#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 […]

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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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#OTD in 1847 – Birth of author of Dracula, Bram Stoker, in Dublin.

“We learn from failure, not from success.” –Bram Stoker Stoker published his masterpiece, Dracula, in 1897. Deemed a classic horror novel not long after its release, Dracula has continued to garner acclaim for more than a century, inspiring the creation of hundreds of film, theatrical and literary adaptations. In addition to Dracula, Stoker published more […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 7 November:

1366 – Lionel of Clarence, third son of Edward III and king’s lieutenant in Ireland, leaves the country. 1730 – The Danish East India Company ship, Golden Lyon, is stranded near Ballyheige, Co Kerry. 1771 – Funeral of Charles Lucas in Dublin attracts ‘the most numerous crowds of people ever known in this Kingdom’. 1791 […]

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#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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