassed for John F. Kennedy in the United States, celebrated her 104th birthday with news that she was to be featured in the new edition of the Guinness Book of Records.

Bridget Dirrane was the oldest native of Ireland’s Aran Islands and the second oldest person in Ireland. Éamon de Valera was the Irish political leader she most admired, but in a life touching three centuries, she met Pádraig Pearse, went on hunger strike in Mountjoy gaol, campaigned for John F Kennedy in Boston, and was […]

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#OTD in 1972 – Death of Lucy Agnes Smyth, section Leader of the Central Branch of Cumann na mBan, during the 1916 Easter Rising.

Lucy Agnes Smyth was born in 1882 and lived in Amiens Street, Dublin. She was a fluent Irish speaker and joined Cumann na mBan at its inception in 1914. By 1921, having been a section leader, she had ascended to the position of 1st Lieutenant in the Ard Craobh, Central Branch. During Easter week Lucy […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Eithne Coyle, May Burke, Linda Kearns and Aileen Keogh, escape from Mountjoy Prison.

Eithne Ní Chumhaill (Coyle O’Donnell), from Killult, near Falcarragh, Co Donegal, became a member of Cumann na mBan in 1918. As head of the Co Donegal branch of Cumann na mBan Coyle played a leading role in mobilising her members to canvass on behalf of Sinn Féin for the 1918 general election. Between 1918 and […]

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#OTD in 1976 – Vice president of Sinn Féin and commander of Cumann na mBan, Máire Drumm, was assassinated by loyalists while recovering in Mater Hospital, Crumlin Road, Belfast.

‘The only people worthy of freedom are those who are prepared to go out and fight for it every day, and die if necessary.’ –Máire Drumm Máire Drumm was the vice president of Sinn Féin and a commander in Cumann na mBan. She was killed by Ulster loyalists while recovering from an eye operation in […]

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#OTD in 1931 – The IRA and other organisations are declared illegal in the Free State and the Catholic Church excommunicates members of all of them, including Saor Éire, which soon dissolves.

The Roman Catholic bishops issued a pastoral letter declaring that the Irish Republican Army and Saor Éire, “sinful and irreligious and no Catholic can lawfully be a member of them.” The excommunication order was extended to members of all organisations outlawed under the ‘Public Safety Act’. The military tribunal created under the ‘Public Safety Act’ […]

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#OTD in 1969 – Death of Irish language educator, Louise Gavan Duffy, in Dublin.

Best known for her involvement in nationalist politics, the Gaelic revival, and the women’s suffrage movement in Ireland, Louise Gavan Duffy joined Cumann na mBan on its foundation in 1914 and was made joint secretary. Louise Gavan Duffy was writing her MA thesis at her lodgings on Haddington Road when she heard the 1916 Easter […]

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