#OTD in 1860 – Birth of Irish Celtic Scholar, Eleanor Hull, in England, of a Co Down family.

    Eleanor Henrietta Hull was a writer, journalist and scholar of Old Irish. She was educated at Alexandra College, Dublin and was a student of Irish Studies. On 26 April 1898 she was a co-founder of the Irish Texts Society for the publication of early manuscripts. Douglas Hyde was President and Frederick York Powell […]

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#OTD in 1941 – James Joyce, considered by many to be one of the most important modern authors in English because of his revolutionary approach to the novel, dies in Zurich.

When I die Dublin will be written in my heart. –James Joyce James Joyce published ‘Portrait of the Artist’ in 1916 and caught the attention of Ezra Pound. With ‘Ulysses,’ Joyce perfected his stream-of-consciousness style and became a literary celebrity. The explicit content of his prose brought about landmark legal decisions on obscenity. Joyce’s relationship […]

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#OTD in 1820 – Birth of author, Mary Anne Sadlier, in Cootehill, Co Cavan.

Born Mary Anne Madden in Cootehill, Co Cavan, Sadlier published roughly sixty novels and numerous stories. She wrote for Irish immigrants in both the United States and Canada, encouraging them to attend mass and retain the Catholic faith. In so doing, Sadlier also addressed the related themes of anti-Catholicism, An Gorta Mór, emigration, and domestic […]

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#OTD in 1878 – Birth of writer and radical activist, Francis Sheehy Skeffington in Dublin.

Francis Skeffington, writer and pacifist, was born in Bailieborough, Co Cavan on the 23 December 1878 to Joseph Bartholomew Skeffington and his wife Rose née Magorian. The family moved to Co Down shortly after his birth. He was educated by his father, a schools inspector and enrolled in University College Dublin (UCD) in 1896. While […]

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#OTD in 1927 – Birth of writer, Críostóir Ó Floinn in Limerick.

Críostóir Ó Floinn has published over 50 works in Irish and English, including novels, plays, short stories, biography, 12 books of poetry and a three-volume autobiography.   Educated at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, Ó Floinn gained much attention for his controversial 1966 play, Cóta Bán Chríost (lit. “The white coat of Christ”), […]

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#OTD in 1879 – Birth of teacher, barrister, writer, revolutionary and one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rebellion, Pádraig Pearse, in Dublin.

Pádraig Pearse was born in Dublin to an English father (he was a sculptor) and an Irish mother. Pearse became interested in the heritage and history of Ireland at a very early age and joined the Gaelic League when he was 21 years old. The purpose of the league was to promote Irish tradition and […]

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#OTD in 1903 – Frank O’Connor, (pseudonym of Michael O’Donovan), short-story writer and author of poetic translations from Irish is born in Cork.

Frank O’Connor’s memoir ‘An Only Child’ is an evocative work detailing his upbringing in poverty in his native Cork. He fought in the Irish War of Independence and supported the Anti-Treaty side in 1922 for which he was interned for a period of time. O’Connor served as a director of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in […]

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#OTD in 2013 – Death of uilleann piper, accordion player, singer, composer, researcher, writer and lecturer, Tomás Ó Canainn.

The uileann piper was probably best known as a member of Na Filí, along with fiddler Matt Cranitch and whistle player Tom Barry, who brought Irish traditional music to an international audience in the 1970s. The Derry native was an engineering lecturer and in the early 1970s moved to work at University College Cork, where he […]

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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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