#OTD in 1868 – James Connolly is born to Irish parents in Edinburgh.

1916 rebel leader and ardent socialist James Connolly is born to poverty-stricken Irish parents in Edinburgh, Scotland. At age 14, he joined the British Army (Royal Scots Regiment) falsifying his age. He was posted to Ireland, serving much of his time in the Cork area. Despite the fact he left school at age 11, Connolly […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The first ‘Black and Tans’ (auxiliary policemen) officially arrived in Ireland.

Although they would be operational for less than two years, the ‘Black and Tans’ would become one of the most reviled names in Irish history. The English recruits to the RIC were mainly the unemployed veterans of World War I. Their principal motivation: employment for ten shillings a day. When the first recruits arrived in […]

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#OTD in 1902 – Birth of medical student and nationalist revolutionary, Kevin Barry, in Dublin.

Kevin Barry was 18 years old when he was hanged in Mountjoy Jail on 1 November 1920. His death at such a young age is possibly the most poignant in Irish history. He is one of a group of IRA members executed in 1920-21 collectively known as ‘The Forgotten Ten’. Barry’s execution outraged nationalist public […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Eithne Coyle, May Burke, Linda Kearns and Aileen Keogh, escape from Mountjoy Prison.

Eithne Ní Chumhaill (Coyle O’Donnell), from Killult, near Falcarragh, Co Donegal, became a member of Cumann na mBan in 1918. As head of the Co Donegal branch of Cumann na mBan Coyle played a leading role in mobilising her members to canvass on behalf of Sinn Féin for the 1918 general election. Between 1918 and […]

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#OTD in 1868 – James Connolly is born to Irish parents in Edinburgh.

1916 rebel leader and ardent socialist James Connolly is born to poverty-stricken Irish parents in Edinburgh, Scotland. At age 14, he joined the British Army (Royal Scots Regiment) falsifying his age. He was posted to Ireland, serving much of his time in the Cork area. Despite the fact he left school at age 11, Connolly […]

Read More

#OTD in 1920 – The first ‘Black and Tans’ (auxiliary policemen) officially arrived in Ireland.

Although they would be operational for less than two years, the ‘Black and Tans’ would become one of the most reviled names in Irish history. The English recruits to the RIC were mainly the unemployed veterans of World War I. Their principal motivation: employment for ten shillings a day. When the first recruits arrived in […]

Read More

#OTD in 1947 – Death of trade union leader and socialist activist, James Larkin.

Union Leader, James Larkin dies quietly (unlike his life) in Dublin. In a beautiful tribute, Playwright Sean O’Casey said of Big Jim, ‘He fought for the loaf of bread as no man before him had ever fought; but with the loaf of bread, he also brought the flask of wine and the book of verse.’ […]

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#OTD in 1902 – Birth of medical student and nationalist revolutionary, Kevin Barry, in Dublin.

Kevin Barry was 18 years old when he was hanged in Mountjoy Jail on 1 November 1920. His death at such a young age is possibly the most poignant in Irish history. He is one of a group of IRA members executed in 1920-21 collectively known as ‘The Forgotten Ten’. Barry’s execution outraged nationalist public […]

Read More

#OTD in 1920 – Shooting of Prisoners Escaping During the War of Independence.

By late 1920, the rules of war had broken down on both sides as the increasingly vicious Irish War of Independence gained momentum. Both sides were guilty of atrocities some of which did provoke public comments. Hansard reports the following exchange in the English House of Commons about the shooting of ‘escaping’ Irish prisoners: Lieut.-Commander […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Eithne Coyle, May Burke, Linda Kearns and Aileen Keogh, escape from Mountjoy Prison.

Eithne Ní Chumhaill (Coyle O’Donnell), from Killult, near Falcarragh, Co Donegal, became a member of Cumann na mBan in 1918. As head of the Co Donegal branch of Cumann na mBan Coyle played a leading role in mobilising her members to canvass on behalf of Sinn Féin for the 1918 general election. Between 1918 and […]

Read More