#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 1983 – First episode of Glenroe airs on RTÉ.

Glenroe was one of RTÉ’s most popular productions featuring a wonderful cast of character based in rural Ireland. The show would run for eighteen years. The show introduced audiences to characters such as Miley, Biddy and Dinny, who would become household names throughout Ireland. In the first ever episode of the rural drama, we meet […]

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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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#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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