#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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#OTD in 1888 – Birth of Irish nationalist, Sorcha MacMahon, in Co Monaghan.

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 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 1916 – Easter Rising leaders: Pádraig Pearse, Thomas Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh were executed by a firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol.

The first of the 1916 rebels were shot dead in the Stonebreakers’ Yard at Kilmainham Gaol after being found guilty (without legal defence or jury) of taking part ‘in an armed rebellion for the purposes of assisting the enemy.’ The fact that they were involved in armed rebellion is beyond doubt, but the primary purpose […]

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