#OTD in 1916 – Irish patriot and a leader of the 1916 Easter Rising, John MacBride, is executed by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol.

Born in Westport, Co Mayo, MacBride travelled to America in 1896 to further the aims of the IRB, thereafter travelling to South Africa where he raised the Irish Transvaal Brigade, which became known as MacBride’s Brigade, to fight against the English during the Second Boer War where, as happened far too often in history, Irish […]

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#OTD in 1953 – Irish revolutionary, feminist and actress, Maude Gonne MacBride died in Roebuck, Clonskeagh, and was later buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.

“More and more I realised that Ireland could rely only on force, in some form or another, to free herself.” –Maud Gonne MacBride The daughter of an Irish army officer and his English wife, Maud Gonne converted to republicanism by an eviction she saw during the 1880s, and became a speaker for the Land League. […]

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#OTD in 1902 – Premiere of W.B. Yeats’ Cathleen ni Houlihan starring Maud Gonne. The play is about the failed rebellion of 1798, with a woman representing the ideal of an independent Irish republic.

Cathleen ni Houlihan is a one-act play written by William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory in 1902. It was first performed on 2 April of that year and first published in October on Samhain. The play centers on the 1798 Rebellion. The play is startlingly nationalistic, in its last pages encouraging young men to sacrifice their […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 2 April:

World Autism Awareness Day International Children’s Book Day In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of St Brónach, a 6th-century holy woman from Ireland, the reputed founder and patron saint of Cell Brónche (church of Brónach), now Kilbroney, in Co Down. 1807 – Birth of Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, KCB, a […]

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#OTD in 1954 – Death of Iseult Lucille Germaine Gonne. She was the daughter of Maud Gonne and Lucien Millevoye, and the wife of the novelist Francis Stuart.

Iseult Gonne, was the daughter of Maud Gonne and Lucien Millevoye, and the wife of the novelist Francis Stuart. Iseult was born on 6 August 1894, the daughter of Maud and her then married French Boulangist lover Lucien Millevoye. Maud Gonne claimed that Iseult was conceived in the mausoleum of Iseult’s late brother, Georges Silvère […]

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#OTD in 1877 – Birth of author and revolutionary, Michael O’Hanrahan, in New Ross, Co Wexford.

His father, Richard Hanrahan, was involved in the 1867 Fenian rising. The family moved to Carlow, where Michael was educated at Carlow Christian Brothers’ School and Carlow College Academy. On leaving school he worked various jobs including a period alongside his father in the cork-cutting business. In 1898 he joined the Gaelic League and in […]

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#OTD in 1836 – Birth of physician, professor and writer, George Sigerson, near Strabane, Co Tyrone.

George Sigerson was a physician, scientist, writer, politician and poet. He was a leading light in the Irish Literary Revival of the late 19th century in Ireland.   Sigerson was born at Holyhill just outside Strabane, Co Tyrone, the son of William and Nancy (née Neilson) Sigerson. He had three brothers James, John and William, […]

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#OTD in 1910 – Sinéad Ní Fhlannagáin and Éamon de Valera are married at St Paul’s Church, Arran Quay, Dublin.

Sinéad, or Jane, Ní Flannagáin was born in Ballbriggan, Co Dublin in 1878. Trained as a teacher, she took up her first teaching post in a national school in Dorset Street, Dublin. Sinéad Ní Fhlannagáin taught Irish at the Leinster College of the Gaelic League in Parnell Square. One of her students was Éamon de […]

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#OTD in 1884 – Birth of Muriel Gifford in Rathmines, Co Dublin.

Muriel Gifford was born in Rathmines, Dublin, of a Catholic solicitor father and a fiercely Protestant mother, the children were raised Church of Ireland, an unremarkable phenomenon among the wealthy professional classes of the time. That three of the sisters, Nellie, Muriel and Grace, could be involved in the Easter Rising, and that two of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 14 December:

1585 – Death of Nicholas Walsh, Bishop of Ossory. The son of Patrick Walsh, Bishop of Waterford, Nicholas Walsh was consecrated a priest in 1567. He introduced prayer-books and catechisms printed in Irish. He was appointed Chancellor of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1571. Starting in 1573, Walsh worked on translating the New Testament into Irish. […]

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