#OTD in 1998 – Bridget Dirrane, who was imprisoned with Kevin Barry and who canvassed for John F. Kennedy in the United States, celebrated her 104th birthday with news that she was to be featured in the new edition of the Guinness Book of Records.

Bridget Dirrane was the oldest native of Ireland’s Aran Islands and the second oldest person in Ireland. Éamon de Valera was the Irish political leader she most admired, but in a life touching three centuries, she met Pádraig Pearse, went on hunger strike in Mountjoy gaol, campaigned for John F Kennedy in Boston, and was […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Death of Bridget ‘Brede’ Connolly who played a pivotal role in the 1916 Rising by dispatching messages for James Connolly in the GPO.

Born in Friarstown near Killerig, Co Carlow in 1890, her parents were Peter Connolly and Elizabeth Gaynor, the daughter of a nearby farmer in Grange. By 1911, the Connollys were living in Artane, Dublin and, according to local tradition, they may have been evicted from their home and farm in Friarstown. While no trace of […]

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#OTD in 1881 – Birth of William Pearse, brother of Pádraig, in Dublin.

Pádraig’s younger brother was also educated at Westland Row and was a promising sculptor. He founded the Leinster Stage Society and acted in the Abbey Theatre. William shared his brother’s dream for an independent Ireland and assisted him at St Enda’s. The two brothers fought alongside each other in the GPO. Although not a ringleader, […]

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#OTD in 1968 – Death of Irish language educator, Margaret Mary Pearse, in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

Margaret Mary Pearse was a Fianna Fáil politician and teacher. She helped to found St Enda’s School with her brothers Patrick and Willie. Following the executions of her brothers in the aftermath of the Easter Rising, Margaret continued to run St Enda’s until 1933. She was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil […]

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#OTD in 1928 – The last active Fenian, John Devoy, dies in Atlantic City, NJ.

Fenian, John Devoy, whom the London Times called ‘the most dangerous enemy of this country Ireland has produced since Wolfe Tone’. John Devoy was born in Kill, Co Kildare, on the 3 September 1842. He worked for a short time as a clerk before joining the Fenian organisation. In 1861 Devoy travelled to France where […]

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#OTD in 1903 – Pádraig Pearse arrives in Ros Muc, Co Galway and takes up residence at his cottage in Inbhear.

Pádraig Pearse’s former holiday home in Ros Muc, Co Galway, was restored by Ó Conghaile and then again by Criostóir Mac Aonghusa, by 1943 Pearse’s sisters Senator Margaret Pearse and Mary Brigid Pearse handed the cottage to the State. A new visitor centre, Teach an Phiarsaigh, next to Pearse’s Cottage provides an introduction to the […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 13 September:

1494 – Edward Poynings, best known for his introduction of “Poynings Law,” which prevented the Irish Parliament from meeting without royal permission and approval of its agenda, is appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland. 1803 – Death of John Barry, a native of Ballystampson, Co Wexford, Commodore in the US Navy and renowned as the Father […]

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#OTD in 1831 – Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa is born in Rosscarbery, Co Cork.

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa was born in a small village called Reenascreena near Rosscarbery, Co Cork. He was the son of a tenant farmer, Denis O’Donovan and his wife Nellie O’Driscoll. While a young boy, the failure of the main food crop of the Irish population which was the potato, in successive years between 1845 and […]

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#OTD in 1908 – Poet, educator and eventual Easter Rising leader, Pádraig Pearse, opens St. Enda’s school for boys (Scoil Eanna).

“I dwell on the importance of the personal element in education. I would have every child not merely a unit in a school attendance, but in some intimate personal way the pupil of a teacher, or to use more expressive words, the disciple of a master … the main objective in education is to help […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 8 September:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of St. Disbode, a 7th century Irish missionary. According to German legend, the Irish saint founded the German wine industry when wine started pouring from his pilgrim’s staff. 1783 – A second convention of Dungannon – a gathering of Volunteers from Ulster – is held and […]

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