#OTD in Irish History – 3 December:

1366 – With the sliotar topping 93mph (150km/h) from a good strike, hurling is the fastest game on grass. It was first played here at least 3,000 years ago, and first crops up in print in statutes banning its mayhem on this date. Ancient chroniclers report violent days-long matches between whole towns, but these might […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 17 October:

1171 – Henry II, fearful that Strongbow will grow too powerful in Ireland, lands at Waterford with an army. The Normans, Norse and Irish all submit to him, except for the most remote Irish kings. 1738 – In a duel at Mullingar, Arthur Rochfort, MP for Co Westmeath, shoots Dillon Pollard Hampson in the stomach. […]

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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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Brehon Laws: Children and the status Women in early Ireland

Prior to the Anglo-Norman invasions Ireland was home to between 80-140 independent petty kingdoms called túatha. A person’s idea of nationhood was local to their home túath and kin-group (fine). Each túath had its king elected from among its noble grades, each had their own customs and traditions, styles of dress, particular songs and legends […]

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Knight of Glin and Glin Castle

The Knight of Glin (dormant 14 September 2011), also known as the Black Knight or Knight of the Valley, was a hereditary title in the FitzGerald families of Co Limerick since the early 14th century. The family was a branch of the FitzGerald dynasty, or Geraldines, related to the Earls of Desmond (extinct), who were […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 29 July:

1693 – Patrick Sarsfield is mortally wounded at the Battle of Landen. He dies of his wounds three days later at Huy in Belgium, where he is buried in the grounds of St. Martin’s Church. 1752 – Death of Co Meath born, naval officer Sir Peter Warren (b. 10 March 1703). Warren signed on as […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 11 July:

National Day of Commemoration (Lá Cuimhneacháin Náisiúnta) held on the nearest Sunday to this date commemorating all Irish people who died in past wars or United Nations peacekeeping missions. 1792 – A gathering of some ten Irish harpers and one Welsh begins in Belfast; the objective is to collect the remaining fragments of the tradition; […]

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The Uilleann Pipes

The importance of piping during the years of the Irish chieftains is evident in the 9th century representation of a piper on the great stone High Cross of Clanmacnoise in Co Offaly. This seat of Irish culture in Clanmacnoise fostered the great ancient school there which at its height involved six to seven thousand students. […]

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#OTD in 1920 – On hearing of British atrocities in Ireland, soldiers of the Connaught Rangers mutiny in protest; three are shot dead; a fourth, Private James Daly, is court-martialled and executed by firing squad.

The Connaught Rangers (The Devil’s Own) was an Irish line infantry regiment of the British Army originally raised in 1793 as the 88th Regiment of Foot (Connaught Rangers), which gained a reputation both for indiscipline and for its prowess as shock troops and streetfighters with the bayonet while serving under the Duke of Wellington during […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The Provisional Government of the Irish Free State bombards the Four Courts in Dublin, and the Civil War begins.

On 14 April 1922 a column of 200 men led by Rory O’Connor occupied the Four Courts, hoping to provoke an armed confrontation with British forces which were in the process of evacuating from Ireland following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty the previous winter which had split the IRA into two opposing factions. The […]

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