#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 1884 – Birth of Muriel Gifford in Rathmines, Co Dublin.

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. That three of the sisters, Nellie, Muriel and Grace, could be involved in the Easter Rising, and that two of […]

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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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#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:

908 – Cormac mac Cuilennáin, King of Mhumhain (Munster) and Bishop, died in battle with the forces of Laighin (Leinster) when his neck was broken after he had fallen from his horse. He was regarded as a saintly figure after his death, and his shrine at Castledermot, Co Kildare, was said to be the site […]

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