#OTD in 1897 – Birth of Tom Barry, in Co Kerry, one of the most prominent guerrilla leaders in the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence.

As Commander of the 3rd West Cork Flying Column, Tom Barry was one of the great architects of modern guerrilla warfare in Ireland’s fight for freedom. He has been controversial, not because he sought controversy, but mainly due to his decisiveness and his military acumen during the Irish War of Independence. The son of an […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The Provisional Government of the Irish Free State bombards the Four Courts in Dublin, and the Civil War begins.

On 14 April 1922 a column of 200 men led by Rory O’Connor occupied the Four Courts, hoping to provoke an armed confrontation with British forces which were in the process of evacuating from Ireland following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty the previous winter which had split the IRA into two opposing factions. The […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The Four Courts garrison kidnaps Free State General JJ O’Connell in retaliation for the arrest of Leo Henderson I/C Belfast Boycott.

On 26 June 1922, a raiding party of anti-Treaty IRA men arrived at Ferguson’s garage on Dublin’s Baggot Street, accusing them of doing business with Belfast. They said, it was in violation of the boycott the IRA had placed on the city due to violence against nationalists there. Leo Henderson, their leader, seized a number […]

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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 2010 – David Cameron issues a formal, state apology for the “unjustified and unjustifiable” killing of 14 civil rights marchers by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972.

Prior to the publication of the Saville Report, thousands of people converge at the Bloody Sunday Memorial to walk to the Guildhall; symbolically completing the march which was prevented from reaching its destination in 1972. Results of Bloody Sunday Inquiry under the aegis of Lord Saville are published twelve years after it was established by […]

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#OTD in 1944 – Death of politician, journalist, intelligence agent and paramilitary activist, Frank Ryan.

Frank Ryan was born in Co Limerick, in 1902. After leaving university he became an active member of the Irish Republican Army and fought in the Irish Civil War. In 1929 Ryan was appointed editor of An Phoblacht, the IRA newspaper. He was imprisoned several times over the following years for publishing seditious articles and […]

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#OTD in 1986 – Belfast-born Patrick Joseph Magee, is found guilty of planting the Brighton bomb which killed five people and nearly wiped out most of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet.

Belfast born, Patrick Joseph Magee is found guilty of planting the bomb at the Grand Hotel Brighton which killed five people, but missed its primary target, Margaret Thatcher. The bombing was testament to the ingenuity of the IRA and its bomb makers. The 30 lb bomb had been planted behind a bath in a room […]

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#OTD in 1974 – Michael Gaughan dies on hunger strike at Parkhurst Prison in England.

Michael Gaughan was born in Ballina, Co Mayo in 1950. He grew up at Healy Terrace and was educated at St Muredach’s College, Ballina, and after finishing his schooling, he emigrated from Ireland to England in search of work. Whilst in London, Gaughan became a member of the Official IRA (OIRA) through its English wing […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The newly created Royal Ulster Constabulary took over the policing of Northern Ireland.

Following the partition of Ireland, it was decided to disband the RIC as an All-Ireland police force. In southern Ireland a new police force, the Civic Guard later Garda Siochana was formed, while in Northern Ireland the Royal Ulster Constabulary was established on 1 June 1922 as the police force for Northern Ireland. The RUC […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 30 May:

1630 – Birth of Charles Stuart who will become Charles II of Great Britain and Ireland. 1784 – Belfast’s first Catholic church, St. Mary’s, opens for public worship. 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: The Battle of Three Rocks – Rebels capture Enniscorthy and Wexford town. 1807 – During the election for Co Wexford, two of […]

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