#OTD in 1922 – Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Féin, dies of a cerebral haemorrhage.

Arthur Griffith was one of the most important players in Irish Independence. Griffith founded Sinn Féin in 1905 as an Irish nationalist party whose objective was “to establish in Ireland’s capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation”. It was not until after the 1916 Rising that Sinn Féin became […]

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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 1917 – Death of war poet Francis Ledwidge, from Slane, Co Meath.

Francis Ledwidge, the Irish nationalist and poet, was born in Slane, Co Meath on 19 August 1887 the son of a poor labourer. Leaving school at the age of 14 he worked in various manual labour positions while developing a love for and honing his own poetical talents. It was in 1911 that Ledwidge first […]

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#OTD in 1867 – Thomas Francis Meagher, born in Co Waterford, (“Meagher of the Sword”), Young Irelander leader, Irish nationalist and American politician, drowns.

“I now bid farewell to the country of my birth – of my passions – of my death; a country whose misfortunes have invoked my sympathies – whose factions I sought to quell – whose intelligence I prompted to a lofty aim – whose freedom has been my fatal dream.” –Thomas Francis Meagher Born in […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Sir Roger Casement, Irish Nationalist and British diplomat is sentenced to death for his part in the Easter Rising.

“If today when all Europe is dying for national ends, whole people marching down with songs of joy to the valley of eternal night, we alone stand by idle and moved only to words, then we are in truth the most contemptible of all the people in Europe.” –Sir Roger Casement Sir Roger Casement was […]

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#OTD in 1875 – Death of John Mitchel, Irish nationalist activist, solicitor and political journalist. Born in Camnish, near Dungiven, Co Derry.

John Mitchel was born in Camnish, near Dungiven, Co Derry. He became a leading Member of both Young Ireland and the Irish Confederation. He also became a public voice for the Southern American viewpoint in the United States in the 1850s and 1860s before ending up elected to the British House of Commons, only to […]

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#OTD in 1854 – William Smith O’Brien, leader of the 1848 rebellion, is pardoned.

Patriot, William O’Brien, was born in Dromoland, Co Clare. His mother was Charlotte, née Smith, whose father owned a property called Cahirmoyle in Co Limerick. William inherited it and adopted the additional surname of Smith, thereafter he is known as William Smith O’Brien. In the 1820’s he took his seat in parliament as the Conservative […]

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#OTD in 1964 – Death of novelist Maurice Walsh, author of the original story of The Quiet Man, in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

Maurice Walsh was born in Ballydonoghue, near Listowel, Co Kerry, and is best known for the short story The Quiet Man which was later made into an Oscar-winning movie directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. He was one of Ireland’s best-selling authors in the 1930s. John Walsh’s main interests were […]

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#OTD in 1880 – Birth of economist, journalist, barrister, writer, poet, soldier and Home Rule politician, Tom Kettle, in Artane, Co Dublin.

Tom Kettle was a journalist, barrister, writer, poet, soldier, economist and Home Rule politician. As a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for East Tyrone from 1906 to 1910 at Westminster. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913, then on the outbreak of World War I in 1914 enlisted […]

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#OTD in 1896 – Lady Jane Wilde (Speranza), poet, nationalist and the mother of Oscar, dies in London.

Jane Francesca Agnes, later Lady Wilde and mother of Oscar dies in London. She became famous in her own right as a writer and poet under the name of ‘Sperenza.’ Sperenza was an ardent nationalist in addition to being a staunch feminist. Her most famous poem is probably: ‘The Famine Year’. Weary men, what reap […]

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