#OTD in 1881 – Birth of trade unionist and Labour politician, William O’Brien, near Clonakilty, Co Cork.

O’Brien moved with his family to Dublin in 1897, and quickly became involved in the Irish Socialist Republican Party (ISRP). O’Brien is described as a very significant figure in the ISRP.   A close friend and associate of James Connolly, O’Brien helped establish the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union in 1909, and was instrumental […]

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Dame Alice Kyteler | Kilkenny’s Medieval Witch

Dame Alice Kyteler was born at Kyteler’s House, Kilkenny in 1280 to wealthy Norman parents. Forty-four years later, in 1324, she fled to England to escape being burned as a witch and in July of that year, her property, including Kytelers Inn was confiscated. In the intervening years Dame Alice had married four times, had […]

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#OTD in 1972 – Éamon ‘Ned’ Broy, agent for Michael Collins, and later Commissioner of the Garda Síochána, passed away.

During the Irish War of Independence, Ned Broy was a double agent within the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP), with the rank of Detective Sergeant. He worked as a clerk inside G Division, the intelligence branch of the DMP. While there he copied sensitive files for Michael Collins. On 7 April 1919, Broy smuggled Collins into […]

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#OTD in 1997 – Death of Lily Kempson, aged 99, the last surviving participant in the Easter Rising.

Born in Co Wicklow, Lily Kempson, trade union activist, lecturer, leader, as well as a rebel in the Irish Citizen Army, was the last surviving member of the Easter Rising of 1916. Lily and her family moved to Dublin when she was young. She lived in poverty: eight members of her family lived in two […]

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Ireland’s Independence Day

The Declaration of Independence was a document adopted by Dáil Éireann, at its first meeting in the Mansion House, Dublin, on 21 January 1919. It followed from the Sinn Féin election manifesto of December 1918. Texts of the declaration were adopted in three languages: Irish, English and French.   The Irish Republic claimed jurisdiction over […]

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#OTD in 1973 – A car bomb exploded in Sackville Place, Dublin, and killed one person and injured 17 others.

At 3:08pm, a male caller rang the telephone exchange in Exchequer Street, Dublin, with the following bomb warning: “Listen love, there is a bomb in O’Connell Street at the Bridge”. Although the call was placed from a coin box in the Dublin area, the exact location was never determined. The telephonist immediately contacted the Garda […]

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#OTD in 1902 – Birth of medical student and nationalist revolutionary, Kevin Barry, in Dublin.

Kevin Barry was 18 years old when he was hanged in Mountjoy Jail on 1 November 1920. His death at such a young age is possibly the most poignant in Irish history. He is one of a group of IRA members executed in 1920-21 collectively known as ‘The Forgotten Ten’. Barry’s execution outraged nationalist public […]

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#OTD in 1785 – Richard Crosbie became the first person to make a manned flight in Ireland.

A native of Baltinglass Co Wicklow, Crosbie’s brother Sir Edward Crosbie of Carlow was executed in Carlow town for his part in the United Irishmen Rising of 1798. As a pupil at Trinity College, Richard Crosbie led the notorious gang, Pinking Dindies on the rampage through the streets of Dublin. Many of them connected with […]

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#OTD in 1916 – James Connolly vanished for a three-day meeting with the IRB military council where they agreed upon joint plans for an insurrection on Easter Sunday.

A secret meeting between Pádraig Pearse and James Connolly held over three days from 19 January 1916, where the outcome is that Connolly commits the Irish Citizen Army to join with the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and the date for the Rising is agreed. In early January 1916, and in high anxiety that Dublin Castle would […]

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Clonmacnoise Monastery | Cluain Mhic Nóis – ‘Meadow of the Sons of Nós’

This monastery is situated on the banks of the Shannon, it was founded in 544 AD by St Ciarán on a fertile meadow, or cluain, surrounded by bog. It could be reached only by river or along esker ridge known as the pilgrim’s road. The monastery flourished for 600 years as a centre of learning […]

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