#OTD in 1918 – Over five hundred die in the Irish Sea following the sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster by U-boat 123.

The Leinster was operating as a passenger ship and mail boat, although most of those who died were soldiers returning from leave, many of them Irishmen who fought in the British Army in World War I. First World War 1914-1918. On one side were Germany, Austro-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria. On the other side were the […]

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#OTD in 1971 – Death of Revolutionary, Margaret Skinnider, in Glenageary, Co Dublin.

“Scotland is my home, but Ireland my country.” –Margaret Skinnider Margaret Skinnider’s mother was Scottish and her father was originally from Co Monaghan. She became a mathematics teacher in Scotland and was active in the women’s suffrage movement. She also joined the Glasgow branches of the Irish Volunteers and Cumann na mBan in 1914; she also […]

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#OTD in 1942 – Twenty miles off the coast of Donegal, the luxury Cunard liner Queen Mary – converted into a troop carrier for the war smashes into her escort ship, the British cruiser Curaçao.

The Curaçao which had connected with the Queen Mary to escort her for the final two hundred miles to the port of Greenock, Scotland sinks with the loss of 338 men. As were his orders, Captain Cyril of the Queen Mary which was carrying an estimated 15,000 US troops does not stop to mount a […]

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The Banshee

As we move into the darkest months of the year, it seems fitting to visit a spectre as ancient as life itself – the Banshee. A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology who heralds the death of a family member, usually by shrieking or keening. Her name is connected to the mythologically-important tumuli […]

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Pobull Fhinn | Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Pobull Fhinn is a stone circle on the Isle of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. The modern standard spelling would be “Poball Fhinn” – Fionn’s people. The stones were probably named after the legendary hero Fionn mac Cumhaill. The stones are also known as “Sòrnach Coir’ Fhinn,” or “the fireplace of Fionn’s cauldron” and […]

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#OTD in 1316 – Battle of Athenry | Irish rising in support of Edward the Bruce of Scotland.

Many of the men of Erin all, around the great plain— Many sons of kings, whom I name not, were slain in the great defeat: Sorrowful to my heart is the conflict of the host of Midhe and Mumha. On the day of St Laurence the martyr these deeds were committed; and Fedlim was twenty-three […]

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#OTD in 1608 – Preparations commence for the plantation of six Ulster counties (Armagh, Cavan, Coleraine, Donegal, Fermanagh and Tyrone).

The Plantation of Ulster was presented to James I as a joint “British”, or English and Scottish, venture to ‘pacify’ and ‘civilise’ Ulster, with at least half the settlers to be Scots. James had been King of Scots before he also became King of England and needed to reward his subjects in Scotland with land […]

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Brehon Laws and the Establishment of Copyrights

Copyright law actually began with the Brehon Laws of Ancient Ireland over 1000 years before it appeared in English legislation. It started and ended in a bitter and brutal dispute over royalties. The dispute arose in 563 AD between two of the top contributors in the monastic schools of Ireland: Saint Colmcille and Saint Finian, […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Death of activist, writer and member of the Senate, Nora Connolly O’Brien, in Dublin.

Nora Connolly was born in Edinburgh in 1893. She was the second daughter of James Connolly, and the family moved to Dublin having lived for a time in the United States and Belfast. Her father was an organiser for the Dublin Socialist club and the family lived in poverty for much of her childhood. For […]

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