12 August-John Phillip Holland, Submarine

John Phillip Holland, who is known as the father of the modern submarine, was a native of Co Clare Ireland. Holland’s submarine design was initially accepted by the US Navy and later by other navies around the world.

John Phillip Holland was born in Liscannor, County Clare on February 29th 1840. His father was a coastal patrolman with the British Coastguard Service. Holland grew up speaking Irish and only learned English at his local national school in Liscannor. Having completed primary education he attended the Christian Brothers School (CBS) in Ennistymon. When his family moved to Limerick city he attended Limerick CBS. Holland later joined the Christian Brothers. He was a teacher of mathematics in schools in Armagh, Portlaoise, Enniscorthy Drogheda, Cork and Dundalk until 1872.

Holland left the Christian Brothers and emigrated to the United States in 1873. He settled in Patterson, New Jersey. He became a teacher at St John’s School, Patterson which was run by the Christian Brothers. In 1879 Holland, with financial support from the Fenian Society in America, built a small submarine. The submarine, which was called the Fenian Ram, had limited success at first. The Fenians had hoped to use the submarine against the British navy but the plans never materialised. The Fenian Ram is now in the museum in Patterson New Jersey.

Holland continued to develop his design and his submarine had a successful test off Staten Island in New York Harbour on St Patrick’s day 1898. The submarine was purchased by the US navy and was named USS Holland. Six more submarines of a similar type were built for the US Navy. Holland later designed the first submarines for the British, Dutch and Japanese navies.

John Phillip Holland, builder of the first submarine and native of Co Clare, Ireland died at the age of 74 in the year 1914 On This Day.

JohnPhilipHolland by PatersonGreatFalls -A Visual Reference for Teacher on 2015-01-25

US Torpedo Boat – Holland, submarine1 by PatersonGreatFalls -A Visual Reference for Teacher on 2015-01-25 14:38:14


12 August-Kilkenny Marble

The city of Kilkenny is located in the south east of Ireland just over 120 Km from Dublin. it is often referred to as The Marble City. The dark limestone flecked with fossils was mined in the Black Quarry near Kilkenny City from the 17th century. It was used in local buildings and for street paving. The marble was also used in many buildings in Ireland and abroad. The headstone on Daniel O Connell’s grave in Glasnevin cemetery is made from Kilkenny Marble.

Kilkenny Marble was also used in the building Cobh Cathedral which was consecrated in the year 1919 On This Day.

daniel o connell photo

Photo by infomatique


daniel o connell photo

Photo by tinyfroglet

11 August-ESB (Electricity Supply Board)

The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) was established in Ireland under Electricity Supply Act of 1927. It was one of the first major industrial undertakings of the newly established Irish state. Its purpose was take charge of existing electrical schemes in Ireland and take responsibility for Shannon Hydro-Electric Scheme then under construction. Engineers, Mr Paddy Dowling, Linkardstown, Tinryland County Carlow and Mr William F. Roe, 25 Patrick Street Kilkenny, were among its first eleven employees.

During the 19th century Irish scientists played a major role in the development of electricity. In 1884 Charles Parsons, whose family were from Birr County Offaly and who was educated at Trinity College Dublin invented the first steam turbine. His invention made cheap and plentiful electricity possible for the first time. Fr Nicholas Callan Professor of Physics at Maynooth College developed an electric motor which Siemens in Germany used as a basis for the production of a generator in 1886.

However despite these developments by 1922 the provision of electrical power in Ireland was confined to places such as Dublin and other major centres of population. Smaller urban areas and most of rural Ireland did not have the benefit of electricity. For instance Carlow town had its own electricity supply from 1891, whereas it would be several more years before nearby Kilkenny City would have a supply of electricity.

From 1922 the Irish Government adopted a progressive approach to the provision of electricity. As part of that policy Patrick McGilligan (Minister for Industry and Commerce), despite sustained opposition, established the Shannon Hydro-Electric Scheme. The scheme, which was proposed by Dr Thomas McLoughlin from Drogheda, involved damming the river Shannon and building a power station at Ardnacrusha. Dr McLoughlin was later appointed as Managing Director of the ESB. Work began on the scheme in September 1925 and it was officially opened on July 22nd 1929. It was one of the largest engineering projects in the world at the time.

