#OTD in 1922 – The ‘Arnon Street Massacre’ – Belfast.

Six Catholic civilians, three in Arnon Street, were shot dead. It is believed that members of either the Ulster Special Constabulary (USC) or of the RIC were responsible, acting in retaliation for the killing of an RIC officer by the IRA. Although the Irish War of Independence officially ended in July 1921, the IRA’s conflict with […]

Read More

#OTD in 1919 – Third meeting of Dáil Éireann – Éamon de Valera was elected President of Dáil Éireann (or Príomh Aire) and appointed a cabinet.

De Valera issued a statement saying that “There is in Ireland at this moment only one lawful authority, and that authority is the elected Government of the Irish Republic”. When the First Dáil met in 1919, Éamon de Valera was the president of Sinn Féin and thus the natural choice for leadership. However he had […]

Read More

#OTD in 1872 – Birth of founder of Sinn Féin and co-signatory of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Arthur Griffith, in Dublin.

Arthur Griffith was one of the most important players in Irish Independence. He 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”. Griffith’s fierce criticism of the Irish Parliamentary Party’s alliance with British Liberalism […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#OTD in 1948 – Death of Gearóid O’Sullivan. He had the honour of raising the Tricolour over the GPO as fighting raged the streets of Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising.

Gearóid O’Sullivan, then 25, was the youngest IRB officer fighting in the GPO (three months younger than his cousin Michael Collins). He had been personally chosen by leader Seán Mac Diarmada to serve as his aide-de-camp. He was an Irish teacher, Irish language scholar, army officer, barrister and Sinn Féin and Fine Gael politician. Following […]

Read More

#OTD in 1922 – An IRA anti-treaty army convention announced it would no longer accept the authority of Free State Minister for Defence Richard Mulcahy.

Further movement to Civil War: An IRA convention was held in the Mansion House in defiance of a Dáil Éireann 15th March 1922 decree, despite the Dáil prohibiting it. Richard Mulcahy, the new Minister of Defence having succeeded the anti-Treaty Cathal Brugha, promised that the IRA would remain loyal to the government. However, the army […]

Read More

#OTD in 1884/1920 – Tomás MacCurtain (born in Cork City), revolutionary and Lord Mayor of Cork is both born and assassinated on this date.

On his 36th birthday, Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork Tomás Mac Curtain was shot dead in front of his wife and son by a group of men with blackened faces, who were found to be members of the RIC by the official inquest into the event. Mac Curtain’s house in the city’s Blackpool area, […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

#OTD in 1919 – Sinn Féin member, Robert Barton, escapes from Mountjoy Jail, courtesy of some excellent planning by Michael Collins which involved smuggling a file into the prison.

Robert Barton was born in Co Wicklow into a wealthy Irish Protestant land-owning family; namely of Glendalough House. He was the double first cousin of and close friend of Robert Erskine Childers and would later be best man at the wedding of Robert Erskine Childers and Molly Osgood. He became an officer in the Royal […]

Read More

#OTD in 1922 – Michael Collins addressed a mass meeting at the Grand Parade in Co Cork.

This British Pathe video shows Michael Collins addressing a large gathering about the Anglo-Irish Treaty before it gets broken up by several men firing guns in the crowd, however, Collins refused to be frightened by the opponents’ tactics. Collins can be seen on a platform above the crowd as they wave hats and handkerchiefs at […]

Read More