#OTD in 2014 – Death of loyalist politician and Protestant religious leader, Ian Paisley.

The career of the Rev Ian Paisley, who has died aged 88, arced from origins as fiery preacher and street agitator, through decades when his harassment helped undermine mainstream unionist leaders who attempted compromise with nationalists. But aged 81 he won praise inside and outside Ireland and made global headlines for sharing the top post […]

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#OTD in 1907 – A memorial arch is dedicated at St Stephens Green Dublin in honour of the Irish soldiers who died fighting for “King and country” in the Boer war.

Five years on from the war, the Fusiliers’ Arch was unveiled in the heart of Dublin, as a testament to the actions of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in South Africa. While the war ended in a British victory, it was a bloody and costly one. In financial terms, a war that would supposedly be over […]

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#OTD in 1929 – Death of historian and nationalist, Alice Stopford Green, in Dublin.

Born Alice Sophia Amelia Stopford in Kells, Co Meath, she lived in London where she met the historian John Richard Green. They were married in Chester on 14 June 1877. He died in 1883. John Morley published her first historical work Henry II in 1888. In the 1890s she became interested in Irish history and […]

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#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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