When completed the Shannon Scheme supplied electricity to the cities and larger towns in Ireland. Smaller villages and rural areas were not connected to the grid. The rural electrification scheme commenced on November 5th 1946 at Killsallagahan in County Dublin. The scheme was led by William Roe and Paddy Dowling. Electricity was gradually brought to all parts of the country until 2003 when the islands of Inishturbot and Inishturk off the west coast were finally connected to the national grid. Today the ESB is composed of several different companies and has almost 8,000 employees.

The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) was established to organize the supply of electricity in Ireland in the year 1927 On This Day.

Shannon Scheme photo

Siemens-Bauunion plant and machinery being unloaded at Limerick docks for Shannon hydro-electric scheme by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 2011-03-25 20:41:55

Photo by National Library of Ireland on The Commons

Shannon Scheme photo

ESB at the ERF Trade Show RDS 1994

Photo by desomurchu archive gallery


10 August-Borris Golf Club

Borris Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland. It is located close to the picturesque town of Borris, County Carlow, Ireland. It is a mature parkland course at the foot of Mount Leinster in the grounds of Borris House. Borris House is the home of the Mc Murrough Kavanagh family the former Kings of Leinster. The family still live in Borris House and have always played a major role in the life of the town of Borris.

Borris Golf Club was established in 1907. At that time, there were about one hundred golf clubs in Ireland. In that year golf clubs were also opened in Milltown, Muskerry, Scrabo, Spa, Tuam and Ennis. Mr William McMorrough Kavanagh was MP for Carlow at the time. He originally started laying out a golf course mainly for the benefit of his sons. However when locals established a club he provided the course and clubhouse to Borris Golf Club for an annual fee. The club was affiliated to the Golfing Union of Ireland in 1908. By 1909 the club had a membership of just over 100. By 1925, however, Borris Golf Club had fallen into decline. It was revived again by Major Arthur Kavanagh of Borris House

Today Borris Golf Club has a membership of over 500. It has a practice ground and putting green. The clubhouse has a bar and catering facilities. Despite the fact that it is a 9-hole course alternating tee-boxes create the impression that Borris Golf Club is in fact an 18-hole course. The tree lined course, the excellent fairways and the well maintained greens provide golfers at all levels with the opportunity for a challenging game.

The Irish Field records that Borris Golf Club, which is located close to the picturesque town of Borris, County Carlow, Ireland, was instituted in the year 1907 On This Day.

Borris by Patrick and Martha Dundon on 2010-05-05 11:05:09

Borris Viaduct by red, white, and black eyes forever on 2011-08-12 21:20:48


09 August-D’Israeli School

D’Israeli School is located at Bough close to the village of Rathvilly about 20km east of Carlow town Ireland. It was established with funds provided by Bough resident, Benjamin D’israeli who was the uncle of British Prime Minister also named Benjamin D’israeli. The school was non-denominational and was established ‘for the education of the poor of Rathvilly’.

Benjamin D’Israeli was born in England in 1766. He moved to Ireland at a young age. Having served an apprenticeship in Lotteries and Insurance he went on to establish his own successful business. He became very wealthy and acquired large amounts of property in Dublin and Carlow.

In Carlow, having purchased Beechy Park near Rathvilly, D’israeli took up residence there in 1809. However he died in 1814 at the age of 48. Beechy Park was subsequently owned by various families. It was sold for €5.35m in 2008. D’Israeli bequeathed £3000 for the establishment and support of a non-denominational school. D’Israeli School was completed in 1826. It operated as a school until 1977. It is now a community centre.

Benjamin D’Israeli, who founded of a non-denominational school ‘for the education of the poor of Rathvilly’, Co Carlow, Ireland, died in the year 1814 On This Day.