#OTD in Irish History – 13 November:

In the Liturgical calendar, it is the Feast day of St. Kilian of Aubigny. In the 7th century, he became the only Irish person in the entire history of the Church to be offered the Papacy; he declined the honour. 867 – Death of Pope Nicholas I. 1643 – Charles I appoints James Butler, 1st […]

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#OTD in 1971 – RTÉ bans several patriotic ballads including Dublin In The Green and The Patriot Game.

‘Merry Ploughboy’ / ’Off to Dublin in the Green’ (Dominic Behan) Performed by The Dubliners Oh, I am a merry ploughboy and I plough the fields all day Till a sudden thought came to my head, that I should roam away For I’m sick and tired of slavery since the day that I was born […]

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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 Irish History – 10 October:

World Mental Health Day World Homeless Day 1084 – Patrick, Bishop of Dublin, dies in a shipwreck. 1580 – Over 600 papal troops land at Dún an Óir, Co Kerry, to support a rebellion. After a three-day siege, the English Army behead over 600 Irish and Papal soldiers and civilians. 1711 – The Linen Board […]

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#OTD in 1965 – Birth of comedian and actor, Ardal O’Hanlon, in Co Monaghan.

Ardal O’Hanlon was born in 1965 in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, the son of Rory O’Hanlon, a politician and doctor, and has five siblings. RTÉ’s Who do you think you are? programme on Monday 6 October 2008 examined Ardal’s family tree. He discovered that his paternal grandfather, Michael O’Hanlon, a UCD medicine student, had joined the […]

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#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 1972 – Muhammad Ali fights Al “Blue” Lewis in Dublin and defeats him via a TKO (technical knockout) in round 11.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” –Muhammad Ali Twenty-four hours after arriving in Dublin, Muhammad Ali rang his publicist Harold Conrad. “Hey, Hal?” said Ali, “where are all the black people in this country?” “Ali,” replied Conrad, “there aren’t any.” On 19 July 1972, it took Muhammad Ali 11 rounds to defeat Al […]

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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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