#OTD in 1839 – John B. Yeats, painter and father of William Butler and Jack B. Yeats, was born in Tullylish, Co Down.

He is probably best known for his portrait of the young William Butler Yeats which is one of a number of his portraits of Irishmen and women in the Yeats museum in the National Gallery of Ireland. His portrait of John O’Leary (1904) is considered his masterpiece (Raymond Keaveney 2002).   His parents were William […]

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#OTD in 1907 – Death of separatist and a leading Fenian, John O’Leary.

O’Leary studied both law and medicine but did not take a degree and for his involvement in the Irish Republican Brotherhood he was imprisoned in England during the nineteenth century.   Born in Tipperary town, the Catholic O’Leary was educated at the local Protestant Grammar School, The Abbey School, and later the Catholic Carlow College. […]

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#OTD in 1926 – Rioting greets the Abbey Theatre performance of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars because of what is viewed as anti-Irish sentiment.

When Seán O’Casey took his seat for the fourth night of his new drama The Plough and the Stars he dryly noted that two plays were actually taking place: ‘One on the stage and one in the auditorium.’ The Plough and the Stars was first performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1926, less than ten […]

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#OTD in 1868 – Birth of Irish patriot and revolutionary, Countess Constance Markievicz, née Gore-Booth in London.

Countess Markievicz, born Constance Georgine Gore Booth, politician, revolutionary, tireless worker with the poor and dispossessed, was a remarkable woman. Born into great wealth and privilege, she lived at Lissadell House in Co Sligo. She is most famous for her leadership role in the 1916 Easter Rising and the subsequent revolutionary struggle for freedom in […]

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#OTD in 1887 – Birth of actress, Molly Allgood, (stage name Máire O’Neill) in Dublin.

She was the fiancée of playwright John Millington Synge. She appeared in films from 1930-53, including Alfred Hitchcock’s film version of Seán O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock (1930). She made her American debut in New York in 1914 in the play General John Regan at the Hudson Theatre. Molly Allgood by Women’s Museum of […]

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#OTD in 1836 – Birth of physician, professor and writer, George Sigerson, near Strabane, Co Tyrone.

George Sigerson was a physician, scientist, writer, politician and poet. He was a leading light in the Irish Literary Revival of the late 19th century in Ireland.   Sigerson was born at Holyhill just outside Strabane, Co Tyrone, the son of William and Nancy (née Neilson) Sigerson. He had three brothers James, John and William, […]

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#OTD in 1866 – Birth of nationalist poet and writer, Alice Milligan, in Omagh, Co Tyrone.

Alice Milligan was born and brought up as a Methodist in Gortmore, near Omagh, Co Tyrone. Alice was one of eleven children and from 1877 to 1887 attended Methodist College, Belfast, after which she completed a teacher-training course. Together with her father she wrote a political travelogue of the north of Ireland in 1888, Glimpses […]

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#OTD in 1830 – Birth of Fenian, John O’Leary, in Tipperary.

W.B. Yeats evidently equated the death of ‘Romantic Ireland’ with the rise of an Irish generation that believed that ‘men were born to pray and save [souls]’ alone. That he was inspired to write such a ballad while witnessing the creation of the Ulster Volunteers and the Irish Volunteers indicates that he saw religion as […]

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#OTD in 1907 – Death of separatist and Fenian, John O’Leary.

O’Leary studied both law and medicine but did not take a degree and for his involvement in the Irish Republican Brotherhood he was imprisoned in England during the nineteenth century.   Born in Tipperary town, the Catholic O’Leary was educated at the local Protestant Grammar School, The Abbey School, and later the Catholic Carlow College. […]

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#OTD in 1839 – Birth of painter and father of William B. and Jack B. Yeats, John Butler Yeats, in Tullylish, Co Down.

He is probably best known for his portrait of the young William Butler Yeats which is one of a number of his portraits of Irishmen and women in the Yeats museum in the National Gallery of Ireland. His portrait of John O’Leary (1904) is considered his masterpiece (Raymond Keaveney 2002). His parents were William Butler […]

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