#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 1944 – Birth of entertainer and folk musician, Jim McCann.

As a young man, McCann attended University College Dublin as a student of medicine, but became interested in folk music during a summer holiday in Birmingham in 1964. He began to perform in folk clubs in the area, and, upon his return to Dublin, he joined a group called the Ludlow Trio in 1965. In […]

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#OTD in Irish History | 5 March:

In the liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of St. Kieran, sometimes listed as ‘Kevin the elder’. 1389 – Thomas Mortimer is appointed Justiciar of Ireland. Mortimer was an English soldier and nobleman. He moved to Ireland as a deputy to his brother Edmund after he was made Lord of Ireland. 1716 – Martin […]

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#OTD in 1984 – Singer and musician, Luke Kelly, was laid to rest at Glasnevin Cemetery.

‘His legacy was putting his own stamp on a song such that it became the definitive version of a song for others to come along and emulate.’ –John Sheahan. The mass was celebrated by Fr Michael Cleary at the Church of the Holy Child in Whitehall and The Dubliners performed during the ceremony. Kelly’s brothers, […]

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#OTD in 1984 – Death of Luke Kelly, lead vocalist and 5-string banjo member of the Dubliners.

Luke Kelly was a singer and folk musician from Dublin, most famous as a member of the band ‘The Dubliners’. Indeed, while Luke often sang of the poor, the oppressed, the worker, the lover or the rebel –the realities of his own life and upbringing enlivened and gave weight to his songs and the emotional […]

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