29 October-Sir Walter Raleigh

Sir Walter Raleigh lived at Killua Castle, Clonmellon, Co Westmeath and occasionally at Youghal Co Cork, during his time as a landlord in Ireland from 1585 to 1602. He was born in Devon, England in 1552. He took part in the suppression of the Desmond uprising in Munster and was present at the siege of Smerwick in 1580. Following this he was granted large estates in Munster including the towns of Youghal and Lismore by Queen Elizabeth I. He did not manage the estates very well and after 17 years in Ireland he sold them to Richard Boyle 1st Earl of Cork. He then went on to explore North America and helped prepare for settlements to be established in Virginia. From Virginia he introduced tobacco to Ireland and England. Raleigh later led expeditions to South America and it is said brought the potato to Ireland. In 1603 he was found guilty of treason and imprisoned. Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded at the Palace of Westminster in the year 1618 On This Day

Walter Raleigh photo

Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

28 October-Theatre in Kilkenny

Theatre and the Arts have always had a special place in Kilkenny. Today The Watergate Theatre provides entertainment with performances from home and abroad. In 1802 Sir Richard Power of Kilfane established a theatre in Kilkenny called The Athenaeum. Thomas Moore, ‘The Bard of Erin’ met his wife while performing at the theatre in 1811. The theatre attracted famous actors of the day. Performances were held over eight weeks, two weeks in the Summer season and six in Winter and many visitors came to the city to enjoy a great festival experience. Charitable organisations in the area were given most of the profits. The Athenaeum closed following a performance of Richard the Third in the year 1819 On This Day

Theatre in Kilkenny photo


Photo by yellow book

28 October-Chilean Independence

Bernardo O Higgins and John (Juan) MacKenna both played a central role in Chile’s fight for independence from the Spanish Empire. O Higgins whose Sligo born father Ambrose was the governor of Chile became the first head of state of Independent Chile. There is a monument to O Higgins in Merrion Square in Dublin. MacKenna from Monaghan town was Commandant-General of the Chilean Army during the war of independence. There is a bust of General MacKenna in Monaghan County Museum. Stamps to celebrate the roles of Bernardo O Higgins and Juan MacKenna in Chilean Independence were jointly issued by the Irish Post Office and the Chilean Post Office in the year 2010 On This Day

Chilean Independence photo



Photo by stevendepolo

25 October-Balaklava

Daniel Dowling was born in Carlow in 1832 was one of the members of the Light Brigade to survive the Charge during the Battle of Balaklava. He enlisted in the British Army in January 1854 and became one of the cavalrymen of the Light Brigade. Shortly thereafter England, France and Turkey formed an alliance to drive Russia out of the Baltic and Crimea. During the Battle of Balaklava a mix-up in orders resulted in about 670 members of the Light Brigade riding directly into the Russian guns, what Tennyson in his poem called ‘the valley of Death’. The Charge of the Light Brigade took place in the year 1854 On This Day

Balaklava photo


Photo by covilha

25 October-Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle was presented to members of the Kilkenny Castle Restoration Committee by James Arthur Butler 6th Marquess of Ormonde in 1967. James Hubert Butler, 7th Marquess of Ormonde and the last member of the Butler family to inherit the Ormonde titles died in the year 1997 On This Day

Kilkenny Castle photo


Photo by mellow cat