#OTD in Irish History – 23 January:

1774 – Dudley Cosby (Baron Sydney), former MP for Carrick, commits suicide. 1803 – Death of brewer and the founder of the Guinness brewery, Arthur Guinness, in Dublin. He was also an entrepreneur and philanthropist. 1837 – Death of pianist, composer, and teacher, John Field. He was born in Dublin into a musical family, and […]

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#OTD in 1902 – Birth of medical student and nationalist revolutionary, Kevin Barry, in Dublin.

Kevin Barry was 18 years old when he was hanged in Mountjoy Jail on 1 November 1920. His death at such a young age is possibly the most poignant in Irish history. He is one of a group of IRA members executed in 1920-21 collectively known as ‘The Forgotten Ten’. Barry’s execution outraged nationalist public […]

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#OTD in 1939 – IRA Army Council declare war on England and the Sabotage Campaign (S-Plan) begins a day later.

On 12 January 1939, the Army Council sent an ultimatum, signed by Patrick Fleming, to British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax. The communiqué duly informed the British government of “The Government of the Irish Republic’s” intention to go to “war”. Excerpt from the ultimatum: I have the honour to inform you that the Government of the […]

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#OTD in 1923 – Anti-Treaty IRA men burn the home of Free State Senator John Philip Bagwell at Marlfield, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, including the extensive library built up by his father, historian Richard Bagwell.

The Bagwells of Marlfield could trace their arrival in Ireland to John Bagwell (Backwell), a captain in Cromwell’s New Model Army. Marlfield House was the residence of the Bagwells, a wealthy and politically influential Irish Unionist family in south Tipperary from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. It is located about three kilometres west of […]

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#OTD in 1878 – Death of Fenian General John O’Neill.

O’Neill is best known for his activities leading the Fenian raids on Canada in 1866 and 1871.   He was born in Drumgallon, Clontibrit, Co Monaghan, where he received some schooling. He emigrated to New Jersey in 1848 at the height of An Gorta Mór. He received an additional year of education there and worked […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Michael Collins Defends Treaty as Debate Resumes.

Treaty debate resumes in Dáil. An emotional Michael Collins said: “Well, the suggestion is this: I have my own feelings about the Treaty. I have feelings about it perhaps very much keener than Deputies who are against it. Well, I believe that the Treaty was inevitable, and this is the suggestion: that the men and […]

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#OTD in 1957 – Death of Seán Sabhat and Feargal O’Hanlon; killed during a raid led by Sean Garland against an RUC Barracks in Brookeborough, Co Fermanagh.

Seán is mostly widely known as Seán South from Garryowen. There have even been several songs written to his honour under this misconception. In reality South was from O’Connell Avenue in Limerick, but due to the poetic license of Seán Costello also a Limerickman, he’ll forever be linked with Garryowen. Seán Sabhat, also known as […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 28 December:

In the Liturgical Calendar, today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents and, in Irish folklore, it was very unlucky to start something new. It was also believed that whichever day of the week the feast fell, that day would be unlucky throughout the following year. 1673 – Birth of Marmaduke Coghill (in Dublin), lawyer, […]

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#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 […]

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