#OTD in 1848 – John Mitchel publishes first United Irishmen.

John Mitchel was one of the great propagandists of his day, although the causes he espoused often placed him on the wrong side, he was loved and loathed in equal measure. He was one of the few Irishmen to have incurred the wrath of the British government and of the Federal administration of the USA. […]

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#OTD in 1960 – The Gael-Linn film ‘Mise Éire – I am Ireland’, based on the poem by Pádraig Pearse, with music by Seán Ó Riada, has its first public showing.

George Morrison’s film Mise Éire (‘I am Ireland’) – based on the poem by Pádraig Pearse – has held an iconic status in Irish cultural history since its release in 1960. Seán Ó Riada’s orchestral score drew heavily from Irish traditional sources and has regularly been available ever since its first release in 1960. Mise […]

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#OTD in 1878 – Thomas MacDonagh, patriot, poet, critic and scholar, is born in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary.

‘Lament for Thomas MacDonagh’ (Francis Ledwidge) ‘He shall not hear the bittern cry In the wild sky where he is lain, Nor voices of the sweeter birds Above the wailing of the rain… But when the Dark Cow leaves the moor And pastures poor with greedy weeds, Perhaps he’ll hear her low at morn, Lifting […]

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#OTD in 1877 – Birth of the leader of the alcohol free 1916 Rising, Canon Patrick Murphy, in Whitehill, Kilmore, Co Wexford.

Canon Patrick Murphy was born in Whitehill, Kilmore, Co Wexford. Murphy is a little known figure in Irish history, but he provided a truly fascinating oral account of the 1916 Rising in Enniscorthy in an interview in 1955. ‘Commandant Galligan arrived from Dublin with instructions from James Connolly that the Enniscorthy Battalion of the Irish […]

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#OTD in 1997 – Death of Lily Kempson, aged 99, the last surviving participant in the Easter Rising.

Born in Co Wicklow, Lily Kempson, trade union activist, lecturer, leader, as well as a rebel in the Irish Citizen Army, was the last surviving member of the Easter Rising of 1916. Lily and her family moved to Dublin when she was young. She lived in poverty: eight members of her family lived in two […]

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#OTD in 1916 – James Connolly vanished for a three-day meeting with the IRB military council where they agreed upon joint plans for an insurrection on Easter Sunday.

A secret meeting between Pádraig Pearse and James Connolly held over three days from 19 January 1916, where the outcome is that Connolly commits the Irish Citizen Army to join with the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and the date for the Rising is agreed. In early January 1916, and in high anxiety that Dublin Castle would […]

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#OTD in 1897 – Birth of trade union activist, lecturer, leader, Lily Kempson, the last surviving participant in the Easter Rising, in Co Wicklow.

Born in Co Wicklow, Lily Kempson, trade union activist, lecturer, leader, as well as a rebel in the Irish Citizen Army, was the last surviving member of the Easter Rising of 1916.   Lily and her family moved to Dublin when she was young. She lived in poverty: eight members of her family lived in […]

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#OTD in 1836 – Birth of physician, professor and writer, George Sigerson, near Strabane, Co Tyrone.

George Sigerson was a physician, scientist, writer, politician and poet. He was a leading light in the Irish Literary Revival of the late 19th century in Ireland.   Sigerson was born at Holyhill just outside Strabane, Co Tyrone, the son of William and Nancy (née Neilson) Sigerson. He had three brothers James, John and William, […]

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#OTD in 2007 – Irish Becomes The 23rd Official Language Of the EU.

The Irish language has been given official status in Europe, taking its place as the 23rd language of the European Union. The move received curiously little attention in the Republic of Ireland, given that the language has at times been regarded as a semi-mystical part of the national identity. This may, however, have been due […]

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#OTD in 2003 – Death of Bridget Dirrane who died at the age of 109. She was Ireland’s second oldest person.

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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