25 October-Richard Harris

Richard Harris was an award-winning actor and singer who was a native of Limerick City, Ireland. He is best known for roles such as King Arthur in Camelot, Bull McCabe in ‘The Field’ and as Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films. Harris appeared in over seventy films and also had a successful stage career.

Richard St. John Harris was born in Limerick City on October 1st 1930. He was educated at Crescent College Limerick and was a talented sportsman. He played rugby with the Garryowen Club in Limerick. He was a lifetime supporter of Munster Rugby.

Harris moved to London where he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He made his stage debut in ‘The Quare Fellow’ 1956. In 1959 he made his film debut in the film ‘Alive and Kicking’. During his career Harris was nominated for an Academy Award on two occasions. He was the winner of a Golden Globe Award in 1968 and a Grammy Award in 1973.

Richard Harris, award-winning actor and singer who was a native of Limerick City, Ireland died aged 72 in the year 2002 On This Day.

Richard Harris 1985.jpg

Richard Harris

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30 May-John B Keane

John B Keane was a playwright and novelist who was a native of Co Kerry, Ireland. He was also the author of ‘Letters of a Successful TD’ and ‘Letters of a Love-Hungry Farmer’. Keane was a member of Aosdána and an Honorary Life Member of the Royal Dublin Society.

John Brendan Keane was born in Listowel Co Kerry in 1928. He was educated locally and in 1946 began working as a chemist’s assistant. He later said that his chief task there was preparing ointment for the Earl of Doneraile’s piles. In 1951 Keane moved to England where he worked at various jobs. He returned to Ireland in 1955 and bought a pub in his native Listowel. The pub gave him the opportunity to observe the changes in rural Ireland during his lifetime.

Keane’s first play ‘Sive’ was rejected by the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. However it won first prize in the All-Ireland Drama Festival in Athlone in 1955. The play was a great success but was not staged by the Abbey Theatre until 1985. By then Keane was a popular playwright, novelist and essayist. He went on to write 26 publications including, The Field (1965), Big Maggie (1969) and Moll (1991).

John B Keane, playwright and novelist died at his home in Listowel, Co Kerry in the year 2002 On This Day.

John B Keane

16 May-First Female Train Driver

Teresa Carey became Ireland’s first female train driver in 2002. She began her driving career with Iarnrod Eireann (Irish Rail) at the age of 26 on the Cork to Dublin route. The Cork to Dublin route is one of the busiest in Ireland.

Teresa Carey was born in Radford, Coventry, England in 1976. She moved to Tralee, Co Kerry, Ireland when she was three years old. In 1994 she began working on the railways. She worked as a caterer, gatekeeper and train guard before beginning her locomotive training in 2001. Having successfully completed her training she drove the 9.05am train from Kent Station in Cork to Heuston Station in Dublin the following year.

Teresa Carey became Ireland’s first female train driver in the year 2002 On This Day.

Cork Kent Railway Station

Kent Station in Cork

 

29 June-Rosemary Clooney

Rosemary Clooney was a singer, and actress who was a native of Kentucky, USA. She was the aunt of actor George Clooney. Her ancestors lived in the village of Windgap, Co Kilkenny Ireland. Clooney’s great-grandfather, Nicholas Clooney, emigrated to America in 1852. The family settled in Kentucky.

Rosemary Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky on May 23rd 1928. She made her singing debut at the age of 13 and toured with a big band during the 1940’s. She had her first big hit with ‘Come On-a My House’ in 1951. She starred with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in ‘White Christmas’ in 1954.

Following a period during the 1960’s, when her career ran into difficulties, Rosemary Clooney returned to performing in 1977. She made her comeback when she appeared with Bing Crosby to mark his 50 years in show business. She continued to perform for the rest of her life and was awarded the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.

Rosemary Clooney died at the age of 74 in the year 2002 On This Day.

Rosemary Clooney

 

 

 

20 May-East Timor

The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste also known as East Timor occupies the Eastern section of the island of Timor in Southeast Asia. It was recognised as an independent state by the United Nations in May 2002. East Timor occupies an area of 14,609 km2 and has a population of 1.2 million.

The Portuguese began to colonise the island of Timor during the 1600’s. The island was split between the Portuguese and the Dutch in 1749. However it was not until 1914 that a definitive border was established between the two sections of the island by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Following the 1974 coup, Portugal began to withdraw from its colonies. East Timor declared itself independent on November 28th 1975. This led to the country being invaded by Indonesia nine days later. The invasion was resisted by the people of East Timor and over the following two decades over 100,000 people died.

A referendum on independence supervised by the UN was held in 1999. The people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence. Timor-Leste became an internationally recognized independent state in 2002.

East Timor was internationally recognised as an independent state in the year 2002 On This Day.

Bisikleta iha Dili, East Timor

Maubisse in the early morning, about 70km south of Dili