#OTD in Irish History – 16 February:

1768 – The Octennial Act limits Irish parliaments’ life to eight years. 1822 – Birth of engineer, James Thomson, in Belfast. 1841 – The Maplin Sands lighthouse was first lit, constructed and built by blind Irish engineer, Alexander Mitchell, from Dublin, which began in 1838 at the mouth of the Thames. A screw-pile lighthouse is a lighthouse […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 15 February:

1782 – The first Dungannon Convention of the Ulster Volunteers calls for an independent Irish parliament; Grattan continues to campaign for the same objective. 1793 – A third convention of Dungannon – a gathering of Volunteers from Ulster is held. 1794 – The United Irishmen published a plan for parliamentary reform, advocating universal male suffrage, […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 14 February:

St Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, is a holiday observed on 14 February. Many churches claim to be Valentine’s final resting place, including the Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street in Dublin. According to the story told there, the St’s remains were given to Fr John Sprat by Pope Gregory XVI and a shrine still […]

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#OTD in 1898 – Birth of revolutionary and politician, Frank Aiken, in Co Armagh.

‘Neutrality is not like a simple mathematical formula which has only to be announced and demonstrated in order to be believed and respected. It has in fact always been one of the difficult problems …. Instead of earning the respect and goodwill of both belligerents it is regarded by both with hatred and contempt.’ –Frank […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 8 February:

1601 – Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, rebels against Queen Elizabeth I – the revolt is quickly crushed. Politically ambitious, and a committed general, he was placed under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland during the Nine Years’ War in 1599. In 1601 he led an abortive coup d’état against the government […]

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#OTD in 1918 – The Representation of the People Act (or Fourth Reform Act) is passed giving the right to vote to women aged over 30, who meet property qualifications, in Great Britain and Ireland.

The Irish Women’s Franchise League (IWFL) had been established in 1908. Its founders were married couple Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Francis Sheehy Skeffington: she was a gifted academic from a Fenian family; he was a pacifist and feminist who adopted his wife’s name on their marriage, an unheard-of gesture at the time. The fight for […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Cumann na mBan votes overwhelmingly to reject the Treaty.

On 7 January 1922 the Anglo-Irish Treaty was approved by the Second Dáil by a close vote of 64–57. On 5 February a convention was held to discuss this, and 419 Cumann na mBan members voted against as opposed to 63 in favour. In the ensuing Civil War, its members largely supported the anti-Treaty Republican […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 4 February:

1807 – Irish sailor, Patrick Watkins, was marooned on Floreana, an island of the Galápagos Islands, arriving on this date in 1807 to 1809. He was the first resident of the Galapagos. According to later accounts, Watkins managed to survive by hunting, growing vegetables, and trading with visiting whalers, before finally stealing an open boat and […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Tomás Mac Curtain is elected Sinn Féin Mayor of Cork city.

After Sinn Féin’s sweeping victory in the November 1918 general election and the setting up of the First Dáil in 1919 it was clear that the British government and the Republicans were on a collision course. The War of Independence began with the Soloheadbeg ambush on the same day that the First Dáil met. Tomás […]

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