#OTD in 1994 – Birth of actress, Saoirse Ronan in the Bronx, New York.

Saoirse Una Ronan was born in The Bronx, New York, to Irish parents, Monica Ronan née Brennan and actor, Paul Ronan. When Saoirse was three, the family moved back to Dublin. Saoirse grew up in Dublin and briefly in Co Carlow before moving back to Dublin with her parents. Saoirse made her first TV appearance with a […]

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#OTD in 1838 – The Sirius beat the much bigger and faster Great Western – the largest passenger ship in the world.

Sirius was a side-wheel wooden-hulled steamship built in 1837 for the London-Cork route operated by the Saint George Steam Packet Company. The next year, she opened transatlantic steam passenger service when she was chartered for two voyages by the British and American Steam Navigation Company. By arriving in New York a day ahead of the […]

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#OTD in 1881 – Birth of Martin John Sheridan. He was ‘one of the greatest athletes [the United States] has ever known’ according to his obituary in the New York Times.

Martin John Sheridan was ‘one of the greatest athletes the United States has ever known’ according to his obituary in the New York Times. He was born in Bohola, Co Mayo, and died in St Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan, New York, the day before his 37th birthday, a very early casualty of the 1918 flu […]

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#OTD in 1915 – Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of the disease ever identified in the United States, is put in quarantine, where she would remain for the rest of her life.

Mary Mallon was born in 1869 in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. She emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1884. An Irish immigrant cook, Mallon became the focus of one of the best-known episodes in the history of communicable disease when U.S. health officials identified her as a healthy carrier of the organism causing typhoid […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Clogheen Ambush: Six IRA men from the 1st Battalion, Cork No.1 Brigade are killed when they are surrounded in a barn in Clogheen by the British Army.

Six IRA men from the 1st Battalion, Cork No. 1 Brigade are massacred when they are surrounded in a barn in Clogheen by the British Army. Their whereabouts may have been provided to army intelligence by a fellow IRA member who broke under questioning. In April 1922, the IRA shot a Patrick O’Connor in New […]

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#OTD in 1839 – John B. Yeats, painter and father of William Butler and Jack B. Yeats, was born in Tullylish, Co Down.

He is probably best known for his portrait of the young William Butler Yeats which is one of a number of his portraits of Irishmen and women in the Yeats museum in the National Gallery of Ireland. His portrait of John O’Leary (1904) is considered his masterpiece (Raymond Keaveney 2002).   His parents were William […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Birth of John Herbert ‘Jackie’ Gleason in Brooklyn, NY.

‘It wasn’t an act of God, it was an act of Guinness’. –Jackie Gleason on Brendan Behan Gleason, nicknamed ‘The Great One’, was known for his brash visual and verbal comedy style. His parents were Mae ‘Maisie’ (née Kelly), from Farranree, Co Cork, and Herbert Walton ‘Herb’ Gleason, an Irish-American insurance auditor. He was in […]

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#OTD in 1764 – United Irishman, William Sampson is born the son of a Presbyterian clergyman in Derry.

William Sampson was one of many non-Catholics who were disturbed by the level of discrimination and violence against members of the Catholic faith. Anticipating an insurrection in March 1798, as a lawyer, Sampson defended United Irishmen for anti-British actions and was imprisoned, disbarred, and banished from Ireland without trial for his courtroom and literary activities. After eight […]

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#OTD in 1871 – Thirty Fenian prisoners are released by the British in a general amnesty.

British authorities release over thirty Fenian prisoners including John Devoy and Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. The conditional amnesty of 1871 required those released not to return to Ireland for the term of their respective sentences for treason. Devoy, O’Donovan Rossa and three others: Charles Underwood O’Connell, Henry Mulleda, and John McClure boarded the S.S. Cuba bound […]

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#OTD in 1891 – Annie Moore departs Queenstown (now Cobh, Co Cork), becoming the first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island.

Annie Moore stood in line with her two younger brothers, Philip and Anthony. They were waiting to board the SS Nevada, a ship that would take them from Ireland to New York. Even though she was sad, she was also excited about seeing her parents again. They had gone to America two years earlier with […]

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