#OTD in 1848 – The tricolour national flag of Ireland was presented to the public for the first time by Thomas Francis Meagher and the Young Ireland Party, in Dublin.

In 1848, Thomas Meagher and William Smith O’Brien went to France to study revolutionary events, and returned to Ireland with the new Flag of Ireland, a tricolour of green, white and orange made and given to them by French women sympathetic to the Irish cause. The acquisition of the flag is commemorated at the 1848 […]

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#OTD in 1778 – Robert Emmet, one of Ireland’s most famous revolutionaries, is born in Dublin.

O! BREATHE not his name! let it sleep in the shade, Where cold and unhonoured his relics are laid; Sad, silent, and dark be the tears that we shed, As the night dew that falls on the grave o’er his head. But the night dew that falls, though in silence it weeps, Shall brighten with […]

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#OTD in 1978 – La Mon Restaurant Bombing: Twelve people, all Protestant civilians, were killed and 23 seriously injured when an incendiary bomb exploded at the restaurant of the La Mon House Hotel, Gransha, near Belfast.

The La Mon restaurant bombing was an incendiary bomb attack by the IRA on 17 February 1978 that is widely considered to have been one of the worst atrocities of the Troubles. It took place at the La Mon House hotel and restaurant near Belfast. The IRA left a large incendiary bomb, containing a napalm-like […]

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#OTD in 1896 – Birth of stage and film actor, Arthur Shields (younger brother of Barry Fitzgerald), in Portobello, Co Dublin.

While Sean Connolly claimed the unfortunate title of being the first rebel fatality, others were luckier and escaped from Easter Week, 1916 with their lives. For Arthur Shields, his role in the Rising was to become merely an interesting titbit in what was a fascinating career as an actor at home and in the US. […]

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#OTD in 1764 – United Irishman, William Sampson is born the son of a Presbyterian clergyman in Derry.

William Sampson was one of many non-Catholics who were disturbed by the level of discrimination and violence against members of the Catholic faith. Anticipating an insurrection in March 1798, as a lawyer, Sampson defended United Irishmen for anti-British actions and was imprisoned, disbarred, and banished from Ireland without trial for his courtroom and literary activities. After eight […]

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#OTD in 1883 – The Harbour Grace Affray between Irish Catholics and Protestant Orangemen causes five deaths in Newfoundland.

Tensions between Irish Catholics and Orangemen were not confined to the streets of Belfast. In Newfoundland, a riot breaks out during an Orange parade in which five people are killed. A group of up to 400 hundred marching men of the Loyal Orange Association were confronted by an estimated 150 Catholics who believed the post-Christmas […]

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#OTD in 1887 – Birth of trade unionist and revolutionary, Winifred Carney, in Bangor, Co Down.

Close to the entrance of Milltown Cemetery is a limestone monument which marks the grave of a remarkable woman – Maria Winifred Carney. Winnie was born in Bangor, Co Down, but moved to the Falls Road in Belfast at an early age. She was born into a fairly comfortable family, and was one of seven […]

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#OTD in 1946 – Birth of film and stage actor, Stephen Rea (born Graham Rea) in Belfast.

Stephen Rea has appeared in films such as V for Vendetta, The Butcher Boy, This Is My Father, Evelyn, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto. Rea was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead performance as Fergus in the 1992 film The Crying Game. He has had important roles in […]

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#OTD in 1641 – Rory O’More, Lord Maguire and Sir Pheilim O’Neill initiate a major revolt in Armagh.

The Irish Uprising of 1641 was a long-term result of the “plantation” policy of Tudor and Stuart monarchs under which Ireland was aggressively colonised by Protestant settlers from England and Scotland. From the mid-16th century, Irish landowners were dispossessed to make way for the settlers and a vicious cycle developed whereby rebellion against the English […]

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#OTD in 1968 – Civil Rights March in Derry, considered by many as the start date of ‘The Troubles’.

The protest movements that broke out across the western world in 1968 had captured the imagination of many people in the north of Ireland, leading to the creation of a local civil rights movement that began a series of marches and protests calling for greater equality for the Catholic/nationalist minority. The civil rights movement formed […]

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