#OTD in 637 – The Battle of Moira is fought between the High King of Ireland and the Kings of Ulster and Dalriada.

The battle was between Domhnall, High King of Ireland and Congal Cláen, King of Ulster. It is described as one of the most sanguinary in early Irish History. Congal had killed the King of Ireland in 628 but was defeated the next year at the battle of Battle of Dun Cethirn and Domnall became King […]

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#OTD in 1798 – United Irishmen Rebellion: The Battle of Antrim.

Henry Joy McCracken issued a proclamation calling for the United army of Ulster to rise. The initial plan met with success, as the towns of Larne, Ballymena, Portaferry and Randalstown (captured by James Dickey) were taken and the bridge at Toome damaged to prevent the government rushing reinforcements into Antrim from west of the Bann. […]

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#OTD in 1929 – Death of historian and nationalist, Alice Stopford Green, in Dublin.

Born Alice Sophia Amelia Stopford in Kells, Co Meath, she lived in London where she met the historian John Richard Green. They were married in Chester on 14 June 1877. He died in 1883. John Morley published her first historical work Henry II in 1888. In the 1890s she became interested in Irish history and […]

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The Viking Age in Ireland

As Scandinavia was becoming increasingly over-populated the Vikings found a need to discover new land and create settlements, Ireland being one of them. They had also settled in Scotland and, like Ireland, started to settle with the local population. In Scotland these people became known as The Gallowglasses and would later arrive in Ireland as […]

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#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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