#OTD in 1920 – Birth of Maureen O’Hara, born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, Co Dublin.

“Above all else, deep in my soul, I’m a tough Irishwoman.” –Maureen O’Hara Perhaps the most famous redhead in the world, actress Maureen O’Hara (born Maureen Fitzsimons) is born in Dublin. O’Hara is probably most famous for her role in John Ford’s The Quiet Man where she played opposite John Wayne. Blessed with fiery red […]

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#OTD in 2008 – Death of singer and folk musician, Ronnie Drew.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. Ronnie Drew was born in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin. He was best known for his long beard and his voice, which was once described by Nathan Joseph as “like the sound of coke being crushed under a door”. For more than 30 years, the distinctive voice of the […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 16 August:

1793 – The Convention Act (1793) was aimed at preventing the recurrence of events like the Convention of the Volunteers in 1782 where armed groups (of Protestants) from various parts of Ireland assembled in Dublin and were able to overawe the Government at a time when there were few troops in the country. Contrary to […]

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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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#OTD in 1598 – Nine Years War: Battle of the Yellow Ford – Irish forces under Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeat an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.

The Battle of the Yellow Ford was fought in western Co Armagh, during the Nine Years War. It was fought between the Gaelic native Irish army under Aodh Mór Ó Néill and Aodh Ruadh Ó Domhnaill and a crown expeditionary force from Dublin under Henry Bagenal. The crown forces were marching from Armagh town to […]

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#OTD in 1649 – Oliver Cromwell sets sail for Ireland and the commencement of one the most vicious military campaigns inflicted on Ireland.

On his arrival, he was received with all possible demonstrations of joy; the great guns echoing forth their welcome, and the acclamations of the people resounding in every street. Cromwell came into the city — where the concourse of people was very great, they were all flocking to see him of whom they had heard […]

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#OTD in 1796 – Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin receives its first prisoners.

Kilmainham Gaol is one of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe, covering some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland’s emergence as a modern nation from the 1780s to the 1920s. Attractions include a major exhibition detailing the political and penal history of the prison and its restoration. Located approximately three miles outside […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Féin, dies of a cerebral haemorrhage.

Arthur Griffith was one of the most important players in Irish Independence. Griffith founded Sinn Féin in 1905 as an Irish nationalist party whose objective was “to establish in Ireland’s capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation”. It was not until after the 1916 Rising that Sinn Féin became […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 12 August:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of St Muiredach mac Echdach of Killala. 1646 – Archbishop Giovanni Rinuccini, papal nuncio to the Irish Confederate Catholics, condemns their adherence to Ormond’s peace terms for failing to fully recognise Catholicism. 1652 – ‘Act for the Settling of Ireland’ allows for the transplantation to Clare […]

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Roger Casement | A Man of Mystery

In the week after Roger Casement’s execution, on 3 August 1916, newsreel footage of the nationalist leader was shown in cinemas across America. At a conservative estimate, some 15 million US citizens saw the moving pictures. A century on, this fragment of film provides a fascinating insight. Casement is glimpsed at his desk writing: The […]

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