#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 – 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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#OTD in 1898 – Birth of revolutionary and politician, Frank Aiken, in Co Armagh.

‘Neutrality is not like a simple mathematical formula which has only to be announced and demonstrated in order to be believed and respected. It has in fact always been one of the difficult problems …. Instead of earning the respect and goodwill of both belligerents it is regarded by both with hatred and contempt.’ –Frank […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 13 February:

1689 – William and Mary, daughter of James II, are proclaimed king and queen jointly. 1820 – Death of lawyer and English informer, Leonard McNally. 1850 – Michael Kelly, fourth Roman Catholic archbishop of Sydney is born in Waterford. Kelly was a leading figure in the foundation in 1901 of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 12 February:

1722 – Thomas Burgh, MP for Naas, and Richard Stewart, MP for Strabane, receive the first £2,000 of £8,000 from the Irish parliament for operating their colliery at Ballycastle, Co Antrim. 1782 – The right of habeas corpus is introduced in Ireland. 1818 – Bernardo O’Higgins formally approves the Chilean Declaration of Independence near Concepción, […]

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#OTD in 1923 – The Father of Government minister Kevin O’Higgins is shot dead by Republicans at the family home in Stradbally, Co Laois.

When the Irish Civil War broke out in June 1922, Kevin O’Higgins tried to restore law and order by introducing tough measures. Between 1922 and 1923 he personally ordered the execution of seventy-seven republican prisoners including, Rory O’Connor (who had been best man at O’Higgins’ wedding), Liam Mellows, Dick Barrett and Joe McKelvey. O’Higgins and […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The Clones Ambush.

Matt Fitzpatrick was killed while engaging British crown forces at Clones Railway Station on Saturday 11th February 1922, in an event recorded in history as the ‘Clones Ambush’. Clones railway station was on the Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway. The Dundalk and Enniskillen Railway opened the station on 26 June 1858. On 22 January, the Ulster […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 11 February:

In the Liturgical calendar today is the Feast Day of St Gobnait, also known as Gobnat or Mo Gobnat, a medieval, female saint whose church was Móin Mór, later Bairnech, in the village of Ballyvourney (Baile Bhuirne), Co Cork. She was associated with the Múscraige and her church and nunnery lay on the borders between […]

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#OTD in 1923 – Republican officer Tom Barry, after contacts with some former IRA comrades on the Free State side, proposes that the Anti-Treaty IRA call a truce. Liam Lynch turns down the idea.

Tom Barry was born in Killorglin, Co Kerry, the son of a former RIC officer who had become a shopkeeper. His family moved to Rosscarbery, Co Cork in his youth, and he was educated for a period at Mungret College, Co Limerick from 25 August 1911 to 12 September 1912. The reason for his short […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 10 February:

1800 – The House of Lords votes for the Act of Union which sees Ireland lose its own parliament, direct rule is imposed on Ireland and ‘the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland’ is created. 1842 – Birth of astronomer and writer, Agnes Mary Clerke, in Skibbereen, Co Cork. In 1885, she published her […]

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