#OTD in 1967 – Black Velvet Band by Johnny Kelly and the Capitol showband reaches no. 1 in the Irish charts.

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#OTD in 1939 – Birth of musician and composer, John Sheahan, who was a member of the The Dubliners.

John Sheahan was the quiet one in The Dubliners. In that cast of beardy and hairy rogues and rascals, Sheahan stood out by not standing out. Brought in to stand shoulder to shoulder with founder members Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew, Barney McKenna and Ciarán Bourke, Sheahan’s playing brought a touch of elegant class to that […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 10 May:

1318 – Richard de Clare, Lord of Thomond, a descendant of Strongbow, is killed while commanding his forces at the Battle of Dysert O’Dea. According to legend, the day before his death, Richard de Clare beheld a woman dressed in white on the river’s edge washing bloody clothing and armour. When he asked whose clothes […]

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#OTD in 1945 – Birth of folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Christy Moore in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Christy Moore is one of the founding members of Planxty and Moving Hearts. In 2007, he was named as Ireland’s greatest living musician in RTÉ’s People of the Year Awards. The former lead-vocalist and chief songwriter of Planxty and Moving Hearts, Moore helped to bring the musical traditions of Ireland up to modern standards and […]

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#OTD in 1966 – In 19th Century Dublin, Montgomery St was the largest red-light district in Europe.

At least 1,600 ladies conducted their business and the future King Edward VII lost his virginity there. This specialisation was immortalised in the song ‘Monto’ (Take Me Up To Monto) by the Dubliners, recorded on this date. Image | Elliot Place, Dublin, c 1930s

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#OTD in 2012 – Death of Bernard Noël “Banjo Barney” McKenna.

Barney McKenna was the last surviving founding member of the Irish folk group the Dubliners. With Luke Kelly’s powerful voice and force of nature on stage, Ronnie Drew’s gravelly memorable vocal sound, it was McKenna’s playing of the tenor banjo, coupled with John Sheahan’s fiddle, that gave the Dubliners their original instrumental quality. In the […]

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#OTD in 1807 – Birth of Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, KCB, a British civil servant and Governor of Madras.

Trevelyan is referred to in the modern Irish folk song The Fields of Athenry about ‘An Gorta Mór’. For his actions, he is commonly considered one of the most detested figures in Irish history, along with the likes of Cromwell. Image | Charles Trevelyan accompanied by a poem written by Joe Canning SaveSave SaveSave

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#OTD in 1939 – At Swim-Two-Birds, a novel by writer Brian O’Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien.

At Swim-Two-Birds is a 1939 novel by Irish author Brian O’Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien. It is widely considered to be O’Brien’s masterpiece, and one of the most sophisticated examples of metafiction. The novel’s title derives from Snámh dá Én (‘Swim-Two-Birds’), a ford on the River Shannon, between Clonmacnoise and Shannonbridge, reportedly visited […]

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#OTD in 2015 – Death of entertainer and folk musician, Jim McCann.

Jim McCann was an entertainer and folk musician. Although a solo artist for most of his career, McCann was a member of the folk group the Dubliners from 1974 until 1979. He rejoined the group in 2002 for their 40th anniversary album and last performed with them in 2012. It was on ‘The McCann Man’ […]

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