#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 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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#OTD in 1916 – Aftermath of the Easter Rising.

The National Museum holds many of the last letters written by the men executed in Kilmainham Gaol in May 1916 for their part in the Rising. The collection includes Pádraig Pearse’s letter to his mother, and letters from Con Colbert, Michael Mallin, Eamonn Ceannt and others, written to family and friends. All these letters have […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Pádraig Pearse wrote an entry into a Manifesto on this date.

‘I desire now, lest I may not have an opportunity later, to pay homage to the gallantry of the soldiers of Irish Freedom who have during the past four days been writing with fire and steel the most glorious chapter in the later history of Ireland. Justice can never be done to their heroism, to […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Easter Rising, Day 5, British Reaction Escalates.

In the early morning hours, General Sir John Grenfell Maxwell finally arrived in Dublin as commander-in-chief of the forces in Ireland. He issued a proclamation: “The most vigorous measures will be taken by me to stop the loss of life and damage to property which certain misguided persons are causing in their armed resistance to […]

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