#OTD in 1946 – Birth of film and stage actor, Stephen Rea (born Graham Rea) in Belfast.

Stephen Rea has appeared in films such as V for Vendetta, The Butcher Boy, This Is My Father, Evelyn, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto. Rea was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead performance as Fergus in the 1992 film The Crying Game. He has had important roles in […]

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#OTD in 1973 – Mountjoy Prison Helicopter Escape: The IRA use a hijacked helicopter to free three of their members from the exercise yard of Mountjoy Prison, Dublin.

Early that day, an IRA member had hijacked an Alouette II helicopter and forced the pilot to land at the D Wing of Mountjoy Prison where they picked up the three IRA prisoners: Séamus Twomey, Chief of Staff, JB O’Hagan, Quartermaster, and Kevin Mallon, activist. Irish prison guards were not armed. The helicopter had been […]

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#OTD in 1923 – The Oriel House CID is disbanded and its members transferred to the Dublin Metropolitan Police.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the Irish Free State was an armed, plain-clothed counter-insurgency police unit that operated during the Irish Civil War. It was organised separately from the unarmed Civic Guard. The unit was formed shortly after the truce with the British (11 July 1921) and disbanded in October 1923. The CID was […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 29 October:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of St Colman Mac Duagh. Born in Co Galway, he was the son of the Irish chieftain Duac. With King Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin of Connacht he founded the monastery of Kilmacduagh. The ‘leaning tower of Kilmacduagh’, is almost twice as old as the famous tower […]

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Iustitia, Lady Justice, Dublin Castle

Iustitia, more commonly known as Lady Justice, situated over one of the gates that gives access to the central courtyard of Dublin Castle. The statue was erected by the British authorities in 1751 and was sculpted by Van Nost. Its design was a source of outrage and amusement for many in Dublin city, for it […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Dáil Éireann approves the Constitution of the Irish Free State.

The Irish Free State constitution was adopted by an act of Dáil Éireann and given royal approval in December. It established many of the articles that had been set out in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. Northern Ireland (Unionists) opted out of the Irish Free State, and under the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, this […]

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#OTD in 2015 – Death of actress and singer, Maureen O’Hara, born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, Co Dublin.

Ar deis Dé go raibh a hanam. The famously red-headed O’Hara was known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, and often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne. She was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. In her memoir ‘Tis Herself: An Autobiography, she writes, […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 23 October:

1641 – The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup d’état by Irish Catholic gentry, who tried to seize control of the English administration in Ireland to force concessions for Catholics. The coup failed and the rebellion developed into an ethnic conflict between native Irish Catholics on one side, and English and Scottish […]

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#OTD in 1809 – Opening of Nelson’s Pillar in the middle of O’Connell Street (formerly Sackville Street) in Dublin.

It was built in 1808–1809, and was among the first and grandest monuments erected in memory of Nelson in the ‘THEN’ United Kingdom. It surprisingly survived until March 1966, when it was destroyed by a bomb planted by Irish republicans. Today the Spire of Dublin stands on its former ground. It was opened to the […]

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#OTD in 1803 – Execution of Thomas Paliser Russell in Downpatrick for ‘high treason’. He was a co-founder and leader of the United Irishmen who was executed for his part in Robert Emmet’s rebellion in 1803.

Born in Dromahane, Co Cork to an Anglican family, he joined the British army in 1783 and served in India. He returned to Ireland in 1786 and commenced studies in science, philosophy and politics. in July 1790 he met Theobald Wolfe Tone in the visitor’s gallery in the Irish House of Commons and they became […]

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