#OTD in 1920 – The first ‘Black and Tans’ (auxiliary policemen) officially arrived in Ireland.

Although they would be operational for less than two years, the ‘Black and Tans’ would become one of the most reviled names in Irish history. The English recruits to the RIC were mainly the unemployed veterans of World War I. Their principal motivation: employment for ten shillings a day. When the first recruits arrived in […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Seaman and Antarctic explorer, Tom Crean, from Annascaul, Co Kerry, retired from the Royal Navy, after almost 27 years of service.

The reasons why history has been unkind to Crean are twofold: first, the politics of post-independence Ireland; and second, what George Bernard Shaw described as the greatest of evils and worst of crimes — poverty. Tom Crean was an Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer from Annascaul, Co Kerry. He was a member of three major […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Scramogue Ambush: An IRA ambush is mounted on Strokestown-Longford road by south Co Roscommon IRA.

Roscommon was not one of the more violent areas of Ireland during the conflict. The local IRA argued to their GHQ that it was very difficult to conduct guerrilla warfare in the flat open countryside there. Prior to the action at Scramogue, the biggest previous incident had been in October 1920, when four RIC policemen […]

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#OTD in 1918 – John Devoy claims Roger Casement to blame for the 1916 Easter Rising’s failure.

New York-based John Devoy, editor of the recently suppressed Gaelic American has claimed credit for being the key individual behind the ‘German Sinn Féiner’ efforts to launch a revolt in Ireland in 1916. The claim comes in a letter, a copy of which was published last month in the USA.   The letter, discovered on the […]

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#OTD in 1847 – Choctaw Indians collect money to donate to starving Irish Hunger victims.

Moved by news of starvation in Ireland, a group of Choctaws gathered in Scullyville, Ok, to raise a relief fund. Despite their meager resources, they collected $170 and forwarded it to a U.S. famine relief organisation. The Choctaw Indians may have seen echoes of their own fate in that of the Irish. Just 16 years […]

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#OTD in 1954 – Death of Iseult Lucille Germaine Gonne. She was the daughter of Maud Gonne and Lucien Millevoye, and the wife of the novelist Francis Stuart.

Iseult Gonne, was the daughter of Maud Gonne and Lucien Millevoye, and the wife of the novelist Francis Stuart. Iseult was born on 6 August 1894, the daughter of Maud and her then married French Boulangist lover Lucien Millevoye. Maud Gonne claimed that Iseult was conceived in the mausoleum of Iseult’s late brother, Georges Silvère […]

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#OTD in 1884/1920 – Tomás MacCurtain (born in Cork City), revolutionary and Lord Mayor of Cork is both born and assassinated on this date.

On his 36th birthday, Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork Tomás Mac Curtain was shot dead in front of his wife and son by a group of men with blackened faces, who were found to be members of the RIC by the official inquest into the event. Mac Curtain’s house in the city’s Blackpool area, […]

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#OTD in 1914 – After 60 cavalry officers at the Curragh resign their commissions – an incident known as ‘the Curragh mutiny’ – the War Secretary stated that the army wi not be used to coerce Ulster into Home Rule.

The effectiveness of the Ulster unionist movement’s opposition (1912-14) to the granting of self-government to Ireland by Britain’s Liberal government was heightened by the support it received from elsewhere in the United Kingdom. In 1912, the Conservative Party backed it even in its formation of a paramilitary force (the UVF) to defy Westminster legislation. Meanwhile, […]

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#OTD in 1921 – 18–19: Burgery Ambush | West Waterford IRA under Pax Whelan, George Lennon and George Plunkett from Dublin HQ, ambushed a convoy of Black and Tans returning to Dungarvan via the Burgery.

‘Comeragh’s Rugged Hills’ (Pat Keating) It’s long years since I bade farewell For it is my sad fate Our land oppressed by tyrant laws I had to emigrate… When on my pillow I recline On a foreign land to rest The thoughts of my dear native home Still throbs within my heart When silence overcomes […]

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