05 October-Myles na gCopaleen

Myles na gCopaleen was one of the pseudonyms used by the Irish novelist and satirist Brian O’Nolan (Brian Ó Nualláin). He used several other pseudonyms during his lifetime, including Flann O’Brien, George Knowall and Brother Barnabas. Apart from his novels O’Nolan, who was fulltime civil servant, also wrote a satirical column for the Irish Times for twenty six years.

Brian O’Nolan was born in Strabane, Co Tyrone in 1911. He was educated at Blackrock College and at Synge Street Christian Brothers School in Dublin. Having studied German at University College Dublin O’Nolan joined the civil service in 1930. The novel At Swim-Two-Birds, considered to be O’Brien’s masterpiece, was published in 1939. His other novels include, The Third Policeman, An Béal Bocht, The Hard Life and The Dalkey Archive.

Myles na gCopaleen (Brian O’Nolan), Irish novelist and satirist, was born in the year 1911 On This Day.

For Éamon Myles Charles

Myles na gCopaleen – Flann O’Brien

 

 

 

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30 September-Boris Yeltsin at Shannon Airport

Boris Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation serving from 1991 to 1999. During his first term as President he made a stopover at Shannon Airport in 1994. He was returning to Moscow following a visit to the US. He was due to hold talks with An Taoiseach Albert Reynolds. However the meeting was cancelled because the Russian President failed to emerge from his jet. It was reported that he was sleeping and was not wakened on medical advice.

Boris Yeltsin was born in Sverdlovsk [now Yekaterinburg], Russia on the border between Europe and Asia. Having studied at the Ural Polytechnic Institute he majored in construction and worked in the building industry. He became active in politics, eventually being appointed mayor of Moscow by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. However Yeltsin was critical of Gorbachev and the slow pace of reform and was forced to resign in 1987. He continued to campaign for reform and was elected President of the Russian Federation in June 1991.

In power Yeltsin rapidly introduced the reforms which Gorbachev had initiated. In the event, during the change from communism to capitalism, some people became very wealthy but many Russians experienced poverty. The fall in the standard of living led to a fall in popularity for Yeltsin but he was re-elected as President in July 1996. He served until December 31st 1999 when he resigned and named Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as acting president.

Boris Yeltsin paid a visit to the United States in late September 1994. During a busy schedule he gave an address to United Nations General Assembly and held a summit with President Clinton. He also held business meetings in cities such as New York, Washington and Seattle. On his return journey to Moscow the Russian President was due to hold a meeting with An Taoiseach Albert Reynolds at Shannon. The meeting was to be followed by a reception at nearby Drumoland Castle.

President Yeltsin’s plane circled Shannon Airport for an hour before landing. When it finally landed the red carpet was rolled out. Mr Reynolds together with officials from the Irish Government and officials from the Russian Embassy waited for 15 minutes on the tarmac before being told that Mr Yeltsin was not available to meet them. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets, who reported the President was asleep held a brief meeting with An Taoiseach. Later in Moscow Yeltsin said he had overslept and would punish the officials who had failed to wake him. Yeltsin returned to Ireland in 2006. He went shark fishing off the Cliffs of Moher and had lunch on Inis Oírr.

Boris Yeltsin, President of the Russian Federation, failed to leave his plane at Shannon Airport to meet with Taoiseach Albert Reynolds in the year 1994 On This Day.

President Yeltsin photo

Photograph of President Boris Yeltsin and President William Clinton at Springwood the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York 10/23/1995

Photo by The U.S. National Archives

Boris Yeltsin monument by Harald Groven on 2015-10-20 16:09:48

 

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29 September-James Hoban Stamp

James Hoban, Architect of the White House, was born in Kilkenny, Ireland. In 1981 a stamp was jointly issued in his honour by the Irish Post Office and the United States Postal Service. It was the first occasion that the Irish Post Office did a joint stamp issue with a foreign postal service. Called the James Hoban Commemoration Stamp its design was the same for both countries.

