#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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#OTD in 1967 – The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) is formed.

The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (Cumann Chearta Sibhialta Thuaisceart Éireann) was an organisation which campaigned for civil rights for the Roman Catholic minority in Northern Ireland during the late 1960s and early 1970s. According to Joseph Ruane and Jennifer Todd, the ethos of the Northern state was unashamedly and unambiguously sectarian, although Senia Paseta […]

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#OTD in 1920 – Death of Percy French, writer of many popular Irish songs, including the Mountains of Mourne.

William Percy French was born on 1 May 1854 near Roscommon. (William would be known as Willie until taking the name Percy as his stage name much later). His father was a landlord and his mother’s father was a clergyman. Despite the lack of music background in his family, Willie demonstrated talent for music and […]

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#OTD in 1581 – Birth of prolific scholar and church leader, James Ussher, in Dublin.

James Ussher and His Chronology by Jerry Bergman, Ph.D. Archbishop James Ussher was one of the most important biblical scholars of the 17th century. His research and scholarly work have even earned high praise from some who are opposed to his conclusions. Called “the greatest luminary of the church of Ireland” and “one of the […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 17 December:

1538 – Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII of England. 1785 – Birth of general and military historian, Sir William Napier, in Celbridge, Co Kildare. 1823 – Death of Oliver Pollock. Born in Bready, Co Tyrone, he was a merchant and financier of the American Revolutionary War, of which he has long been considered a […]

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#OTD in 1895 – Death of Young Irelander, Author and Poet, Denny Lane.

Denny Lane, one of the most popular of the Young Ireland leaders, and the writer of the two well-known poems, ‘Kate of Araglen’ and ‘Carraigdhoun’ (or ‘Lament of the Irish Maiden’). Although a Catholic, he graduated from the mainly Protestant Trinity College, Dublin, where he joined the College Historical Society, became a friend of Charles […]

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