Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha – An Seabhac

Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha was born in the Gaeltacht near Dingle in Co Kerry in 1883. Pádraig Ó Siochfhradha went on to become an organiser for Conradh na Gaeilge, cycling all over the countryside to set up branches and promote the Irish language. As a writer, he took the pen-name ‘An Seabhac’, the Hawk, writing books […]

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Gaelic League Carnival Poster, 1912

The Gaelic League was founded in 1893 to revive the Irish language, which was falling increasingly out of use, especially in urban areas where English was dominant. The majority of its members were middle- and working-class English-speakers, and by 1908 it boasted roughly 600 branches, primarily in cities. One of the ways that the organisation […]

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#OTD in 1918 – Sinn Féin, the Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan and the Gaelic League were all proclaimed as illegal organisations by the Lord Lieutenant, Viscount French.

The proclamation stated that the proscribed organisations are dangerous and a ‘grave menace’ designed to ‘terrorise the peaceful and law-abiding subjects of His Majesty in Ireland’. It goes on to say that these associations ‘encourage and aid persons to commit crimes and promote and incite to acts of violence and intimidation and interfere with the […]

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#OTD in 1870 – Bartholemew (Batt) O’Connor is born in Brosna, East Kerry.

Although not a direct participant in the 1916 Rising, Batt O’Connor was sentenced to be shot by British authorities but was sent to Wandsworth Jail and later Frongoch internment camp in North Wales. During the War of Independence he ran a number of safe houses and hid funds and documents for the IRA. He was […]

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#OTD in 1867 – Eoin MacNeill, Gaelic scholar and co-founder of the Gaelic League, is born in Glenarm, Co Antrim.

Born in Co Antrim to middle-class Catholic parents, he was educated at St Malachy’s College, Belfast and became law clerk. In 1893, together with Douglas Hyde and others he founded the Gaelic League, an organisation devoted to the preservation of the Irish language, literature, and traditional culture. A brilliant historian and linguist, he was the […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Death of Michael Joseph O’Rahilly, ‘The O’Rahilly’, a republican who took part in the Easter Rising, during which he was killed in the fighting.

Michael Joseph O’Rahilly was born in Ballylongford, Co Kerry in 1875. He was a republican and a language enthusiast, a member of An Coiste Gnótha, the Gaelic League’s governing body. He was well-travelled, spending at least a decade in the United States and in Europe. He was a reasonably wealthy man; the Weekly Irish Times […]

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#OTD in 1880 – Birth of playwright, Sean O’Casey, in Dublin.

“It’s my rule never to lose me temper till it would be detrimental to keep it.” –Sean O’Casey Birth of playwright, Seán O’Casey, born John Casey or John Cassidy. A 1965 film titled Young Cassidy, starring Rod Taylor is a Biographical drama based on the early years of his life depicting his early life of […]

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#OTD in 1872 – Birth of Irish patriot, Mary MacSwiney (Maire Nic Shuibhne), in London.

Mary MacSwiney (Máire Nic Suibhne) was born in London to an Irish father and English mother. The family returned to Cork when she was six and she was educated at St. Angela’s Ursuline convent school. She obtained a teaching diploma at Cambridge University and taught at schools in England before returning to Cork on the […]

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#OTD in 1899 – First issue of Gaelic League’s An Claidheamh Soluis is published.

An Claidheamh Soluis (The Sword of Light) was an Irish nationalist newspaper published in the early 20th century by Conradh na Gaeilge (The Gaelic League).   Eoin MacNeill was its first editor, overseeing its publication from 1899 to 1901. In 1900 the League took control of the weekly bilingual paper Fáinne an Lae, when its […]

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#OTD in 1877 – Birth of author and revolutionary, Michael O’Hanrahan, in New Ross, Co Wexford.

His father, Richard Hanrahan, was involved in the 1867 Fenian rising. The family moved to Carlow, where Michael was educated at Carlow Christian Brothers’ School and Carlow College Academy. On leaving school he worked various jobs including a period alongside his father in the cork-cutting business. In 1898 he joined the Gaelic League and in […]

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