#OTD in 2013 – World-renowned poet and playwright Seamus Heaney died in the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin following a short illness, aged 74.

“History says, Don’t hope On this side of the grave, But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave Of justice can rise up, And hope and history rhyme.” ―Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney was awarded numerous prizes over the years and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. He was born to a farming […]

Read More

#OTD in Irish History | 30 August:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of Saint Fiacra. He was born in Ireland in the seventh century. Fiachra is an ancient pre-Christian name from Ireland. The meaning is uncertain, but the name may mean “battle king”, or it may be a derivative of the word fiach “raven”. The name can be […]

Read More

#OTD in 1969 – The British Army was deployed on the streets in the north of Ireland, which marked the beginning of ‘Operation Banner’.

Following on from the Peoples Democracy march of 1st January 1969 from Belfast to Derry and the subsequent rioting in the Bogside and other towns in the north of Ireland, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and its supporters were openly condemned by the Government of Northern Ireland as being manipulated by communists, republicans and […]

Read More

#OTD in 1969 – Battle of the Bogside.

As the annual Apprentice Boys parade passed close to the Bogside area of Derry; serious rioting erupted. The RUC, using armoured cars and water cannons, entered the Bogside. The RUC were closely followed and supported by a loyalist crowd. The residents of the Bogside forced the police and the loyalists back out of the area. […]

Read More

#OTD in 1972 – Operation Motorman | Prior to the military operation, 4,000 extra troops were brought into the north of Ireland to take part in the dismantling of barricades of ‘no-go’ areas.

Bloody Sunday failed in its objective to terrorise the no-go area. Stormont fell in March and direct-rule from London was re-instated. Free Derry remained. Support for republicanism grew. The conflict continued to escalate. In six months after 30 January, 15 people were killed in the Free Derry area.  In July, the British Army began ‘Operation […]

Read More

#OTD in 1608 – Preparations commence for the plantation of six Ulster counties (Armagh, Cavan, Coleraine, Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone).

The Plantation of Ulster was presented to James I as a joint “British”, or English and Scottish, venture to ‘pacify’ and ‘civilise’ Ulster, with at least half the settlers to be Scots. James had been King of Scots before he also became King of England and needed to reward his subjects in Scotland with land […]

Read More

#OTD in 2010 – David Cameron issues a formal, state apology for the “unjustified and unjustifiable” killing of 14 civil rights marchers by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972.

Prior to the publication of the Saville Report, thousands of people converge at the Bloody Sunday Memorial to walk to the Guildhall; symbolically completing the march which was prevented from reaching its destination in 1972. Results of Bloody Sunday Inquiry under the aegis of Lord Saville are published twelve years after it was established by […]

Read More

#OTD in 1932 – Amelia Earhart takes off from Newfoundland for Ireland on the anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s famous flight. She lands near Derry and becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

Five years to the day that American aviator Charles Lindbergh became the first pilot to accomplish a solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, female aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the first pilot to repeat the feat, landing her plane in Ireland after flying across the North Atlantic. Earhart traveled over 2,000 miles from Newfoundland in just under 15 hours. […]

Read More

#OTD in 1972 – Lord Widgery’s report exonerating “Bloody Sunday” troops was issued.

Publication of the Widgery Report into the events of Bloody Sunday brings an avalanche of criticism and incredulity amongst nationalist and independent commentators. The man who served as the Lord Chief Justice of England from 1971-80 found that British paratroopers were not responsible for the deaths of 13 civilians on the day and that “there […]

Read More

#OTD in 1689 – Siege of Derry began.

In 1685, the Roman Catholic James II came to the throne of England. His agent Richard Talbot, earl of Tyrconnell, started to dismiss Protestant officers from the army in Ireland, replacing them with Roman Catholics. For English Protestants, the last straw came when the birth of a son to his second wife meant that his […]

Read More