#OTD in 1883 – Execution of Joe Brady for the murder of Lord Cavendish in Phoenix Park.

Brady was one of the Invincibles – a Fenian splinter group – that murdered the Chief Secretary of Ireland on his first day in the country. Four others were executed for the murders. Brady by all accounts was a mountain of a man. The Times wrote after his execution. “He was brought up as a […]

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Kathleen Ní Houlihan – Ireland Personified and Irish Nationalism

Kathleen Ni Houlihan (Caitlín Ní Uallacháin, literally, “Kathleen, daughter of Houlihan”) is a mythical symbol and emblem of Irish nationalism found in literature and art, sometimes representing Ireland as a personified woman. The figure of Kathleen Ni Houlihan has also been invoked in nationalist Irish politics. Kathleen Ni Houlihan is sometimes spelled as Cathleen Ni […]

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#OTD in 1906 – Birth of playwright, Samuel Beckett, in Foxrock, Co Dublin.

“We are all born mad. Some remain so.” –Samuel Beckett An Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. Beckett is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. During the 1930s and 1940s […]

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#OTD in 1882 – Birth of novelist, short story writer, and poet, James Joyce, in Dublin.

Born in Dublin, James Joyce, contributed to the modernist avant-garde and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century. James Joyce published ‘Portrait of the Artist’ in 1916 and caught the attention of Ezra Pound. With ‘Ulysses,’ Joyce perfected his stream-of-consciousness style and became a literary celebrity. The […]

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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 1941 – James Joyce, considered by many to be one of the most important modern authors in English because of his revolutionary approach to the novel, dies in Zurich.

When I die Dublin will be written in my heart. –James Joyce James Joyce published ‘Portrait of the Artist’ in 1916 and caught the attention of Ezra Pound. With ‘Ulysses,’ Joyce perfected his stream-of-consciousness style and became a literary celebrity. The explicit content of his prose brought about landmark legal decisions on obscenity. Joyce’s relationship […]

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#OTD in 1847 – Birth of teacher and founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Michael Cusack, in Co Clare.

Michael Cusack was born in the parish of Carron on the eastern fringe of the Burren in north Clare. He lived in a small cottage with his parents, four brothers and one sister. The Cusack homestead still stands today. Little is know of his childhood. On Sundays after Mass, Cusack and the other boys in […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 16 June:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of St. Colman McRoi, a sixth-century abbot in Dublin. Bloomsday is a commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce during which the events of his novel Ulysses (which is set on 16 June 1904) are relived. It is observed annually on 16 […]

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#OTD in 1904 – Bloomsday: On this date, James Joyce had his first date with Nora Barnacle; ultimately, it became the date on which everything takes place in his masterpiece, Ulysses.

Today is Bloomsday when Leopold Bloom, the main character in James Joyce’s Ulysses takes a long rambling walk around Dublin. Joyce picked this date as it commemorates his first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle.

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#OTD in 1904 – James Joyce meets the love of his life, Nora Barnacle.

Nora Barnacle was born in the city of Galway, but the day of her birth is uncertain. Depending on the source, it varies between 21 and 24 March 1884. Her birth certificate, which gives her first name as “Norah,” is dated 21 March. Her father Thomas Barnacle, a baker in Connemara, was an illiterate man […]

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