09 December-Charge of the Light Brigade

Daniel Dowling was a survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade. He was a native of Carlow, Ireland. The Charge of the Light Brigade took place on October 25th 1854 at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. Daniel Dowling died in an almshouse in Utica, New York on July 15th 1913. When he died a copy of the poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson was found among his possessions.

Tennyson wrote his poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade on December 2nd 1854. He was the Poet Laureate at the time. He wrote the narrative poem based on newspaper reports of how ‘The Light Brigade’ charged up the valley at Balaclava. The Brigade was fired on from the Russian positions at the top of the valley and from both sides. The charge resulted in 278 casualties of whom 156 were killed.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”

Was there a man dismayed?

Not though the soldier knew

Someone had blundered.

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do and die.

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

“The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred Lord Tennyson was published in the year 1854 On This Day.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Charge of the Light Cavalry Brigade. 25th Oct. 1854



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08 December-Sinéad O’Connor

Sinéad O’Connor is a singer-songwriter and musician who is a native of Dublin, Ireland. Her first album, ‘The Lion and the Cobra’ was released in 1987. It achieved Gold Record status and earned her a Grammy nomination. During her career O’Connor has sometimes become involved in events which have caused controversy.

Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor was born in Glenageary in County Dublin in 1966. Interested in music from a young age she made her first recording whilst attending Newtown School in Waterford. In 1984 while still attending school she formed her first band: ‘Ton Ton Macoute’. She later dropped out of school to perform with the band.

In 1990 O’Connor became an international star when the single ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ from her album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, became an international hit. The song reached Number 1 in countries around the world and earned her four Grammy Award nominations. In 1991 O’Connor was the winner of the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance. She has won several other awards including World Soundtrack Award for Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film in 2012.

Sinéad O’Connor, internationally renowned singer-songwriter and musician, was born in the year 1966 On This Day.

Sinéad O’Connor





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30 November-Catherina McKiernan

Catherina McKiernan is an award winning long-distance runner who is a native of Cavan, Ireland. During her international athletics career she has successfully competed in World Cross Country Championships and Marathons. McKiernan retired from professional athletics in 2004 and now works as a running instructor.

Catherina McKiernan was born in Cornafean near Killashandra, Co Cavan in 1960. She was educated locally and at Loreto College Cavan. Interested in sport from a young age McKiernan won a silver medal at the World Cross Country Championships in Boston in 1992. She went on to win silver medals at the World Cross Country Championships in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

In 1997 McKiernan won the Belin Marathon. In the following year she won the London Marathon and the Amsterdam Marathon. She has won several half marathons and mini-marathons and holds the Irish national record of 2 hours 22 mins for the marathon distance.

Catherina McKiernan, award winning cross-country and marathon athlete, was born in Co Cavan in the year 1969 On This Day.





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29 November-Christian Doppler

Christian Doppler was a mathematician and physicist who was a native of Austria. He is best known for his development of the principle known as the ‘Doppler Effect’. The Doppler Effect is the change in the frequency of light and soundwaves for an observer who is moving relative to the wave source.

Christian Doppler was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1803. He was educated locally and then attended what is now the Vienna University of Technology where he studied mathematics and physics. On May 25th 1842, while working as a professor at the Prague Polytechnic, Doppler presented a paper to the Royal Bohemian Society. In the paper he articulated what became known as the ‘Doppler Effect’

Christian Doppler, mathematician and physicist, who described the influential phenomenon known as the ‘Doppler Effect’ was born in the year 1803 On This Day.

Doppler Effect

Deutsches Museum

Christian Doppler’s tomb, Venice



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28 November-Dervla Murphy

Dervla Murphy, who is an author of adventure travel books is a native of Co Waterford, Ireland. She has spent much of her life travelling the world, mostly by bike. Murphy has documented her travels and to date has over 20 publications to her name.

Dervla Murphy was born in Lismore, Co Waterford in 1931. She was educated locally and at the Ursuline Convent in Waterford city. She left school at age 14 to care for her mother who had developed rheumatoid arthritis. In 1963, shortly after her mother died, Murphy set off for India on her bicycle. It was her first long-distance bicycle tour.

The trip to India took Murphy six months to complete and led to the publication in 1965 of her first book, ‘Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle’. During the following years she travelled widely in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. She has continued to write of her travels and her most recent book, ‘Between River and Sea: Encounters in Israel and Palestine’ was published in 2015.

Dervla Murphy, author of adventure travel books, was born in Lismore Co Waterford in the year 1931 On This Day.

Tim Parks, Ian Jack, Geoff Dyer, Dervla Murphy





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