30 November-Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde was a playwright, novelist, and poet who was a native of Dublin, Ireland. As a writer he is best known for his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and his play The Importance of Being Earnest. Apart from his writing, his wit and lifestyle made Wilde one of the best known personalities of his time.

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born at 21 Westland Row, Dublin on October 16, 1854. He was educated at Portora Royal School at Enniskillen and at Trinity College Dublin. Following graduation from Trinity, Wilde was awarded a scholarship for further study at Magdalen College in Oxford.

Having completed his studies at Oxford in 1878, Wilde moved to London where he began writing poetry. In 1882 he travelled to North America where he spent almost a year on a lecture tour. He spent the following year on the lecture circuit in Ireland and England before taking up a post as editor of a woman’s magazine.

During his time as editor Wilde began writing what would be his most famous works. By 1890 he was one of the most successful playwrights of his time. In February 1895 the Marquis of Queensbury accused Wilde of being a sodomite. Wilde sued him for slander but lost. In the trial which followed Wilde was found guilty of gross indecency and sentenced in May 1895 to two years of imprisonment. On being released he moved to France.

Oscar Wilde died in Paris at the age of 46 in the year 1900 On This Day.

OSCAR WILDE – MERRION SQUARE by infomatique on 2004-09-15 16:27:49

THE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE by summonedbyfells on 2014-06-11 10:46:39

Oscar Wilde’s grave, Paris by dblackadder on 2005-03-31 07:42:48


30 November-South Leinster Way

The South Leinster Way is one of many walking trails in Ireland. It begins in Kildavin, Co Carlow and stretches for 104km (65 miles) to Carrick-on-Suir in Co Tipperary. At Carrick-on-Suir the trail known as the east Munster way begins. Both walking trails form part of Ireland’s 4,000km waymarked trails the first of which, the Wicklow Way, was opened in 1982.

From Kildavin in Co Carlow the South Leinster Way passes through Borris in Co Carlow, Graiguenamanagh and Inistigoe Co Kilkenny and on to Carrick-on-Suir in Co Tipperary. The terrain along the route varies between mountain trails and riverside walks. These include walks on Mount Leinster in the Blackstairs Mountains in Co Carlow and Mount Brandon near Graiguenamanagh in Co Kilkenny together with a riverside walk along the towpath of the River Barrow. The towpath at the moment has a grassy surface. Waterways Ireland intend to install a new surface which will provide a firm base for walkers.

This National Waymarked Trail has no significant climbs and takes about 5 days to complete. Overnight accommodation is available along the route in picturesque country towns such as Borris, Inistioge and Griaiuenamanagh. Because of Ireland’s temperate climate the walking trails can be enjoyed all year round.

The National Waymarked Trail known as the South Leinster Way was officially opened in the year 1985 On This Day.



Finea 5KM Road Race – March 2014 by Peter Mooney on 2014-03-23 10:58:17

Mount Leinster photo

View from Mt Leinster

Photo by stephenhanafin


30 November-Dean Swift

Jonathan Swift visited Carlow town during his time as Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin City. He stayed in Centaur Street and preached at St Mary’s Church. His observation of Carlow was “Poor Town, proud people, high Church and low steeple.”

Jonathan Swift was born at Hoey’s Court in Dublin city in 1667. He was Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin from 1713 until his death in 1745. Shortly before Swift was born his father died. Swift’s uncles supported him and his family and they paid for him to attend school. He was sent to Kilkenny College at age five. He was student there until the age of sixteen when he was admitted to Trinity College Dublin. He was awarded his BA degree in 1686 despite reports that he came to the attention of the college authorities for breaching the disciplinary code on many occasions.

Swift moved to England to work in 1689 but he returned to Ireland on several occasions for short periods. However it was only when he was appointed as Dean of Saint Patricks Cathedral in 1713 that he took up permanent residence in Dublin. He spent nearly all the rest of his life in Ireland. He devoted himself to exposing what he regarded as unjust impositions on, and the unfair treatment of, the Irish people by the policies being adopted by England.

A Proposal for the Universal Use of Irish Manufacture was regarded as being very patriotic and was enormously popular when it was first published in 1720. The The Drapier Letters, published in 1724, were an exposé of a plan to introduce a new copper coin that would have devalued Ireland’s currency. Swift asked: ‘Were not the people of Ireland born as free as those of England? Are they not subjects of the same king? Am I a freeman in England and do I become a slave in six hours by crossing the Channel?’ The publication established Swift as a national hero. He published Gulliver’s Travels in 1726 and a Modest Proposal in 1729.

Dean Jonathan Swift died at the age of 78 on October 19th 1745 and is buried in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. His epitaph which he wrote himself and instructed that it be carved in Kilkenny marble reads:

Here lies the body of Jonathan Swift, Doctor of Divinity and Dean of this Cathedral,

Where savage indignation can no longer lacerate his heart;

Go traveller and imitate if you can, this dedicated and earnest champion of liberty.

Jonathan Swift, Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, was born in Dublin in the year 1667 On This Day.

Dean Swift by Stifts- och landsbiblioteket i Skara on 2011-12-22 16:15:15

Dean Swift by Rob Hurson on 2014-05-30 13:03:46

29 November-Ann Dunham

Ann Dunham was an anthropologist who was the mother of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States of America. As an undergraduate student at the University of Hawaii she met and married Barack H. Obama, Sr. He was a native of Kenya who was a student at the University on a college scholarship. Their son Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4th 1961.

Shortly after his son’s birth Obama Sr. was awarded a scholarship to study for a PhD at Harvard University. He moved to Harvard and Ann Dunham raised their son and continued her studies. She was awarded a BA in anthropology by the University of Hawaii on August 6th 1967. She later studied abroad, particularly in Indonesia where she helped establish a micro-finance programme for small business. She performed doctoral research in Indonesia and was awarded a PhD in anthropology on August 9th 1992. She died at the age of 52 on November 7th

Ann Dunham was born in the year 1942 On This Day.

Ann Dunham (Barack Obama’s Mother) Field Notes by Raymond June on 2012-01-06 19:00:22

Barack Obama with his mother in Hawaii. by U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia on 2011-11-11 13:31:32

Right-to-left: Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro with their mother Ann and maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii (early 1970s) by U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia on 2011-11-11 13:32:35

29 November-George Harrison

George Harrison was a guitarist, singer, songwriter and film producer. He was the lead guitarist of the world famous rock group the Beatles. The band was one of the most commercially successful in music history.

George Harrison was born in Liverpool, England, on February 25th 1943. Interested in music from a young age he was given his first guitar at age 14 by his father. He learned to play the guitar and formed his own band called the Rebels.

Harrison met Paul McCartney on the school bus and later joined McCartney and John Lennon as a member of the Quarrymen. The Quarrymen would eventually become the Beatles in August 1960 and would be joined by Ringo Starr. The Beatles disbanded in 1970 and Harrison pursued a successful solo career. He also established a movie production company.

George Harrison died at the age of 58 in Los Angeles, California in the year 2001 On This Day.

george harrison the quiet one, by badgreeb RECORDS – art -photos on 2012-03-23 01:30:20