#OTD in 1915 – Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, Fenian leader, dies in the United States.

“This rooting out of the Irish people; this transplanting of them from their native home into a foreign land, may be all very well, so far as the young people are concerned; but for the fathers and mothers who have reared families in Ireland, it is immediate decay and death.” ―Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa Death of […]

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#OTD in 1846 – Birth of statesman, Charles Stewart Parnell, in Avondale, Co Wicklow.

Known as the “Ireland’s Uncrowned King,” Charles Stewart Parnell was haughty and aloof yet became a stirring political leader. He died at the age of 45, after a career marked by dramatic triumphs and a disastrous personal scandal. For someone strongly associated with the cause of Ireland’s rebellion against British rule, Charles Stewart Parnell had […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Roger Casement goes on trial at the Royal Courts of Justice on a charge of treason.

In the early hours of 21 April 1916, three days before the rising began, Roger Casement was taken by a German submarine and was put ashore at Banna Strand in Tralee Bay, Co Kerry. Suffering from a recurrence of the malaria that had plagued him since his days in the Congo, and too weak to […]

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#OTD in 1957 – Death of nurse and member of Cumann na mBan, Elizabeth O’Farrell. Best known for delivering the surrender in the Easter Rising of 1916.

Elizabeth O’Farrell was born in Dublin in November 1884. In 1906 she joined Inghinidhe na hÉireann and along with her lifelong friend Julia Grenan she also joined Cumann na mBan, the women’s branch of the Irish Volunteers. As plans were put in place for the Easter Rising of April 1916, Elizabeth and Julia were sent […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Death of activist, writer and member of the Senate, Nora Connolly O’Brien, in Dublin.

Nora Connolly was born in Edinburgh in 1893. She was the second daughter of James Connolly, and the family moved to Dublin having lived for a time in the United States and Belfast. Her father was an organiser for the Dublin Socialist club and the family lived in poverty for much of her childhood. For […]

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#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 1847 – Daniel O’Connell, “The Liberator,” dies in Genoa.

“No person knows better than you do that the domination of England is the sole and blighting curse of this country. It is the incubus that sits on our energies, stops the pulsation of the nation’s heart and leaves to Ireland not gay vitality but horrid the convulsions of a troubled dream.” –Daniel O’Connell Eighteen […]

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#OTD in 1883 – Execution of Joe Brady for the murder of Lord Cavendish in Phoenix Park.

Brady was one of the Invincibles – a Fenian splinter group – that murdered the Chief Secretary of Ireland on his first day in the country. Four others were executed for the murders. Brady by all accounts was a mountain of a man. The Times wrote after his execution. “He was brought up as a […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Joseph Mary Plunkett and Grace Gifford are married in the chapel of Kilmainham Gaol the night before he was to be executed for his part in the Easter Rising.

Grace was the second youngest of twelve children. Her sisters, Nellie and Muriel, were also avid nationalists as well as converts to Catholicism. Muriel married Thomas MacDonagh, who was executed in Kilmainham earlier on the day Grace married Joe Plunkett. It was said of the Gifford girls: “whenever those vivacious girls entered a gloomy Sinn […]

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#OTD in 1953 – Irish revolutionary, feminist and actress, Maude Gonne MacBride died in Roebuck, Clonskeagh, and was later buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.

“More and more I realised that Ireland could rely only on force, in some form or another, to free herself.” –Maud Gonne MacBride The daughter of an Irish army officer and his English wife, Maud Gonne converted to republicanism by an eviction she saw during the 1880s, and became a speaker for the Land League. […]

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