#OTD in 1871 – Birth of poet and playwright, John Millington Synge, in Dublin.

Birth of Irish playwright, poet and author John Millington Synge in Rathfarnham, Co Dublin. Synge was one of the leading lights of what was known as the Irish Literary Revival and along with William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory, founding members of the Abbey Theatre. His most famous work is The Playboy of the Western […]

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#OTD in 1923 – The Shadow Of A Gunman by Sean O’Casey premiered at the Abbey Theatre.

The Shadow of a Gunman, drama in two acts by Sean O’Casey, performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 1923 and published in 1925. Originally titled ‘On the Run,’ it was the fifth play O’Casey wrote but the first to be produced. The comic-tragic play is set in the tenement slums of Dublin in […]

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#OTD in 1880 – Birth of playwright, Sean O’Casey, in Dublin.

“It’s my rule never to lose me temper till it would be detrimental to keep it.” –Sean O’Casey Birth of playwright, Seán O’Casey, born John Casey or John Cassidy. A 1965 film titled Young Cassidy, starring Rod Taylor is a Biographical drama based on the early years of his life depicting his early life of […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 30 March:

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Saint Tola, a seventh-century Irish Roman Catholic saint also referred to as ‘a good soldier of Christ’. Tola, the reputed son of Donchad is also referred to as Thola or Tolanus. He died between 733 and 737. 1493 – Kildare, who has been suspected of […]

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#OTD in 1888 – Birth of actor, William Joseph Shields, aka Barry Fitzgerald, in Dublin.

Barry Fitzgerald was an Irish stage, film and television actor. He won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for Going My Way (1944). He was born William Joseph Shields in Walworth Road, Portobello, Dublin. He was the older brother of actor Arthur Shields. He went to Skerry’s College, Dublin, before going on to work in […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 28 February:

1713 – Henry Pyne, MP for Dungarvan, aged about 24 and the father of three children, is killed in a duel with Theophilus Biddulph at Chelsea Fields, London; Biddulph will later be convicted of manslaughter. 1790 – The Northern Whig Club is founded in Belfast. 1799 – William Dargan, railway engineer and philanthropist, is born […]

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#OTD in 1926 – Rioting greets the Abbey Theatre performance of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars because of what is viewed as anti-Irish sentiment.

When Seán O’Casey took his seat for the fourth night of his new drama The Plough and the Stars he dryly noted that two plays were actually taking place: ‘One on the stage and one in the auditorium.’ The Plough and the Stars was first performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1926, less than ten […]

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#OTD in 1947 – Death of trade union leader and socialist activist, James Larkin.

Union Leader, James Larkin dies quietly (unlike his life) in Dublin. In a beautiful tribute, Playwright Sean O’Casey said of Big Jim, ‘He fought for the loaf of bread as no man before him had ever fought; but with the loaf of bread, he also brought the flask of wine and the book of verse.’ […]

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#OTD in 1961 – Death of stage, film and television actor, Barry Fitzgerald.

Barry Fitzgerald was born William Joseph Shields in Walworth Road, Portobello, Dublin. He was the older brother of actor, Arthur Shields. As a child he played with the younger siblings of James Joyce who he called ‘a young man with a beard and very clever.’ He went to Skerry’s College, Dublin, before going on to […]

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#OTD in 1917 – Thomas Ashe dies in the Mater Hospital in Dublin from the combined effects of a hunger strike and forced feeding at Mountjoy Jail.

“You cannot put a rope around the neck of an idea… you cannot confine it in the strongest prison cell that your slaves could ever build.” –Sean O’Casey Ashe was born in Lispole, a Gaeltacht village in Co Kerry in 1885 and at an early age became involved in nationalist politics. He joined the Irish […]

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