Irish Mythology | Donn Fírinne, The Dark One

In Irish mythology, Donn is a god of the dead. Donn is the modern Irish word for the colour brown and appears as an element in many Irish surnames like Donegan, Donovan, Donnelly and on its own as Dunn/Dunne. However in the case of Donn the word derives from the Celtic word ‘dhuosnos’ meaning dark […]

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#OTD in 1927 – Birth of writer, Críostóir Ó Floinn in Limerick.

Críostóir Ó Floinn has published over 50 works in Irish and English, including novels, plays, short stories, biography, 12 books of poetry and a three-volume autobiography. Educated at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, Ó Floinn gained much attention for his controversial 1966 play, Cóta Bán Chríost (lit. “The white coat of Christ”), which […]

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#OTD in 1920 – IRA officer, Ernie O’Malley, was captured by British forces in Co Kilkenny with a notebook containing names of his IRA colleagues.

‘On the base of the Pillar was a white poster. Gathered around were groups of men and women. Some looked at it with serious faces, others laughed and sniggered. I began to read it with a smile, but my smile ceased as I read, ‘Poblacht na h-Eireann, the Provisional government of the Irish Republic – […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 21 November:

615 – Death of Columbanus. He was an Irish missionary notable for founding a number of monasteries on the European continent from around 590 in the Frankish and Lombard kingdoms, most notably Luxeuil Abbey in present-day France and Bobbio Abbey in present-day Italy. He is remembered as an exemplar of Irish missionary activity in early […]

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Biddy Early – Witch or Wise Woman

Legend would have it that Biddy was an entity worth fearing. She had four husbands and outlived them all. She had a magic glass bottle that she used to foretell deaths and disasters. Her fury could freeze a horse in its tracks; in a good mood she could save you or your prized livestock from […]

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#OTD in 1651 – Surrender of Limerick.

Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army had taken control of the eastern part of Ireland, forcing the Irish Confederates west of the River Shannon to Athlone, Galway, and Limerick. Cromwell left Ireland in May 1650, leaving the army under the command of his son-in-law, Henry Ireton. After a failed attempt to take Limerick in October 1650, […]

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#OTD in 1930 – Birth of actor, Richard Harris, in Limerick.

Actor Richard Harris was born in Limerick city on this date. Harris’ career scored rave reviews (and another Oscar nomination) for The Field (1990). He then locked horns with Harrison Ford as an IRA sympathiser in Patriot Games (1992) and got one of his best roles as gunfighter English Bob in the Clint Eastwood western […]

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#OTD in 1889 – Birth of painter, Seán Keating (born John Keating), in Limerick.

A noted portrait and figure painter, influenced by both Romanticism and Realism, Seán Keating was an Irish nationalist painter who executed several iconic images of the Irish Civil war era, and of the ensuing period of industrialisation. One of the great exemplars of representational painting in Ireland, Keating was an intellectual artist in that he […]

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Knight of Glin and Glin Castle

The Knight of Glin (dormant 14 September 2011), also known as the Black Knight or Knight of the Valley, was a hereditary title in the FitzGerald families of Co Limerick since the early 14th century. The family was a branch of the FitzGerald dynasty, or Geraldines, related to the Earls of Desmond (extinct), who were […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Sinn Féin County Councillor John Lynch of Kilmallock, Limerick was assassinated by British agents at the Exchange Hotel, Dublin.

At 1.15 am Captain Geoffrey Thomas Baggallay, a “one-legged” courts-martial officer had phoned Dublin Castle telling of John Lynch’s presence at the Exchange Hotel. A group of 12 soldiers entered the Exchange Hotel, wearing military caps and long black Burberry coats. They held the hotel porter, William Barrett, at gunpoint. After consulting the register they […]

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