#OTD in 1920 – Rineen Ambush | Six RIC men were killed by the IRA in an ambush in Rineen, Co Clare.

One of the most memorable encounters of the War of Independence took place at Dromin Hill, Rineen on this date. The purpose of this act was to get revenge for the murder of Martin Devitt, an Irish soldier who was shot dead in an ambush in February of that year in the locality. A secondary […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Sinn Féin County Councillor John Lynch of Kilmallock, Limerick was assassinated by British agents at the Exchange Hotel, Dublin.

At 1.15 am Captain Geoffrey Thomas Baggallay, a “one-legged” courts-martial officer had phoned Dublin Castle telling of John Lynch’s presence at the Exchange Hotel. A group of 12 soldiers entered the Exchange Hotel, wearing military caps and long black Burberry coats. They held the hotel porter, William Barrett, at gunpoint. After consulting the register they […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Court-martial of Terence MacSwiney, Lord Mayor of Cork for possession of seditious articles and documents.

‘One armed man cannot resist a multitude, nor one army conquer countless legions; but not all the armies of all the empires of earth can crush the spirit of one true man. And that one man will prevail’. –Terence MacSwiney Lord Mayor, Terence MacSwiney is under court-martial over which Colonel James, Staffordshire Regiment, presided, assembled […]

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#OTD in 1894 – Birth of nationalist revolutionary and politician, Dan Breen, in Grange, Donohill, Co Tipperary.

One of the most famous fighters in the fight for Irish freedom, Dan Breen is born in Co Tipperary. He was an iconic IRA figure in both the War of Independence and also the Civil War. Breen was involved in what is accepted as the first action of the War of Independence 1919-1921 when with […]

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#OTD in 1923 – The Civic Guard is renamed the Garda Síochana.

An Garda Síochána (meaning “the Guardian of the Peace”), more commonly referred to as the Gardaí (“Guardians”), is the police force of Ireland. The service is headed by the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána who is appointed by the Irish government. Its headquarters are in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. The force was originally named the Civic […]

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#OTD in 1919 – The first assassination authorised by Michael Collins – Detective Sergeant the Dog Smith was shot by The Squad.

“Our only way to carry on the fight was by organised and bold guerilla warfare. But this in itself was not enough. England could always reinforce her army. To paralyse the British machine it was necessary to strike at individuals outside the ranks of the military. Without her Secret Service working at the top of […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The IRA executes English Army officer Colonel Gerald Bryce Ferguson Smyth in Cork.

The IRA executes English Army officer Colonel Gerald Bryce Ferguson Smyth in Cork. While all British Army personnel were deemed legitimate targets, Smyth’s fate was sealed when he spoke in quite brutal fashion about how Irish citizens were to be treated. At a meeting in Listowel, Co Kerry on 19th June, Smyth reportedly told RIC […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Belfast’s Bloody Sunday.

Bloody Sunday or Belfast’s Bloody Sunday was a day of violence in Belfast on 10 July 1921, during the Irish War of Independence. In retaliation for an IRA ambush of a police raiding party, Protestant loyalists attacked Catholic enclaves, burning homes and businesses. This sparked gun battles between republican and loyalist paramilitaries, and street fighting […]

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#OTD in 1907 – The Irish Crown Jewels were the heavily jewelled star and badge regalia of the Sovereign and Grand Master of the Order of St. Patrick.

The theft from Dublin Castle of the Irish Crown Jewels, the heavily jewelled star and badge regalia of the Sovereign and Grand Master of the Order of St. Patrick, as well as the collars of five knights of the Order is discovered on 6 July 1907. The stolen gems were never found and the crime […]

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#OTD in 1903 – An elephant named Sita kills her keeper tending her sore foot in Dublin Zoo.

Dublin Zoo was opened in 1831, making it the fourth oldest zoo in Europe. The Zoo’s first elephant was a female called Sita, and her keeper was James McNally. In 1903 Sita cut her foot and as James was applying ointment to her wound, she knocked him down with her trunk and stamped on his […]

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