#OTD in Irish History – 16 February:

1768 – The Octennial Act limits Irish parliaments’ life to eight years. 1822 – Birth of engineer, James Thomson, in Belfast. 1841 – The Maplin Sands lighthouse was first lit, constructed and built by blind Irish engineer, Alexander Mitchell, from Dublin, which began in 1838 at the mouth of the Thames. A screw-pile lighthouse is a lighthouse […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 15 February:

1782 – The first Dungannon Convention of the Ulster Volunteers calls for an independent Irish parliament; Grattan continues to campaign for the same objective. 1793 – A third convention of Dungannon – a gathering of Volunteers from Ulster is held. 1794 – The United Irishmen published a plan for parliamentary reform, advocating universal male suffrage, […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Two IRA Volunteers, the Coffey brothers, were assassinated in their beds by unknown gunmen in Enniskeane, Cork.

Volunteers James and Timothy Coffey were from Breaghna, Enniskeane, Co Cork, the eldest boys in the family of eight of farming parents James and Margaret Coffey. In the early hours of Monday 14 February 1921, the soldiers of the Essex Regiment and Black and Tans were escorted by two masked civilians, who were members of […]

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#OTD in 1895 – Birth of Revolutionary, Sean Treacy in Co Tipperary.

“Come on, he cried, Come show your hand, you have boasted for so long, How you would crush this rebel band with your armies great and strong”. No surrender”, was his war cry, “Fight on lads, no retreat” –Brave Treacy cried before he died, shot down in Talbot Street.” Revolutionary, Seán Treacy was born at […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Three IRA prisoners Ernie O’Malley, Frank Teeling and Simon Donnelly escape from Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin.

Ernie O’Malley, Frank Teeling and Simon Donnelly escaped from Kilmainham Gaol. The escape was carried out under the orders of Michael Collins, and he had specific reasons for arranging the escape of each of the men. Simon Donnelly had only been in the prison for four days, but he was well-known to the authorities and […]

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#OTD in 1981 – The Stardust Ballroom in Artane, Dublin goes up in flames; forty-eight young people are killed and more than 100 are injured.

Forty-eight young people die in a fire at the Stardust club in Artane, Dublin. After sitting for 122 days and hearing evidence from three hundred and sixty-three witnesses, a government report found that the fire was ‘probably started deliberately,’ a finding long deemed contentious. The 2009 Report of Reopened Enquiry found that “on a prima […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 14 February:

St Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, is a holiday observed on 14 February. Many churches claim to be Valentine’s final resting place, including the Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street in Dublin. According to the story told there, the St’s remains were given to Fr John Sprat by Pope Gregory XVI and a shrine still […]

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‘The Fairies’ by William Allingham

‘The Fairies’ by William Allingham Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren’t go a-hunting For fear of little men; Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together; Green jacket, red cap, And white owl’s feather! Down along the rocky shore Some make their home, They live on crispy pancakes Of yellow tide-foam; Some […]

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#OTD in 1974 – Death of Róisín Madigan O’Reilly in Dingle, Co Kerry. At age 13, she became the youngest member of Cumann na mBann.

Daughter to a German-born governess (E. Hessler) and an Irish Literature Lecturer, (E. O’Reilly) Madigan O’Reilly grew up speaking German, Irish and English and travelling sporadically to Potsdam to visit her mother’s affluent relations. Both her parents were staunch republicans. Her father wrote poems and articles for ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’ and, aged just 13, Madigan […]

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