#OTD in 1919 – Official founding of ‘The Squad’, an IRA counter-intelligence and assassination squad.

The Squad was officially established at 46 Rutland Square on the 19 September 1919. Although at the time it had been in operation for two months and had already carried out two killings. Members were paid £4.10s per week. Officially the unit was a part of the Dublin Brigade under Dick McKee from Finglas, but […]

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#OTD in 1889 – Kathleen Behan, née Kearney, ‘Mother of All the Behans’ and folk singer is born in Dublin.

“What I have, I hold.” –Kathleen Behan History has cast Kathleen Behan in supporting roles, reducing her to the “sister of” or “mother of” someone important. But she deserves so much more – Kathleen was a political powerhouse, raconteur, and gifted singer who, in the course of her long and often tragic life, managed to […]

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#OTD in 1921 – The Dáil votes to appoint plenipotentiaries to negotiate with Britain regarding Ireland’s independence.

In what would turn out to be a momentous decision, de Valera opted NOT to be one of the negotiators stating that the Irish parliament “recognised themselves but no one else did. He really believed it was vital at this stage that the symbol of the Republic should be kept untouched and that it should […]

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#OTD in 1921 – De Valera received nationalist delegations from counties Down, Derry, Antrim and the city of Belfast who expressed anxiety at partition.

Referring to the unionists, one Protestant member of the Belfast delegation said that “partition would place power in the hands of those responsible for the pogroms”. The issue which faced the two sides in that second half of 1921 was the status, and size, of this new Ireland. Clearly something more than the old Home […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Michael Collins paid a visit to Armagh.

Michael Collins paid a visit to Armagh on 4 September 1921, in what the ‘Irish News’ described as “his first official visit to the city.” The implication may well be that he had been in Armagh on IRA business in the past few years, but he was now a leading figure in the Dáil Éireann […]

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#OTD in 1975 – Death of Éamon de Valera from pneumonia and heart failure, while in Linden Convalescent Home, Blackrock, Co Dublin, aged 92.

Éamon de Valera was a man loved by his supporters but distrusted and hated by those who blamed him for the Irish civil war. (That latter sentence could equally apply to Michael Collins from the opposite side of the political divide.) Although born in Brooklyn, New York, “Dev” had an almost mystical and spiritual belief […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 28 August:

1710 – A board of trustees for linen manufacture is established. 1788 – Birth of poet, Sir Aubrey de Vere, in Adare, Co Limerick. 1788 – Birth of banker and philanthropist, James Digges La Touche, in Dublin. 1798 – Cornwallis reaches Athlone; Humbert entrenches in Castlebar. 1814 – Birth of novelist and journalist, Joseph Sheridan […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork, arrested by British; he immediately goes on hunger strike.

“It’s not those who inflict the most, but those that endure the most, that shall prevail.” –Terence MacSwiney Terence MacSwiney was arrested in Cork for possession of seditious articles and documents, and also possession of a cipher key. He began a hunger strike in protest and was joined by ten other prisoners. IRA officers Liam […]

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