#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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#OTD in 1913 – Irish Citizen Army is formed.

The Irish Citizen Army was founded in at the height of the Dublin Lockout of 1913 to protect strikers from the police. Three years later it took part, alongside the Irish Volunteers, in the insurrection of Easter 1916. Its leader James Connolly along with his second, Michael Mallin, were executed for their part in the […]

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#OTD in 1943 – Death of suffragist, trade unionist and Irish independence activist, Winifred Carney, in Belfast.

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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#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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