#OTD in 2016 – Northern Ireland fans and Republic of Ireland fans received the Medal of the City of Paris on Thursday as a mark of gratitude for their “exemplary behaviour” in the city during Euro 2016.

Northern Ireland fans and Republic of Ireland fans received the Medal of the City of Paris as a mark of gratitude for their “exemplary behaviour” in the city during Euro 2016. Mayor Hidalgo said that Parisians and visitors to the city were “charmed and impressed by their kindness, their chants and their good humour”. Representatives […]

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#OTD in 1897 – Oscar Wilde is released from prison and goes to live in France, where he writes his famous poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”.

The Ballad of Reading Gaol is a poem by Oscar Wilde, written in exile either in Bernevas-Le-Grand or in Dieppe, France, after his release from Reading Gaol. Wilde had been incarcerated in Reading, after being convicted of homosexual offences in 1895 and sentenced to two years’ hard labour in prison. During his imprisonment, on Saturday […]

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#OTD in 1945 – Éamon de Valera responds to Winston Churchill’s victory speech during which Churchill took one last jab at Irish neutrality.

Few outside of Ireland could understand the neutral stance of the Irish Free State during the war. Churchill most certainly did not when he said: “Owing to the action of Mr de Valera, so much at variance with the temper and instinct of thousands of Southern Irishmen who hastened to the battle-front to prove their […]

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#OTD in 1745 – At the Battle of Fontenoy, near Tourney in modern Belgium, the Irish Brigade of the French army under Lieutenant Charles O’Brien repulses the British and wins the day.

The role of the Irish Brigade at the Battle of Fontenoy, where the French army won a notable victory over the British and Dutch, has been regarded as the greatest of Irish battle honours. However, this event is now largely forgotten, at least in this country. But that they once loomed very large in the […]

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#OTD in 1912 – The Titanic sank on her maiden voyage with the loss of 1,513 souls, many of them Irish; 732 would survive.

Just before midnight on 14 April, the RMS Titanic failed to divert its course from an iceberg and ruptured at least five of its hull compartments. These compartments filled with water and pulled down the bow of the ship. Because the Titanic’s compartments were not capped at the top, water from the ruptured compartments filled […]

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#OTD in 1848 – The tricolour national flag of Ireland was presented to the public for the first time by Thomas Francis Meagher and the Young Ireland Party, in Dublin.

In 1848, Thomas Meagher and William Smith O’Brien went to France to study revolutionary events, and returned to Ireland with the new Flag of Ireland, a tricolour of green, white and orange made and given to them by French women sympathetic to the Irish cause. The acquisition of the flag is commemorated at the 1848 […]

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#OTD in 1912 – The Titanic, the world’s largest ship built at Belfast’s Harland and Wolfe, hits an iceberg at 11:40pm.

Just before midnight in the North Atlantic, the RMS Titanic failed to divert its course from an iceberg, rupturing its hull, began to sink. The Titanic was designed by the Irish shipbuilder William Pirrie and spanned 883 feet from stern to bow. Its hull was divided into 16 compartments that were presumed to be watertight. […]

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#OTD in 1906 – Birth of playwright, Samuel Beckett, in Foxrock, Co Dublin.

“We are all born mad. Some remain so.” –Samuel Beckett An Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. Beckett is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. During the 1930s and 1940s […]

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The Knights Templar in Ireland

The Knights Templar were founded about 1118 or shortly before by Hugh de Payens and other noble knights, for the primary purpose of protecting pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem. Because their headquarters were located near the site of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, the order became known as Militia Templi Solomonis, or the soldiers of […]

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#OTD in 1801 – The trial of United Irishman, Napper Tandy, begins.

James Napper Tandy was born in the Cornmarket area of Dublin in 1740; one of three children born to James Tandy, an iron works merchant, and Maria Bella Jenkins. Tandy received his education at the Quaker boarding school in Ballitore, Kildare, amongst its alumni Edmund Burke, a champion of Catholic emancipation and a supporter of […]

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