#OTD in Irish History – 9 October:

1651 – The Navigation Act provides that goods imported to any Commonwealth lands shall be carried in English ships only. 1834 – Opening of the Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first public railway on the island of Ireland. 1849 – First tenant protection society established at Callan, Co Kilkenny. 1895 – Victoria Cross winner Billy […]

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#OTD in 1750 – Death of highwayman, “Captain” James MacLaine.

Born in Co Monaghan, MacLaine was a notorious highwayman with his accomplice William Plunkett. He was known as the “Gentleman Highwayman” as a result of his courteous behaviour during his robberies. He famously robbed Horace Walpole, and was eventually hanged at Tyburn. The film Plunkett and Macleane was based loosely on his exploits. MacLaine was […]

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Don’t Go Far … The Young Boys from Dublin Who Ran Away to New York

It was August 1985 and two boys from Darndale, Dublin, aged 10 and 13, hop on a DART train for a ride that will take them a few thousand miles beyond their stop. Keith and Noel were friends. They had a knack for bunking off. One day they hopped on a Dart and skipped out […]

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#OTD in 1851 – Birth of nationalist politician, John Dillon, in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

John Dillon served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for over 35 years and was the last leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party. By political disposition Dillon was an advocate of Irish nationalism, originally a follower of Charles Stewart Parnell, supporting land reform and Irish Home Rule. He became a leading land reform agitator as […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Arthur Griffith, founder of Sinn Féin, dies of a cerebral haemorrhage.

Arthur Griffith was one of the most important players in Irish Independence. Griffith founded Sinn Féin in 1905 as an Irish nationalist party whose objective was “to establish in Ireland’s capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation”. It was not until after the 1916 Rising that Sinn Féin became […]

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#OTD in 1927 – Death of Constance, Countess Markiewicz, politician, revolutionary nationalist and suffragette.

Born in London, her father was a philanthropist, Henry Gore-Booth. He was an Arctic explorer and a landlord in the west of Ireland, who was married to Georgina May Hill, of Tickhill Castle, York, England. Constance was educated at the family estate in Lissadell, Co Sligo. She was noted as a fine horsewoman who had […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Just three days after a truce is implemented, Éamon de Valera, President of Dáil Éireann meets with British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in London.

Francis Stevenson, Private Secretary to Lloyd George recalled: “I have never seen David so excited as he was before de Valera arrived, at 4.30. He kept walking in and out of my room… As I told him afterwards, he was bringing up all his guns! He had a big map of the British Empire hung […]

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#OTD in 1991 – The convictions of the group of people known as the ‘Maguire Seven’ were quashed by the Court of Appeal in London.

The Court of Appeal overturns the sentences on the Maguire Seven. In 2005, Prime Minister Tony Blair apologised unreservedly for what happened. “I am very sorry that they were subject to such an ordeal and such an injustice. “They deserve to be completely and publicly exonerated.” Forced (beaten) confessions, contaminated forensic kits, a rush to […]

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#OTD in 1870 – Erskine Childers, novelist, member of the Royal Navy, and later an Irish nationalist, is born in London.

Erskine Childers was the author of ‘Riddle of the Sands’, an arms smuggler via The Asgard, father of the fourth president of Ireland, Erskine Hamilton Childers, and would be executed by the Free State government for carrying an unlawful weapon. Childers supported the Anti-Treaty forces in the vicious Irish civil war which bedeviled the country. […]

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