#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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‘The Silver Tassie’ by Sean O’Casey

The Silver Tassie is a four-act Expressionist play about the First World War, written between 1927 and 1928 by playwright, Seán O’Casey. It was O’Casey’s fourth play and attacks imperialist wars and the suffering that they cause. O’Casey described the play as “A generous handful of stones, aimed indiscriminately, with the aim of breaking a […]

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#OTD in 1964 – Death of dramatist and memoirist, Sean O’Casey, in England. A committed socialist, he was the first Irish playwright of note to write about the Dublin working classes.

Born John Casey, in Dublin, O’Casey had a strong interest in the Irish nationalist cause. He joined the Gaelic League in 1906 and learned the Irish language. At this time, he Gaelicised his name from John Casey to Seán Ó Cathasaigh. He also learned to play the Uilleann pipes and was a founder and secretary […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 18 September:

1830 – Sir Frederick Matthew Darley is born in Co Wicklow to an eminent Irish legal family. He was called to the Bar at the King’s Inn in 1853. Although he had a relatively successful career, he opted to emigrate to Australia in 1862 where he would go on to become the sixth Chief Justice […]

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#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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