22 November-Xbox 360

The Microsoft Xbox is a home video game console. It was first released in November 2001. The Xbox was designed to compete with the PlayStation and the Nintendo Game Cube. In 2002 Xbox Live saw the introduction of an online gaming service. Games such as Halo: Combat Evolved and Dead or Alive 3 made Xbox a highly popular game console.

The Xbox was replaced by the Xbox 360 in 2005. The new game console further developed the Xbox Live service. It enabled the user to receive updates and to download games. The Xbox 360 also enabled the user to play games online and to stream music, television programmes and films. Over 80 million units of the Xbox 360 have been sold worldwide. It was discontinued on April 20th 2016.

The Xbox 360 was released in the year 2005 On This Day.

Xbox 360 by YuMaNuMa on 2011-02-12 13:51:17

Xbox 360 Controller by M. Keefe on 2008-03-18 17:02:07


21 November-Niall Tóibín

Niall Tóibín was a comedian and actor who was a native of Cork city, Ireland. He was best known as a stand-up comedian and for his role in films such as Ryan’s Daughter, The Ballroom of Romance, Far and Away, and Veronica Guerin. The recipient of several awards, Tóibín also appeared in several television series, including Ballykissangel, during his career.

Niall Tóibín was born in Cork city in 1929. He was educated at the North Monastery in Cork and moved to Dublin in 1947 to work in the Civil Service. Six years later, he left the Civil Service to work full-time as an actor with the Radio Eireann Players. Tóibín also pursued a successful stage career.

In an illustrious career spanning over four decades Tóibín became famous for his roles on television, in film and in the theatre. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree by University College Cork in 2010. Tóibín was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Irish Film and Television Academy in 2011. He died on November 13th 2019.

Niall Tóibín, award winning comedian and actor, was born in Cork city, Ireland in the year 1929 On This Day.

Pub in Avoca, County Wicklow, Ireland. This was used as a primary exterior set in the BBC television series Ballykissangel in which Niall Tóibín had a role. It retains the name used in the show.

Phil Armitagehttp://www.philarmitage.net/wicklow/wicklow1.html



19 November-Jack Dorsey-Twitter

Jack Dorsey, one of the co-founders of Twitter, is a native of the USA. Twitter is an online multilingual social media networking service. It has its headquarters is in San Francisco, California, USA and its European offices in Dublin, Ireland. It has over twenty five offices around the world. Twitter users can send and read messages, which are called tweets. The messages on Twitter can consist of up to 140 characters.

Jack Dorsey was born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA in 1976. He attended Missouri University of Science and Technology. He transferred to New York University where he came up with the idea of Twitter. Twitter began when Dorsey published the message ‘just setting up my twttr’ on March 21st 2006. At the time of its creation the domain ‘twitter.com’ was already in use. As a result the service was initially called twttr until the domain name was purchased by the developers. The bird logo is the international symbol of Twitter. Twitter’s bird is called Larry.

Today Twitter has millions of users worldwide. Usage peaks during special events such as the FIFA world cup. Though over 100 heads of state have twitter accounts, it is banned in countries such as Iran, China and North Korea. With over 110 million followers, US President Barrack Obama is the most followed politician in the world. Katy Perry, with over 108 million followers is the most followed entertainer.

Jack Dorsey, one of the co-founders of Twitter, was born in the year 1976 On This Day.

Jack Dorsey by David Shankbone 2010 by david_shankbone on 2010-05-07 21:13:44


18 November-Carlow Workhouse

Carlow Union Workhouse was located on the Kilkenny road, Carlow, Ireland. Built 1842-44 it was demolished in the 1970’s to make way for new buildings for Carlow Vocational School and Carlow Institute of Technology. In common with towns and cities throughout Great Britain and Ireland workhouses were established in Carlow town and Kilkenny city in the early 1840’s. The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 established workhouses in England and Wales. The Act, with modifications was introduced in Ireland in 1838 ‘for the more effectual Relief of the Destitute Poor in Ireland’.

Workhouses had existed throughout Great Britain and Ireland prior to 1834 but on a much smaller scale and in a less organised manner. In 1837 George Nicholls was sent to Ireland to see how the British system could be made to work in Ireland. He spent just six weeks in Ireland visiting towns and cities throughout the country including Carlow and Kilkenny. Daniel O’Connell was derisory about the survey carried out by Nicholls and said ‘He calculated everything and was accurate in nothing.’ The recommendations of Nicholls were accepted by the government in London. Despite vigorous opposition from Irish MPs, of all shades of opinion, the bill introducing the workhouse system to Ireland was passed on July 31st 1838.

Work on building the workhouses began immediately and 123 had been built by 1845. However by 1846 the workhouses that were open were only half full. This was because of difficulties in collecting the money from the rate payers to run the system and the reluctance of people to enter the harsh environment of the workhouse. In order to deter people who were poor but able bodied, conditions for those who did enter the workhouse were often miserable. Conditions for people inside the workhouse could never to be better than those enjoyed by people on the outside.

Men and women had separate accommodation, which divided families. Sleeping areas were cramped, beds were uncomfortable and ventilation and sanitation were poor. Diet was poor and inmates, though often malnourished and in poor health, had to work. Women generally did the domestic work and men were usually involved in growing vegetables or breaking stones. Each workhouse did have schools for boys and girls and some medical assistance was provided.

Overcrowding, hunger and disease, particularly during and after the famine led to a very high mortality rate among the inmates. The workhouse system with some modifications continued in operation in Ireland up to 1923. Some were destroyed during the war of independence or as in the case of Carlow were occupied by the military and later by the County Council. Others became homes for the elderly and a few became local hospitals.

Carlow Union Workhouse was completed and declared fit for reception of inmates in the year 1844 On This Day.

Photo by Alan Stanton

Photo by Alan Stanton

Workhouse Uniform for boys by Alan Stanton on 2012-01-22 15:08:01


Photo courtesy Joe Rattigan

14 November-Kilkenny City Railway Station

Kilkenny City Railway Station, which serves the city of Kilkenny, Ireland, is a station on the Dublin to Waterford intercity route. On April 10th 1966 it was given the name Macdonagh Station in commemoration of Thomas MacDonagh one of the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916. MacDonagh from Cloughjordan in County Tipperary had been a teacher at St Kieran’s College in Kilkenny City in 1902.
The station was designed in the 1840’s by Captain William Scarth Moorsom. He was an engineer working on the railway line which was being extended south from Carlow to Waterford. He had extensive experience working on railway buildings in England, Ireland and Europe. He also designed the viaduct over the River Nore near Thomastown. His design of Kilkenny station was later modified by the architect Sancton Wood who also designed Heuston station in Dublin.
Kilkenny station, which is on a spur line off the main Dublin to Waterford railway line, opened in 1848. However the building was modified in 1868 when a railway line was built from Kilkenny to Portlaoise. In common with many lines in rural Ireland that line was closed in 1962. A railway line from Castlecomer to Kilkenny city was opened in 1919. The line was of great significance in the development of the Castlecomer coal mines. During the 1950’s three trains carrying 90 metric tonnes of coal left Castlecomer for Kilkenny City each day. The line also provided a passenger service from 1921 to 1931.
In recent years the station has undergone a major transformation. The modern station building is now in the old cargo shed and an extensive shopping mall has been developed close by. Today a train journey from McDonagh Station, Kilkenny to Dublin Heuston takes an hour and a half. When the station first opened the same journey took almost three hours.
The first train arrived at Kilkenny City Railway Station in the year 1850 On This Day.

Arriving McDonagh by Bernie Goldbach on 2004-08-03 16:53:55