#OTD in 1636 – The Annals of the Four Masters is completed.

Annála Ríoghachta Éireann, The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, better known as the Annals of the Four Masters, is an anthology which covers the medieval period in Ireland, from AM 2242 to AD 1616. They contain records of the High Kings of Ireland as well as provincial kings, chiefs, distinguished families, men of science, […]

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Key Events in Irish History

An island people the Irish may be, yet the history of Ireland has never been intolerant or inward-looking. Instead, it is a story of a people profoundly aware of the wider world – its threats, its possibilities and its advantages. In addition, while the English and British connection will always remain key to any reading […]

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Domhnach Crom Dubh – Dun Briste, Co Mayo

The last Sunday in July was known in Ireland as Domhnach Crom Dubh (meaning the ‘dark, stooped one’), Crom Dubh (originally called Crom Cruiach) was the chief Celtic idol of Ireland. His chief shrine was located on Magh Slécht (The Plain of Prostrations) in Co Cavan, surrounded by twelve other gods. The Domhnach (meaning Sunday) […]

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The High Kings of Ireland

The history of the High Kings of Ireland is one of the more significant parts of Irish history or culture. A High King of Ireland is a historical figure in Ireland, also known as an Ard Rí who claimed Lordship of the country. The list of High Kings of Ireland go back thousands of years, […]

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#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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