25 September-Oak Park Carlow

Oak Park demesne is situated about 3km north of Carlow town, Ireland. Once the home of the Cooke family, Oak Park Estate was purchased by Henry Bruen in 1775. Bruen had made a fortune in the army commissariat in America where he was responsible for the supply of food and forage, for the troops. Bruen also purchased other land around Oak Park. By 1841 a survey showed the Bruen estates extended to over 8,000 hectares in Carlow.

Oak Park was home to the Bruen family from 1775 until 1957. The last Bruen to live in Oak Park, also Henry, died in 1954. His wife had left him several years earlier to live in Galway with Milo Petrovic-Njegos, a Montenegrin Prince. She was left nothing in his will. His daughter, and only child, Patricia who was born in 1914 had married Mervyn Boyse of Wexford. Bruen did not approve of the marriage. As a result he left her a weekly income of £6 for life. He left the remainder of his estate to his cousin in England. Patricia contested the will in the High Court. However it was agreed to sell the estate in 1957 and divide the proceeds equally. Patricia later lived at Ballybrack in Dublin.

The estate was purchased by Brownes Hill Estates for £50,555. However due to objections from local farmers the estate was purchased by the Land Commission in 1960. The Land Commission divided three hundred hectares of the estate among farmers. The Sawmills and surrounding lands (c. 2 hectares) were purchased by Mr Tom Lennon. The Lennon family operated the Sawmills until recent years. The remainder of the estate and Oak Park House became a research centre for the Agricultural Institute (Teagasc). The Agricultural Institute was established with the assistance of funds from the Marshall Plan through which Ireland received over $146 million. Today Oak Park is the national headquarters of Teagasc where a Plaque in the reception area records the impact of the Marshall Plan on Ireland.

In 2006 Teagasc gave over 120 acres of woodland near the Oak Park lake to Carlow local authorities. This has been developed as an amenity with boarded walkways stretching for several kilometres through the forest. It is a popular recreational attraction for both locals and tourists.

Oak Park demesne in Carlow, Ireland was auctioned in the year 1957 On This Day.

Oak Park photo

Flowers in Oak Park

Photo by andrew_j_w

Oak Park photo

Farm safety walk at Oak park

Photo by The Labour Party

24 September-Jim Henson

Jim Henson was a puppeteer who is best known for creating the Muppets. A native of Mississippi, USA he was also a film maker, artist and inventor. Henson, who began creating his puppets whilst in college, was the recipient of several awards.

James Maury Henson was born Greenville, Mississippi in 1936. He grew up in Hyattsville, Maryland. He studied at the University of Maryland and graduated with a degree in home economics in 1960. During his time as a student Henson, having created characters like Kermit the Frog, founded the Muppets Inc. in 1958.

In 1969 Jim Henson began working on the children’s show Sesame Street. The Muppet show which he created in 1976 gained an international audience. It led to the production of films such as The Muppet Movie in 1979 and The Muppets Take Manhattan in 1984. Jim Henson died at the age of 53 on May 16th 1990. He received several awards for his work including three Emmy Awards and three Grammy Awards. He was nominated for an Oscar in 1966 for his movie Time Piece.

Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, was born in the year 1936 On This Day.

Jim Henson by Alan Light on 1989-09-01 00:00:00

Muppets Mural

24 September-Carlow University

Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was founded by Sisters of Mercy from Carlow Ireland. The Sisters arrived in Pittsburgh in 1843 and began to establish schools and hospitals. They opened Mount Mercy College in 1929. In 1969 the name was changed to Carlow College. Carlow College officially became Carlow University in 2004.

The Sisters of Mercy came to Carlow town, Ireland from Dublin in April 1839. The sisters established St Leo’s College, a school for girls. The Mercy Order had been founded by Catherine McAuley in Dublin in 1831. St Leo’s opened its doors to its first students on May 1st 1839. Today the school is a thriving institution which educates girls form twelve to eighteen years.

In 1843 Michael O’Connor, a native of Fermoy Co Cork was appointed the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He was consecrated in Rome and passed through Ireland on his return journey to the US. He visited Carlow and invited members of the Mercy Order to come and work in his diocese. The Mercy Order agreed and nuns from Carlow travelled to the USA.

Mother Francis Warde and six Mercy Sisters: Josephine Cullen (28), Veronica McDarby (27), Aloysia Strange (24), Philomena Reid (23), Elizabeth Strange (22), and Margaret O’Brien (21) left Carlow for Pittsburgh on November 1st 1843. They established schools and hospitals in Pittsburgh, including the first permanent hospital in Pittsburgh which opened on New Year’s Day 1847. During the following years they also established schools and hospitals in other locations in the USA.

The Sisters founded a Catholic University called Mount Mercy College in 1929. The name was changed to Carlow College in 1969. In 2004 Carlow College achieved University Status and is now known as Carlow University. Over 2,200 students, from undergraduate to PhD level, study a wide range of programmes at the University.

Carlow University has an international programme through which students study in institutions all over the world, from England to Russia to Tanzania to Thailand. It maintains its links with its Irish heritage and students and staff from the University visit Carlow. Each year a group of students from Carlow University spend a semester studying at Carlow College in Ireland. Students from the University also study at Universities in Northern Ireland and participate in programmes in Sligo.

Carlow University was established in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA in the year 1929 On This Day.

Mercy Nuns Pittsburgh photo

Pittsburgh, Pa

Photo by kla4067

23 September-Nintendo

Nintendo is a video game and electronics company. It was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi in 1889 to produce and market the playing card game Hanafuda. Today Nintendo is a multinational company which has its headquarters in Kyoto in the Kansai region of Japan.

Nintendo continued to produce playing cards until the 1970’s when it entered the video gaming industry. The company has produced some of the best-known video games in the world. These include Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon. It has also produced some of the most successful gaming consoles, including, the Game Boy and the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo employs over 5,500 people

Nintendo, a video game and electronics company, was founded in Kyoto, Japan in the year 1889 On This Day.

Nintendo Wii

Nintendo Gameboy Micro 20th Anniversary Mario Edition



23 September-Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Nicknamed “The Boss” he is best known for his work with the E Street Band. Among his most famous compositions are ‘Born in the USA’ and ‘Streets of Philadelphia’.

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born in New Jersey, USA in 1949. Interested in music from a young age, his mother bought him his first guitar when he was 16 years old. Ten years later in 1975 Springsteen released his third album Born to Run. The album was a success and skyrocketed him to fame.

In his career to date Springsteen has been the recipient of numerous awards. In 1994 he was given an Academy Award for Best Original Song for ‘Streets of Philadelphia’. He has also received 20 Grammy Awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1999. Springsteen continues to perform and released the album Letter to You in 2020.

Bruce Springsteen was born in Long Branch New Jersey USA in the year 1949 On This Day.

Bruce Springsteen by kyonokyonokyono on 2012-04-29 16:54:15