20 February-James Haughton

James Haughton was a native of Carlow town Ireland. He was a successful businessman, who was a strong supporter of Father Mathew’s Temperance Movement. He was also a philanthropist and anti-slavery campaigner. His was the father of the well-known scientist Samuel Haughton who was a professor at Trinity College Dublin.

James Haughton was born in Carlow on May 5th 1795. He was educated at Ballitore Co Kildare. Following his education he settled in Dublin. With his brother William he established a successful corn and flour business. Haughton was born into a Quaker family and was educated at a school run by the Quakers. However he joined the Unitarians in 1834. Haughton retired form his business in 1850.

A social reformer and campaigner on several issues Haughton began writing to the press on a range of topics starting around 1835. He wrote letters on issues such as slavery, temperance, crime, capital punishment, sanitation and land reform. Through his letter writing Haughton became widely known. Haughton was a delegate to the Anti-slavery Convention in London in 1838. He was a friend and supporter of Daniel O’Connell and campaigned for the repeal of the Act of Union. When the temperance campaigner Father Mathew was imprisoned Haughton led the campaign to raise funds for his release.

Haughton was convinced that much of the crime, disease and poverty in Ireland could be attributed to the abuse of alcohol. Although he was one of the most successful grain merchants in Dublin, he refused to deal in malt or barley as they were used to produce alcohol. Haughton was a founder of the Mechanics Institute in Dublin and believed that the welfare of people could be improved through the provision of education. He was a leader of the campaign which led to Dublin Zoo and the Botanical Gardens being opened to the public on Sundays. He was a member of the committee which established the People’s Garden in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

James Haughton died at the age of 78 at his home at 35 Eccles Street, Dublin, in 1873. He is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery in Harold’s Cross where on his headstone is written:

A follower of Christ he did his best.

He was a well-known advocate of



James Haughton businessman and campaigner on many social issues, who was a native of Carlow town Ireland died in the year 1873 On This Day.

Haughton James House

James Haughton [5 May 1795 – 20 February 1873]





19 February-Phil Coulter

Phil Coulter is a native of Derry Northern Ireland. He is an award winning musician, songwriter and record producer. His music genres include folk, pop and traditional Irish. To date Coulter has 23 platinum records. His awards include a Grammy nomination and five Ivor Novello Awards including Songwriter of the Year in 1975.

Phil Coulter was born in Derry in 1942. He was educated at St. Columb’s College in the city. He later studied Music and French at the Queen’s University of Belfast where he formed his first band. During his career his hit compositions include ‘Walking the Streets in the Rain’, ‘Puppet on a String’, ‘Congratulations’, ‘Saturday Night’ and ‘My Boy’. Coulter composed ‘Ireland’s Call’ in 1995.

Phil Coulter, award winning musician and composer of songs such as ‘Ireland’s Call’ was born in the year 1942 On This Day.

Phil Coulter (seated) Listens To Liam O’Maonlai




18 February-Queen Mary I

Mary I was the first Queen of England and Ireland. She reigned from 1553 until her death in 1558. During her reign, Co Laois in the Irish midlands was planted with English settlers and was called Queen’s County. Though the county was renamed Laois following Irish independence in 1922, property deeds are still updated as being in Queen’s County. The adjacent county of Offaly was called King’s County after the husband of Mary I, King Phillip II of Spain.

Queen Mary I was born in Greenwich London in 1516. She was the only surviving daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. She became Queen of England and Ireland following the death of Edward VI. During her reign Mary reversed the Protestant reforms which had been introduced by Edward. Over 280 Protestants were executed and many more went into exile. She died in London on November 17th 1558 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. She was succeeded by Elizabeth I who, when she died in 1603 was buried in the same tomb as Mary.

Mary I, who was the first Queen of England and Ireland, was born in the year 1516 On This Day.

Mary in an ornate dress

Mary I of England by Hans Eworth



17 February-Derrynaflan Chalice

The Derrynaflan Chalice was discovered near Killenaule, Co Tipperary, Ireland. It dates from the 8th or 9th century and was part of what is known as the Derrynaflan Hoard which was discovered in 1980. The Hoard consists of five liturgical vessels which are now on display in the National Museum of Ireland.

Derrynaflan is an area of pastureland surrounded by bogland. It was the site of an abbey. The Hoard was probably hidden when the abbey came under attack from the Vikings. In 1980 a Mr Webb and his son discovered the Derrynaflan Hoard using a metal detector. A follow-up excavation by the National Museum discovered other objects.

The Derrynaflan Chalice was discovered near Killenaule, Co Tipperary, Ireland in the year 1980 On This Day.

National Museum of Ireland

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