#OTD in 1856 – Birth of Sir John Lavery, an Irish painter best known for his portraits, in Belfast.

John Lavery was born in Belfast, the son of a wine and spirit merchant, but was orphaned at the age of three and for a number of unsettled years wandered between Moira, Magheralin, Saltcoats, Ayrshire and Glasgow. Finally he started working by touching up photographic negatives in Glasgow and attended evening classes at the Haldane […]

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#OTD in 1921 – Dáil Éireann debated, resolved and finally on 11 March declared war on the British administration.

In January 1921, at his first Dáil meeting after his return to a country gripped by the War of Independence, de Valera introduced a motion calling on the IRA to desist from ambushes and other tactics that were allowing the British to successfully portray it as a terrorist group, and to take on the British […]

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#OTD in 1922 – Michael Collins secretly authorised the formation of a specially paid unit of seventy IRA volunteers, known as the Belfast City Guard, to protect districts from loyalist attack.

In Northern Ireland there were continual breaches of the Truce by ‘unauthorised loyalist paramilitary forces’. The predominantly Protestant, Unionists government of Northern Ireland supported polices which discriminated against Catholics in which, along with violence against Catholics, led many to suggest the presence of an agenda by an Anglo-ascendancy to drive those of indigenous Irish descent […]

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#OTD in 1922 – The IRA kidnaps more than forty Loyalists Activists and ‘B’ Specials.

In mid-January 1922 the Monaghan football team was arrested in the North on their way to play Derry in the final of the Ulster Championship. On 7 February the IRA responded by kidnapping forty-two prominent loyalists in Fermanagh and Tyrone and held them as hostages. A party of eighteen armed B-Specials, when travelling by train […]

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#OTD in 1941 – Death of painter, Sir John Lavery, in Kilkenny.

John Lavery was born in Belfast, the son of a wine and spirit merchant, but was orphaned at the age of three and for a number of unsettled years wandered between Moira, Magheralin, Saltcoats, Ayrshire and Glasgow. Finally he started working by touching up photographic negatives in Glasgow and attended evening classes at the Haldane […]

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#OTD in 1916 – Final evacuation from the ill-advised Gallipoli invasion which saw the death of 3,500-4,000 Irish soldiers fighting either in Australian, New Zealand, New Foundland or British uniform.

Final evacuation from the ill-advised Gallipoli invasion which saw the death of 3,500-4,000 Irish soldiers fighting either in Australian, New Zealand or British uniform. An estimated 44,000 allied soldiers died. The Gallipoli campaign was a costly failure for the Allies, with an estimated 27,000 French, and 115,000 British and dominion troops (Great Britain and Ireland, […]

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#OTD in 1921 – The Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed, ending the Irish War of Independence.

“Think, what have I got for Ireland? Something she has wanted these past 700 years. Will anyone be satisfied at the bargain? Will anyone? I tell you this, I have signed my death warrant. I thought at the time how odd, how ridiculous —a bullet may just as well have done the job five years […]

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#OTD in 1921 – After lengthy negotiations, the British give the Irish a deadline to accept or reject the Anglo-Irish treaty.

Negotiations on Irish independence from Britain enter their final and crucial stage at Downing Street. The Irish delegates including Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith had returned from an acrimonious cabinet meeting in Dublin where unfortunately clarity did not exist. The negotiators again met with the British team which included Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. It […]

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#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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