#OTD in 1814 – Birth of Irish writer, who was the chief organiser and poet of the Young Ireland movement, Thomas Osborne Davis in Mallow, Co Cork.

Thomas Osborn Davis was born in the town of Mallow, Co Cork, the son of a Welsh father, a surgeon in the Royal Artillery, and an Irish mother. Through his mother he was descended from the Gaelic noble family of O’Sullivan Beare. His father died one month after his birth and his mother moved to […]

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#OTD in 2013 – World-renowned poet and playwright Seamus Heaney died in the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin following a short illness, aged 74.

“History says, Don’t hope On this side of the grave, But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave Of justice can rise up, And hope and history rhyme.” ―Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney was awarded numerous prizes over the years and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. He was born to a farming […]

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Devil’s Bit, Co Tipperary

According to local legend, the mountain got its name because the devil took a bite out of it. There is a small gap in the mountain between one outcrop of rock (known as the Rock) and another small plateau. The bite the devil allegedly took made this gap. The legend suggests that the devil broke […]

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Book of Aicill

The Book of Aicill relates to the criminal law and is often discussed as being on par in significance with the Senchus Mór; although, the latter deals with civil law. Like the mystery of Saint Patrick’s posthumous authorship of the Senchus Mór, the Book of Aicill attributes its authorship to that of the legendary Cormac […]

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#OTD in 1912 – Death of Bram Stoker, the Dublin born writer who created Dracula.

Death of novelist Bram Stoker, author of Dracula which was first published in 1897. Born in Dublin, Stoker was bed-ridden for much of his childhood, but lived a relatively healthy life during his adulthood. Educated at Trinity College, he moved to London in 1878 and married actress Florence Balcombe. Dracula received some praise on its […]

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#OTD in 1862 – Guinness formally adopts the harp as its symbol.

Guinness uses the harp of Brian Boru, or Trinity College Harp as their trademark. This circa 14th century harp which is still visible at Trinity College, Dublin has been used as a symbol of Ireland since the 16th century. Guinness adopted the harp as a logo, however it is shown in a form that faces […]

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#OTD in 1839 – John B. Yeats, painter and father of William Butler and Jack B. Yeats, was born in Tullylish, Co Down.

He is probably best known for his portrait of the young William Butler Yeats which is one of a number of his portraits of Irishmen and women in the Yeats museum in the National Gallery of Ireland. His portrait of John O’Leary (1904) is considered his masterpiece (Raymond Keaveney 2002).   His parents were William […]

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#OTD in 1907 – Death of separatist and a leading Fenian, John O’Leary.

O’Leary studied both law and medicine but did not take a degree and for his involvement in the Irish Republican Brotherhood he was imprisoned in England during the nineteenth century.   Born in Tipperary town, the Catholic O’Leary was educated at the local Protestant Grammar School, The Abbey School, and later the Catholic Carlow College. […]

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#OTD in 1918 – Chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party, John Redmond dies of heart failure, in Co Wexford.

‘As a Nationalist, I do not regard as entirely palatable the idea that forever and a day Ireland’s voice should be excluded from the councils of an empire which the genius and valour of her sons have done so much to build up and of which she is to remain.’ –John Redmond Born in Kilrane, […]

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Ancient Irish Law

‘Irish law is the oldest, most original, and most extensive of mediaeval European legal systems. It is a unique legal inheritance, an independent indigenous system of advanced jurisprudence that was fully evolved by the eighth century. It is also far less well-known than it deserves.’ ‘Early medieval Ireland evolved a system of law (often called […]

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