#OTD in Irish History – 30 March:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Saint Tola, a seventh-century Irish Roman Catholic saint also referred to as ‘a good soldier of Christ’. Tola, the reputed son of Donchad is also referred to as Thola or Tolanus. He died between 733 and 737. 1493 – Kildare, who has been suspected of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 29 March:

1613 – A charter incorporates Derry as the city of ‘Londonderry’ and creates the new county of ‘Londonderry’. Despite the official name, the city is more usually known as simply Derry, which is an anglicisation of the old Irish Daire, which in modern Irish is spelt Doire, and translates as ‘oak-grove/oak-wood’. The name derives from […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 28 March:

1646 – Peace between the confederates and James Butler, the Marquis of Ormond and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, leads to a split within the confederation, i.e. between confederates and royalists. 1719 – John Cairnes, son of David Cairnes, former MP for the city of Derry, was killed in a duel in Newcastle, England. 1772 – […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 27 March:

In the Liturgical calendar, it is the Feast Day of St Suairlech, Bishop of Fore, Co Westmeath. 1174 – Death of St Gelasius of Armagh (meaning ‘servant of Jesus’). He was the learned abbot of Derry for sixteen years and consecrated bishop of Armagh c. 1138, when Saint Malachy resigned and served as primate of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 26 March:

1787 – The Tumultuous Risings Act imposed penalties for rioting and for interference with the collection of tithes. 1838 – William Edward Hartpole Lecky, historian and philosopher, was born in Blackrock, Co Dublin. 1854 – Harry Furniss, caricaturist, was born in Wexford. 1856 – Birth of New Zealand statesman and Prime Minister from 1912 to […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The first ‘Black and Tans’ (auxiliary policemen) officially arrived in Ireland.

Although they would be operational for less than two years, the ‘Black and Tans’ would become one of the most reviled names in Irish history. The English recruits to the RIC were mainly the unemployed veterans of World War I. Their principal motivation: employment for ten shillings a day. When the first recruits arrived in […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 25 March:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of the Annunciation to Our Lady. 1306 – Robert the Bruce becomes King of Scots. 1635 – A shower of hailstones, with stones as large as four inches in circumference, was reported in Castletown, Co Offaly – a hen was killed and a woman was injured. […]

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#OTD in 1922 – McMahon killings: In Belfast, policemen break into the home of a Catholic family and shoot all eight males inside, killing six.

At about 1.00 am on 24 March, gunmen broke into the home of a middle-class Catholic family who lived at 3 Kinnaird Terrace, near the Antrim Road in North Belfast. Publican Owen McMahon lived there with his wife, six sons, his daughter, and his barman, Edward McKinney. The McMahon family had no connection to any […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 24 March:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Saint Mac Cairthinn, also Macartan, a very early generation of saints in Ireland and is recognised as the first Bishop of Clogher. He is known as Saint Patrick’s ‘Strong Man’ for his dedication and faithfulness. 1603 – James VI of Scotland comes to the throne […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Scramogue Ambush: An IRA ambush is mounted on Strokestown-Longford road by south Co Roscommon IRA.

Roscommon was not one of the more violent areas of Ireland during the conflict. The local IRA argued to their GHQ that it was very difficult to conduct guerrilla warfare in the flat open countryside there. Prior to the action at Scramogue, the biggest previous incident had been in October 1920, when four RIC policemen […]

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