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 Republican 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 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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