28 November-Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (The Bard of Avon) was an English born poet, playwright and actor. He is credited with having written 38 plays and over 150 sonnets. He is widely regarded as the greatest dramatist of all time. Shakespeare is often referred to as the English national poet

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England in 1564. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582. At the time he was 18 and she was 26. They had three children, Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith. At around the age of 21 Shakespeare moved to London where he began a successful career as an actor and writer.

Shakespeare was a member and part owner of a company of theatrical players called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. The company later became known as the King’s Men. The plays he wrote before 1600 in the early part of his career, such as Richard II and Henry V, were historical in nature. However Romeo and Juliet and the merchant of Venice were also written at this time. Later he wrote what were mainly tragedies. These included plays such as Hamlet and Macbeth. In the last phase of his career he wrote tragicomedies such as The Tempest.

Though Shakespeare became well known as an actor and playwright during his lifetime his writings have remained popular down through the centuries. Today his dramatic genius is well recognised. His plays, which have been translated into every major living language, are highly popular and are constantly studied. Having moved back to live in Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare died there at the age of 52 on April 23rd 1616.

William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in the year 1582 On This Day.


28 November-Leighlinbridge Meteorite

Leighlinbridge is a picturesque and historic village located on the river Barrow about 10km south of Carlow town, Ireland. It is the location where the last meteorite to fall in Ireland was recovered. It is thought that it is the last known meteorite of the last millennium to have landed on earth and to have been recovered. The rock which is billions of years old was recovered by an elderly lady on December 12th 1999, a fortnight after it had fallen. The International Meteorite Nomenclature Committee has officially named the meteorite ‘Leighlinbridge’

Apart from the ‘Leighlinbridge’ at least eight other meteorites have been recovered in Ireland. Each one is named after the area in which it was found. The ‘Pettiswood’ landed in 1779 near Mullingar Co Westmeath. In 1810 the ‘Mooresoft’ landed near Lattin, Co Tipperary. The ‘Limerick’ fell to earth near Adare, Co Limerick in 1813. The ‘Killeter’ landed near the town of Castlederg Co Tyrone in 1844. In 1865 the ‘Dundrum’ fell near the village of Dundrum in Co Tipperary. The ‘Crumlin’ fell near Crumlin in Co Antrim in 1902 and in 1969 the ‘Bovedy’ fell near the town of Limavady in Co Derry. Parts of the meteorites are stored in the National Museum in Dublin and the Natural History Museum in London and the Smithsonian Institute in the US.

On the night the ‘Leighlinbridge’ fell to earth an exploding fireball lasting several seconds was observed over Carlow town. This was followed by a loud noise from the following sound waves, which were travelling more slowly and which caused houses to shake. Following the initial discovery on December 14th two more pieces of the meteorite were found later. A Scottish meteor dealer purchased the Leighlinbridge Meteor for £20,000. It was analysed at the National History Museum in London and a piece of the meteorite weighing about a gram was offered for sale in 2009 for £250.

The Leighlinbridge Meteorite lit up the night sky over Carlow as it fell to earth just after 10pm in the year 1999 On This Day.

Leighlinbridge by nilachseall on 2014-10-10 08:42:51

Awayland by David Bergin Photography on 2013-01-27 15:24:20

Barrow River at Leighlinbridge

27 November-Gaiety Theatre

The Gaiety Theatre is located on South King Street in Dublin, Ireland. For over 140 years it has been the source of a wide variety of entertainment for its patrons. The Gaiety Theatre specialises in operatic and musical productions as well as comedy, concerts and dance. On opening night patrons of the Gaiety Theatre enjoyed a performance of She Stoops to Conquer by Goldsmith followed by La Belle Sauvage.

The Gaiety is famous for its annual Christmas Pantomime. It has hosted a pantomime every year since 1874. The handprints of some of the famous people who have performed there, can be found cast in bronze and set in the pavement in front of the theatre. The names include Maureen Potter, Luciano Pavarotti and Niall Tóibín.

The Gaiety Theatre was officially opened in the year 1871 On This Day.

Sinbad the Sailor aka Tinbad the Tailor by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1892-12-01 00:00:00

Gaiety Theatre – South King Street (Dublin) by infomatique on 2012-03-02 16:05:05


Pastomime – Humpty Dumpty (a lad who rises from a very low position) by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1916-12-01 00:00:00

27 November-Eugene O’Neill

Eugene O Neill whose father was from Kilkenny, Ireland was an award winning American playwright. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1936 and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama on four occasions. He was the first author to use American vernacular in his writings.

Eugene Gladstone O Neill was born in a Broadway Hotel on what is now Times Square on October 16th 1888. His father was an actor with a theatrical company. As a result Eugene spent his early years on tour with his family. At the age of seven he was sent to a catholic boarding school in the Bronx, New York. In 1906 O’Neill enrolled in Princeton University but left after ten months. He then spent several years at sea. Events during his time at sea, later became a theme of many of his plays.

In 1912 O’Neill contracted tuberculosis. He began writing plays whilst recuperating from his illness. His first full length play, Beyond the Horizon was produced in 1920. O’Neill’s most famous play is ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’ (1956). Other plays include Mourning Becomes Electra (1931) and A Moon for the Misbegotten (1957). In 1936 O’Neill became the first US playwright to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1920, 1922, 1928, and 1957. His daughter Oona was the wife of Charlie Chaplin.

Eugene O’Neill died at the age of 65 in Boston, Massachusetts in the year 1953 On This Day.

Eugene O’Neill, New York City by OpenPlaques on 2012-09-05 21:09:34

Eugene O’Neill House, Danville, CA by pablo.sanchez on 2011-06-25 14:52:39

27 November-Francis MacManus

Francis MacManus was a novelist, broadcaster and teacher who was a native of Kilkenny Ireland. He wrote several novels and short stories during his lifetime. The Francis MacManus Short Story Award is named in his honour.

Francis MacManus was born in Kilkenny on March 8th 1909. He was educated at Kilkenny CBS, St Patricks College Dublin and UCD (University College Dublin). Following graduation MacManus worked as a teacher at Synge Street CBS for 18 years. He was appointed Director of Features at Radio Éireann (now RTE) in 1948. He worked there until his death in 1965.

In 1985 The RTÉ Francis MacManus Short Story Award was established in his memory. The winner is awarded a prize of €3,000. In 2014 the overall winner was The Oyster Catchers by Beth Tyrrell.

Francis MacManus died at the age of 56 in the year 1965 On This Day.

Mobile RTE by topgold on 2012-05-06 11:06:43