#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 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 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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