#OTD in 1921 – Belfast’s Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday or Belfast’s Bloody Sunday was a day of violence in Belfast on 10 July 1921, during the Irish War of Independence. In retaliation for an IRA ambush of a police raiding party, Protestant loyalists attacked Catholic enclaves, burning homes and businesses. This sparked gun battles between republican and loyalist paramilitaries, and street fighting […]

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#OTD in 1917 – Irish suffrage campaigners expressed their delight – and surprise – at the electoral reform that passed through parliament in London with an enormous majority.

Conservatives, Liberals and Labour all say: “Don’t forget, dear lady, when the time comes, that it was I who gave you the apple”. Mary Hayden, UCD professor and founder of the Irish Catholic Women’s Suffrage Association, has said she is delighted that so many Nationalists had voted for suffrage reform, given that some of them […]

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#OTD in 1914 – Large supply of guns from Germany were landed at Larne for the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

The UVF gun-running of April 1914, known as Operation Lion, was an effective military operation; though many of the 100,000-strong UVF remained unarmed after it. The Ulster Volunteer Force had been formed in January 1913 and from that date, small-scale gun-running had been carried out. In fact, up until December 1913, when royal proclamations made […]

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#OTD in 1949 – The Republic of Ireland withdraws from the British Commonwealth. The British Parliament recognises the declaration but asserts sovereignty over the six northern counties.

The withdrawal of the twenty-six counties from the British Commonwealth is recognised officially by Britain, thereby, becoming the independent Republic of Ireland. The Ireland Act 1949 passed by the House of Commons recognised the withdrawal. Éamon de Valera had introduced his Constitution (Bunreacht na hÉireann) in 1937, the Irish Free State, or Éire as it […]

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#OTD in 1973 – The people in the north of Ireland vote overwhelmingly to remain within the United Kingdom.

The abolition of the Northern Ireland Parliament in 1972 raised the question of whether or not a new Assembly should have the power to determine which state Northern Ireland should belong to. The British government decided to put this question directly to the people every ten years by referendum, and the first (and so far […]

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#OTD in 1861 – Death of Young Irelander, Terence MacManus, in San Francisco, CA.

On 10 November 1861, 100,000 people defied the Irish bishops and followed the remains of Terence Bellew MacManus to Glasnevin Cemetery. Thirteen years previously Bellew had been sentenced to death for treason following the misbegotten Young Ireland Rebellion of 1848. His sentence was commuted in 1849 and he was transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) […]

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#OTD in 1948 – The Republic of Ireland Act is signed into law by President Seán T. O’Kelly at Áras an Uachtaráin in the presence of the Government of Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland Act 1948 is an Act of the Oireachtas which declared that Ireland may be officially described as the Republic of Ireland, and vested in the President of Ireland the power to exercise the executive authority of the state in its external relations, on the advice of the Government of Ireland. The […]

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#OTD in 2014 – Death of loyalist politician and Protestant religious leader, Ian Paisley.

The career of the Rev Ian Paisley, who has died aged 88, arced from origins as fiery preacher and street agitator, through decades when his harassment helped undermine mainstream unionist leaders who attempted compromise with nationalists. But aged 81 he won praise inside and outside Ireland and made global headlines for sharing the top post […]

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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 1969 – The British Army was deployed on the streets in the north of Ireland, which marked the beginning of ‘Operation Banner’.

Following on from the Peoples Democracy march of 1st January 1969 from Belfast to Derry and the subsequent rioting in the Bogside and other towns in the north of Ireland, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and its supporters were openly condemned by the Government of Northern Ireland as being manipulated by communists, republicans and […]

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