#OTD in 2017 – Death of Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander and Sinn Fein political leader who helped negotiate peace in Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian violence, and became a senior official in its power-sharing government.

Martin McGuinness, former IRA chief of staff and a key figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, died just two months after stepping down as deputy first minister. The 66-year-old Irish republican died after a short illness in Derry’s Altnagelvin hospital surrounded by his family. He had a rare genetic disease caused by deposits of […]

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#OTD in 1949 – Birth in Belfast of Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins, snooker player and two-time world-champion.

Alex Higgins started playing snooker at the age of 11, often in the Jampot club in his native Sandy Row area of south Belfast and later in the YMCA in the nearby city centre. At age 14, he left for England and a career as a jockey. However, he never made the grade because he […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 17: Final Entry | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

Lá Pádraig inniú ‘s mar is gnách níor thárla aon rud suntasach, bhí mé ar aifreann agus mo chuid gruaige gearrtha agam níos gaire, agus é i bhfad níos fearr freisin. Sagart nach raibh ar mo aithne abhí ag rá ran aifreann. Bhí na giollaí ag tabhairt an bhia amach do chách abhí ag teacht […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 16 | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

I had a wonderful visit today with my mother, father and Marcella. Wonderful, considering the circumstances and the strain which indeed they are surely under. As I expected, I received a lot of verbal flak from Screws going and coming from the actual visit. Their warped sense of humour was evident in their childish taunts, […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 15 | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

Frank has now joined me on the hunger-strike. I saw the boys at Mass today which I enjoyed. Fr Toner said Mass. Again it was a pretty boring day. I had a bit of trouble to get slopped out tonight and to get water. I have a visit tomorrow and it will be good to […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 14 | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

Again, another uneventful somewhat boring day. My weight is 58.25 kgs, and no medical complaints. I read the papers, which are full of trash. Tonight’s tea was pie and beans, and although hunger may fuel my imagination (it looked a powerful-sized meal), I don’t exaggerate: the beans were nearly falling off the plate. If I […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 13 | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

I’m not superstitious, and it was an uneventful day today. I feel all right, and my weight is 58.5 kgs. I was not so tired today, but my back gets sore now and again sitting in the bed. I didn’t get the Irish News, which makes me think there is probably something in it that […]

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#OTD in 1832 – Birth of Captain Charles Boycott, despised English estate manager in Ireland, from whose name the word ‘boycott’ is taken.

Charles Cunningham Boycott was an English landlord who was ostracised by his Irish neighbours and labourers after he attempted to evict a number of his tenants for non-payment of rent. The ‘boycott’ was substantially instigated by Charles Stewart Parnell who on 19th September 1880, a few days prior to the action against Boycott, had suggested […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 12 | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

Fr Toner was in tonight, and brought me in some religious magazines. My weight is 58.75 kgs. They did not take a blood sample because they want to incorporate other tests with it. So the doctor says they’ll do it next week. Physically I have felt very tired today, between dinner time and later afternoon. […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Day 11 | Bobby Sands recorded his diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike in which he detailed his thoughts and feelings on the momentous task that lay ahead of him.

I received a large amount of birthday cards today. Some from people I do not know. In particular a Mass bouquet with fifty Masses on it from Mrs Burns from Sevastopol Street. We all know of her, she never forgets us and we shan’t forget her, bless her dear heart. I also received a card […]

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