#OTD in 1918 – Birth of comedian, writer and actor, Spike Milligan, in India.

‘All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.’ –Spike Milligan Spike Milligan’s early life was spent in India, where he was born, but the majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom. He became an Irish citizen in 1962 after the British government declared him stateless. […]

Read More

#OTD in 1941 – 15/16 | In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Luftwaffe attacked Belfast, killing one thousand people.

Belfast was poorly prepared for the blitz compared with cities in Britain, few children had been evacuated, air raid shelters were sparse and defensive arrangements weak. Yet the Harland and Wolff ship building yards and Northern Ireland’s strategic role in the battle of the Atlantic made it a likely target. When German bombers struck on […]

Read More

#OTD in 1989 – Hillsborough disaster: A human crush occurred at Hillsborough Stadium, home of football club Sheffield, resulting in the deaths of 96 Liverpool F.C. fans.

Justice for the ’96. YNWA! On 15 April 1989, ninety-six children, men and women lost their lives at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium. Investigations into the disaster followed with many fans showing that their ticket for the semi-final hadn’t even been checked – still in it’s […]

Read More

#OTD in 1912 – The Titanic sank on her maiden voyage with the loss of 1,513 souls, many of them Irish; 732 would survive.

Just before midnight on 14 April, the RMS Titanic failed to divert its course from an iceberg and ruptured at least five of its hull compartments. These compartments filled with water and pulled down the bow of the ship. Because the Titanic’s compartments were not capped at the top, water from the ruptured compartments filled […]

Read More

#OTD in 1921 – Sir Arthur Vicars was assassinated in Kilmorna, Co Kerry by the IRA.

Sir Arthur Vicars is executed by the IRA in Co Kerry and around his neck the IRA placed a placard bearing the inscription ‘SPY. INFORMERS BEWARE. IRA NEVER FORGETS’. Vicars, who played a pivotal (and probably negligent) role in the theft of the Irish Crown Jewels in 1907. Born in England, Vicars spent most of […]

Read More

#OTD in 1912 – The RMS Titanic leaves port in Southampton, England for her first and only voyage.

At 7.30am, Captain Edward J. Smith boards Titanic with full crew. Third class passengers embarked at 9.30, followed by second and first class. Titanic sets sail from Southampton at noon heading for Cherbourg. Even before she leaves the harbour, there was disarray. The swell caused by the giant ship created a suction that broke the […]

Read More

#OTD in 1886 – Home Rule Bill introduced in English Parliament by William Gladstone.

The Acts of Union 1800, united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland (previously in personal union) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. At various intervals during this time, attempts were made to destabilise Anglo-Irish relations. Rebellions were launched in 1803, 1848, 1867, and 1916 to try to […]

Read More

#OTD in 1801 – The trial of United Irishman, Napper Tandy, begins.

James Napper Tandy was born in the Cornmarket area of Dublin in 1740; one of three children born to James Tandy, an iron works merchant, and Maria Bella Jenkins. Tandy received his education at the Quaker boarding school in Ballitore, Kildare, amongst its alumni Edmund Burke, a champion of Catholic emancipation and a supporter of […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More