#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 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 1927 – Death of Constance, Countess Markiewicz, politician, revolutionary nationalist and suffragette.

Born in London, her father was a philanthropist, Henry Gore-Booth. He was an Arctic explorer and a landlord in the west of Ireland, who was married to Georgina May Hill, of Tickhill Castle, York, England. Constance was educated at the family estate in Lissadell, Co Sligo. She was noted as a fine horsewoman who had […]

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