Biddy Early – Witch or Wise Woman

Legend would have it that Biddy was an entity worth fearing. She had four husbands and outlived them all. She had a magic glass bottle that she used to foretell deaths and disasters. Her fury could freeze a horse in its tracks; in a good mood she could save you or your prized livestock from […]

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The Fenian Brotherhood

The Fenian Brotherhood, the Irish Republican Brotherhood’s US branch, was founded by John O’Mahony and Michael Doheny, both of whom had been “out” (participating in the Young Irelander’s rising) in 1848. Members were commonly known as “Fenians”. O’Mahony, who was a Celtic scholar, named his organisation after the Fianna, the legendary band of Irish warriors […]

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#OTD in 1814 – Birth of Irish writer, who was the chief organiser and poet of the Young Ireland movement, Thomas Osborne Davis in Mallow, Co Cork.

Thomas Osborn Davis was born in the town of Mallow, Co Cork, the son of a Welsh father, a surgeon in the Royal Artillery, and an Irish mother. Through his mother he was descended from the Gaelic noble family of O’Sullivan Beare. His father died one month after his birth and his mother moved to […]

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#OTD in 1790 – Birth of “The Apostle of Temperance” and campaigner against alcohol, Fr Theobald Mathew, in Co Tipperary.

Theobald Mathew, founder of the The Total Abstinence Association is born at Thomastown, near Golden, Co Tipperary. He received his schooling in Kilkenny, then moved for a short time to Maynooth. From 1808 to 1814 he studied in Dublin, where in the latter year he was ordained to the priesthood. Having entered the Capuchin order, […]

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#OTD in 1882 – Unveiling of O’Connell monument in Dublin.

One of Dublin’s finest sculptors, John Henry Foley designed this imposing and remarkably beautiful memorial to Daniel O’Connell which was unveiled at the south end of what was called Sackville street – the name was changed to O’Connell street in 1924 – to admiring crowds gathered in the pouring rain on 15 August 1882. In […]

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Key Events in Irish History

An island people the Irish may be, yet the history of Ireland has never been intolerant or inward-looking. Instead, it is a story of a people profoundly aware of the wider world – its threats, its possibilities and its advantages. In addition, while the English and British connection will always remain key to any reading […]

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#OTD in 1775 – Birth of Daniel O’Connell in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry.

Daniel O’Connell was born in Cahirsiveen, Co Kerry. He would go on to be one of the most important figures in Irish political and Catholic civil rights history. He campaigned for Catholic Emancipation – the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years – and Repeal of the Union […]

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#OTD in 1848 – A gunfight takes place between Young Ireland Rebels and police at Widow McCormack’s house in Ballingarry, Co Tipperary.

The Young Irelander Rebellion was a failed Irish nationalist uprising led by the Young Ireland movement, part of the wider Revolutions of 1848 that affected most of Europe. It took place on 29 July 1848 in the village of Ballingarry, South Tipperary. After being chased by a force of Young Irelanders and their supporters, an […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 30 May:

1630 – Birth of Charles Stuart who will become Charles II of Great Britain and Ireland. 1784 – Belfast’s first Catholic church, St. Mary’s, opens for public worship. 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: The Battle of Three Rocks – Rebels capture Enniscorthy and Wexford town. 1807 – During the election for Co Wexford, two of […]

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