#OTD in 1842 – Birth of journalist and leading member of the Fenians, John Devoy in Kill, Co Kildare.

‘The most dangerous enemy of this country [Britain] Ireland has produced since Wolfe Tone’. –The London Times John Devoy was born in Kill, Co Kildare in 1842 just prior to The Great Hunger (1845-1852) which saw approximately one million Irish starve to death and another million emigrate to America and elsewhere. After Irish defeats by […]

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Roger Casement | A Man of Mystery

In the week after Roger Casement’s execution, on 3 August 1916, newsreel footage of the nationalist leader was shown in cinemas across America. At a conservative estimate, some 15 million US citizens saw the moving pictures. A century on, this fragment of film provides a fascinating insight. Casement is glimpsed at his desk writing: The […]

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The Sunburst of Ireland – Fenian Republican Rebel Print

In the centre, Erin is holding an Irish flag with an Irish wolfhound by her side. Along the sides, you can see portraits of great Irish heroes: Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Liberator’; John P. Curran, a Protestant lawyer and politician; Henry Grattan, politician who opposed the Act of Union; Fr Matthew, the Temperance priest; Colonel Thomas […]

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#OTD in 1830 – Birth of Fenian, John O’Leary, in Tipperary.

W.B. Yeats evidently equated the death of ‘Romantic Ireland’ with the rise of an Irish generation that believed that ‘men were born to pray and save [souls]’ alone. That he was inspired to write such a ballad while witnessing the creation of the Ulster Volunteers and the Irish Volunteers indicates that he saw religion as […]

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#OTD in 1870 – Bartholemew (Batt) O’Connor is born in Brosna, East Kerry.

Although not a direct participant in the 1916 Rising, Batt O’Connor was sentenced to be shot by British authorities but was sent to Wandsworth Jail and later Frongoch internment camp in North Wales. During the War of Independence he ran a number of safe houses and hid funds and documents for the IRA. He was […]

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#OTD in 1844 – Birth of poet and novelist, John Boyle O’Reilly, in Co Meath.

Poet, writer and nationalist John Boyle O’Reilly was born in Dowth Castle, Co Meath, near Drogheda. For his part in the IRB and Fenian conspiracy, O’Reilly was sentenced to twenty years’ penal servitude. He served nearly two years in English prisons before being put aboard the convict ship Hougoumont, and transported to Australia in 1868, […]

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#OTD in 1858 – Birth of activist, feminist, politician and businesswoman, Jennie Wyse Power, in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow.

Jennie Wyse Power, born Jane O’Toole, in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow in 1858. In the 1880s she joined the Ladies Land League and found herself immersed in their activities during the Land War. She would compile lists of those evicted from their homes and also she organised the Land League in Wicklow and Carlow. In 1883 […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Death of Michael Joseph O’Rahilly, ‘The O’Rahilly’, a republican who took part in the Easter Rising, during which he was killed in the fighting.

Michael Joseph O’Rahilly was born in Ballylongford, Co Kerry in 1875. He was a republican and a language enthusiast, a member of An Coiste Gnótha, the Gaelic League’s governing body. He was well-travelled, spending at least a decade in the United States and in Europe. He was a reasonably wealthy man; the Weekly Irish Times […]

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Eamon Bulfin, the Irish-Argentinian who hoisted the Green Flag of the Republic over the GPO.

Eamon Bulfin was an Argentine-born Irish republican. A former pupil at Pádraig Pearse’s school St Enda’s (Sgoil Éanna), in Rathfarnham, Dublin. Bulfin was a member of the Irish Volunteers and the IRB and along with some fellow St Enda’s students created home-made bombs in the school’s basement in preparation for the Easter Rising. He was […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Sir Roger Casement arrived in Tralee Bay, Co Kerry on board a German U-boat.

From 1915 Kerry was central to plans for the Rising. In autumn of that year Austin Stack, the leader of the Volunteers in Kerry and a member of the IRB was informed by Pádraig Pearse of the plans for the Rising. Arrangements were being made for an arms shipment from Germany to arrive in Tralee […]

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