#OTD in 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion | John and Henry Sheares are convicted of high treason and were hanged, drawn and quartered in Dublin.

John and Henry Sheares were the sons of John Sheares, a member of the Irish Parliament who represented the Borough of Clonakilty. They were born at Goldenbush, Co Cork. Henry was the elder of the two, and was educated at Trinity College Dublin. Henry was called to the bar in 1790. John, who was three […]

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#OTD in 1863 – Large numbers of Irish immigrants are involved in Draft Riots in New York City.

On the morning of 13th July 1863, thousands of mostly Irish-immigrant workers in Manhattan erupted in what’s still the deadliest rioting in American history. Mobs rampaged through most of the week in a fury of savage murder, arson and looting. They hung African-American men from lampposts and dragged their mutilated bodies through the streets. They […]

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Marriage and Brehon Law in Ancient Ireland

Irish history is immersed in centuries of oppression that was particularly harsh in respect to the Catholic religion. The late 17th and 18th century Penal Laws prevented priests from celebrating mass never mind conducting the sacrament of marriage. If a priest was caught, sanctions were quite severe, in fact, punishable by death. The last of […]

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#OTD in 988 – The Norse King Glúniairn recognises Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill, High King of Ireland, and agrees to pay taxes and accept Brehon Law; the event is considered to be the founding of the city of Dublin.

The earliest reference to Dublin is sometimes said to be found in the writings of Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy), the Egyptian-Greek astronomer and cartographer, around the year 140, who refers to a settlement called Eblana. This would seem to give Dublin a just claim to nearly two thousand years of antiquity, as the settlement must have […]

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#OTD in 1917 – Muriel MacDonagh, wife of executed 1916 leader Thomas MacDonagh, drowns while swimming on Skerries south beach.

Muriel Gifford was born in Rathmines, Dublin, of a Catholic solicitor father and a fiercely Protestant mother, the children were raised Church of Ireland, an unremarkable phenomenon among the wealthy professional classes of the time. Among the three Gifford sisters, Nellie, Muriel and Grace, Muriel married Thomas MacDonagh and Grace married Joseph Plunkett, who were […]

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The Priest’s Chair (Glenshane Mass Rock), Glenshane Forest, Limvady, Co Derry

Bohilbreaga Hill (Buachaill Bréige) The origin of this mountain’s name, and indeed the mass rock itself, is from The Penal Times of the 17th and 18th centuries. The mountain’s name, An Buachaill Bréige; the lying boy, derived from an incident when The Red Coats were dispatched to hunt down a priest. Local tradition refers to […]

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#OTD in 1907 – The Irish Crown Jewels were the heavily jewelled star and badge regalia of the Sovereign and Grand Master of the Order of St. Patrick.

The theft from Dublin Castle of the Irish Crown Jewels, the heavily jewelled star and badge regalia of the Sovereign and Grand Master of the Order of St. Patrick, as well as the collars of five knights of the Order is discovered on 6 July 1907. The stolen gems were never found and the crime […]

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The Uilleann Pipes

The importance of piping during the years of the Irish chieftains is evident in the 9th century representation of a piper on the great stone High Cross of Clanmacnoise in Co Offaly. This seat of Irish culture in Clanmacnoise fostered the great ancient school there which at its height involved six to seven thousand students. […]

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#OTD in 637 – The Battle of Moira is fought between the High King of Ireland and the Kings of Ulster and Dalriada.

The battle was between Domhnall, High King of Ireland and Congal Cláen, King of Ulster. It is described as one of the most sanguinary in early Irish History. Congal had killed the King of Ireland in 628 but was defeated the next year at the battle of Battle of Dun Cethirn and Domnall became King […]

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