#OTD in 1889 – Kathleen Behan, née Kearney, ‘Mother of All the Behans’ and folk singer is born in Dublin.

“What I have, I hold.” –Kathleen Behan History has cast Kathleen Behan in supporting roles, reducing her to the “sister of” or “mother of” someone important. But she deserves so much more – Kathleen was a political powerhouse, raconteur, and gifted singer who, in the course of her long and often tragic life, managed to […]

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#OTD in 1884 – Louise Gavan Duffy, teacher and revolutionary, is born in Nice, France.

Best known for her involvement in nationalist politics, the Gaelic revival, and the women’s suffrage movement in Ireland, Louise Gavan Duffy joined Cumann na mBan on its foundation in 1914 and was made joint secretary. Louise Gavan Duffy was writing her MA thesis at her lodgings on Haddington Road when she heard the 1916 Easter […]

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#OTD in 1972 – The Irish Tourist Board pulls off a major coup getting Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali to promote Ireland.

“Impossible is not a fact.” –Muhammad Ali Killorglin-born circus strongman and publican, Michael “Butty” Sugrue, put up £300,000 and persuaded Muhammad Ali to make his first visit to Ireland to fight against Alvin Lewis in Croke Park on 19 July 1972. Ali went to Ireland with an entourage on 11 July 1972 to spend time […]

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The All-Ireland Football match behind barbed wire, Frongoch Internment Camp, June 1916

It is over a century after a unique All-Ireland football final between Kerry and Louth was played among the men interned in the wake of the 1916 Rising in Frongoch in north Wales. Over 1,800 Irishmen were rounded up and detained without trial under the Defence of the Realm Act at the prisoner of war […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 18 April:

1608 – Sir Cahir O’Doherty of Inishowen revolted and sacked Derry. 1689 – Siege of Derry began. In 1688, James II, a Catholic, was deposed by his Protestant daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange, in a bloodless coup known as the Glorious Revolution. James fled to France and in 1689 landed in Ireland, […]

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#OTD in 1984 – Death of Irish revolutionary, Leslie De Barra (wife of General Tom Barry), in Co Cork.

Leslie de Barra (née Price) was an Irish nationalist active during the Easter Rising of 1916, the War of Independence and the Civil War, becoming Director of Cumann na mBan. She went on to be Chairman and President of the Irish Red Cross. Born Leslie Mary Price in Dublin in 1893 to Michael and Mary […]

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#OTD in 2012 – Death of Bernard Noël “Banjo Barney” McKenna.

Barney McKenna was the last surviving founding member of the Irish folk group the Dubliners. With Luke Kelly’s powerful voice and force of nature on stage, Ronnie Drew’s gravelly memorable vocal sound, it was McKenna’s playing of the tenor banjo, coupled with John Sheahan’s fiddle, that gave the Dubliners their original instrumental quality. In the […]

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#OTD in 1944 – Birth of entertainer and folk musician, Jim McCann.

As a young man, McCann attended University College Dublin as a student of medicine, but became interested in folk music during a summer holiday in Birmingham in 1964. He began to perform in folk clubs in the area, and, upon his return to Dublin, he joined a group called the Ludlow Trio in 1965. In […]

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#OTD in 1914 – Fethard Lifeboat Disaster | the tragedy saw nine crewmen of the Fethard on Sea Helen Blake Lifeboat lose their lives while trying to rescue the crew of the Mexico.

The tragedy saw nine crewmen of the Fethard ‘Helen Blake’ Lifeboat lose their lives while trying to rescue the crew of the Mexico that had gone aground at the treacherous islands. One of the Mexico crew – a Portuguese sailor – died of exposure on the Keeragh Islands on 21 February 1914, as relatives of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 1 January (Eanáir):

The Dublin Julian Day (DJD) is the number of days that has elapsed since the epoch of the solar and lunar ephemerides used from 1900 through 1983, Newcomb’s Tables of the Sun and Ernest W. Brown’s Tables of the Motion of the Moon (1919). This epoch was noon UT on 0 January 1900, which is […]

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