#OTD in 1888 – Birth of Irish nationalist, Sorcha MacMahon, in Co Monaghan.

It was said of Sorcha by her contemporaries that there was no ‘woman of that period whose efficiency, selflessness and enthusiasm was greater’. Born Sarah Teresa MacMahon at Coas, Co Monaghan. Born in 1888, she was called after her mother; as well as using her given name, she also used the Irish form, Sorcha. Her […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 19 July:

1608 – Preparations commence for the plantation of six Ulster counties (Armagh, Cavan, Coleraine, Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone). 1735 – Garrett Wellesley, 1st Earl of Mornington, politician, musician, and father of Duke of Wellington, is born in Co Meath. 1771 – Colonel Thomas Talbot is born at Malahide Castle near Dublin. He was the fourth […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The IRA executes English Army officer Colonel Gerald Bryce Ferguson Smyth in Cork.

The IRA executes English Army officer Colonel Gerald Bryce Ferguson Smyth in Cork. While all British Army personnel were deemed legitimate targets, Smyth’s fate was sealed when he spoke in quite brutal fashion about how Irish citizens were to be treated. At a meeting in Listowel, Co Kerry on 19th June, Smyth reportedly told RIC […]

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#OTD in 1884 – Louise Gavan Duffy, teacher and revolutionary, is born in Nice, France.

Best known for her involvement in nationalist politics, the Gaelic revival, and the women’s suffrage movement in Ireland, Louise Gavan Duffy joined Cumann na mBan on its foundation in 1914 and was made joint secretary. Louise Gavan Duffy was writing her MA thesis at her lodgings on Haddington Road when she heard the 1916 Easter […]

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#OTD in 1921 – The Truce: Actions commanded by IRA H.Q. ended in the south at midday under the Truce.

‘At this moment, there is more ill-will within a victorious assembly than ever could be anywhere else but in the devil’s assembly. It cannot be fought against. The issues and persons are mixed to such an extent as to make discernibility an utter impossibility except for a few.’ –Michael Collins Although the Anglo-Irish Treaty of […]

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#OTD in 1870 – Bartholemew (Batt) O’Connor is born in Brosna, East Kerry.

Although not a direct participant in the 1916 Rising, Batt O’Connor was sentenced to be shot by British authorities but was sent to Wandsworth Jail and later Frongoch internment camp in North Wales. During the War of Independence he ran a number of safe houses and hid funds and documents for the IRA. He was […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Anti-Treaty forces abandon The Four Courts in Dublin which was bombarded for two days under the orders of Michael Collins.

Anti-Treaty commander in the Four Courts, Paddy O’Brien is wounded by shrapnel. Ernie O’Malley assumes command. In the morning there is a truce to remove the wounded. Shortly afterward, a massive explosion destroys the western wing of the Four Courts and the Irish Public Records Office along with it. Forty advancing Free State troops were […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The Provisional Government of the Irish Free State bombards the Four Courts in Dublin, and the Civil War begins.

On 14 April 1922 a column of 200 men led by Rory O’Connor occupied the Four Courts, hoping to provoke an armed confrontation with British forces which were in the process of evacuating from Ireland following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty the previous winter which had split the IRA into two opposing factions. The […]

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#OTD in 1952 – Birth of actor, Liam Neeson, in Ballymena, Co Antrim.

Liam worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by attending St. Mary’s Teaching College, Newcastle. However, in 1976, Neeson joined the Belfast Lyric Players’ Theater and made his professional acting debut in the play “The Risen People”. After […]

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#OTD in 1922 – De Valera and Collins agree to a pact whereby a national coalition panel of candidates will represent the pro- and anti-Treaty wings of Sinn Féin throughout Ireland in the forthcoming general election.

As in the Irish elections, 1921 in the south, Sinn Féin stood one candidate for every seat, except those for the University of Dublin and one other; the treaty had divided the party between 65 pro-treaty candidates, 57 anti-treaty and 1 nominally on both sides. Unlike the elections a year earlier, other parties stood in […]

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