#OTD in 1912 – Death of Bram Stoker, the Dublin born writer who created Dracula.

Death of novelist Bram Stoker, author of Dracula which was first published in 1897. Born in Dublin, Stoker was bed-ridden for much of his childhood, but lived a relatively healthy life during his adulthood. Educated at Trinity College, he moved to London in 1878 and married actress Florence Balcombe. Dracula received some praise on its […]

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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 1816 – Birth of painter, Sir Frederick Burton, in Corofin, Co Clare.

Born in Co Clare, Frederic William Burton moved to London as a young man to make his living as a watercolour painter. His painting, ‘The Meeting on the Turret Stairs’ was voted Ireland’s favourite painting in 2012. Painting is on view at the National Gallery of Ireland | Merrion Square West, Dublin 2, Ireland  SaveSave

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#OTD in 1895 – Oscar Wilde was arrested, in the Cadogan Hotel, London, after losing a libel case against John Sholto Douglas (9th Marquess of Queensberry), who had called Wilde a homosexual.

Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet born in Dublin. At the height of his fame and success, while his masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest, was still on stage in London, Wilde had the Marquess of Queensberry prosecuted for libel. Married to Constance Lloyd and father of two children Cyril and […]

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#OTD in 1774 – Death of novelist, playwright and poet, Oliver Goldsmith.

Goldsmith lived a thoroughly interesting life, perennially in debt and always fearing the debtors prison. His literary work has been praised and decried. Following his graduation from Trinity College in 1749, he became a kind of wandering minstrel through mainland Europe until he finally settled in London in 1756 where he indulged in a bohemian […]

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Sir Roger Casement – The Man Hanged as a Traitor Who Took on the Devil

Roger Casement (1864-1916) was an Irish nationalist and British consular official, whose attempt to secure aid from Germany in the struggle for Irish independence led to his execution by the British for the crime of high treason. Born on 1 September, 1864, in Kingstown, to a Protestant father and Catholic mother, Roger David Casement was […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Craig-Collins Pact was signed in London. The Irish Free State formally recognised Northern Ireland government.

David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, concerned that violence in the north of Ireland would cause the collapse of the new Northern Ireland administration, organised a meeting in London between Michael Collins and Sir James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, both to try to stop the IRA violence which Collins had been tacitly encouraging […]

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#OTD in 1856 – Birth of Sir John Lavery, an Irish painter best known for his portraits, in Belfast.

John Lavery was born in Belfast, the son of a wine and spirit merchant, but was orphaned at the age of three and for a number of unsettled years wandered between Moira, Magheralin, Saltcoats, Ayrshire and Glasgow. Finally he started working by touching up photographic negatives in Glasgow and attended evening classes at the Haldane […]

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#OTD in 1939 – At Swim-Two-Birds, a novel by writer Brian O’Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien.

At Swim-Two-Birds is a 1939 novel by Irish author Brian O’Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien. It is widely considered to be O’Brien’s masterpiece, and one of the most sophisticated examples of metafiction. The novel’s title derives from Snámh dá Én (‘Swim-Two-Birds’), a ford on the River Shannon, between Clonmacnoise and Shannonbridge, reportedly visited […]

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#OTD in 1874 – Irish painter, Frederic Burton, was appointed director of the National Gallery, London, and began an unprecedented programme of art collection.

As Director of the National Gallery, London, Burton bought over 500 works, many of them masterpieces by Botticelli, Canaletto, van Dyck and Leonardo da Vinci, creating possibly the finest art collection in the world. Burton’s painting, ‘Meeting on the Turret Stairs’ was voted by the Irish public as Ireland’s favourite painting in 2012 from among […]

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