#OTD in 1877 – Birth of author and revolutionary, Michael O’Hanrahan, in New Ross, Co Wexford.

His father, Richard Hanrahan, was involved in the 1867 Fenian rising. The family moved to Carlow, where Michael was educated at Carlow Christian Brothers’ School and Carlow College Academy. On leaving school he worked various jobs including a period alongside his father in the cork-cutting business. In 1898 he joined the Gaelic League and in […]

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#OTD in 1878 – Thomas MacDonagh, patriot, poet, critic and scholar, is born in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary.

‘Lament for Thomas MacDonagh’ (Francis Ledwidge) ‘He shall not hear the bittern cry In the wild sky where he is lain, Nor voices of the sweeter birds Above the wailing of the rain… But when the Dark Cow leaves the moor And pastures poor with greedy weeds, Perhaps he’ll hear her low at morn, Lifting […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 1 February (Feabhra):

In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast day of St Brigid. Saint Brigid of Kildare or Brigid of Ireland (c. 451-525) is one of Ireland’s patron saints along with Saints Patrick and Colm Cille. Her feast day is 1 February or Imbolc, the traditional first day of spring in Ireland. She is believed to […]

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#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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