#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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#OTD in 1918 – Almost the entire leadership of Sinn Féin are arrested. 150 were arrested on the night of 16–17 May and taken to prisons in England.

During the last year of the First World War, on the night of 17/18 May, over 70 leading members of Sinn Fein were arrested under the terms of the Defence of the Realm Act. The arrests had been made following the discovery of a supposed plot on the part of Sinn Féin to help Germany […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Led by Rory O’Connor, forces against the Anglo-Irish Treaty seized the Four Courts in Dublin.

Anti-Treaty forces led by Rory O’Connor seized the Four Courts. O’Connor, with approximately 200 men under his command. Their hope was that the British army, who were still based in Dublin, would attack them, thereby reigniting the war of independence and perhaps healing the split. Arthur Griffith, who was the President of Dáil Éireann, wanted […]

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#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 […]

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#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 […]

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#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 […]

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