#OTD in 1940 – Birth of singer and folk musician, Luke Kelly in Dublin. Kelly was a founding member of the band The Dubliners.

Luke Kelly was a singer and folk musician from Dublin, most famous as a member of the band The Dubliners. Kelly was one of the best-known figures of the Irish folk music movement of the 1960s and 1970s. A Dubliner from the north inner city, he attended O’Connell’s Schools before emigrating to Britain in 1958. […]

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#OTD in 1960 – In a lab deep in Trinity College, Dublin, in 1954, Dr Vincent Barry and his research team created a new drug, Clofazimine, in a bid to beat tuberculosis.

It didn’t help TB, but on this date, it was trialled on leprosy patients, with miraculous results. The drug is now part of a treatment that has saved millions of people from this horrible disease. Interestingly, St Stephen’s Green in Dublin was once a leper hospital, and the disease lives on in Irish place names […]

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#OTD in 1881 – Birth of William Pearse, brother of Pádraig, in Dublin.

Pádraig’s younger brother was also educated at Westland Row and was a promising sculptor. He founded the Leinster Stage Society and acted in the Abbey Theatre. William shared his brother’s dream for an independent Ireland and assisted him at St Enda’s. The two brothers fought alongside each other in the GPO. Although not a ringleader, […]

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#OTD in 1972 – Death of Lucy Agnes Smyth, section Leader of the Central Branch of Cumann na mBan, during the 1916 Easter Rising.

Lucy Agnes Smyth was born in 1882 and lived in Amiens Street, Dublin. She was a fluent Irish speaker and joined Cumann na mBan at its inception in 1914. By 1921, having been a section leader, she had ascended to the position of 1st Lieutenant in the Ard Craobh, Central Branch. During Easter week Lucy […]

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#OTD IN 1921 – Éamon de Valera and the 1921 Treaty Negotiations.

At a cabinet meeting Éamon de Valera advised ‘that whilst the utmost co-operation should exist between Dublin and London, the plenipotentiaries (negotiators) should have a perfectly free hand but should follow original instructions regarding important decisions.’ This statement by De Valera, in retrospect lacked clarity. The binding legality of the Treaty signing in December (providing […]

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#OTD IN 1919 – James Larkin Arrested in New York for “criminal anarchism”.

Irish Labour leader James Larkin is arrested in New York charged with criminal anarchy. The indictment states that “Larkin and his co-defendant Benjamin Gitlow were described in the indictment as “men of intelligence, with considerable experience in public affairs, and all this either from honest fanaticism, gross egotism, venomous class hatred, criminal ambition, conceited ignorance […]

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#OTD in 1893 – Birth of General Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff, IRA, in Limerick.

Liam Lynch was born in Barnagurraha, Co Limerick to Jeremiah and Mary Kelly Lynch. At 17 he was apprenticed to O’Neill’s hardware in Mitchelstown. Shortly after his apprenticeship began he joined the Gaelic League and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He joined the Irish Volunteers after witnessing the arrests of the Kent family by British […]

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#OTD in 1847 – Birth of author of Dracula, Bram Stoker, in Dublin.

“We learn from failure, not from success.” –Bram Stoker Stoker published his masterpiece, Dracula, in 1897. Deemed a classic horror novel not long after its release, Dracula has continued to garner acclaim for more than a century, inspiring the creation of hundreds of film, theatrical and literary adaptations. In addition to Dracula, Stoker published more […]

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#OTD in 1968 – Death of Irish language educator, Margaret Mary Pearse, in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

Margaret Mary Pearse was a Fianna Fáil politician and teacher. She helped to found St Enda’s School with her brothers Patrick and Willie. Following the executions of her brothers in the aftermath of the Easter Rising, Margaret continued to run St Enda’s until 1933. She was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil […]

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