Book of Aicill

The Book of Aicill relates to the criminal law and is often discussed as being on par in significance with the Senchus Mór; although, the latter deals with civil law. Like the mystery of Saint Patrick’s posthumous authorship of the Senchus Mór, the Book of Aicill attributes its authorship to that of the legendary Cormac […]

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#OTD in 1847 – Daniel O’Connell, “The Liberator,” dies in Genoa.

“No person knows better than you do that the domination of England is the sole and blighting curse of this country. It is the incubus that sits on our energies, stops the pulsation of the nation’s heart and leaves to Ireland not gay vitality but horrid the convulsions of a troubled dream.” –Daniel O’Connell Eighteen […]

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#OTD in 1923 – Birth of Joe ‘Spud’ Murphy, in The Liberties, Dublin. 

In 1954, Murphy started his own crisp company, Tayto, in O’Rahilly’s Parade off Moore Street with one van and eight employees, some of whom were to work for him for more than 40 years. His great marketing coup was to invent the world’s first cheese and onion flavour and put paid to the dull crisps of […]

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#OTD in 1978 – Death of Máire Bean Ui Sheaghdha (née Cremin) who was known locally as ‘Mary Geo’.

She played a valuable role in preserving an account of island customs and traditions. Her death heralded the passing of one of the last remaining true and fluent Irish language speakers who inherited the language from the cradle, or ‘on gcliabhán’ as described in Irish. For more than 10 years she competed in storytelling competitions […]

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#OTD in 1883 – Execution of Joe Brady for the murder of Lord Cavendish in Phoenix Park.

Brady was one of the Invincibles – a Fenian splinter group – that murdered the Chief Secretary of Ireland on his first day in the country. Four others were executed for the murders. Brady by all accounts was a mountain of a man. The Times wrote after his execution. “He was brought up as a […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Irish Patriots, Seán MacDiarmada and James Connolly are executed at Kilmainham Gaol.

The last executions of 1916 rebels are carried out. Ninety rebels were condemned to death. All but 15 were commuted to lengthy prison terms (most of whom were released in 1917). The executions were a watershed in Irish attitude to English rule. The vast majority of the Irish population begrudgingly accepted English rule and believed […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 12 May:

563 – St Columcille establishes a community on Iona. 1641 – Thomas Wentworth, English viceroy of Ireland and Earl of Stafford is beheaded. From 1632–39 he was Lord Deputy of Ireland, where he established a strong authoritarian rule. Recalled to England, he became a leading advisor to the king, attempting to strengthen the royal position […]

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#OTD in 1916 – During the House of Commons debate on the Irish crises, John Dillon urges the cessation of executions.

‘This series of executions is doing more harm than any Englishman in this House can possibly fathom.’ [Dillon makes mention of the shooting of Mr Sheehy-Skeffington.] ‘Horrible rumours which are current in Dublin, and which are doing untold and indescribable mischief, maddening the population of Dublin, who were your friends and loyal allies against this […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 10 May:

1318 – Richard de Clare, Lord of Thomond, a descendant of Strongbow, is killed while commanding his forces at the Battle of Dysert O’Dea. According to legend, the day before his death, Richard de Clare beheld a woman dressed in white on the river’s edge washing bloody clothing and armour. When he asked whose clothes […]

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#OTD in 1916 – James Connolly’s wife and daughter visit him in the Red Cross hospital in Dublin Castle where he lies seriously wounded.

James Connolly’s daughter, Nora, wrote later in ‘Portrait of a Rebel Father’: “On Tuesday I went with mother. There were soldiers on guard at the top of the stairs and in the small alcove leading to Papa’s room. They were fully armed and as they stood guard they had their bayonets fixed. In the room […]

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