24 June-Kilkenny wins First All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship

In Ireland the Kilkenny GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) senior hurling team is the most successful in the country. The GAA was founded on November 1st 1884. The Kilkenny branch of the Association, which was founded in 1887, has its headquarters at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny city.

In the early years football was the dominant GAA sport in Co Kilkenny. The Kilkenny Senior Football team won the first ever Leinster Senior Football Championship when they beat Wexford 1-04 to 0-02 at Inchicore in Dublin. Over the following years other successes followed but hurling gradually became the dominant GAA sport in Kilkenny. Today, though football is still played in the county, Kilkenny is the only county that does not participate in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.

In the late 1800’s cricket was the most popular sport in Kilkenny with over forty cricket clubs in the county. However, as the GAA began to organise in Kilkenny, the ancient game of hurling started to experience a revival. In the space of a couple of decades hurling had become the dominant game in the county. In the early part of the 20th century Kilkenny teams were regularly winning All-Ireland hurling titles. They have continued down through the years to be the dominant force in the game in Ireland. By 2015 the Kilkenny Senior Hurling team had won:

• The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship thirty-six times

• The Leinster Senior Hurling Championship seventy times

• The National Hurling League seventeen times.

Kilkenny began the 2015 Senior Hurling Championship campaign with an emphatic win over Wexford. The team then went on to win the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship by defeating Galway 1-22 to 1-18.

The Kilkenny Senior Hurling team, often referred to as ‘The Cats’, won their first All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship when they beat Cork by 1-09 to 1-08 in Carrick-on-Suir in the year 1904 On This Day.

Kilkenny Hurling Team by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1923-09-26 12:11:26

Good Times by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1921-09-11 08:48:34

All-Ireland Final by Florian Christoph on 2014-09-27 16:03:02


24 June-Sally Ride, first female American Astronaut

Sally Ride was an astronaut and physicist who, in 1983, became the first American woman in space. Having made her first space flight at the age of 32 Ride became the youngest ever American astronaut. She flew into space for a second time aboard the Space Shuttle in 1984.

Sally Kristen Ride was born on May 26th 1951 in Los Angeles, California. She graduated with a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University in 1978. In 1977 NASA began looking for women astronauts. Ride decided to apply and was one of six women chosen. Following a rigorous training programme she became the first American woman to travel into space on June 18th 1983. The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union in 1963.

The mission on the Space Shuttle Challenger travelled over two million miles. Two communication satellites were launched and several science experiments carried out. Ride helped to deploy the satellites. The mission lasted just over six days before landing safely at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, returned to earth aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in the year 1983 On This Day.

Sally Ride America’s first woman astronaut communicates with ground controllers from the flight deck during the six day mission of the Challenger. National Aeronautics and Space Administration., 06/18/1983 – 06/24/1983 by The U.S. National Archives on 1983-06-18 12:20:32

23 June-St John Ambulance

Sir James Gildea, who was a native of Kilmaine, Co Mayo Ireland was a founder of St. John Ambulance Association. St John Ambulance Association is an international humanitarian organisation. In Ireland it offers First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training. It also offers Ambulance transport and First Aid cover for various events and youth programmes.

James Gildea was born in Kilmaine, Co Mayo in 1838. He was educated at St Columba’s College, Dublin, Pembroke College, Cambridge, England and later joined the British Army. He worked for National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War and founded the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association. He successfully raised funds to help the families of those killed in various wars.

The first division of St John Ambulance was founded at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin in 1903. The organisation expanded rapidly and women joined the ranks in 1909. In its early years St John Ambulance was involved in several major events in Irish history. These included the 1913 Dublin Lockout, the Easter Rising of 1916, the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War.

Together with its training programmes St John Ambulance has been giving assistance to sick and injured members of the public for over 100 years. Today it continues to provide its voluntary services to the public. It is a registered charity and receives no state funding. Internationally it is registered with the Order of St John as an “associated body”.

Sir James Gildea who was a founder of the St John Ambulance was born in Kilmaine Co Mayo in the year 1838 On This Day.

