#OTD in 1915 – Nationalist Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa is buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

“WHATEVER HIS CRIME, THERE WAS A GREATER CRIMINAL THAN HE – THE ENGLISH GOVERNMENT WHO MADE HIM WHAT HE WAS.” On his deathbed at age 83, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa sent for his old friends, John Devoy and Richard O’Sullivan Burke. He died a tired old warrior on 29 June 1915 in St Vincent’s Hospital on […]

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#OTD in 1914 – Irish Volunteers during the Howth Gun Running.

The plan was first conceived in April 1914, in response to the Curragh incident on 20 March. Many Irish believed that the British army could not be relied on to enforce Home Rule when it was enacted, and many Irish Volunteers also felt that availability of arms would aid recruitment. At a lunch attended by […]

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#OTD in 1803 – Irish Rebellion of 1803: Following an explosion at his arms depot on this date, Robert Emmet brings forward his planned rebellion in Dublin to 23 July.

The glorious failure of the 1798 rebellion had a profound impact on the young Robert Emmet. He romanticised the nationalist ideals held by the organisers, as demonstrated by an ode he wrote to them: “And those who were laid at rest Oh! Hallowed be each name; Their memories are forever blest – Consigned to endless […]

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#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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