#OTD in 1923 – A mass Hunger Strike is launched by 424 Republican prisoners in Mountjoy Gaol in protest at their continued detention after the war’s end.

On 13 October 1923, Michael Kilroy, O/C of the IRA prisoners in Mountjoy, announced a mass strike by 300 prisoners, and it soon spread to other jails. Within days over 7000 republicans were on hunger strike. The figures given by Sinn Féin at the time were : Mountjoy Jail: 462; Cork Jail: 70; Kilkenny Jail: […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Thomas Trayner was hanged in Mountjoy Prison, captured during an ambush on Auxiliaries in Brunswick Street, Dublin, on 14 March 1921.

Thomas Traynor was a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) hanged in Mountjoy Gaol during the Irish War of Independence. Traynor was born on 27 May 1882 in Tullow, Co Carlow, and was 38 at the time of his death. He was an experienced soldier having been a member of the Boland’s Mill garrison […]

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#OTD in 1919 – Sinn Fein 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 […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Francis Xavier Flood (one of the six and youngest IRA Volunteers charged for crimes of high treason and murdger) is executed by hanging in Mountjoy Gaol.

Francis Xavier Flood, known as Frank, was a 1st Lieutenant in the Dublin Active Service Brigade during the Irish War of Independence. He was executed by the British authorities in Mountjoy Gaol and was one of the men commonly referred to as ‘The Forgotten Ten’. Flood was the son of a policeman and the 1911 […]

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#OTD in 1918 – The Representation of the People Act (or Fourth Reform Act) is passed giving the right to vote to women aged over 30, who meet property qualifications, in Great Britain and Ireland.

The Irish Women’s Franchise League (IWFL) had been established in 1908. Its founders were married couple Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Francis Sheehy Skeffington: she was a gifted academic from a Fenian family; he was a pacifist and feminist who adopted his wife’s name on their marriage, an unheard-of gesture at the time. The fight for […]

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#OTD in 1997 – Death of Lily Kempson, aged 99, the last surviving participant in the Easter Rising.

Born in Co Wicklow, Lily Kempson, trade union activist, lecturer, leader, as well as a rebel in the Irish Citizen Army, was the last surviving member of the Easter Rising of 1916. Lily and her family moved to Dublin when she was young. She lived in poverty: eight members of her family lived in two […]

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#OTD in 1897 – Birth of trade union activist, lecturer, leader, Lily Kempson, the last surviving participant in the Easter Rising, in Co Wicklow.

Born in Co Wicklow, Lily Kempson, trade union activist, lecturer, leader, as well as a rebel in the Irish Citizen Army, was the last surviving member of the Easter Rising of 1916.   Lily and her family moved to Dublin when she was young. She lived in poverty: eight members of her family lived in […]

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#OTD in 2003 – Death of Bridget Dirrane who died at the age of 109. She was Ireland’s second oldest person.

Bridget Dirrane was the oldest native of Ireland’s Aran Islands and the second oldest person in Ireland. Éamon de Valera was the Irish political leader she most admired, but in a life touching three centuries, she met Pádraig Pearse, went on hunger strike in Mountjoy gaol, campaigned for John F Kennedy in Boston, and was […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Liam Mellows, Rory O’Connor, Joseph McKelvey and Richard Barrett, Irish patriots – one from each of the four provinces – are executed by the Free State forces.

It was just one more harrowing chapter in a vicious civil war fought between erstwhile friends. Just one year and two days after Ireland achieved a level of independence, four of the men who fought in the War of Independence against British forces were executed by Irish government edict. On the evening of 7 December, […]

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#OTD in 1944 – Charlie Kerins was hanged in Mountjoy Gaol by the English hangman Albert Pierrepoint.

‘All I ask is that the ideals and principles for which I am about to die for will be kept alive until the Irish Republic is finally enthroned’. –Charlie Kerins When the serial killer of Rillington Place, John Christie, complained that his nose itched after his arms had been bound, Albert Pierrepoint assured him: “It […]

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