#OTD in 1897 – James Connolly is arrested and detained overnight for organising a series of protests over Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

But time at last makes all things even, And if we do but watch the hour, There never yet was human power That could evade, if unforgiven, The patient hate and vigil long, Of those who treasure up a wrong. British capitalism was a dominant world power, still expanding. It policed the world for imperial […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Death of activist, writer and member of the Senate, Nora Connolly O’Brien, in Dublin.

Nora Connolly was born in Edinburgh in 1893. She was the second daughter of James Connolly, and the family moved to Dublin having lived for a time in the United States and Belfast. Her father was an organiser for the Dublin Socialist club and the family lived in poverty for much of her childhood. For […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 5 June:

1646 – The Battle of Benburb: Eoghan Rua O’Neill, a superb military strategist, defeats Robert Munro’s Scottish army at Benburb in Co Tyrone. The victory is celebrated by Pope Innocent X with a Te Deum in Rome. 1686 – Richard Talbot, the Earl of Tyrconnell, appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland, (the first Catholic to hold […]

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#OTD in 1868 – James Connolly is born to Irish parents in Edinburgh.

1916 rebel leader and ardent socialist James Connolly is born to poverty-stricken Irish parents in Edinburgh, Scotland. At age 14, he joined the British Army (Royal Scots Regiment) falsifying his age. He was posted to Ireland, serving much of his time in the Cork area. Despite the fact he left school at age 11, Connolly […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Birth of Joe Cahill, a prominent Irish Republican and former Chief of Staff of the Provisional IRA.

Joe was known for his comment. “I was born in a united Ireland, I want to die in a united Ireland”. In May 1920, Cahill was born in Divis Street in west Belfast where his parents had been neighbours with Irish revolutionary James Connolly. Cahill was the first child in a family of thirteen siblings […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Irish Patriots, Seán MacDiarmada and James Connolly are executed at Kilmainham Gaol.

The last executions of 1916 rebels are carried out. Ninety rebels were condemned to death. All but 15 were commuted to lengthy prison terms (most of whom were released in 1917). The executions were a watershed in Irish attitude to English rule. The vast majority of the Irish population begrudgingly accepted English rule and believed […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 12 May:

563 – St Columcille establishes a community on Iona. 1641 – Thomas Wentworth, English viceroy of Ireland and Earl of Stafford is beheaded. From 1632–39 he was Lord Deputy of Ireland, where he established a strong authoritarian rule. Recalled to England, he became a leading advisor to the king, attempting to strengthen the royal position […]

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#OTD in 1916 – James Connolly’s wife and daughter visit him in the Red Cross hospital in Dublin Castle where he lies seriously wounded.

James Connolly’s daughter, Nora, wrote later in ‘Portrait of a Rebel Father’: “On Tuesday I went with mother. There were soldiers on guard at the top of the stairs and in the small alcove leading to Papa’s room. They were fully armed and as they stood guard they had their bayonets fixed. In the room […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 9 May:

1423 – Edmund Mortimer, 8th earl of Ulster, earl of March, the greatest Irish landowner and heir presumptive to the throne of England, is appointed lieutenant for nine years. 1650 – The Battle of Clonmel begins with the first of two assaults. Cromwell’s forces are beaten back on this date by Black Hugh O’Neill. Eventually, […]

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#OTD in 1957 – Death of Irish patriot, Fr. Aloysius Roche.

While many clerics have supported the armed struggle of the IRA since 1916, the Capuchin Friars have been particularly noted for their republicanism. One such Capuchin was Fr Aloysius Roche, the son of an Irish father and English mother, born in Scotland in 1886. He studied for the priesthood and, following his ordination, he was […]

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