31 March-Arthur Griffith

Arthur Griffith was a politician and writer who played a leading role in the achievement of Irish independence. Through his writing he was influential in developing many of the ideas behind the movement which eventually led to the break with Britain. He was opposed to violence and was an advocate of peaceful means as the way to achieve Home Rule.

Arthur Griffith was born in Dublin in March 1872. He was educated by the Christian Brothers and followed his father into the printing trade. He was appointed editor of the United Irishman in 1898. His articles encouraged the idea of self-government for Ireland. One his ideas was for Irish independence under a dual monarchy. Griffith was not involved in the Easter Rising of 1916. Due to his writings however, he was one those imprisoned in the aftermath of the rising.

Following the War of Independence, Griffith was selected to lead the ‘envoys plenipotentiary from the elected government of the Republic of Ireland’ in negotiating the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921. The Treaty established Ireland as a self-governing Free State. It was ratified by 64 votes to 57 by Dáil Eireann on January 7th 1922. When those opposed to the Treaty lost the vote, they walked out of parliament led by Éamon de Valera. They began a campaign of violent opposition to the Treaty and Civil War ensued. Arthur Griffith died on August 12th 1922. The civil war ended in victory for the supporters of the Treaty on May 24th 1923.

Arthur Griffith was born in the year 1872 On This Day.

Arthur Griffith photo

Arthur Griffith July 10, 1922 by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1922-07-10 18:03:04



31 March-Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is the most visited paid monument in the world. It was built by Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923), a French engineer, whose early work focussed chiefly on bridges. Eiffel also built the metallic skeleton which supports the copper exterior of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York Harbour.

Eiffel began building the Tower in 1887 on the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris. It was the entrance arch for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) which was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The tower is 324 metres tall. It was the tallest building in the world when it was completed.

Many people initially criticised the Eiffel Tower and felt it was an eyesore. Some people would dine in the restaurant at the base in order to avoid seeing the tower. It is today one of the best known structures in the world and attracts an estimated seven million visitors every year. The tower has three levels. The third level, which is 276m above the ground, is painted every seven years. The Eiffel Tower was officially opened when Gustave Eiffel led a group of French Government officials and members of the press to the top of the tower where he hoisted a French flag.

The Eiffel Tower was officially opened by Gustave Eiffel in the year 1889 On This Day.

Eiffel Tower





31 March-Dermot Morgan Father Ted

Dermot Morgan was an actor and comedian who was a native of Dublin. He became famous for playing the role of Father Ted Crilly in the sitcom ‘Father Ted’.

Dermot John Morgan was born in Dublin in 1952. He was educated at Oatlands College, Stillorgan before going to University College Dublin (UCD). He graduated from UCD with a BA degree in English and Philosophy in 1974. Following graduation he began working as a teacher at St. Michael’s College, Ailesbury Road in Dublin. He left his teaching post two years later to pursue a career in comedy.

Between 1979 and 1982 Morgan regularly appeared on ‘Live Mike’ on RTE (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) where he played several comic characters. The most popular character he played was a catholic priest called Father Trendy. He later made appearances on shows such as Kenny Live. However, his comedy sketches which were at times controversial, were eventually dropped from the show. His comedy show ‘Scrap Saturday’, which began on RTE radio in 1988, became a big broadcasting success. The show lampooned several aspects of Irish life, especially its politicians. It was cancelled by RTE in 1991 much to the annoyance of Morgan.

Dermot Morgan’s big break came in 1995, when he starred in the show ‘Father Ted’ on Channel 4. ‘Father Ted’ ran for three series with a total of 25 episodes. It was also shown on RTE, Nine Network in Australia and on ABC Television. Dermot Morgan died suddenly at his home in London on February 28th 1998. He was 45 years old and had just completed the final episode in the third series of ‘Father Ted’.

Dermot Morgan was born in Dublin in the year 1952 On This Day.

Father Ted



30 March-Celine Dion

Celine Dion is a singer who is a native of Canada. With global record sales of over 200 million she is ranked 10th in the list of best-selling music artists of all time. Born in the French speaking province of Quebec, Dion was an award winning artist by the time she was 18. She is a global star and is the recipient of numerous awards.

Celine Marie Claudette Dion was born in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada in March 1968. A member of a musical family she began her singing career at a young age. She first became famous for her award winning French albums. She came to international attention in 1998 when she won the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, Ireland. Representing Switzerland, Dion sang ‘Ne partez pas sans moi’.

During the 1990’s, Celine Dion had a series of international number-one hits. Her first success was with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in 1992. This was followed by hit recordings such as ‘The Power of Love’, ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’ and ‘My Heart Will Go On’. She continues to record and perform successfully and is involved in several philanthropic activities.

Celine Dion was born in the year 1968 On This Day.

Rita’s Birthday Today.

Celine Dion

Celine Dion’s Star, Hollywood Walk of Fame




30 March-Frank O’Meara Artist

Frank O’Meara, an artist known for his plein air (open air) painting, was a native of Carlow town, Ireland. For many years he was better known abroad for his work than he was in Ireland. However the sale of his painting ‘Reverie’ for £496,500 in 1999 at auction in London brought his work to the attention of a wider audience.

Francis Joseph O’Meara was born at 37 Dublin Street Carlow in 1853. He was the youngest of seven children whose father was a medical doctor. O’Meara was educated locally in Carlow town. He moved to Dublin at the age of 18, it is thought, to study medicine. However, he had been interested in art from a young age and began to attend art classes shortly after he moved to Dublin. He moved to Paris at the age of 20 to study art at the invitation of his relative the novelist Kathleen O’Meara. She wrote under the pen name Grace Ramsay. Her grandfather Dr Barry O’Meara (1786-1836) was Napoleon’s personal physician when he was exiled to St Helena.

Frank O’Meara studied at the Atelier of the French painter Carolus-Duran. He visited the artist colonies of Barbizon and Grez-sur-Loing in the forest of Fontainebleau. He was a contemporary of Irish artist John Lavery and the American artist John Singer Sargent. O Meara lived at Grez-sur-Loing for over twelve years. Many of the scenes he painted reflect the landscape in which he was living. However, some say that his work does contain images which could be related to the river Barrow in his native Carlow.

During his lifetime O Meara was better known in France, England and Scotland, where his paintings were included in exhibitions, than he was in Ireland. However he did exhibit once in Dublin at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1879. Today paintings by O’Meara hang in places like the Ulster Museum in Belfast and the Hugh Lane Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin. His masterpiece ‘Towards the Night and Winter’, can be seen at the Hugh Lane Gallery.

In 1888 O’Meara returned to Carlow. He was suffering from malaria fever. He died in the family home on Dublin Street on October 15th 1888. He was just 35 years old. His death notice which was published in the Carlow Sentinel stated that ‘he died of malarial fever, contracted whilst living in France’. He is buried in the family grave in Bennekerry, 5km outside Carlow town.

Frank O’Meara was born in Carlow in the year 1853 On This Day.


Reverie, Frank O’Meara


Dublin Street, Carlow