#OTD in Irish History – 16 February:

1768 – The Octennial Act limits Irish parliaments’ life to eight years. 1822 – Birth of engineer, James Thomson, in Belfast. 1841 – The Maplin Sands lighthouse was first lit, constructed and built by blind Irish engineer, Alexander Mitchell, from Dublin, which began in 1838 at the mouth of the Thames. A screw-pile lighthouse is a lighthouse […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 15 February:

1782 – The first Dungannon Convention of the Ulster Volunteers calls for an independent Irish parliament; Grattan continues to campaign for the same objective. 1793 – A third convention of Dungannon – a gathering of Volunteers from Ulster is held. 1794 – The United Irishmen published a plan for parliamentary reform, advocating universal male suffrage, […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Three IRA prisoners Ernie O’Malley, Frank Teeling and Simon Donnelly escape from Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin.

Ernie O’Malley, Frank Teeling and Simon Donnelly escaped from Kilmainham Gaol. The escape was carried out under the orders of Michael Collins, and he had specific reasons for arranging the escape of each of the men. Simon Donnelly had only been in the prison for four days, but he was well-known to the authorities and […]

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#OTD in 1981 – The Stardust Ballroom in Artane, Dublin goes up in flames; forty-eight young people are killed and more than 100 are injured.

Forty-eight young people die in a fire at the Stardust club in Artane, Dublin. After sitting for 122 days and hearing evidence from three hundred and sixty-three witnesses, a government report found that the fire was ‘probably started deliberately,’ a finding long deemed contentious. The 2009 Report of Reopened Enquiry found that “on a prima […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 14 February:

St Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, is a holiday observed on 14 February. Many churches claim to be Valentine’s final resting place, including the Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street in Dublin. According to the story told there, the St’s remains were given to Fr John Sprat by Pope Gregory XVI and a shrine still […]

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#OTD in 1974 – Death of Róisín Madigan O’Reilly in Dingle, Co Kerry. At age 13, she became the youngest member of Cumann na mBann.

Daughter to a German-born governess (E. Hessler) and an Irish Literature Lecturer, (E. O’Reilly) Madigan O’Reilly grew up speaking German, Irish and English and travelling sporadically to Potsdam to visit her mother’s affluent relations. Both her parents were staunch republicans. Her father wrote poems and articles for ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’ and, aged just 13, Madigan […]

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#OTD in 1898 – Birth of revolutionary and politician, Frank Aiken, in Co Armagh.

‘Neutrality is not like a simple mathematical formula which has only to be announced and demonstrated in order to be believed and respected. It has in fact always been one of the difficult problems …. Instead of earning the respect and goodwill of both belligerents it is regarded by both with hatred and contempt.’ –Frank […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 13 February:

1689 – William and Mary, daughter of James II, are proclaimed king and queen jointly. 1820 – Death of lawyer and English informer, Leonard McNally. 1850 – Michael Kelly, fourth Roman Catholic archbishop of Sydney is born in Waterford. Kelly was a leading figure in the foundation in 1901 of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association […]

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