#OTD in 1871 – Birth of poet and playwright, John Millington Synge, in Dublin.

Birth of Irish playwright, poet and author John Millington Synge in Rathfarnham, Co Dublin. Synge was one of the leading lights of what was known as the Irish Literary Revival and along with William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory, founding members of the Abbey Theatre. His most famous work is The Playboy of the Western […]

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#OTD in 1906 – Birth of playwright, Samuel Beckett, in Foxrock, Co Dublin.

“We are all born mad. Some remain so.” –Samuel Beckett An Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. Beckett is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. During the 1930s and 1940s […]

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‘Arlene’s Anthem’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.

‘Arlene’s Anthem’ [To be sung to the air of the Wild Rover] (Seósamh Ó Ceannáinn) © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved. I’ve been DUP leader for quite a few years, My electorate’s ragin’ and holding their ears I told Patrick Kielty on TV one night That a United Ireland would put me to flight And […]

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‘The Land Of Lonely Women’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.

‘The Land Of Lonely Women’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved. The harbour is silent now, ‘Tis only the seagulls that cry. Gone are the ghosts of yesteryear; Banished are the Botany bound manacled, Those that dared to feed their brood, That uprooted the master’s turnip, Gone are they to sore backs and sledgehammer. […]

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#OTD in 1964 – Death of Brendan Behan, an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who wrote in both Irish and English.

He was also a committed Irish Republican and a volunteer in the Irish Republican Army. He died in Meath hospital after reportedly telling a nun looking after him: ‘Ah, bless you, Sister, may all your sons be bishops’. Brendan Behan was born in Dublin into a republican family, and became a member of the IRA’s youth […]

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#OTD in 1861 – Birth of poet and songwriter, Patrick McCall, in Dublin.

Known mostly as the author of lyrics for popular ballads: ‘Follow me up to Carlow’, “The Boys of Wexford”, ‘Boolavogue’ and ‘Kelly the Boy from Killanne’. He was assisted in putting the Wexford ballads, dealing with the 1798 Rising, to music by Arthur Warren Darley using traditional Irish airs. His surname is one of the […]

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‘Mary Lou’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.

‘Mary Lou’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved. (A play on an old song – ‘Hello Mary Lou’) Joe Canning – ‘A Look At Ireland In Verse’ Hello Mary Lou, take them apart Sweet Mary Lou we all depend on you I know Mary Lou, you’re very smart, So come on Mary Lou break […]

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#OTD in 1882 – Birth of writer and poet, Padraic Ó Conaire, in Galway.

Patrick Joseph Conroy (Pádraic Ó Conaire) was born in Galway City in 1882 to middle-class Catholic publicans. Following the untimely deaths of his parents (his father in 1887 and his mother in 1894), he was reared by extended family members in the Connemara Gaeltacht and Co Clare. He attended Rockwell College, County Tipperary, before transferring […]

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‘Ireland Abú’ © Aine Kelly 2018. All Rights Reserved. 

‘Ireland Abú’ © Aine Kelly 2018. All Rights Reserved. The month it is February the year is 2018, I am sitting on the lough shore. It feels like I’m in an endless dream. A lonely curlew glides silently and freely on his way. I feel a calmness so blessed by those shores of old Lough Neagh. […]

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