18 August-William Hamilton VC

William Hamilton was a native of Co Kilkenny Ireland. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry in 1879. He won the award, at the age of 22, for bravery shown whilst serving with the Indian Army in Afghanistan. The Victoria Cross is awarded for ‘most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy’. The Victoria Cross has been awarded to 168 soldiers from Ireland, six of whom were born in Kilkenny.

Walter Richard Pollock Hamilton was born in Inistioge, County Kilkenny in 1856. On April 2nd 1879 he was serving as a lieutenant in the Staff Corps and Corps of Guides of the Indian Army during the Second Afghan War. He was leading the Cavalry against very superior numbers at Futtehabad when the following event took place for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

‘…at a critical moment when his Commanding Officer (Major Wigram Battye) fell, Lieutenant Hamilton, then the only Officer left with the Regiment, assumed command and cheered on his men to avenge Major Battye’s death. In this charge Lieutenant Hamilton, seeing Sowar Dowlut Ram down, and attacked by three of the enemy, whilst entangled with his horse (which had been killed) rushed to the rescue, and followed by a few of his men cut down all three and saved the life of Sowar Dowlut Ram’.

Lieutenant Hamilton continued to serve in Afghanistan. He was killed during the storming of the British embassy in Kabul on September 3rd 1879. There are memorials to Lieutenant Hamilton in Inistioge Church, Kilkenny, Horse Show Hall, Ballsbridge, Dublin and at Christ Church, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. A statue to him which was located at the National Museum in Dublin is now on display at the national Army Museum in London.

William Hamilton was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry during an engagement in Afghanistan, was born in Kilkenny, Ireland in the year 1856 On This Day.

Inistioge Church





18 August-St Mary’s Cathedral Kilkenny City

St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny is located on James’s Street in Kilkenny City. Usually referred to as St Mary’s, it is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ossory. The diocese is located in the southeast of Ireland. It contains Kilkenny City and was established in 1111 AD. St Mary’s Cathedral is the episcopal seat of the Bishop of Ossary.

St Mary’s Cathedral, which is a cruciform building is located on the highest point in Kilkenny City. It was designed by William Deane Butler. The Cathedral, which took 14 years to build, was opened on October 4th 1857

The foundation stone of St Mary’s Cathedral, which contains among other things a copy of the Kilkenny Journal, was laid Dr Kinsella Bishop of Ossory in the year 1843 On This Day.

St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny City





17 August-Maureen O’Hara

Maureen O’Hara was an actress and singer who was a native of Dublin, Ireland. She became famous for her starring roles in films such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Quiet Man. During her long and successful career she worked with some of the most famous actors in Hollywood. O’Hara was presented with an Honorary Academy Award in November 2014.

Maureen O’Hara was born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, Dublin in 1920. She was educated locally and began her acting career as a child. She joined the Abbey Theatre at the age of 14 and played her first major film role in ‘Jamaica Inn’ in 1939. The film co-starred Charles Laughton and was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

During her career Maureen O’Hara starred in films such as How Green Was My Valley (1941), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), The Quiet Man (1952), The Parent Trap (1961) and McLintock! (1963). She appeared in several movies with John Wayne and made her final film, Big Jake, with him in 1971. She continued to make films and appear on television until 2010. Her final film, ‘Only the Lonely’, in which O’Hara starred with John Candy was released in 1991.

Maureen O’Hara, actress and Hollywood star was born in Dublin in the year 1920 On This Day.

Maureen O’Hara

The Quiet Man



15 August-O’Connell Monument

The O’Connell monument is located at the south end of O’Connell Street in Dublin. The monument was built to commemorate ‘the liberator’ Daniel O’Connell and was unveiled in 1882. It consists three sections. At the top is a statue of O’Connell. The middle section of the monument is a frieze consisting of an array of figures including the ‘Maid of Erin’ holding a copy of the Act of Catholic Emancipation. The base section is of limestone with four figures representing Patriotism, Fidelity, Courage and Eloquence.

Daniel O’Connell was a native of Co Kerry. He qualified as a barrister and became involved in politics. He believed in the use of peaceful tactics to achieve change and led the successful campaign for Catholic Emancipation. He was elected as MP for Clare in 1828 but was not allowed to take his seat until the passing of the Catholic Relief Act of 1829.

Following his re-election in 1829 O’Connell became one of the first Catholics in modern history to sit in the British House of Commons. He went on to lead the campaign to repeal the Act of Union. During the 1840’s he held ‘monster meetings’ around Ireland as part of the campaign. Due to age and ill-health he left Ireland for Rome in 1847. He died in Genoa and his body was returned to Ireland and buried in Glasnevin cemetery.

The O’Connell Monument in Dublin was unveiled in the year 1882 On This Day.

O’Connell Monument, O’Connell St Lower, Dublin






13 August-George Stokes

The Stokes building in Dublin City University is named after George Stokes who was a native of Co Sligo, Ireland. The building houses the School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering and most of the School of Electronic Engineering. Stokes was a mathematician and physicist who served as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge in England for over 50 years.

George Gabriel Stokes was born at Skreen, Co Sligo in 1819. He was educated in Skreen and Dublin before entering Cambridge University in 1837. Following graduation he was elected to a fellowship at Cambridge. He remained at the University until his death in 1903. He also served as President of the Royal Society.

George Stokes mathematician and physicist who served as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge in England for over 50 years was born in Sligo in the year 1819 On This Day.

George Gabriel Stokes 1874 by Lowes Dickinson