#OTD in 1874 – Cathal Brugha (b. Charles William St. John Burgess) is born in Dublin.

Fuair sé bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. Twas England bade our wild geese go, that ‘small nations might be free’; Their lonely graves are by Suvla’s waves or the fringe of the great North Sea. Oh, had they died by Pearse’s side or fought with Cathal Brugha Their graves we’d keep where the Fenians […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Death of Cathal Brugha from injuries received when shot by Free State forces on O’Connell Street on 5 July.

Fuair sé bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. Twas England bade our wild geese go, that ‘small nations might be free’; Their lonely graves are by Suvla’s waves or the fringe of the great North Sea. Oh, had they died by Pearse’s side or fought with Cathal Brugha Their graves we’d keep where the Fenians […]

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#OTD in 1918 – Sinn Féin, the Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan and the Gaelic League were all proclaimed as illegal organisations by the Lord Lieutenant, Viscount French.

The proclamation stated that the proscribed organisations are dangerous and a ‘grave menace’ designed to ‘terrorise the peaceful and law-abiding subjects of His Majesty in Ireland’. It goes on to say that these associations ‘encourage and aid persons to commit crimes and promote and incite to acts of violence and intimidation and interfere with the […]

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#OTD in 1870 – Bartholemew (Batt) O’Connor is born in Brosna, East Kerry.

Although not a direct participant in the 1916 Rising, Batt O’Connor was sentenced to be shot by British authorities but was sent to Wandsworth Jail and later Frongoch internment camp in North Wales. During the War of Independence he ran a number of safe houses and hid funds and documents for the IRA. He was […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Death of Michael Joseph O’Rahilly, ‘The O’Rahilly’, a republican who took part in the Easter Rising, during which he was killed in the fighting.

Michael Joseph O’Rahilly was born in Ballylongford, Co Kerry in 1875. He was a republican and a language enthusiast, a member of An Coiste Gnótha, the Gaelic League’s governing body. He was well-travelled, spending at least a decade in the United States and in Europe. He was a reasonably wealthy man; the Weekly Irish Times […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Easter Rising Dublin – Day 4.

It is the fourth day of the Easter Rising and the remaining rebels are under constant attack. The GPO and Four Courts are being blitzed with machine gun and rifle fire, and large parts of Sackville Street (O’Connell Street) are up in flames. As British authorities come to terms with the situation in Dublin, fierce street […]

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#OTD in 1914 – Large supply of guns from Germany were landed at Larne for the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

The UVF gun-running of April 1914, known as Operation Lion, was an effective military operation; though many of the 100,000-strong UVF remained unarmed after it. The Ulster Volunteer Force had been formed in January 1913 and from that date, small-scale gun-running had been carried out. In fact, up until December 1913, when royal proclamations made […]

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#OTD in 1916 – The first casualties of the Easter Rising were on Good Friday in Co Kerry.

Three Volunteers, Con Keating, Charlie Monahan and Donal Sheehan, drowned when their car plunged off a pier into the sea while they were on the way to Cahirciveen in order to set up radio communications with Sir Roger Casement and the German arms ship the Aud. Five men set off from Dublin by train to […]

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#OTD in 1879 – Birth of Irish patriot and Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney, in Co Cork.

Terence Joseph MacSwiney was a playwright, author and politician. He was elected as Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork during the Irish War of Independence in 1920 after the murder of his friend Tomás Mac Curtain, the Lord Mayor of Cork on 20 March 1920. Like Tomás Mac Curtain, he had been a member of […]

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#OTD in 1858 – The Irish Republican Brotherhood was co-founded by James Stephens in Dublin.

The original IRB oath, as quoted by Thomas Clarke Luby and John O’Leary, and which is among several versions in James Stephens’s own papers, ran: ‘I, AB., do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will do my utmost, at every risk, while life lasts, to make [other versions, according to Luby, […]

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