#OTD in 1913 – The Irish Volunteers is founded by Eoin MacNeill at a mass meeting at the Rotunda, Dublin.

The Irish Volunteers (IVF) was a military organisation publicly launched in Dublin by Irish nationalists. It emerged in response to an article, ‘The North Began’ written by Eoin MacNeill in the Gaelic League paper ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’. The IRB knew they would need a highly regarded figure as a public front that would conceal the […]

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Roger Casement – A Man of Mystery

In the week after Roger Casement’s execution, on 3 August 1916, newsreel footage of the nationalist leader was shown in cinemas across America. At a conservative estimate, some 15 million US citizens saw the moving pictures. A century on, this fragment of film provides a fascinating insight. Casement is glimpsed at his desk writing: The […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 15 May:

In the Liturgical calendar, it is the Feast Day of St Dymphna. According to tradition, she lived in the 7th century and was the daughter of a pagan Irish king and his Christian wife. She was murdered by her father. St. Dymphna is the patron saint of the nervous, emotionally disturbed, mentally ill, and those […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Eoin MacNeill’s last minute bid to call off the Easter Rising.

The letter penned on Easter Saturday, 22 April 1916, by Irish Volunteers chief Eoin MacNeill, dispatched to rebel leaders in an effort to call off the planned revolution. “Volunteers completely deceived. All orders for to-morrow Sunday are entirely cancelled,” says the note signed by MacNeill on what is now a tatty piece of paper, embossed […]

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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 1913 – The Irish Volunteers, a militant nationalist splinter of the Irish Parliamentary Party and nationalist version of the 18th-century Ulster Volunteers, is founded by Eoin MacNeill at a mass meeting at the Rotunda, Dublin.

The Irish Volunteers (IVF) was a military organisation publicly launched in Dublin by Irish nationalists. It emerged in response to an article, ‘The North Began’ written by Eoin MacNeill in the Gaelic League paper ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’. The IRB knew they would need a highly regarded figure as a public front that would conceal the […]

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#OTD in 1949 – Death of Eoin MacNeill, Irish historian and founder of the Irish Volunteers, in Dublin.

Eoin MacNeill was an Irish scholar, Irish language enthusiast, nationalist activist, and Sinn Féin politician. MacNeill has been described as “the father of the modern study of early Irish medieval history.” A key figure of the Gaelic revival, he was a co-founder with Douglas Hyde of the Gaelic League, to preserve Irish language and culture. […]

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