#OTD in 1917 – The Representation of the People Bill, which passed its first reading to the House of Commons will allow women in Ireland/UK to vote in general elections for the first time.

While the legislation only proposes extending the franchise to women 30 years or over, this corresponds to an additional six million voters on the register. The bill also removes existing complications for men’s franchise, makes provision for those serving at the front and introduces a limited form of proportional representation. That it will pass unchanged […]

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Kathleen Ní Houlihan – Ireland Personified and Irish Nationalism

Kathleen Ni Houlihan (Caitlín Ní Uallacháin, literally, “Kathleen, daughter of Houlihan”) is a mythical symbol and emblem of Irish nationalism found in literature and art, sometimes representing Ireland as a personified woman. The figure of Kathleen Ni Houlihan has also been invoked in nationalist Irish politics. Kathleen Ni Houlihan is sometimes spelled as Cathleen Ni […]

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#OTD in 1973 – The people in the north of Ireland vote overwhelmingly to remain within the United Kingdom.

The abolition of the Northern Ireland Parliament in 1972 raised the question of whether or not a new Assembly should have the power to determine which state Northern Ireland should belong to. The British government decided to put this question directly to the people every ten years by referendum, and the first (and so far […]

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#OTD in 1971 – Variously known as Decimal Day, Decimalisation Day and D-Day, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland decimalised their currencies.

After months of preparation, Ireland’s currency finally changed from pounds, shillings and pence to a new decimal currency. Decimal Day as it was known, took place on 15 February 1971. Decimal Currency D-Day 1971

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#OTD in 1867 – A bomb was planted at Clerkenwell gaol, in London, in an attempt to free Irish Fenian prisoners, notably Richard Burke.

The Fenians simply wheeled a barrel of gunpowder up to the wall of the facility when they expected the inmates to be at exercise in the adjacent yard. The explosion blasted a 60-foot gap in the wall; the inward-collapsing rubble might easily have been the death rather than the salvation of the prospective beneficiaries, except […]

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#OTD in 1949 – The Republic of Ireland soccer team beats England 2-0 at Goodison Park – England’s first defeat by a foreign side.

The first ever defeat for England on their home turf by a non-UK team only made things all the more sweeter. The Ireland side was captained by Manchester United great Johnny Carey – the reigning Player of the Year at the time of this game; he and Roy Keane remain the only Irishmen ever to […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Ongoing correspondence between Lloyd George and Éamon de Valera to bring a halt to the War of Independence sees De Valera write a powerful response to Lloyd George.

The official letter was dictated and sent in Irish. Sir, The anticipatory judgement I gave in my reply of August 10th has been confirmed. I laid the proposals of your Government before Dáil Éireann, and, by an unanimous vote, it has rejected them. From your letter of August 13th it was clear that the principle […]

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#OTD in 1918 – Hanna Sheehy Skeffington is recovering, at the Gower Hotel in London, from the effects of her recent hunger strike.

In a letter to her sister, Mary Kettle, Mrs Sheehy Skeffington stated that while she was still weak, this hunger strike was not as traumatic as those that she had undertaken on behalf of the women’s suffrage movement. Sheehy Skeffington went on hunger strike last week after being arrested on Dublin’s Westmoreland Street. She was […]

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#OTD in 1803 – Irish Rebellion of 1803: Following an explosion at his arms depot on this date, Robert Emmet brings forward his planned rebellion in Dublin to 23 July.

The glorious failure of the 1798 rebellion had a profound impact on the young Robert Emmet. He romanticised the nationalist ideals held by the organisers, as demonstrated by an ode he wrote to them: “And those who were laid at rest Oh! Hallowed be each name; Their memories are forever blest – Consigned to endless […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Roger Casement goes on trial at the Royal Courts of Justice on a charge of treason.

In the early hours of 21 April 1916, three days before the rising began, Roger Casement was taken by a German submarine and was put ashore at Banna Strand in Tralee Bay, Co Kerry. Suffering from a recurrence of the malaria that had plagued him since his days in the Congo, and too weak to […]

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