#OTD in 1895 – Oscar Wilde was arrested, in the Cadogan Hotel, London, after losing a libel case against John Sholto Douglas (9th Marquess of Queensberry), who had called Wilde a homosexual.

Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet born in Dublin. At the height of his fame and success, while his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, was still on stage in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for libel. Married to Constance Lloyd and father of two children Cyril and […]

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#OTD in 1980 – Kincora Scandal: ‘Boys suicide bids brought Kincora scandal to light’. Three staff members of the Kincora Boys Home, Belfast, were charged with acts of gross indecency.

The Kincora Boys’ Home was a boys’ home in Belfast, that was the scene of serious organised child sexual abuse, causing a scandal and attempted cover-up in 1980, with allegations of state collusion. The Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry began examining allegations relating to the Home on 31 May 2016, including claims that there […]

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Sir Roger Casement – The Man Hanged as a Traitor Who Took on the Devil

Roger Casement (1864-1916) was an Irish nationalist and British consular official, whose attempt to secure aid from Germany in the struggle for Irish independence led to his execution by the British for the crime of high treason. Born on 1 September, 1864, in Kingstown, to a Protestant father and Catholic mother, Roger David Casement was […]

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#OTD in 1902 – Premiere of W.B. Yeats’ Cathleen ni Houlihan starring Maud Gonne. The play is about the failed rebellion of 1798, with a woman representing the ideal of an independent Irish republic.

Cathleen ni Houlihan is a one-act play written by William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory in 1902. It was first performed on 2 April of that year and first published in October on Samhain. The play centers on the 1798 Rebellion. The play is startlingly nationalistic, in its last pages encouraging young men to sacrifice their […]

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#OTD in 1807 – Birth of Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, KCB, a British civil servant and Governor of Madras.

Trevelyan is referred to in the modern Irish folk song The Fields of Athenry about ‘An Gorta Mór’. For his actions, he is commonly considered one of the most detested figures in Irish history, along with the likes of Cromwell. Image | Charles Trevelyan accompanied by a poem written by Joe Canning SaveSave SaveSave

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#OTD in 1919 – Third meeting of Dáil Éireann – Éamon de Valera was elected President of Dáil Éireann (or Príomh Aire) and appointed a cabinet.

De Valera issued a statement saying that “There is in Ireland at this moment only one lawful authority, and that authority is the elected Government of the Irish Republic”. When the First Dáil met in 1919, Éamon de Valera was the president of Sinn Féin and thus the natural choice for leadership. However he had […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Craig-Collins Pact was signed in London. The Irish Free State formally recognised Northern Ireland government.

David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, concerned that violence in the north of Ireland would cause the collapse of the new Northern Ireland administration, organised a meeting in London between Michael Collins and Sir James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, both to try to stop the IRA violence which Collins had been tacitly encouraging […]

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#OTD in 1901 – Death of Fenian leader, James Stephens.

The title Fenian was taken from an old Irish legend about an invincible army called the Fianna that constantly defended Ireland against foreign invaders. The development of the Fenian movement with its obvious influence for self-determination, grew rapidly amongst the men and women of Ireland. It became a stepping stone in the lead up to […]

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#OTD in 1613 – A charter incorporates Derry as the city of ‘Londonderry’ and creates the new county of ‘Londonderry’.

Despite the official name, the city is more usually known as simply Derry, which is an anglicisation of the old Irish Daire, which in modern Irish is spelt Doire, and translates as ‘oak-grove/oak-wood’. The name derives from the settlement’s earliest references, Daire Calgaich (‘oak-grove of Calgach’). The name was changed from Derry in 1613 during […]

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#OTD in 1892 – Birth of Tom Maguire, an Irish republican who held the rank of Commandant-General in the Western Command of the IRA and led the South Mayo flying column.

Tom Maguire was an Irish republican who held the rank of commandant-general in the Western Command of the IRA and led the South Mayo flying column.   On 18 September 1920, the Mayo Brigade was reorganised, it was split up into four separate brigades. Tom Maguire was appointed commander of the South Mayo one.   […]

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