St John’s Ambulance G253EHD by Pimlico Badger on 2007-09-16 15:17:20

23 June-Admiral William Brown Argentine Navy

Admiral William Brown, who was a native of Foxford Co Mayo Ireland, was the founder of and is commonly known as the ‘father of the Argentine Navy’. Brown is regarded as one of the heroes of Argentine history. He played a major role in that countries fight for independence from Spain.

William Brown was born in Foxford Co Mayo in 1777. When William was nine years old, his family emigrated to America where they settled in the city of Philadelphia. Accounts vary as to how he became a sailor but when he was very young Brown secured employment as a ships cabin boy. During the following ten years Brown sailed on the Atlantic learning his trade as a seaman. He eventually became captain of an American merchant ship.

In 1796 Brown joined the British Royal Navy (some accounts say he was forcibly enlisted) to serve during the Napoleonic wars. He was captured by the French but escaped to England where he married Elizabeth Chitty on July 29th 1810. The following year the couple sailed to Buenos Aires where Brown began trading on the River Plate.

Argentina at the time was involved in its war of independence with Spain. The Spanish attacked Brown’s trading vessels and in 1814, though he was reluctant to do so, he joined in the war against the Spanish. With limited resources and an improvised fleet Brown led a successful campaign which culminated in the destruction of the Spanish fleet on May 17th 1814. Since then May 17th is known as ‘The Day of the Argentine Navy’.

Brown continued to serve with the Argentine Navy until Argentina declared independence on July 9th 1816. Having left the Navy he took up farming for the following fourteen years. When the war with Brazil began Brown was appointed Admiral of the fleet. He led a successful campaign against the Brazilians which eventually led to a peace treaty in 1928 in which both countries recognised the independence of Uruguay.

Brown was a strong supporter of Daniel O’Connell and the repeal association. The devastating effects of the Great Famine were well known in Argentina. Accompanied by his daughter Brown visited his native Foxford in 1847.

Admiral William Brown died in Buenos Aires on March 3rd 1857. He was buried with full military honours. He is regarded as one of the founding fathers of Argentina and its greatest naval hero. There are statues and memorials to Admiral Brown in both Argentina and Ireland. In 2006 the LE Eithne (which has since served in the Mediterranean) sailed to Buenos Aires to bring back a statue of Admiral Brown. The statue is on display on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin.

William Brown Admiral of the Argentinian Navy was born in Foxford, Co Mayo, Ireland in the year 1777 On This Day.

Admiral Brown Statue At A New Location On The South Campshire Sir John Rogerson’s Quay (Dublin) by infomatique on 2013-04-29 15:46:02

Guillermo Brown by DrPhotoMoto on 2008-03-31 10:15:18

22 June-Kelly the Boy From Killane

The ballad ‘Kelly the Boy From Killane’, written by P J McCall commemorates the exploits of John Kelly during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. McCall also wrote songs such as ‘Follow Me Up to Carlow’, ‘The Boys of Wexford’, ‘Boolavogue’ and ‘The Lowlands Low’. ‘Kelly the Boy From Killane’ has been recorded by Luke Kelly of the Dubliners and by several other artists.

John Kelly was born in Killane about 20km west of Enniscorthy, Co Wexford in 1776. He was one of the leaders of the Rising of 1798. Following the capture of Wexford town he was injured while leading a column at the battle of New Ross. Following the failure of the Rising Kelly was hanged in Wexford town. In 1898 a memorial was erected at his grave. In 1998 another memorial to John Kelly was erected at a nearby crossroads.

Glory-o, glory-o to her brave sons who died

For the cause of long down trodden man

Glory-o to Mount Leinster’s own darling and pride

Dauntless Kelly the boy from Killane

John Kelly is reported to have been hanged for his role in the Irish Rebellion of 1798 in the year 1798 On This Day.

Image taken from page 195 of ‘History of the Irish Rebellion in 1798; with memoirs of the Union, and Emmett’s insurrection in 1803’ by The British Library on 2013-11-24 08:05:26