#OTD in 1920 – Éamon de Valera returns from America.

Éamon de Valera had presented himself as ‘President of Ireland’ during his trip although he was not recognised in this capacity by the US government. De Valera evoked generous financial, emotional and political good will for Ireland during his eighteen month trip. He spoke at Madison Square Garden and Fenway Park drawing audiences in some […]

Read More

#OTD in 2001 – The pedestrian Ha’penny Bridge across Dublin’s River Liffey is reopened after a multimillion pound restoration.

Dubliners have been crossing the Ha’Penny Bridge free of charge for over a century now, but they have a long memory. Although it was first named in honour of the Duke of Wellington and later rechristened Liffey Bridge, one of the city’s favourite postcard images turned 200 this week still known universally by the name […]

Read More

#OTD in 1866 – Birth of Irish revolutionary and patriot, Maud Gonne MacBride, near Farnham, Surrey, England.

Maud Gonne was an Irish revolutionary, suffragette, actress and a romantic muse for William Butler Yeats, as well as the mother to Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Sean MacBride. Maud Gonne was born near Farnham, Surrey, England. She founded the Irish Nationalist group, Inghinidhe na hÉireann (The Daughters of Ireland). She had a relationship with poet, William […]

Read More

#OTD in 1923 – William Butler Yeats receives Nobel Prize in Literature.

Very early, in the first bloom of youth, William Butler Yeats emerged as a poet with an indisputable right to the name. The honour was conferred “for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.” ‘The Stolen Child’ (W.B. Yeats) Where dips the rocky […]

Read More

#OTD in 1913 – Also known as “The Great Dublin Lockout”, the Dublin Transport Strike, led by Jim Larkin and James Connolly, begins.

The Great Dublin Lockout starts and one of the most bitter and divisive labour disputes in Irish history will run until February 1914 when starving workers are forced back to work. Five years previously, in 1908, at a time when Irish labourers were working in atrocious conditions, Union organiser Big Jim Larkin founded the Irish […]

Read More

#OTD in 1894 – Birth of Iseult Lucille Germaine Gonne.

Iseult Gonne, was the daughter of Maud Gonne and Lucien Millevoye, and the wife of the novelist Francis Stuart. Iseult was born on 6 August 1894, the daughter of Maud and her then married French Boulangist lover Lucien Millevoye. Maud Gonne claimed that Iseult was conceived in the mausoleum of Iseult’s late brother, Georges Silvère […]

Read More

The Ark of the Covenant and The Hill of Tara

During 1899 and 1902, members of the British-Israel Association of London came to Co Meath to dig up the Hill of Tara. These ‘British-Israelites’ believed they would find buried there the Ark of the Covenant, the chest said to contain the Ten Commandments inscribed on stone tablets. Their strange and unlawful activity provoked a protest […]

Read More

#OTD in 1865 – Birth of writer and nationalist, W.B. Yeats, in Dublin.

William Butler Yeats was the son of painter John Butler Yeats. He spent much of his childhood in Co Sligo which was a huge source of inspiration for him, not least the beautiful ‘Lake Isle of Inisfree’. Yeats was a major player in the Celtic Revival which endeavored (successfully) to raise awareness of the culture […]

Read More

#OTD in 1932 – Death of Augusta Persse, better known as Lady Augusta Gregory, Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre director; also a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre.

Lady Gregory was an Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre director; also a co-founder of the Abbey Theatre. George Bernard Shaw once described Lady Augusta Gregory as “the greatest living Irishwoman”. Lady Gregory, also known as Isabella Augusta, was born on 15 March 1852, in Roxborough, Co Galway. She married Sir William Henry Gregory in 1880. […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More