31 October-Astronaut Michael Collins

Michael Collins is a former Astronaut who in 1969 was the Command Module pilot of Apollo 11 for the first moon landing. While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon Collins kept the Command Module in orbit around the moon. He is one of 24 people who have flown to the moon.

Michael Collins was born in Rome, Italy in 1930 where his father, a US Army Major General was stationed. Having served as an Air Force pilot he was chosen to train as an astronaut in 1963. He made his first space flight in 1966. With Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Collins was launched into space to begin their journey to the Moon on July 16th 1969.

Following a 384,700km trip lasting four days, a record TV audience of over 520 million watched as the Lunar Module landed on the moon’s surface. In addition giant screens were erected in places such as Central Park in New York City where large crowds watched the event. Collins continued to orbit the moon while the other two astronauts spent two and a half hours collecting samples conducting experiments and taking photographs on the lunar surface. They returned safely to earth four days later.

Michael Collins, the Command Module pilot for the 1969 moon landing, was born in the year 1930 On This Day.

Michael Collins Hero by Anton Gorobets on 2009-06-23 12:34:28

Astronaut Quote by pschultz on 2008-09-26 11:20:01


31 October-Samuel Haughton

A plaque was unveiled in Carlow town, Ireland in August 2005, on the wall outside the house where polymath Samuel Haughton was born. Sponsored by Bord Fáilte, the plaque was unveiled by Professor David Spearman of the Royal Irish Academy. It records that Haughton was a mathematician, geologist and physiologist.

Samuel Haughton was born at Burrin Street, Carlow, Ireland on December 21st 1821. He was educated locally. The school master had a special interest in nature and brought Haughton and other students on trips exploring nature along the valley of the river Barrow. Samuel Haughton entered Trinity College Dublin at the age of seventeen. He obtained a Foundation Scholarship called the Lloyd Exhibition in mathematics at the end of second year in 1843. The Foundation Scholarships are described as ‘the most prestigious and valuable awards’ at Trinity College. He won first place in mathematics in the following year and was successful in the fellowship examination in 1884.

During the following years Haughton worked in the mathematics department in Trinity College and was ordained a priest in 1847. In 1851 he was appointed Professor of Geology at the College. He held the post for a post 30 years and published up to fifty papers on geological subjects. He also carried out extensive studies on tides around the coast of Ireland. During his time as Professor of Geology, Haughton studied medicine. He was awarded the degree of MD in 1862 and was later appointed to the General Medical Council. He also served as President of the Royal Irish Academy and secretary and President of the Royal Zoological Society of Ireland. Haughton House at the zoo was built in 1898 in memory of Samuel Haughton.

Haughton published a paper on hanging in 1866. At the time the person being hanged, died by slow strangulation which, we are told, could take several minutes. Haughton’s more humane method allowed the condemned person to drop far enough to snap the neck and cause instantaneous death. For example he determined that a person weighing 72.5kg needed a ‘drop’ of 4.5m. The method, which became known as ‘Haughton’s Drop’, has become the accepted procedure for hanging.

Samuel Haughton, who is buried in Killeshin graveyard near Carlow town, died in the year 1897 On This Day.

1898 The Hauchton House – Dublin Zoo by infomatique on 2012-08-29 13:11:18

30 October-Ballinskelligs Bay Tragedy

Ballinskelligs Bay is located on the Iveragh Peninsula in Co Kerry, Ireland. The Bay was the scene of two tragic events which occurred in 1916 causing the deaths of nine people. The people who lost their lives were remembered in 2016 with the erecting of a monument in the town of Waterville by Heritage Iveragh.

On August 13th 1916 four local men: Dennis McGillicuddy, Thomas Curran, James O’Connor and Michael O’Shea were bringing a boat from Rinneens to Waterville. The sea was rough during the crossing. At about 3pm the boat capsized resulting in the drowning of the four men.

In November 1916 the Danish Schooner Eliezer was enroute from Canada to Limerick with a cargo of timber. The schooner was shipwrecked in Ballinskelligs Bay. The five crewmen of the Eliezer Anders Nileson, Albert Hansen, Hans Thompson, Hans Lund and Sophus Bastrup were drowned.

The monument to the men who lost their lives is situated on the Waterville promenade. It was unveiled in the presence of local representatives, and representatives from Denmark and Canada. A helicopter from the Marine Rescue Services flew over the scene during the unveiling. The lifeboat service was present in Ballinskelligs Bay.

A monument dedicated to those who lost their lives in Ballinskelligs Bay and people who risk their lives to assist others at sea was unveiled in Waterville in the year 2016 On This Day.


Monument in Waterville

Photo: Courtesy of Paddy McGillicuddy grandson of Denis McGillicuddy.

30 October-River Barrow

The River Barrow rises at Glenbarrow in the Slieve Bloom mountains in Co Laois, Ireland, flows south through Co Carlow and enters the sea at Waterford Harbour. At 192km long, it is the second longest river in Ireland. The Barrow, which is fully navigable, links with the Grand Canal at Athy making it a major part of Ireland’s inland waterway network.

It was first proposed in 1703 to make the River Barrow navigable. However it was not until 1785 that the first boats were able to travel upstream to the Grand Canal. By then seven locks had been installed but, because it was too shallow, only relatively small boats could navigate the river. The project was not economically viable.

A meeting of subscribers to the Barrow Navigation was held in the Courthouse in Carlow in 1788. A new report in 1789 indicated that the Barrow navigation project could become viable with the building of extra locks and the construction of lateral canals. Eventually twenty three locks were built and some of the existing ones were widened. Five lateral canals with a total length of almost 18km were constructed to bypass the shallow areas. The last lock and bypass canal were built at Clogrennan near Carlow in 1836. Boats carrying up to thirty tons could now navigate the river.

The opening of the Barrow canal had for time a significant impact on the development of towns along its route. Trade increased from 16,000 tons in 1790 to almost 60,000 tons by 1830. However from 1850 onwards competition from the railways led to a decline in traffic and the Barrow Navigation was bought by the Grand Canal Company in 1894. The canal continued to be used for commercial traffic until 1959 when it was closed by Ireland’s Transport Company (Coras Iompar Eirann).

A meeting of subscribers to the Barrow Navigation was held in Carlow in the year 1788 On This Day.

River Barrow by Real Alan Dalton on 2010-05-09 13:27:12


Cathole Waterfall near source of River Barrow….On This Day

30 October-NUIG (National University of Ireland Galway)

The National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) is located on the banks of the river Corrib close to Galway City centre. The University caters for over 17,000 students in its five constituent colleges (Arts, Law and Business, Engineering, Medicine, Science).

NUIG is located on an extensive campus, central to which is the oldest building, The Quadrangle (The Quad). In 2015 it was ranked 280th in the World University Rankings. Originally called Queen’s College Galway it was known as University College Galway from 1908 to 1997.

Queens College Galway, with an enrolment of 63 students (all male), opened its doors for the first time in the year 1849 On This Day.

NUIG Quadrangle by EoinGardiner on 2008-04-30 13:06:15

NUIG by phalinn on 2006-10-01 21:05:17