#OTD in 1868 – Birth of Irish patriot and revolutionary, Countess Constance Markievicz, née Gore-Booth in London.

Countess Markievicz, born Constance Georgine Gore Booth, politician, revolutionary, tireless worker with the poor and dispossessed, was a remarkable woman. Born into great wealth and privilege, she lived at Lissadell House in Co Sligo. She is most famous for her leadership role in the 1916 Easter Rising and the subsequent revolutionary struggle for freedom in […]

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#OTD in 1947 – Death of trade union leader and socialist activist, James Larkin.

Union Leader, James Larkin dies quietly (unlike his life) in Dublin. In a beautiful tribute, Playwright Sean O’Casey said of Big Jim, ‘He fought for the loaf of bread as no man before him had ever fought; but with the loaf of bread, he also brought the flask of wine and the book of verse.’ […]

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#OTD in 1967 – Helena Molony, republican and trade unionist, dies in Dublin.

‘I was a young girl dreaming about Ireland when I saw and heard Maud Gonne speaking by the Custom House in Dublin one August evening in 1903… She electrified me and filled me with some of her own spirit.’ –Helena Molony Helena Molony was a prominent Irish republican, feminist and labour activist. She fought in […]

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#OTD in 1877 – Birth of the leader of the alcohol free 1916 Rising, Canon Patrick Murphy, in Whitehill, Kilmore, Co Wexford.

Canon Patrick Murphy was born in Whitehill, Kilmore, Co Wexford. Murphy is a little known figure in Irish history, but he provided a truly fascinating oral account of the 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy in an interview in 1955. ‘Commandant Galligan arrived from Dublin with instructions from James Connolly that the Enniscorthy Battalion of the Irish […]

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#OTD in 1881 – Birth of trade unionist and Labour politician, William O’Brien, near Clonakilty, Co Cork.

O’Brien moved with his family to Dublin in 1897, and quickly became involved in the Irish Socialist Republican Party (ISRP). O’Brien is described as a very significant figure in the ISRP.   A close friend and associate of James Connolly, O’Brien helped establish the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union in 1909, and was instrumental […]

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#OTD in 1997 – Death of Lily Kempson, aged 99, the last surviving participant in the Easter Rising.

Born in Co Wicklow, Lily Kempson, trade union activist, lecturer, leader, as well as a rebel in the Irish Citizen Army, was the last surviving member of the Easter Rising of 1916. Lily and her family moved to Dublin when she was young. She lived in poverty: eight members of her family lived in two […]

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#OTD in 1916 – James Connolly vanished for a three-day meeting with the IRB military council where they agreed upon joint plans for an insurrection on Easter Sunday.

A secret meeting between Pádraig Pearse and James Connolly held over three days from 19 January 1916, where the outcome is that Connolly commits the Irish Citizen Army to join with the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and the date for the Rising is agreed. In early January 1916, and in high anxiety that Dublin Castle would […]

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#OTD in 1897 – Birth of trade union activist, lecturer, leader, Lily Kempson, the last surviving participant in the Easter Rising, in Co Wicklow.

Born in Co Wicklow, Lily Kempson, trade union activist, lecturer, leader, as well as a rebel in the Irish Citizen Army, was the last surviving member of the Easter Rising of 1916.   Lily and her family moved to Dublin when she was young. She lived in poverty: eight members of her family lived in […]

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#OTD in 1961 – Death of stage, film and television actor, Barry Fitzgerald.

Barry Fitzgerald was born William Joseph Shields in Walworth Road, Portobello, Dublin. He was the older brother of actor, Arthur Shields. As a child he played with the younger siblings of James Joyce who he called ‘a young man with a beard and very clever.’ He went to Skerry’s College, Dublin, before going on to […]

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#OTD in 1887 – Birth of trade unionist and revolutionary, Winifred Carney, in Bangor, Co Down.

Close to the entrance of Milltown Cemetery is a limestone monument which marks the grave of a remarkable woman – Maria Winifred Carney. Winnie was born in Bangor, Co Down, but moved to the Falls Road in Belfast at an early age. She was born into a fairly comfortable family, and was one of seven […]

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