31 March-Robert Bunsen

Robert Bunsen was a native of Germany. He was a chemist who is best remembered for the invention of the Bunsen burner with his laboratory assistant Peter Desaga. Bunsen burners are used in laboratories worldwide to this day. Bunsen discovered how geysers work, invented flash photography and made important discoveries in spectrometry and organic chemistry.

Robert Wilhelm Bunsen was born in Göttingen, in Lower Saxony, Germany in 1811. In 1830 at the age of 19 he was awarded a PhD by the University of Göttingen. Following graduation he travelled around Europe during the following two years studying chemistry. He later taught for a time at the University of Göttingen. In 1834 Bunsen discovered an antidote for arsenic poisoning while working with the physician Arnold Berthold.

From 1838 to 1851 Bunsen taught at the University of Marsburg. In 1852 he took up a teaching post at the University of Heidelberg. He remained there until his retirement in 1889. He invented several laboratory tools including a grease-spot photometer and the Bunsen cell battery. In 1859, with the physicist Gustav Kirchhoff he invented the first spectroscope which he used to discover the elements caesium and rubidium. He died aged 88 on August 16th 1899.

Robert Bunsen, chemist and native of Germany, who is best known for the invention on the Bunsen burner was born in the year 1811 On This Day.

Robert Wilhelm Bunsen

Geysir en el suroeste de Islandia




30 March-Natural Gas

Carlow town in 1984, was one of the first towns in Ireland to be supplied with natural gas. Natural gas was first brought ashore in Ireland from the Kinsale Head gas field off the Cork coast in 1976. A pipeline which passed through Co Carlow brought gas to Dublin. Gas from this line was supplied by a spur-line to Carlow town.

Natural gas was discovered about 50km off the Old head of Kinsale in 1971. Production of gas from the field began in 1976 and gas was initially supplied to a power plant in Cork. The Cork-Dublin pipeline was constructed in 1982. The gas supply network was expanded during the following decades.

As the demand for gas increased the supply from the Kinsale Head field began to decline. In 1993 a sub-sea interconnector was constructed to supply gas from Great Britain to meet Ireland’s growing demand. A second interconnector was constructed in 2002.

The Corrib gas field was discovered was discovered in the Atlantic Ocean off the Mayo coast in 1996. Gas supply from this field began to flow into the national grid in 2015. The Kinsale Head field and the Corrib gas field now supply 58% of Ireland’s gas needs. The remainder is imported from Great Britain.

Construction work began on the Cork to Dublin gas pipeline in the year 1982 On This Day.

Old Head of Kinsale



29 March-Charles Stanford

Charles Stanford was a native of Dublin, Ireland. He was a composer, music teacher and conductor whose compositions were popular during the late 19th and early 20th century. His work, which included several symphonies and five Irish Rhapsodies, had a major impact on music composition in Great Britain and Ireland.

Charles Villiers Stanford was born in Dublin on September 30th 1852. He was educated at a private school in Dublin. Interested in music from a young age, he had several tutors as a young boy. He wrote his first composition, a march in D major, at the age of eight. It was performed in 1863 at the Theatre Royal in Dublin.

In 1870 Stanford was admitted to Cambridge University to study classics. However he became deeply involved in the musical life of the university. He graduated in 1874 with a third-class degree. Following graduation he studied music in Leipzig and Berlin.

Stanford was one of the founders of the Royal College of Music. He was appointed Professor of Music at Cambridge University in 1882. Together with his teaching duties he continued to compose and perform. He received several honours including an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin in 1921.

Charles Stanford, composer, music teacher and conductor who was a native of Dublin died in London in the year 1924 On This Day.



28 March-Br Joseph Ignatius Doorley

Joseph Doorley was a native of Carlow, Ireland. He was a member of the Congregation of Christian Brothers. He established schools in New York City; New Rochelle, New York; Chicago, Illinois and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Past pupils of the schools which he founded include American singer, songwriter and musician Don McClean and Argentinian and Leinster Rugby Union footballer Felipe Contepomi.

Joseph Doorley was born at Cloneen, Nurney, Co Carlow in 1878. He was the fourth of five children of John Doorley and his wife Maria Whitty. Maria Whitty was a native of Milltown House Co. Kilkenny. James was baptised at the nearby St. Patrick’s Church, Newtown by Fr Edward Kavanagh on March 31st 1878.

When Joseph was five years old his father died. The five children were raised by their mother. Joseph was educated at Newtown National School where Mr O’Mahoney was the Principal. He excelled at school and having completed his primary education was retained in Newtown School as a monitor.

It was intended that Joseph would proceed to teacher training. However Newtown School was visited by Br Joseph McCormack, a Christian Brother who was on his postulating rounds. Following the visit, Joseph Doorley decided to join the Christian Brothers. At the age of 17 he entered the Christian Brothers training school in Baldoyle, Co Dublin in July 1895. He was given the name Brother Ignatius.

Having completed his training Br Ignatius taught for a time at O’Connell’s Schools in Dublin. He was transferred to the Christian Brothers’ College (CBC) in Cork City in 1904. He worked in the commercial department and was appointed sports master in charge of the school rugby team. CBC had remarkable achievements in University College Cork and the rugby team produced two international players, Harry Jack and Vincent McNamara who played for the Ireland national Rugby team.

In 1909 Br Doorley was chosen to be the Superior of the first Christian Brothers’ High School established in New York City. He remained in charge until the school was well established before being transferred to New Rochelle, New York where he established Iona College on October 16th 1919. In 1927 he established St Leo’s High School in Chicago.

At the age sixty-nine Br Doorley set out for Argentina to establish the first Christian Brothers’ school in South America. Colegio Cardenal Newman (Cardinal Newman College) was established in Buenos Aires in 1948. Today it is a bilingual, day, co-educational primary and secondary school. It is an important centre for Rugby union in Argentina. Br Doorley died aged 68 in 1963. He is buried in Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires.

Br Joseph Ignatius Doorely, Christian Brother and native of Carlow, Ireland, who founded schools in New York City; New Rochelle, New York; Chicago, Illinois and Buenos Aires, Argentina was born in the year 1878 On This Day.

Iona College of New Rochelle

Iona Gaelic Society at St. Patricks Day Parade

27 March-Rolls-Royce

Rolls Royce Motor Cars is a manufacturer and distributor of luxury cars. The company, which is based in England is a wholly owned subsidiary of the German group BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke). It was founded by Henry Royce, an engineer and Charles Rolls, a car salesman in 1906. The company which produces brands such as The Phantom, The Ghost, The Wraith and The Dawn employs over 1300 people.

Henry Royce was born near Peterborough, England in 1863. The youngest of five children his father died when he was nine. Henry worked as an apprentice with the Great Northern Railway Company and later with a tool making company in Leeds. In 1884 he established F.H. Royce and Company with a friend, manufacturing electric cranes.

Royce began building cars and on May 4th 1904 met Charles Rolls. At the time Rolls was selling French made Panhard cars at his showrooms in London. He agreed to sell cars manufactured by Royce instead. The Rolls-Royce became famous for its luxury and reliability. Henry Royce died at the age of 70 on April 22nd 1933.

Henry Royce, co-founder of the Roll-Royce company was born in the year 1863 On This Day.