#OTD in 1861 – Death of Young Irelander, Terence MacManus, in San Francisco, CA.

On 10 November 1861, 100,000 people defied the Irish bishops and followed the remains of Terence Bellew MacManus to Glasnevin Cemetery. Thirteen years previously Bellew had been sentenced to death for treason following the misbegotten Young Ireland Rebellion of 1848. His sentence was commuted in 1849 and he was transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) […]

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#OTD in 1885 – Birth of patriot and nationalist, Thomas Ashe, in Lispole, Co Kerry.

‘If I die, I die in a good cause.’ –Thomas Ashe shortly before his death. Thomas Patrick Ashe was born in Lispole, Co Kerry. He trained as a teacher in De La Salle College, Waterford and worked as a school principal in Lusk, Co Dublin. Ashe also enjoyed writing poetry and was a talented singer. […]

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#OTD in 1867 – A bomb was planted at Clerkenwell gaol, in London, in an attempt to free Irish Fenian prisoners, notably Richard Burke.

The Fenians simply wheeled a barrel of gunpowder up to the wall of the facility when they expected the inmates to be at exercise in the adjacent yard. The explosion blasted a 60-foot gap in the wall; the inward-collapsing rubble might easily have been the death rather than the salvation of the prospective beneficiaries, except […]

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#OTD in 1913 – The Irish Volunteers is founded by Eoin MacNeill at a mass meeting at the Rotunda, Dublin.

The Irish Volunteers (IVF) was a military organisation publicly launched in Dublin by Irish nationalists. It emerged in response to an article, ‘The North Began’ written by Eoin MacNeill in the Gaelic League paper ‘An Claidheamh Soluis’. The IRB knew they would need a highly regarded figure as a public front that would conceal the […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Death of Peadar Kearney, writer of the Irish National Anthem, ‘A Soldier’s Song’.

Peadar Kearney was born at 68 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin in 1883, he often walked along Gardiner Street to the Custom House and along the Quays. His father was from Louth and his mother was originally from Meath. He was educated at the Model School, Schoolhouse Lane and St Joseph’s Christian Brothers School in Fairview, […]

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#OTD in 1887 – Birth of Irish patriot and poet, Joseph Mary Plunkett, in Dublin.

Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the 1916 rising and a signatory of the Proclamation is born into a privileged background. His father was a Papal Count. A gifted writer, he met Thomas MacDonagh when he was tutored by him in Irish in preparation for the University College, Dublin, matriculation examinations. MacDonagh was to […]

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#OTD in 1879 – Birth of teacher, barrister, writer, revolutionary and one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rebellion, Pádraig Pearse, in Dublin.

Pádraig Pearse was born in Dublin to an English father (he was a sculptor) and an Irish mother. Pearse became interested in the heritage and history of Ireland at a very early age and joined the Gaelic League when he was 21 years old. The purpose of the league was to promote Irish tradition and […]

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#OTD in 1865 – Police raid and close the Irish People offices; Rossa, Luby and O’Leary are arrested.

In mid-1863, James Stephens informed his colleagues he wished to start a newspaper, with financial aid from John O’Mahony and the Fenian Brotherhood in America. The offices were established at 12 Parliament Street, almost at the gates of Dublin Castle. The first edition of the Irish People appeared on 28 November 1863. The staff of […]

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#OTD in 1908 – Poet, educator and eventual Easter Rising leader, Pádraig Pearse, opens St. Enda’s school for boys (Scoil Eanna).

“I dwell on the importance of the personal element in education. I would have every child not merely a unit in a school attendance, but in some intimate personal way the pupil of a teacher, or to use more expressive words, the disciple of a master … the main objective in education is to help […]

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#OTD in 1842 – Birth of journalist and leading member of the Fenians, John Devoy in Kill, Co Kildare.

‘The most dangerous enemy of this country [Britain] Ireland has produced since Wolfe Tone’. –The London Times John Devoy was born in Kill, Co Kildare in 1842 just prior to The Great Hunger (1845-1852) which saw approximately one million Irish starve to death and another million emigrate to America and elsewhere. After Irish defeats by […]

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