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

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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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 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 1916 – The ‘Castle Document’ was read out at a meeting of Dublin Corporation. It alleged nationalist leaders were to be arrested, and caused Eoin MacNeill to alert the Irish Volunteers. It is believed to have been a forgery by Joseph Plunkett.

Five days before the Rising the Evening Mail carried a story that would have a bearing on the course of events and create a controversy which still burns. Addressing a meeting of Dublin Corporation, Thomas Kelly of Sinn Féin read into the record the text of a secret document he had been given.  Known as […]

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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 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 1949 – Death of Eoin MacNeill, Irish historian and founder of the Irish Volunteers.

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. […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More