#OTD in 1867 – Eoin MacNeill, Gaelic scholar and co-founder of the Gaelic League, is born in Glenarm, Co Antrim.

Born in Co Antrim to middle-class Catholic parents, he was educated at St Malachy’s College, Belfast and became law clerk. In 1893, together with Douglas Hyde and others he founded the Gaelic League, an organisation devoted to the preservation of the Irish language, literature, and traditional culture. A brilliant historian and linguist, he was the […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 15 May:

In the Liturgical calendar, it is the Feast Day of St Dymphna. According to tradition, she lived in the 7th century and was the daughter of a pagan Irish king and his Christian wife. She was murdered by her father. St. Dymphna is the patron saint of the nervous, emotionally disturbed, mentally ill, and those […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 14 May:

637 – Death of Saint Mo Chutu mac Fínaill, also known as Carthach or Carthach the Younger (a name Latinised as Carthagus and Anglicised as Carthage), was abbot of Rahan (Irish Rathan), Co Offaly, and subsequently, founder and first abbot of Lismore (Irish Les Mór Mo Chutu), Co Waterford. The saint’s Life has come down […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 13 May:

1842 – Arthur Sullivan, the son of an Irish musician, is born. Along with William Gilbert he invented the English operetta. Sullivan’s last work is entitled “The Emerald Isle”. 1848 – The Irish Confederation splits; John Mitchel starts the militant United Irishman; he is arrested on this date and is sentenced to 14 years transportation […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 12 May:

563 – St Columcille establishes a community on Iona. 1641 – Thomas Wentworth, English viceroy of Ireland and Earl of Stafford is beheaded. From 1632–39 he was Lord Deputy of Ireland, where he established a strong authoritarian rule. Recalled to England, he became a leading advisor to the king, attempting to strengthen the royal position […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 11 May:

1745 – At the Battle of Fontenoy, near Tourney in modern Belgium, the Irish Brigade of the French army under Lieutenant Charles O’Brien repulses the British and wins the day. 1788 – Presbyterian minister, Henry Cooke, is born at Grillagh, near Maghera, Co Derry. Cooke is famous for leading Ulster Presbyterianism away from the free-thinking […]

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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 Irish History – 9 May:

1423 – Edmund Mortimer, 8th earl of Ulster, earl of March, the greatest Irish landowner and heir presumptive to the throne of England, is appointed lieutenant for nine years. 1650 – The Battle of Clonmel begins with the first of two assaults. Cromwell’s forces are beaten back on this date by Black Hugh O’Neill. Eventually, […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 8 May:

1567 – Shane O’Neill’s army crosses the Swilly estuary at Farsetmore, and is defeated in a pitched battle by Hugh O’Donnell. Many drown while trying to escape; O’Neill loses 1,300 men. 1597 – Death of Fiach MacHugh O’Byrne. Fiach Mac Aodha Ó Broin was Lord of Ranelagh and sometime leader of the Clann Uí Bhroin, […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 7 May:

1689 – James II arrives from exile in France and addresses the Irish Parliament. Thanking them for support, applauding their courage and vowing to “venture my life…in defence of your liberties”. Thus begins the events leading up to the Battle of the Boyne. 1689 – James II’s predominantly Catholic Irish parliament which is in session […]

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