#OTD in Irish History – 31 December:

New Year’s Eve or Old Year’s Night on the Gregorian Calendar. 1602 – The O’Sullivan Beara’s are driven out of West Cork by the English who had defeated the combined Spanish and Irish forces at the Battle of Kinsale. Dónal Cam O’Sullivan, chieftain of the clan, begins the long march to Leitrim on this date, […]

Read More
Advertisements

#OTD in 1937 – The new Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hÉireann) repealed the 1922 Constitution, and came into effect on this date.

The Irish Constitution, accepted by national vote in July became law at midnight. The constitution echoed much of the thinking of Éamon de Valera. Much of the development and drafting of the constitution was done by John J. Hearne, Éamon de Valera’s confidante and advisor. Hearne went on to become first Irish ambassador to the […]

Read More

#OTD in Irish History – 29 December:

Constitution Day (Ireland) 1766 – Richard Dawson, MP for Monaghan Borough, dies on this date. Before his death, his bank – Wilcox and Dawson of Dublin, which was established in 1747 – closes with debts thought to amount to £192,000. 1808 – Andrew Johnson, successor to Abraham Lincoln and 17th President of the United States […]

Read More

#OTD in 1849 – Death of Young Irelander, James Fintan Lalor.

“Any man who tells you that an act of armed resistance—even if offered by 10 men armed with stones—any man who tells you that such an act of resistance is premature, imprudent or dangerous— any and every such man should at once be spurned, spat at. For remark you this and recollect it, that somewhere, […]

Read More

#OTD in 1969 – Death of Politician and IRA leader during the War of Independence and Civil War, Dan Breen.

Dan Breen was an iconic IRA figure in both the War of Independence and also the Civil War. Breen was involved in what is accepted as the first action of the War of Independence (1919-1921) when with Sean Treacy and others, he ambushed and killed two RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) constables James McDonnell and Patrick […]

Read More

#OTD in 1821 – Lady Jane Francesca Wilde is born in Co Wexford. Author, poet and the mother of Oscar Wilde, she is also known as Sperenza.

Jane Francesca Agnes Elgee, later Lady Wilde and mother of Oscar is born. She became famous in her own right as a writer and poet under the name of “Sperenza.” Sperenza was an ardent nationalist in addition to being a staunch feminist. Her most famous poem is probably ‘The Famine Year’. Weary men, what reap […]

Read More

#OTD in Irish History – 27 December:

1601 – Red Hugh O’Donnell leaves Ireland for Spain; Hugh O’Neill withdraws to Ulster. 1727 – Arthur Murphy, actor and playwright, is born in Cloonyquin, Co Roscommon. 1791 – Sixty-eight conservative members secede from the Catholic Committee, which thereby becomes more militant. 1804 – Death of pickpocket and later a policeman, George Barrington, Parramatta, New […]

Read More

Wren Day, also known as Wren’s Day or the Day of the Wren (Lá an Dreoilín), celebrated on St Stephen’s Day.

The tradition is very much on the wane now but in some few localities Wrenboys still go out in Ireland on St. Stephens Day. The central theme of the wrenboy visit is the wren, an effigy of which is carried about in a holly branch or in a box or cage. Previously it was hunted […]

Read More

#OTD in 1796 – The French invasion fleet, with Theobald Wolfe Tone, which had hoped to land in Ireland is marooned off Bantry Bay, Co Cork in dreadful weather conditions unable to land.

Thirty-six ships arrive at Bantry Bay but do not attempt a landing and return to France, thus preventing what might have been an Irish/French victory over the English. Wolfe Tone writes in near despair of efforts to land French invasion forces at Bantry Bay. High winds and storms would mean the planned landing would be […]

Read More

#OTD in Irish History – 26 December:

In the Liturgical Calendar, today is the Feast of St. Stephen as well as Wren day in Ireland and the Isle of Man. In Ireland the day is one of nine official public holidays. 1381 – The sudden death of Edmund Mortimer at Cork leaves the colony without effective leadership and prompts a military crisis. […]

Read More