#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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#OTD in 1964 – While weather bound in Dublin Che Guevara speaks to RTÉ reporter Sean Egan.

Argentine-born Major Ernesto Che Guevara, the revolutionary leader and ‘Comandante’ of the Cuban Revolution, was interviewed by RTÉ at Dublin Airport, when as Cuban Minister for Industries he was travelling on a diplomatic mission. On his way from New York to Algeria after a meeting of the UN General Assembly, Che Guevara’s flight was redirected […]

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Christmas with the Irish Brigade

‘Near one of the huge fires a kind of arbour was nicely constructed of the branches of trees, which were so interwoven on one another as to form a kind of wall. Inside this, some were seated on logs, some reclining in true Turkish style. Seated near the fire was Johnny Flaherty, discoursing sweet music […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The American Committee for Relief in Ireland is founded in New York to provide support for those affected by the War of Independence.

The American Committee for Relief in Ireland (ACRI) was formed through the initiative of Dr. William J. Maloney and others in 1920, with the intention of giving financial assistance to civilians in Ireland who had been injured or suffered severe financial hardship due to the ongoing Irish War of Independence. Apart from the ACRI, bodies […]

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#OTD in 2009 – Death of actor and folk singer, Liam Clancy, from Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary.

‘The best ballad singer I ever heard in my life’ was Bob Dylan’s verdict on Liam Clancy, who died at age 74 on this date. He was the last remaining member of the best-known of all Irish folk groups, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, who made an impression that was strong enough for them […]

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#OTD in 1982 – Five men charged with conspiring to smuggle arms to the IRA in 1981 were acquitted in Federal Court in Brooklyn, NY.

Five men charged with conspiring to export arms to the Irish Republican Army were acquitted in Federal Court in Brooklyn, NY, apparently because a jury believed defence contentions that the Central Intelligence Agency had sanctioned their gun-running operation. No evidence directly linking the CIA to the operation was offered at the seven-week trial, and denials […]

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#OTD in 1997 – All-Ireland champions Kerry play Cavan at Downing Stadium, Randall’s Island, NY in a 50th anniversary celebration of the only time the All-Ireland took place abroad.

The 1947 All-Ireland Football Final between Kerry and Cavan was played at the Polo Grounds in New York. The 50th anniversary of the game was marked when the same two teams played their National League fixture at Downing’s Stadium in New York. A crowd of 8,000 turned out for a unique Irish sporting occasion. Downing […]

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#OTD in 1892 – Death of Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore.

Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore served as a musician and stretcher-bearer in the 24th Massachusetts Infantry during the American Civil War. His incredible post-army musical career includes penning “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, the tune he took from an old Irish antiwar folk song, “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye”, that was published under the name Louis Lambert. […]

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