31 December-Raidió Teilifís Éireann

Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE) is Ireland’s public service radio, television and internet broadcaster. It is one of the oldest public service broadcasters in the world. Broadcasting in Ireland began on radio in 1926. Today RTE broadcasts on a large number of radio and television stations to audiences in Ireland and abroad.

Radio broadcasting became popular after World War I. Ireland was one of the first countries in Europe to begin radio broadcasting, when 2RN (now RTÉ 1) was launched on January 1st 1926. RTÉ 1 continues to broadcast and is the most listened to station in Ireland. Telefís Éireann was established in 1961. Radio and television services became known as RTÉ in 1966.

RTÉ Television, which was first known as Telefís Éireann, began broadcasting in the year 1961 On This Day.


RTE Mast


29 December-New Year Honours List

Daniel O’Donnell is a singer-songwriter and television presenter who is a native of Co Donegal, Ireland. The recipient of numerous awards he was awarded an Honorary MBE by Queen Elizabeth II. The award was made in recognition of his services to the music industry.

John Rocha is a famous fashion designer based in Ireland. Rocha has been the recipient of several awards and was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire). The award was made in recognition of his long-standing contribution to the fashion industry.

Daniel O’Donnell was listed for an Honorary MBE and John Rocha was listed for a CBE in the year 2001 On This Day.

Daniel O’Donnell

John Rocha



27 December-Indonesia

Indonesia, with a population of over 250 million is the fourth most populous country in the world. It is an archipelago of 18,110 islands off the coast of Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Formerly known as the Dutch East Indies it became an independent country in 1949.

The Portuguese were the first to trade with the people of Indonesia in the early 1500’s. However the area was first colonised by the Dutch in 1602. Indonesia remained under Dutch control for over 300 years. Following occupation by the Japanese during World War II, Indonesia began a four year struggle for independence.

Indonesia was granted independence by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands following 300 years of Dutch rule in the year 1949 On This Day.


Indonesia -Lost in paradise



26 December-Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage was a native of England. Considered by many to be the grandfather of the computer he was a mathematician and inventor. He met with George Boole Professor of Mathematics at University College Cork, Ireland when they both attended Great London Exposition of 1862. Boole is described as the ‘father of the information age’.

Charles Babbage was born in London, England in 1791. Having graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1814 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1816. He was one of the founders of Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Statistical Society. He served as Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

Having built a small calculator Babbage began building the ‘Difference Machine’ in 1823. The machine was capable of performing calculations to 20 decimals. During the 1830’s he worked on the design of the Analytical Engine which was programmed using punched cards. The ‘Engine’ had most of the elements of the modern-day computer.

Babbage visited Ireland on three occasions. He was the first person to sign the visitors’ book at Birr Castle following the completion of the building of the Great Telescope there in 1845. He regularly corresponded with Professor Boole. Babbage died in London at the age of 79 on October 18th 1871.

Charles Babbage, who is considered to be the grandfather of the computer was born in the year 1791 On This Day.

Babbage and His Brain

Babbage’s Difference Engine



22 December-Nicholas Callan

Nicholas Callan was a priest and physicist who was a native of Co Louth, Ireland. In 1836 he invented the first induction coil. At the time he was professor of Natural Philosophy (Physics) in Maynooth College, Co Kildare. In 1838 he developed an electric motor which Siemens in Germany used as a basis for the production of a generator in 1886. Callan also built new batteries which later went into commercial production in London.

Nicholas Joseph Callan was born Darver near Ardee, Co Louth in 1799. He was educated locally and began training for the priesthood at Navan Seminary. He later trained at Maynooth College (Royal College of St. Patrick) and was ordained in 1823. Callan then moved to Rome where he learned of the work of Alessandro Volta. He studied at Sapienza University where he was awarded a doctorate in divinity. In 1826 Callan returned to Ireland and was appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy at Maynooth.

Father Nicholas Joseph Callan, one of the pioneers in the development of electricity during the 19th century was born in the year 1799 On This Day.


Rev Nicholas Callan