Boa Island, Co Fermanagh

Two of the most enigmatic pieces of Irish sculpture can be found in a small cemetery on Boa Island in Co Fermanagh. The larger sculpture is a two-sided ‘Janus’ figure, with depictions of a bearded figure on both sides. Both of the depictions show an oval-faced man with large almond-shaped bulging eyes, and a straight […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 28 July:

1210 – King John captures William de Braose and confiscates his lands. 1674 – Birth of Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery; Jacobite soldier and editor. 1689 – The siege of Derry finally ends as naval boats in support of Williamite forces finally break the boom intended to prevent ships from resupplying the starving Protestant […]

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#OTD in 1938 – Death of Tom Crean, Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer, from Co Kerry.

The reasons why history has been unkind to Crean are twofold: first, the politics of post-independence Ireland; and second, what George Bernard Shaw described as the greatest of evils and worst of crimes — poverty. Tom Crean was an Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer from Annascaul, Co Kerry. He was a member of three major […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 27 July:

1602 – O’Neill’s principal vassal, Donal O’Cahan, submits to Docwra. 1662 – Ormond becomes Lord Lieutenant and arrives in Ireland on this date. 1663 – The ‘Cattle Act’ restricts Irish trade with colonies as well as exports to England. 1669 – Molly Malone is purportedly christened in Dublin. Molly Malone’s baptismal and death certificates were […]

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#OTD in 1856 – Birth of playwright, critic and Nobel Prize laureate, George Bernard Shaw, in Dublin.

George Bernard Shaw was a dramatist and a literary critic in addition to being a socialist spokesman. His valuable contributions to literature won him the Nobel Prize for literature in 1925. While Shaw accepted the honour, he refused the money. He was a free spirit and a freethinker who advocated women’s rights and equality on […]

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#OTD in 1914 – Irish Volunteers during the Howth Gun Running.

The plan was first conceived in April 1914, in response to the Curragh incident on 20 March. Many Irish believed that the British army could not be relied on to enforce Home Rule when it was enacted, and many Irish Volunteers also felt that availability of arms would aid recruitment. At a lunch attended by […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 26 July:

1575 – On the orders of Essex, John Norris and Francis Drake led an attack on Rathlin Island, a stronghold of the MacDonnells. After the surrender of Bruce’s castle, its 200 occupants were killed, as were 400 others found hiding in caves and cliffs. 1739 – George Clinton, first governor of New York State, is […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 25 July:

Today is the Feast day of St. James. Since mediaeval times, Dubliners held an annual drinking festival in the Saint’s honour. Fittingly, Guinness chose St. James’ Gate as the site for their brewery. St. James is the patron saint of hatmakers, rheumatoid sufferers, and labourers. 1633 – Thomas (Viscount) Wentworth becomes Lord Deputy of Ireland. […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 24 July:

In the Liturgical Calendar, the Feast Day of Declán mac Eircc (also Déclán or Declan), Declanus in Latin sources, was an early Irish saint of the Déisi Muman, who was remembered for having converted the Déisi in the late 5th century and for having founded the monastery of Ardmore (Ard Mór) in what is now […]

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