#OTD in 1885 – Birth of patriot and nationalist, Thomas Ashe, in Lispole, Co Kerry.

‘If I die, I die in a good cause.’ –Thomas Ashe shortly before his death. Thomas Patrick Ashe was born in Lispole, Co Kerry. He trained as a teacher in De La Salle College, Waterford and worked as a school principal in Lusk, Co Dublin. Ashe also enjoyed writing poetry and was a talented singer. […]

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#OTD in 1878 – Birth of writer and radical activist, Francis Sheehy Skeffington in Dublin.

Francis Skeffington, writer and pacifist, was born in Bailieborough, Co Cavan on the 23 December 1878 to Joseph Bartholomew Skeffington and his wife Rose née Magorian. The family moved to Co Down shortly after his birth. He was educated by his father, a schools inspector and enrolled in University College Dublin (UCD) in 1896. While […]

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#OTD in 1866 – Birth of Irish revolutionary and patriot, Maud Gonne MacBride, near Farnham, Surrey, England.

Maud Gonne was an Irish revolutionary, suffragette, actress and a romantic muse for William Butler Yeats, as well as the mother to Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Sean MacBride. Maud Gonne was born near Farnham, Surrey, England. She founded the Irish Nationalist group, Inghinidhe na hÉireann (The Daughters of Ireland). She had a relationship with poet, William […]

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#OTD in 1955 – Death of Irish Patriot, Grace Gifford Plunkett, in her apartment in South Richmond Street, Portobello, Dublin.

Grace Plunkett, née Gifford was a cartoonist, caricaturist and illustrator who was active in the Republican movement. Her marriage to Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, a few hours before he was executed, is the subject of a popular Republican song, ‘Grace’, written by Frank and Sean O’Meara in 1985. Ar […]

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#OTD in 1883 – Birth of songwriter, revolutionary and house-painter, Peadar Kearney, in Dublin; best known for writing the words of the Irish national anthem.

In 1907, Kearney wrote the lyrics to ‘The Soldier’s Song’. It was used as a marching song by the Irish Volunteers and was sung by rebels in the GPO during the 1916 Easter Rising. Its popularity increased among rebels held in Frongoch internment camp after the Rising, and the IRA in the Irish War of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 1 December (Nollaig):

World AIDS Day 1494 – Poynings Law enacted. This forbid the Irish parliament to convene without the King’s prior permission, and all intended legislation had to be approved by him. Coming in the aftermath of the divisive Wars of the Roses, Poynings’ intention was to make Ireland once again obedient to the English monarchy. 1848 […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Death of Peadar Kearney, writer of the Irish National Anthem, ‘A Soldier’s Song’.

Peadar Kearney was born at 68 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin in 1883, he often walked along Gardiner Street to the Custom House and along the Quays. His father was from Louth and his mother was originally from Meath. He was educated at the Model School, Schoolhouse Lane and St Joseph’s Christian Brothers School in Fairview, […]

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#OTD in 1972 – Death of Lucy Agnes Smyth, section Leader of the Central Branch of Cumann na mBan, during the 1916 Easter Rising.

Lucy Agnes Smyth was born in 1882 and lived in Amiens Street, Dublin. She was a fluent Irish speaker and joined Cumann na mBan at its inception in 1914. By 1921, having been a section leader, she had ascended to the position of 1st Lieutenant in the Ard Craobh, Central Branch. During Easter week Lucy […]

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#OTD in 2001 – The first multiple State funeral is held in honour of ten IRA Volunteers, including Kevin Barry, who were executed for their role in the War of Independence.

More than 80 years after they were buried in the grounds of Mountjoy Gaol, the bodies of the ten men were exhumed and reinterred in a special new plot at Glasnevin Cemetery. They were executed in Mountjoy Gaol by British forces following courts-martial from 1920–21 during the Irish War of Independence. Based upon military law […]

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#OTD in 1969 – Death of Irish language educator, Louise Gavan Duffy, in Dublin.

Best known for her involvement in nationalist politics, the Gaelic revival, and the women’s suffrage movement in Ireland, Louise Gavan Duffy joined Cumann na mBan on its foundation in 1914 and was made joint secretary. Louise Gavan Duffy was writing her MA thesis at her lodgings on Haddington Road when she heard the 1916 Easter […]

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