#OTD in 1988 – The Molly Malone statue in Grafton Street was unveiled by then-Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alderman Ben Briscoe during the 1988 Dublin Millennium celebrations, declaring 13 June as Molly Malone Day.

In popular Dublin parlance, Molly Malone is referred to as “The Tart with the Cart and “The Dish with the Fish”. The song tells the fictional tale of a fishmonger who plied her trade on the streets of Dublin, but who died young, of a fever. In the late 20th century a legend grew up […]

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#OTD in 1865 – Birth of writer and nationalist, W.B. Yeats, in Dublin.

William Butler Yeats was the son of painter John Butler Yeats. He spent much of his childhood in Co Sligo which was a huge source of inspiration for him, not least the beautiful ‘Lake Isle of Inisfree’. Yeats was a major player in the Celtic Revival which endeavored (successfully) to raise awareness of the culture […]

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#OTD in 1944 – Death of politician, journalist, intelligence agent and paramilitary activist, Frank Ryan.

Frank Ryan was born in Co Limerick, in 1902. After leaving university he became an active member of the Irish Republican Army and fought in the Irish Civil War. In 1929 Ryan was appointed editor of An Phoblacht, the IRA newspaper. He was imprisoned several times over the following years for publishing seditious articles and […]

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#OTD in 1904 – James Joyce meets the love of his life, Nora Barnacle.

Nora Barnacle was born in the city of Galway, but the day of her birth is uncertain. Depending on the source, it varies between 21 and 24 March 1884. Her birth certificate, which gives her first name as “Norah,” is dated 21 March. Her father Thomas Barnacle, a baker in Connemara, was an illiterate man […]

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#OTD in 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion | Battle of Arklow and Battle of Saintfield.

A force of United Irishmen from Wexford, estimated at 10,000 strong, launched an assault into Co Wicklow, on the British-held town of Arklow, in an attempt to spread the rebellion into Wicklow and to threaten the capital of Dublin. The rebel army that formed for attack on the afternoon of 9 June was a combined […]

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#OTD in 1798 – Lord Edward Fitzgerald dies at Newgate prison from wounds sustained in the course of his arrest.

FitzGerald was one of the leading instigators of the 1798 Rebellion. Like many of his rebel colleagues, he came from a privileged background. He was the son of the Duke of Leinster and fought with the British army in the American Revolutionary War. He was seriously wounded at the Battle of Eutaw Springs on 8 […]

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#OTD in 1988 – A special design was circulated for the ‘Dublin Millennium’, although Dublin is thought to have been founded by the Vikings in around 841 – the issue was regarded for publicity and collectors only.

The millennium coin was the first decimal to feature words on it | Obverse: Cláirseach (Celtic harp), Lettering: éIRe 1988. Reverse:  the word ‘Dublin’ and ‘Áth Cliat’, with the Coat of Arms for Dublin. The coin was designed by Tom Ryan. Not many of these limited edition coins were produced. Production of fifty pence coins ceased […]

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#OTD in 1941 – German bombs fall on North Strand, Dublin | 34 people are killed and 90 are injured.

On the night of 31 May 1941, four high-explosive bombs were dropped by German aircraft on the North Strand area of Dublin City. The casualties were many: 28 dead and 90 injured, with 300 houses damaged or destroyed. This bombing was interpreted either as a deliberate ploy by Hitler’s government to force neutral Ireland into […]

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#OTD in 1948 – Death of writer and playwright and member of Cumann na mBan, Lily O’Brennan.

Lily O’Brennan, sister of Áine Ceannt, was born in Dublin in 1878. She was a writer and playwright and joined Cumann na mBan upon its inception; she was a member of the Inghinidhe Branch. During the Rising she served with the Marrowbone Lane garrison. She was arrested and held in Kilmainham Gaol and was released […]

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#OTD in 2003 – James Plunkett, best known for his epic novel of Dublin, ‘Strumpet City’, dies at the age of 83.

“Two divine persons in one. A mother lamenting her children in bondage. A girl ravished by the Saxon, who weeps over her stringless harp. But her young champions keep watch in the mountains, awaiting the dawn of the bright sun of Freedom. They will gather around her with pikes and swords.” –James Plunkett ––Strumpet City […]

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