#OTD in 1865 – Oliver Sheppard, sculptor, is born in Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

Oliver Sheppard was born in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. After his birth the family moved to Dublin, and he studied at the Metropolitan School of Art. He won a scholarship to the South Kensington Art School, where he studied from 1889 to 1891 before spending a year in Paris. He taught in Leicester and Nottingham. When […]

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#OTD in 2018 – A new stamp goes on sale to commemorate the centenary of the founding of Cumann na mBan, designed by Ger Garland. 

Featuring Cumann na mBan members leading the funeral of people shot during the Howth arms landing. Cumann na mBan was a women’s nationalist organisation founded to advance the cause of Irish liberty. Its constitution provided for the use of force by arms against British forces in Ireland. Founding members included Jennie Wyse Power, Agnes O’Farrelly, Louise Gavan […]

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#OTD in 1948 – Death of Gearóid O’Sullivan. He had the honour of raising the Tricolour over the GPO as fighting raged the streets of Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising.

Gearóid O’Sullivan, then 25, was the youngest IRB officer fighting in the GPO (three months younger than his cousin Michael Collins). He had been personally chosen by leader Seán Mac Diarmada to serve as his aide-de-camp. He was an Irish teacher, Irish language scholar, army officer, barrister and Sinn Féin and Fine Gael politician. Following […]

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1916 Easter Rising: Desmond FitzGerald and The German Prince

During the occupation of the GPO during the 1916 Rising, Desmond FitzGerald commented ‘I was bemused by the general attitude of security’. At the height of the battle he was in the midst of the conflagration that shook the GPO garrison. Ever the sceptic, Desmond FitzGerald, who was in charge of rations, mentions in his […]

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#OTD in 1997 – Death of Lily Kempson, aged 99, the last surviving participant in the Easter Rising.

Born in Co Wicklow, Lily Kempson, trade union activist, lecturer, leader, as well as a rebel in the Irish Citizen Army, was the last surviving member of the Easter Rising of 1916. Lily and her family moved to Dublin when she was young. She lived in poverty: eight members of her family lived in two […]

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#OTD in 1897 – Birth of trade union activist, lecturer, leader, Lily Kempson, the last surviving participant in the Easter Rising, in Co Wicklow.

Born in Co Wicklow, Lily Kempson, trade union activist, lecturer, leader, as well as a rebel in the Irish Citizen Army, was the last surviving member of the Easter Rising of 1916.   Lily and her family moved to Dublin when she was young. She lived in poverty: eight members of her family lived in […]

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#OTD in 1970 – Death of Irish Nationalist, Sorcha MacMahon, in Dublin.

It was said of Sorcha by her contemporaries that there was no ‘woman of that period whose efficiency, selflessness and enthusiasm was greater’. Born Sarah Teresa MacMahon at Coas, Co Monaghan. Born in 1888, she was called after her mother; as well as using her given name, she also used the Irish form, Sorcha. Her […]

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#OTD in 1887 – Birth of Irish patriot and poet, Joseph Mary Plunkett, in Dublin.

Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the 1916 rising and a signatory of the Proclamation is born into a privileged background. His father was a Papal Count. A gifted writer, he met Thomas MacDonagh when he was tutored by him in Irish in preparation for the University College, Dublin, matriculation examinations. MacDonagh was to […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Death of Bridget ‘Brede’ Connolly who played a pivotal role in the 1916 Rising by dispatching messages for James Connolly in the GPO.

Born in Friarstown near Killerig, Co Carlow in 1890, her parents were Peter Connolly and Elizabeth Gaynor, the daughter of a nearby farmer in Grange. By 1911, the Connollys were living in Artane, Dublin and, according to local tradition, they may have been evicted from their home and farm in Friarstown. While no trace of […]

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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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