#OTD in 1815 – Battle of Waterloo, when British forces, under the command of the Duke of Wellington, a Dubliner, defeat Napoleon’s forces.

The Iron Duke wasn’t the only Irish presence on the day — Napoleon’s horse Marengo was reared in Co Wexford, and the Duke of Wellington’s mount was from Co Cork. Arthur Wellesley was born in what is now Dublin’s Merrion Hotel and spent much of his childhood in Ireland, not that he was proud of it. […]

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#OTD in 1979 – The memorial statue to James Larkin on O’Connell Street, Dublin is unveiled.

Jim Larkin, a revolutionary socialist, dominated the Irish Trade Union movement. G. B. Shaw once described him as ‘the greatest Irishman since Parnell’. Today a statue of “Big Jim” stands on O’Connell Street in Dublin. The inscription on the front of the monument is an extract in French, Irish and English from one of his […]

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#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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