#OTD in 1919 – Éamon de Valera departed for the United States.

Éamon de Valera, the American-born president of Ireland’s revolutionary government, was smuggled out of a war-torn country on an ocean liner and into the United States of America where he launched a whirlwind, coast-to-coast tour that brought crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands onto the streets of several major American cities. The Irish political […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 30 May:

1630 – Birth of Charles Stuart who will become Charles II of Great Britain and Ireland. 1784 – Belfast’s first Catholic church, St. Mary’s, opens for public worship. 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: The Battle of Three Rocks – Rebels capture Enniscorthy and Wexford town. 1807 – During the election for Co Wexford, two of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 24 May:

1487 – Lambert Simnel (aged 10), the Yorkist pretender to the English throne, is brought to Ireland. It is claimed that he is Edward, Earl of Warwick (Clarence’s son), but in fact, he is a baker’s son – the real Warwick is a prisoner in the Tower of London and will be executed in 1499. […]

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#OTD in 1922 – De Valera and Collins agree to a pact whereby a national coalition panel of candidates will represent the pro- and anti-Treaty wings of Sinn Féin throughout Ireland in the forthcoming general election.

As in the Irish elections, 1921 in the south, Sinn Féin stood one candidate for every seat, except those for the University of Dublin and one other; the treaty had divided the party between 65 pro-treaty candidates, 57 anti-treaty and 1 nominally on both sides. Unlike the elections a year earlier, other parties stood in […]

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#OTD in 1918 – Sinn Féin leaders arrested over alleged ‘German plot’.

In a dramatic midnight swoop, police and military authorities arrested leading members of the Sinn Féin movement. Among them were a number of MPs and the party’s president, Éamon de Valera, who was seized at his home in Greystones, Co Wicklow and taken to Kingstown Police Station. Constance Markievicz was apprehended in Rathmines. Party Secretary, […]

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#OTD in 1945 – Éamon de Valera responds to Winston Churchill’s victory speech during which Churchill took one last jab at Irish neutrality.

Few outside of Ireland could understand the neutral stance of the Irish Free State during the war. Churchill most certainly did not when he said: “Owing to the action of Mr de Valera, so much at variance with the temper and instinct of thousands of Southern Irishmen who hastened to the battle-front to prove their […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 16 May:

587 – St Brendan the Navigator, early transatlantic voyager, dies. In the Liturgical calendar, today is St Brendan’s Feast Day. 1907 – Birth of Robert Tisdall, gold medalist in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1932 Olympics. 1916 – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the French Third Republic sign the secret […]

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#OTD in 1867 – Eoin MacNeill, Gaelic scholar and co-founder of the Gaelic League, is born in Glenarm, Co Antrim.

Born in Co Antrim to middle-class Catholic parents, he was educated at St Malachy’s College, Belfast and became law clerk. In 1893, together with Douglas Hyde and others he founded the Gaelic League, an organisation devoted to the preservation of the Irish language, literature, and traditional culture. A brilliant historian and linguist, he was the […]

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#OTD in 1945 – In a radio broadcast, Churchill accuses De Valera’s government of frolicking with the Germans and Japanese.

In his Victory in Europe speech, Winston Churchill slams Éamon de Valera and his war-time policy. (To add fuel to an already bitter relationship, de Valera had not distinguished himself or Ireland’s reputation when he offered condolences to Germany on the death of Hitler.) “(By the dawn of 1941), The sense of envelopment, which might […]

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