#OTD in 1945 – In a radio broadcast, Churchill accuses De Valera’s government of frolicking with the Germans and Japanese.

In his Victory in Europe speech, Winston Churchill slams Éamon de Valera and his war-time policy. (To add fuel to an already bitter relationship, de Valera had not distinguished himself or Ireland’s reputation when he offered condolences to Germany on the death of Hitler.) “(By the dawn of 1941), The sense of envelopment, which might […]

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#OTD in 1981 – Bobby Sands dies at Long Kesh prison on the 66th day of his hunger strike.

Fuair siad bás ar son Saoirse na hÉireann. Bobby Sands dies in prison following a 66 day hunger strike. Sands would be the first of ten men to die in an effort to gain political status in a very public battle with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In the House of Commons Thatcher commented on […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 5 May:

1586 – Death of Lord Deputy of Ireland, Henry Sidney. Sidney was brought up at court as the companion of Prince Edward, afterwards King Edward VI, and he continued to enjoy the favour of the Crown, serving under Mary I of England and then particularly throughout the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. He was instrumental in […]

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#OTD in 1914 – Large supply of guns from Germany were landed at Larne for the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

The UVF gun-running of April 1914, known as Operation Lion, was an effective military operation; though many of the 100,000-strong UVF remained unarmed after it. The Ulster Volunteer Force had been formed in January 1913 and from that date, small-scale gun-running had been carried out. In fact, up until December 1913, when royal proclamations made […]

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#OTD in 1949 – The Republic of Ireland withdraws from the British Commonwealth. The British Parliament recognises the declaration but asserts sovereignty over the six northern counties.

The withdrawal of the twenty-six counties from the British Commonwealth is recognised officially by Britain, thereby, becoming the independent Republic of Ireland. The Ireland Act 1949 passed by the House of Commons recognised the withdrawal. Éamon de Valera had introduced his Constitution (Bunreacht na hÉireann) in 1937, the Irish Free State, or Éire as it […]

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#OTD in 1886 – Home Rule Bill introduced in English Parliament by William Gladstone.

The Acts of Union 1800, united the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland (previously in personal union) to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. At various intervals during this time, attempts were made to destabilise Anglo-Irish relations. Rebellions were launched in 1803, 1848, 1867, and 1916 to try to […]

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The Legend of Cú Chulainn

There are a number of versions of the story of Cú Chulainn’s birth. In the earliest version of Compert C(h)on Culainn (The Conception of Cú Chulainn), his mother Deichtine is the daughter and charioteer of Conchobar mac Nessa, king of Ulster, and accompanies him as he and the nobles of Ulster hunt a flock of […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Craig-Collins Pact was signed in London. The Irish Free State formally recognised Northern Ireland government.

David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, concerned that violence in the north of Ireland would cause the collapse of the new Northern Ireland administration, organised a meeting in London between Michael Collins and Sir James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, both to try to stop the IRA violence which Collins had been tacitly encouraging […]

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#OTD in 1613 – A charter incorporates Derry as the city of ‘Londonderry’ and creates the new county of ‘Londonderry’.

Despite the official name, the city is more usually known as simply Derry, which is an anglicisation of the old Irish Daire, which in modern Irish is spelt Doire, and translates as ‘oak-grove/oak-wood’. The name derives from the settlement’s earliest references, Daire Calgaich (‘oak-grove of Calgach’). The name was changed from Derry in 1613 during […]

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#OTD in 1601 – The Battle of Kinsale: Hugh O’Neill and Red Hugh O’Donnell are heavily defeated by Mountjoy.

If any one single battle of Ireland’s Nine Years War was pivotal in nature, it is the Battle of Kinsale. Kinsale is a sleepy little port town in the southeastern portion of the country. Through tactical blunder, it became the focus of a battle that would permanently destroy Ireland’s hopes for independence during this time […]

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