#OTD in 1940 – De Valera Responds to Churchill on Irish Ports.

In a Dáil statement, Éamon de Valera rejects Winston Churchill’s statement about Irish ports stating that there can be no question of handing over Irish ports for use by British forces while the country is partitioned. Britain (in what Churchill considered a short-sighted move) had returned the ports to Irish control in 1938. This move […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 7 November:

1366 – Lionel of Clarence, third son of Edward III and king’s lieutenant in Ireland, leaves the country. 1730 – The Danish East India Company ship, Golden Lyon, is stranded near Ballyheige, Co Kerry. 1771 – Funeral of Charles Lucas in Dublin attracts ‘the most numerous crowds of people ever known in this Kingdom’. 1791 […]

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#OTD in 1945 – Éamon de Valera responds to Winston Churchill’s victory speech during which Churchill took one last jab at Irish neutrality.

Few outside of Ireland could understand the neutral stance of the Irish Free State during the war. Churchill most certainly did not when he said: “Owing to the action of Mr de Valera, so much at variance with the temper and instinct of thousands of Southern Irishmen who hastened to the battle-front to prove their […]

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#OTD in Irish History – 16 May:

587 – St Brendan the Navigator, early transatlantic voyager, dies. In the Liturgical calendar, today is St Brendan’s Feast Day. 1907 – Birth of Robert Tisdall, gold medalist in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1932 Olympics. 1916 – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the French Third Republic sign the secret […]

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#OTD in 1867 – Eoin MacNeill, Gaelic scholar and co-founder of the Gaelic League, is born in Glenarm, Co Antrim.

Born in Co Antrim to middle-class Catholic parents, he was educated at St Malachy’s College, Belfast and became law clerk. In 1893, together with Douglas Hyde and others he founded the Gaelic League, an organisation devoted to the preservation of the Irish language, literature, and traditional culture. A brilliant historian and linguist, he was the […]

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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 Irish History – 13 May:

1842 – Arthur Sullivan, the son of an Irish musician, is born. Along with William Gilbert he invented the English operetta. Sullivan’s last work is entitled “The Emerald Isle”. 1848 – The Irish Confederation splits; John Mitchel starts the militant United Irishman; he is arrested on this date and is sentenced to 14 years transportation […]

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#OTD in 1920 – The Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, suggested the formation of a “Special Emergency Gendarmerie, which would become a branch of the Royal Irish Constabulary.”

In response to ongoing violence and rebellion in Ireland and a brutal campaign of attrition against members of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), the ADRIC was recruited in Great Britain from among ex-officers who had served in World War I, especially those who had served in the British Army (including the Royal Flying Corps). Most […]

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