#OTD in 597 – Death of St. Colomcille (meaning “Dove of the Church”), also known as St Columba.

St Colomcille was a missionary monk who, some of his advocates claim, introduced Christianity to the Picts during the Early Medieval Period. He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. St Colomcille was born on 7 December ca. 521 A.D. to Fedhlimidh and Eithne of the Ui Neill clan in Gartan near Lough Gartan, […]

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#OTD in 1868 – James Connolly is born to Irish parents in Edinburgh.

1916 rebel leader and ardent socialist James Connolly is born to poverty-stricken Irish parents in Edinburgh, Scotland. At age 14, he joined the British Army (Royal Scots Regiment) falsifying his age. He was posted to Ireland, serving much of his time in the Cork area. Despite the fact he left school at age 11, Connolly […]

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#OTD in 1892 – Birth of revolutionary and feminist, Margaret Skinnider, in Coatbridge, Scotland. She fought during the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin.

‘Scotland is my home, but Ireland my country.’ –Margaret Skinnider Margaret Skinnider was born to immigrant parents 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 joined the […]

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The Viking Age in Ireland

As Scandinavia was becoming increasingly over-populated the Vikings found a need to discover new land and create settlements, Ireland being one of them. They had also settled in Scotland and, like Ireland, started to settle with the local population. In Scotland these people became known as The Gallowglasses and would later arrive in Ireland as […]

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#OTD in 1868 – Michael Barrett from Kesh, Co Fermanagh is executed for his part in the explosion at Clerkenwell Gaol.

The last man to be publicly hanged in England, Irishman Michael Barrett was executed for his part in the 1867 bombing of Clerkenwell Prison, an attack carried out by The Fenians as they tried to help a prisoner escape. The bombing — which killed 12 bystanders, seriously injured dozens more and destroyed a row of […]

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#OTD in 1945 – In a radio broadcast, Churchill accuses De Valera’s government of frolicking with the Germans and Japanese.

In his Victory in Europe speech, Winston Churchill slams Éamon de Valera and his war-time policy. (To add fuel to an already bitter relationship, de Valera had not distinguished himself or Ireland’s reputation when he offered condolences to Germany on the death of Hitler.) “(By the dawn of 1941), The sense of envelopment, which might […]

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Queen Scotia

Scota appears in the Irish chronicle Book of Leinster (containing a redaction of the Lebor Gabála Érenn). According to Irish Folklore and Mythology, the battle of Sliabh Mish was fought in this glen above the town of Tralee, where the Celtic Milesians defeated the Tuatha Dé Danann but Scotia, the Queen of the Milesians died […]

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#OTD in 1856 – Birth of Sir John Lavery, an Irish painter best known for his portraits, in Belfast.

John Lavery was born in Belfast, the son of a wine and spirit merchant, but was orphaned at the age of three and for a number of unsettled years wandered between Moira, Magheralin, Saltcoats, Ayrshire and Glasgow. Finally he started working by touching up photographic negatives in Glasgow and attended evening classes at the Haldane […]

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#OTD in 1689 – The Williamite War in Ireland begins.

The Williamite War in Ireland was between the newly recently crowned King William III of the House of Orange and King James II of the House of Stuart, whom he had recently replaced on the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland. To the Irish the Williamite War was known as An Cogadh na dá Righ […]

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#OTD in 1893 – Peadar O’Donnell, novelist, editor of the newspaper An Phoblacht (The Republic) and social reformer, is born in Co Donegal.

A school teacher by profession, he taught on Arranmore Island before leaving for Scotland to assist migrant labourers in their strike for improved pay and conditions. Returning to Ireland, he became involved in the Republican Movement and played an active part in the War of Independence. O’Donnell opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty and in January 1922 […]

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