#OTD in 1877 – Death of Gaelic scholar, John O’Mahony, founding member of the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States, sister organisation to the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

THE FENIAN MOVEMENT – The Fenians wanted one simple desire for Ireland – Independence from British rule. The Great Hunger had a massive impact on Ireland. Many in Ireland believed that the government in London, to solve the ‘Irish Problem’, had deliberately did as little as possible to aid the people of Ireland – in […]

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#OTD in 1879 – Birth of teacher, barrister, writer, revolutionary and one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rebellion, Pádraig Pearse, in Dublin.

Pádraig Pearse was born in Dublin to an English father (he was a sculptor) and an Irish mother. Pearse became interested in the heritage and history of Ireland at a very early age and joined the Gaelic League when he was 21 years old. The purpose of the league was to promote Irish tradition and […]

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#OTD in 2017 – While on a 16 day State visit to Australia, President Michael D. Higgins visited Fremantle Prison near Perth, Australia, where 62 Irish prisoners were held for their part in the Fenian Rising of 1867.

“Most of the evidence on which the men were convicted related to meetings with me. I felt that I, more than any other man then living, ought to do my utmost for these Fenian soldiers.” —John Devoy, writing about his plan to rescue the Fremantle Six An American whaling ship brought together a crew with […]

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#OTD in 1968 – Civil Rights March in Derry, considered by many as the start date of ‘The Troubles’.

The protest movements that broke out across the western world in 1968 had captured the imagination of many people in the north of Ireland, leading to the creation of a local civil rights movement that began a series of marches and protests calling for greater equality for the Catholic/nationalist minority. The civil rights movement formed […]

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#OTD in 1831 – Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa is born in Rosscarbery, Co Cork.

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa was born in a small village called Reenascreena near Rosscarbery, Co Cork. He was the son of a tenant farmer, Denis O’Donovan and his wife Nellie O’Driscoll. While a young boy, the failure of the main food crop of the Irish population which was the potato, in successive years between 1845 and […]

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#OTD in 1866 – Birth of nationalist poet and writer, Alice Milligan, in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

Alice Milligan was born and brought up as a Methodist in Gortmore, near Omagh, Co Tyrone. Alice was one of eleven children and from 1877 to 1887 attended Methodist College, Belfast, after which she completed a teacher-training course. Together with her father she wrote a political travelogue of the north of Ireland in 1888, Glimpses […]

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#OTD in 1907 – A memorial arch is dedicated at St Stephens Green Dublin in honour of the Irish soldiers who died fighting for “King and country” in the Boer war.

Five years on from the war, the Fusiliers’ Arch was unveiled in the heart of Dublin, as a testament to the actions of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in South Africa. While the war ended in a British victory, it was a bloody and costly one. In financial terms, a war that would supposedly be over […]

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#OTD in 1915 – Nationalist Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa is buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

“WHATEVER HIS CRIME, THERE WAS A GREATER CRIMINAL THAN HE – THE ENGLISH GOVERNMENT WHO MADE HIM WHAT HE WAS.” On his deathbed at age 83, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa sent for his old friends, John Devoy and Richard O’Sullivan Burke. He died a tired old warrior on 29 June 1915 in St Vincent’s Hospital on […]

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#OTD in 1872 – John Mitchel returns to Ireland from America.

John Mitchel was born at Camnish, near Dungiven, Co Derry. The Irish nationalist, writer for The Nation and founder of The United Irishman newspaper openly preached rebellion against England. Convicted of treason in 1848, Mitchel was sentenced to fourteen years’ transportation in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). In 1853, he escaped to America, where he published […]

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#OTD in 1870 – Michael Davitt is sentenced to 15 years penal servitude for gun-running.

The Father of the Land League and pioneer of social justice, Michael Davitt, was born in Straide, Co Mayo, on 25 March 1846 during An Gorta Mór. When Michael was six years old, his parents, Martin and Sabina Davitt, were evicted and their cottage was burnt down. Eventually, they ended up in Haslingden, near Manchester. […]

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