#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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#OTD in 1922 – Cumann na mBan votes overwhelmingly to reject the Treaty.

On 7 January 1922 the Anglo-Irish Treaty was approved by the Second Dáil by a close vote of 64–57. On 5 February a convention was held to discuss this, and 419 Cumann na mBan members voted against as opposed to 63 in favour. In the ensuing Civil War, its members largely supported the anti-Treaty Republican […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Michael Collins takes over control of Dublin Castle from the British authorities on behalf of the new Irish Free state.

Dublin Castle originally built as a defensive fortification during the Norman period, evolved into the seat of British power, housing the mechanisms of the British government in Ireland. The Lord Lieutenant or the Viceroy of Ireland, the representative of the British crown, resided in the Castle. Parliament and the royal courts also took place in […]

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#OTD in 1937 – The new Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hÉireann) repealed the 1922 Constitution, and came into effect on this date.

The Irish Constitution, accepted by national vote in July became law at midnight. The constitution echoed much of the thinking of Éamon de Valera. Much of the development and drafting of the constitution was done by John J. Hearne, Éamon de Valera’s confidante and advisor. Hearne went on to become first Irish ambassador to the […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Vitriolic Treaty debate starts in Dail Éireann.

Ireland starts to tear itself apart as opposing forces debate the Treaty, setting the stage for a vicious Civil War. Following are some passionate speeches from Arthur Griffith, Éamon de Valera and Michael Collins. Arthur Griffith: “(I move) that Dáil Éireann approves of the Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland, signed in London on December […]

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