#OTD in 1917 – Muriel MacDonagh, wife of executed 1916 leader Thomas MacDonagh, drowns while swimming on Skerries south beach.

Muriel Gifford was born in Rathmines, Dublin, of a Catholic solicitor father and a fiercely Protestant mother, the children were raised Church of Ireland, an unremarkable phenomenon among the wealthy professional classes of the time. Among the three Gifford sisters, Nellie, Muriel and Grace, Muriel married Thomas MacDonagh and Grace married Joseph Plunkett, who were […]

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#OTD in 1915 – Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, Fenian leader, dies in the United States.

“This rooting out of the Irish people; this transplanting of them from their native home into a foreign land, may be all very well, so far as the young people are concerned; but for the fathers and mothers who have reared families in Ireland, it is immediate decay and death.” ―Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa Death of […]

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#OTD in 1957 – Death of nurse and member of Cumann na mBan, Elizabeth O’Farrell. Best known for delivering the surrender in the Easter Rising of 1916.

Elizabeth O’Farrell was born in Dublin in November 1884. In 1906 she joined Inghinidhe na hÉireann and along with her lifelong friend Julia Grenan she also joined Cumann na mBan, the women’s branch of the Irish Volunteers. As plans were put in place for the Easter Rising of April 1916, Elizabeth and Julia were sent […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Easter Rising leaders | Pádraig Pearse, Thomas Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh were executed by a firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol.

The first of the 1916 rebels were shot dead in the Stonebreakers’ Yard at Kilmainham Gaol after being found guilty (without legal defence or jury) of taking part ‘in an armed rebellion for the purposes of assisting the enemy.’ The fact that they were involved in armed rebellion is beyond doubt, but the primary purpose […]

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#OTD in 1957 – Death of Irish patriot, Fr. Aloysius Roche.

While many clerics have supported the armed struggle of the IRA since 1916, the Capuchin Friars have been particularly noted for their republicanism. One such Capuchin was Fr Aloysius Roche, the son of an Irish father and English mother, born in Scotland in 1886. He studied for the priesthood and, following his ordination, he was […]

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History of Harold’s Cross, Dublin

One explanation of the origin of the name Harold’s Cross is that it is derived from the name given to a gallows, which had been placed where the current Harold’s Cross Park is situated. Harold’s Cross was an execution ground for the city of Dublin during the 18th century and earlier. In the 14th century […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Aftermath of the Easter Rising.

The National Museum holds many of the last letters written by the men executed in Kilmainham Gaol in May 1916 for their part in the Rising. The collection includes Pádraig Pearse’s letter to his mother, and letters from Con Colbert, Michael Mallin, Eamonn Ceannt and others, written to family and friends. All these letters have […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Easter Rising | The Surrender.

After six days that reduced much of central Dublin to ruin, British forces numbering close to 20,000 troops (many of them Irish) finally force a rebel force of 1,500 men and women to surrender. At 12.45pm, Elizabeth O’Farrell (one of the last three women left in the GPO before it was evacuated), left 15 Moore […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 29 April:

1653 – Birth of shoemaker and astrologer, John Whally, in London. 1665 – Birth of James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde and an ancestor of Princess Diana. The Dublin-born Irish general became one of the most powerful men in the Tory administration, governing England in the early part of the 18th century – from 1710 […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Pádraig Pearse wrote an entry into a Manifesto on this date.

‘I desire now, lest I may not have an opportunity later, to pay homage to the gallantry of the soldiers of Irish Freedom who have during the past four days been writing with fire and steel the most glorious chapter in the later history of Ireland. Justice can never be done to their heroism, to […]

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