#OTD in 1921 – Three IRA prisoners Ernie O’Malley, Frank Teeling and Simon Donnelly escape from Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin.

Ernie O’Malley, Frank Teeling and Simon Donnelly escaped from Kilmainham Gaol. The escape was carried out under the orders of Michael Collins, and he had specific reasons for arranging the escape of each of the men. Simon Donnelly had only been in the prison for four days, but he was well-known to the authorities and […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 14 February:

St Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, is a holiday observed on 14 February. Many churches claim to be Valentine’s final resting place, including the Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street in Dublin. According to the story told there, the St’s remains were given to Fr John Sprat by Pope Gregory XVI and a shrine still […]

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#OTD in 1923 – The Free State suspends executions until 18 February, offering an amnesty to anyone who surrendered before that day.

‘During the Irish Civil War the National Army executed more Irishmen than the British had during the War of Independence.’ In the aftermath of the sudden death of Arthur Griffith and the killing of Michael Collins, in August 1922, William T Cosgrave became chairman of the provisional government. Cosgrave and his colleagues remained wedded to […]

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#OTD in 1920 – IRA officer, Ernie O’Malley, was captured by British forces in Co Kilkenny with a notebook containing names of his IRA colleagues.

‘On the base of the Pillar was a white poster. Gathered around were groups of men and women. Some looked at it with serious faces, others laughed and sniggered. I began to read it with a smile, but my smile ceased as I read, ‘Poblacht na h-Eireann, the Provisional government of the Irish Republic – […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 9 December:

1791 – Birth of politician and diplomat, Sir Thomas Wyse, in St John, Co Waterford. 1845 – Frederick Douglass delivers a speech in Belfast: ‘The Cambria Riot, My Slave Experience, and My Irish Mission’. 1850 – Stokes Law was published on this date. Why do clouds float through the air? It’s one of those questions […]

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#OTD in 1893 – Birth of General Liam Lynch, Chief of Staff, IRA, in Limerick.

Liam Lynch was born in Barnagurraha, Co Limerick to Jeremiah and Mary Kelly Lynch. At 17 he was apprenticed to O’Neill’s hardware in Mitchelstown. Shortly after his apprenticeship began he joined the Gaelic League and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He joined the Irish Volunteers after witnessing the arrests of the Kent family by British […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Ernie O’Malley, Anti-Treaty IRA commander in Dublin, is captured following a shoot out with Free State soldiers on Ailesbury road in Donnybrook.

‘On the base of the Pillar was a white poster. Gathered around were groups of men and women. Some looked at it with serious faces, others laughed and sniggered. I began to read it with a smile, but my smile ceased as I read, ‘Poblacht na h-Eireann, the Provisional government of the Irish Republic – […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 4 November:

1802 – Birth of novelist, Lady Rosina Lytton, née Wheeler, in Co Limerick. 1884 – Birth of engineer, inventor, and pioneer of the modern tractor, Harry Ferguson, in Hillsborough, Co Down. 1908 – Six women meet at the home of women’s activists Hanna and Francis Sheehy-Skeffington to establish the Irish Women’s Franchise League. 1920 – […]

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#OTD in 1923 – A mass Hunger Strike is launched by 424 Republican prisoners in Mountjoy Gaol in protest at their continued detention after the war’s end.

On 13 October 1923, Michael Kilroy, O/C of the IRA prisoners in Mountjoy, announced a mass strike by 300 prisoners, and it soon spread to other jails. Within days over 7000 republicans were on hunger strike. The figures given by Sinn Féin at the time were : Mountjoy Jail: 462; Cork Jail: 70; Kilkenny Jail: […]

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#OTD in 1919 – Motion passed by Dáil that an Oath of Allegiance (to the Republic) should be taken by all members and officials of Dáil Éireann, and all Irish Volunteers.

Ernie O’Malley says that with this oath the Irish Volunteers became the Irish Republican Army (IRA). At a meeting of Dáil Éireann (the Irish Parliament not recognised by Britain), Secretary of Defence, Cathal Brugha called for all TDs to swear allegiance to the new parliament. Every person and every one of those bodies undermentioned must […]

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