James Hoban was born in Kilkenny 1758. He grew up on an estate of the Earl of Desart in Cuffesgrange near Callan, County Kilkenny. Until his early 20’s, he worked on the estate as a wheelwright and carpenter. From there he moved to Dublin to study at the Dublin Society’s Drawing School on Lower Grafton Street where he excelled at his studies. Having completed his studies in 1779 he worked on various building projects in Dublin including Dublin City Hall. He is credited with the building of Belcamp House in Dublin. The building has been described as a mini Whitehouse complete with ‘oval office’. Belcamp House later became Belcamp College which closed in 2004.

By the year 1785 Hoban, having emigrated to the United States, had established himself as an architect in Philadelphia. He later moved to Charleston South Carolina where he designed both private and public buildings. The courthouse in Charleston which he remodelled form the old colonial state house is still in use today.

James Hoban won a competition to design the residence of the President of the United States now called the White House. He oversaw its construction from 1793 to 1800. During the war of 1812 the building was attacked and burned by the British who had invaded from their base on Ireland Island in the Caribbean. Hoban supervised the restoration work which was completed in 1817. The White House is modelled on Leinster House in Dublin, a fact acknowledged by President John F Kennedy in his speech to the Oireachtas in 1963.

Irish artist Ron Mercer and American designer Walter Richards collaborated to design a stamp in honour of James Hoban. A dedication ceremony announcing the release of the stamp was attended by the then First Lady Nancy Regan and the then Irish Ambassador to the United States Sean Donlan.

The dedication ceremony for the James Hoban Commemoration Stamp took place in the White House, Washington DC, in the year 1981 On This Day.

The White House Northside by Glyn Lowe Photoworks. on 2012-05-31 15:44:20

Architect James Hoban Stamp photo

Image from page 34

Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

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28 September-Game Boy

The Game Boy is a handheld game console. Developed and manufactured in Japan by Nintendo, it is one of the most successful game systems of all time. The Game Boy and its successor Game Boy Colour have sold over 100 million units around the world since first launched in Japan on April 21st 1989.

Game Boy has four operation buttons and a directional pad. It also has volume and contrast control knobs. When first produced Game Boy came with the puzzle game Tetris. The games for the console are on a ROM cartridge which is inserted in the top rear of the console. Other games such as Donkey Kong, Super Mario and Pokémon are also available.

Game Boy, a handheld game console developed and manufactured in Japan by Nintendo, was first released in Ireland in the year 1990 On This Day.

 

Game Boy by Tomislav Mavrovic on 2010-09-08 21:57:17

Sorcha’s Bihrtday

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27 September-The Royal Showband

The Royal Showband was founded in Waterford City, Ireland in 1957. Showbands were a popular form of entertainment in Ireland from the mid 1950’s to the late 1970’s. The showband, which played dance music together with pop, rock and roll and country music of the time, usually consisted of six or seven members. They played in large venues all over Ireland and some bands toured with success in Britain, the United States and Canada. Though a band called the Clipper Carlton is regarded as the first of the Irish showbands, the Royal Showband became one of the most successful bands of the era.

The Royal Showband was founded by a group of young musicians which included Brendan Bowyer, Tom Dunphy, Michael Coppinger, Jim Conlan, Charlie Mathews and Gerry Cullen. The band was managed by T J Byrne from Carlow. As the band members all had day jobs they could only perform at the weekend and did not turn professional until 1959. During the following decade the band, with Brendan Bowyer as the lead singer, became the most popular band in Ireland.

The Royal showband had a brief change of name to the Waterford Showband in 1960. The change occurred because two members of the British royal family were in attendance when the band made an appearance at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London. By 1962 Brendan Bowyer and the Royal Showband were so successful that The Beatles were the supporting act for them at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. On the poster advertising the concert The Beatles were called ‘Liverpool’s own beat group’. The Royal Showband band toured extensively in Great Britain and the US and had several number one hits, the most popular of which was ‘The Hucklebuck’ in 1965.

In 1966 the Royal Showband played at a venue in Las Vegas, Nevada for a four week period. This led to the band performing in Las Vegas for up to six months each year during the following years. In 1970 Brendan Bowyer and Tom Dunphy left to form a new band called the ‘Big 8’. The Royal Showband gave its final performance on July 29th 1971 at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Royal Showband, which became one of the most successful bands of the era, was launched in Waterford City, Ireland in the year 1957 On This Day.

Waterford photo

Waterford City, Quays

Photo by Hotelsireland

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