#OTD in 1933 – The Irish Free State government purchases the copyright of Peadar Kearney’s, ’The Soldiers Song’ (Amhrán na bhFiann) which becomes the national anthem.

The lyrics of ‘The Soldiers Song’ were written by Peadar Ó Cearnaigh (Kearney), an uncle of Brendan Behan, who together with Patrick Heeney composed the music. Before the present-day National Anthem was adopted, “God Save Ireland” was the unofficial anthem used by the Fenians and the official anthem was “God Save the King” until the […]

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#OTD in 1923 – The Civic Guard is renamed the Garda Síochana.

An Garda Síochána (meaning “the Guardian of the Peace”), more commonly referred to as the Gardaí (“Guardians”), is the police force of Ireland. The service is headed by the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána who is appointed by the Irish government. Its headquarters are in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. The force was originally named the Civic […]

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#OTD in 1920 – On hearing of British atrocities in Ireland, soldiers of the Connaught Rangers mutiny in protest; three are shot dead; a fourth, Private James Daly, is court-martialled and executed by firing squad.

The Connaught Rangers (The Devil’s Own) was an Irish line infantry regiment of the British Army originally raised in 1793 as the 88th Regiment of Foot (Connaught Rangers), which gained a reputation both for indiscipline and for its prowess as shock troops and streetfighters with the bayonet while serving under the Duke of Wellington during […]

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#OTD in 1870 – Erskine Childers, novelist, member of the Royal Navy, and later an Irish nationalist, is born in London.

Erskine Childers was the author of ‘Riddle of the Sands’, an arms smuggler via The Asgard, father of the fourth president of Ireland, Erskine Hamilton Childers, and would be executed by the Free State government for carrying an unlawful weapon. Childers supported the Anti-Treaty forces in the vicious Irish civil war which bedeviled the country. […]

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#OTD in 1945 – Éamon de Valera responds to Winston Churchill’s victory speech during which Churchill took one last jab at Irish neutrality.

Few outside of Ireland could understand the neutral stance of the Irish Free State during the war. Churchill most certainly did not when he said: “Owing to the action of Mr de Valera, so much at variance with the temper and instinct of thousands of Southern Irishmen who hastened to the battle-front to prove their […]

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#OTD in 1924 – The first Olympic medal won by the Irish Free State was a silver medal, awarded to Jack Butler Yeats for his 1923 painting The Liffey Swim. 

Between 1912 and 1948 the arts took pride of place alongside sporting events in the Olympic Games. The arts section was broken down into five categories: architecture, literature, music, painting and sculpture.    Ultimately the fledgling Irish State only took home two medals from the 1924 Olympic Games. Both of these were from the arts […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 27 April:

1652 – Oliver Cromwell published a declaration that Irish Wolf Dogs or Irish Wolfhounds were prohibited to be exported and insisted that locals continue to breed sufficient numbers of the mighty hounds to hunt wolves. 1653 – The last major body of Irish Catholic troops under Phillip O’Reilly surrender to the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland […]

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#OTD in 1880 – Birth of political activist, Sean Hales, in Ballinadee, Co Cork.

During the 1921 elections, Hales was elected to the Second Dáil as a Sinn Féin member for the Cork Mid, North, South, South East and West constituency.   During the 1922 general election, he was elected to the Third Dáil as a Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin Teachta Dála (TD) for the same constituency. He received 4374 […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Craig-Collins Pact was signed in London. The Irish Free State formally recognised Northern Ireland government.

David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, concerned that violence in the north of Ireland would cause the collapse of the new Northern Ireland administration, organised a meeting in London between Michael Collins and Sir James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, both to try to stop the IRA violence which Collins had been tacitly encouraging […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The IRA kidnaps more than forty Loyalists Activists and ‘B’ Specials.

In mid-January 1922 the Monaghan football team was arrested in the North on their way to play Derry in the final of the Ulster Championship. On 7 February the IRA responded by kidnapping forty-two prominent loyalists in Fermanagh and Tyrone and held them as hostages. A party of eighteen armed B-Specials, when travelling by train […]

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