#OTD in 1944 – Death of politician, journalist, intelligence agent and paramilitary activist, Frank Ryan.

Frank Ryan was born in Co Limerick, in 1902. After leaving university he became an active member of the Irish Republican Army and fought in the Irish Civil War. In 1929 Ryan was appointed editor of An Phoblacht, the IRA newspaper. He was imprisoned several times over the following years for publishing seditious articles and […]

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#OTD in 1920 – A group of Irish-American women protest against the United States for not getting involved in the Irish War of Independence with England.

While there was sympathy for the Irish, it was not the most pressing at the time as England was involved in WWI with Germany trying to get the U.S. involved (however, the U.S. had desperately tried to stay neutral, but ties to Britain, propaganda, and finally the sinking of The Lusitania finally got them involved […]

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#OTD in 1941 – German bombs fall on North Strand, Dublin; 34 people are killed and 90 are injured.

On the night of 31 May 1941, four high-explosive bombs were dropped by German aircraft on the North Strand area of Dublin City. The casualties were many: 28 dead and 90 injured, with 300 houses damaged or destroyed. This bombing was interpreted either as a deliberate ploy by Hitler’s government to force neutral Ireland into […]

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#OTD in 1918 – Almost the entire leadership of Sinn Féin are arrested. 150 were arrested on the night of 16–17 May and taken to prisons in England.

During the last year of the First World War, on the night of 17/18 May, over 70 leading members of Sinn Fein were arrested under the terms of the Defence of the Realm Act. The arrests had been made following the discovery of a supposed plot on the part of Sinn Féin to help Germany […]

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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 1945 – In a radio broadcast, Churchill accuses De Valera’s government of frolicking with the Germans and Japanese.

In his Victory in Europe speech, Winston Churchill slams Éamon de Valera and his war-time policy. (To add fuel to an already bitter relationship, de Valera had not distinguished himself or Ireland’s reputation when he offered condolences to Germany on the death of Hitler.) “(By the dawn of 1941), The sense of envelopment, which might […]

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#OTD in 1915 – The Lusitania is sunk by a German U-boat off the Old Head of Kinsale, Co Cork with the loss of more than 1,100 lives.

The passenger liner Lusitania is torpedoed and sunk ten miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, Co Cork by German U-boat U-20 under the command of Captain Walter Schweiger, resulting in the death of 1,198 of the ship’s passengers and crew. Only 761 people survived what was perceived by Britain as a flagrant breach of […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Easter Rising Dublin – Day 4.

It is the fourth day of the Easter Rising and the remaining rebels are under constant attack. The GPO and Four Courts are being blitzed with machine gun and rifle fire, and large parts of Sackville Street (O’Connell Street) are up in flames. As British authorities come to terms with the situation in Dublin, fierce street […]

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#OTD in 1915 – Joseph Mary Plunkett travelled to Germany to join Roger Casement and assist him in his efforts to raise an Irish Brigade and garner German support for the planned 1916 Rising.

Once in Germany, Plunkett met with Casement, a former member of the British Foreign Office, who had travelled from America, funded by Clan na Gael under the leadership of John Devoy. Arriving in Berlin on 31 October 1914, Casement’s mission to Germany had three basic aims: 1. To secure German help for Ireland; 2. To […]

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#OTD in 1941 – 15/16: In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Luftwaffe attacked Belfast, killing one thousand people.

Belfast was poorly prepared for the blitz compared with cities in Britain, few children had been evacuated, air raid shelters were sparse and defensive arrangements weak. Yet the Harland and Wolff ship building yards and Northern Ireland’s strategic role in the battle of the Atlantic made it a likely target. When German bombers struck on […]

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