#OTD in Irish History – 2 June:

1567 – The Ulster chieftain, Shane O’Neill, takes refuge with the MacDonnells, and is murdered by them at Cushendun, Co Antrim. He is succeeded by Turlough Luineach O’Neill. 1705 – The town of Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh is virtually destroyed by an accidental fire. One hundred and fourteen families and their servants suffer severe losses, and […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 28 April:

1714 – Sir Wentworth Harman, MP for Lanesborough, ‘coming in a dark night from Chapel-Izod, his coach overturning, tumbled down a precipice, and he dies in consequence of the wounds and bruises he received’. 1794 – The Reverend William Jackson was arrested in Dublin on this day in 1794. Jackson was born in Newtownards, Co […]

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#OTD in 1861 – The American Civil War began; 150,000 Irishmen would serve with the Union forces, and 40,000 with the Confederacy.

The American Civil War began, a war that would not only pit American against American but also Irish against Irish. An estimated 150,000 Irish fought on the Union side while about 40,000 fought for the confederacy. While the majority fought with the Union, many Irish had a strong antipathy to a northern culture which they […]

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Sir Roger Casement – The Man Hanged as a Traitor Who Took on the Devil

Roger Casement (1864-1916) was an Irish nationalist and British consular official, whose attempt to secure aid from Germany in the struggle for Irish independence led to his execution by the British for the crime of high treason. Born on 1 September, 1864, in Kingstown, to a Protestant father and Catholic mother, Roger David Casement was […]

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#OTD in 1915 – Roger Casement visits Limburg after the full contingent of prisoners had reached the camp.

Casement is now doubtful as to whether the Brigade would be successful, he writes to Count Georg von Wedel from Limburg with his doubts. “I dare say a sham corps of sorts could be formed by tempting the men with promises of money: but an appeal to their “patriotism” is an appeal to something non-existent”… […]

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#OTD in 1915 – The Infamous Sabotage Order Against The U.S. and Roger Casement.

The Imperial German Admiralty requested that the military and naval attachés in Washington, Franz von Papen and Karl Boy-Ed respectively, initiate sabotage in the United States and Canada. This request only surfaced as a memorandum in the Imperial Foreign Office. Initially, the Admiralty envisioned the Irish nationalists to conduct sabotage operations in the U.S. This […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 13 December:

In the Julian calendar before the Gregorian reform, this was the shortest day and longest night, and widely celebrated as such. 1779 – The demand for the removal of restrictions on Irish free trade through out the colonies is satisfied on this day. After boycotting British goods and parading on College Green, Dublin in November, […]

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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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#OTD in 1823 – Birth of Thomas Francis Meagher aka: “O’Meagher”, or “Meagher of the Sword”, an Irish nationalist and American politician.

‘I am here to regret nothing I have already done, to retract nothing I have already said. The history of Ireland explains this crime, and justifies it.’ –Thomas Francis Meager Born the son of Waterford’s mayor, one of the few wealthy Catholic businessmen in town in 1823; Meagher benefited from a quality education (partly in […]

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#OTD in 1863 – Large numbers of Irish immigrants are involved in Draft Riots in New York City.

On the morning of 13th July 1863, thousands of mostly Irish-immigrant workers in Manhattan erupted in what’s still the deadliest rioting in American history. Mobs rampaged through most of the week in a fury of savage murder, arson and looting. They hung African-American men from lampposts and dragged their mutilated bodies through the streets. They […]

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