#OTD in 1836 – Birth of physician, professor and writer, George Sigerson, near Strabane, Co Tyrone.

George Sigerson was a physician, scientist, writer, politician and poet. He was a leading light in the Irish Literary Revival of the late 19th century in Ireland.   Sigerson was born at Holyhill just outside Strabane, Co Tyrone, the son of William and Nancy (née Neilson) Sigerson. He had three brothers James, John and William, […]

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#OTD in 2003 – Death of Bridget Dirrane who died at the age of 109. She was Ireland’s second oldest person.

Bridget Dirrane was the oldest native of Ireland’s Aran Islands and the second oldest person in Ireland. Éamon de Valera was the Irish political leader she most admired, but in a life touching three centuries, she met Pádraig Pearse, went on hunger strike in Mountjoy gaol, campaigned for John F Kennedy in Boston, and was […]

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#OTD in 1884 – Birth of Muriel Gifford in Rathmines, Co Dublin.

Muriel Gifford was born in Rathmines, Dublin, of a Catholic solicitor father and a fiercely Protestant mother, the children were raised Church of Ireland, an unremarkable phenomenon among the wealthy professional classes of the time. That three of the sisters, Nellie, Muriel and Grace, could be involved in the Easter Rising, and that two of […]

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#OTD in 1955 – Death of Irish Patriot, Grace Gifford Plunkett, in her apartment in South Richmond Street, Portobello, Dublin.

Grace Plunkett, née Gifford was a cartoonist, caricaturist and illustrator who was active in the Republican movement. Her marriage to Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, a few hours before he was executed, is the subject of a popular Republican song, ‘Grace’, written by Frank and Sean O’Meara in 1985. Ar […]

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#OTD in 1912 – Birth in Dublin of poet, dramatist and lawyer, Donagh MacDonagh, son of 1916 Easter Rising Leader, Thomas MacDonagh.

Donagh MacDonagh was a writer, judge, presenter, broadcaster, and playwright. He was still a young child when his father Thomas MacDonagh, an Irish nationalist and poet, was executed in 1916. Tragedy struck again when his mother died of a heart attack a year afterwards while swimming at Skerries to Lambay, Co Dublin on 9 July […]

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#OTD in 1887 – Birth of Irish patriot and poet, Joseph Mary Plunkett, in Dublin.

Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the 1916 rising and a signatory of the Proclamation is born into a privileged background. His father was a Papal Count. A gifted writer, he met Thomas MacDonagh when he was tutored by him in Irish in preparation for the University College, Dublin, matriculation examinations. MacDonagh was to […]

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#OTD in 1998 – Bridget Dirrane, who was imprisoned with Kevin Barry and who canvassed for John F. Kennedy in the United States, celebrated her 104th birthday with news that she was to be featured in the new edition of the Guinness Book of Records.

Bridget Dirrane was the oldest native of Ireland’s Aran Islands and the second oldest person in Ireland. Éamon de Valera was the Irish political leader she most admired, but in a life touching three centuries, she met Pádraig Pearse, went on hunger strike in Mountjoy gaol, campaigned for John F Kennedy in Boston, and was […]

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#OTD in 1908 – Poet, educator and eventual Easter Rising leader, Pádraig Pearse, opens St. Enda’s school for boys (Scoil Eanna).

“I dwell on the importance of the personal element in education. I would have every child not merely a unit in a school attendance, but in some intimate personal way the pupil of a teacher, or to use more expressive words, the disciple of a master … the main objective in education is to help […]

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#OTD in 1914 – Irish Volunteers during the Howth Gun Running.

The plan was first conceived in April 1914, in response to the Curragh incident on 20 March. Many Irish believed that the British army could not be relied on to enforce Home Rule when it was enacted, and many Irish Volunteers also felt that availability of arms would aid recruitment. At a lunch attended by […]

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#OTD in 1917 – Muriel MacDonagh, wife of executed 1916 leader Thomas MacDonagh, drowns while swimming on Skerries south beach.

Muriel Gifford was born in Rathmines, Dublin, of a Catholic solicitor father and a fiercely Protestant mother, the children were raised Church of Ireland, an unremarkable phenomenon among the wealthy professional classes of the time. Among the three Gifford sisters, Nellie, Muriel and Grace, Muriel married Thomas MacDonagh and Grace married Joseph Plunkett, who were […]

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