#OTD in 1994 – Birth of actress, Saoirse Ronan in the Bronx, New York.

Saoirse Una Ronan was born in The Bronx, New York, to Irish parents, Monica Ronan née Brennan and actor, Paul Ronan. When Saoirse was three, the family moved back to Dublin. Saoirse grew up in Dublin and briefly in Co Carlow before moving back to Dublin with her parents. Saoirse made her first TV appearance with a […]

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#OTD in 1904 – Death of politician, William Russell Grace. Born in Ballylinan, Co Laois, he was the first Roman Catholic mayor of New York and the founder of W. R. Grace and Company.

Grace was born in Ballylinan, Co Laois to James Grace and Eleanor May Russell (Ellen) while the family was away from home, and raised on Grace property at Ballylinan near the town of Athy, He was a member of the prominent and well-to-do family. In 1846, Grace sailed for New York against the wishes of […]

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#OTD in 1919 – The birth of Cairbre, the MGM lion, in Dublin Zoo. He wasn’t African or even Californian, he was a genuine Dub and was named after Cú Chulainn’s charioteer, or a High King of Ireland.

Cairbre, later re-christened Leo and the first MGM lion to roar on the silver screen. The problem is, there were at least 5 MGM lions, all of whom were rechristened Leo. The most likely candidate is this one, photographed being filmed in the early 1930s. Hear him roar (or gently growl) in the MGM video. […]

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#OTD in 1877 – Death of Gaelic scholar, John O’Mahony, founding member of the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States, sister organisation to the Irish Republican Brotherhood.

THE FENIAN MOVEMENT – The Fenians wanted one simple desire for Ireland – Independence from British rule. The Great Hunger had a massive impact on Ireland. Many in Ireland believed that the government in London, to solve the ‘Irish Problem’, had deliberately did as little as possible to aid the people of Ireland – in […]

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#OTD in 1917 – Hanna Sheehy Skeffington travelled to New York with her son, Owen, to speak about her husband’s murder during the Easter Rising.

In an interview with the New York Times, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington says she was determined to come to America to tell people about ‘my husband’s murder’, despite the British government’s refusal to give her a passport. ‘I am not willing to tell how I got here’, she said, before adding that she had been forced […]

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Don’t Go Far … The Young Boys from Dublin Who Ran Away to New York

It was August 1985 and two boys from Darndale, Dublin, aged 10 and 13, hop on a DART train for a ride that will take them a few thousand miles beyond their stop. Keith and Noel were friends. They had a knack for bunking off. One day they hopped on a Dart and skipped out […]

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#OTD in 1964 – Birth of World Middleweight Boxing Champion, Steve Collins, in Cabra, Co Dublin.

Steve Collins is a former professional boxer, known as the “The Celtic Warrior”. He is the former WBO middleweight and super middleweight champion. Collins began his professional career in America, and lost two world title fights on points. It was not until Collins reached his 30’s that he fulfilled his potential. Having competed against the […]

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#OTD in 1972 – Muhammad Ali fights Al “Blue” Lewis in Dublin and defeats him via a TKO (technical knockout) in round 11.

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” –Muhammad Ali Twenty-four hours after arriving in Dublin, Muhammad Ali rang his publicist Harold Conrad. “Hey, Hal?” said Ali, “where are all the black people in this country?” “Ali,” replied Conrad, “there aren’t any.” On 19 July 1972, it took Muhammad Ali 11 rounds to defeat Al […]

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#OTD in 2003 – Legendary Oscar-winning actor, Gregory Peck, passes away at his home in Los Angeles.

Gregory Peck was born in La Jolla, California. One of the world’s most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play major film roles until the late 1970s. Catherine Ashe, the paternal grandmother of Gregory Peck, who emigrated to the United States in the 19th century was a relative of […]

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The Great Hunger Memorial at Macy Park in Ardsley, New York

The Great Hunger Memorial at Macy Park in Ardsley, New York was unveiled on 26 June 2001 to commemorate the suffering of millions of Irish who died or were forced to leave lreland. The monument’s sculptor, Eamonn O’Doherty of Ireland, describes the memorial as comprising three related elements. The first represents five members of an […]

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