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

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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09 August-Atomic Bomb Nagasaki

‘Fat Man’ was the name given to the atomic bomb which was exploded 500m above the city of Nagasaki, Japan in August 1945. The bombing of Nagasaki caused widespread death and destruction. The bomb containing a core of plutonium was only the second of two nuclear bombs ever used.

The bombing of Nagasaki took place three days after the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by a nuclear bomb. The two bombs were used by the United States against Japan towards the end of World War II. By the time the bombs were used the war in Europe was over. Germany had surrendered on May 8th 1945. However the Japanese had refused the call to surrender by the Allies and China.

The first atomic bomb called ‘Little Boy’, was dropped over the centre Hiroshima on August 6th 1945. It led to the deaths of an estimated 70,000 people and destroyed 13 square kilometres of the city. Three days later the city of Nagasaki was the target of the second nuclear bomb. Called ‘Fat Man’, it caused widespread destruction and led to an estimated 40,000 people being killed outright. During the following months and years many more people died of radiation sickness.

A nuclear bomb, with the codename ‘Fat Man’, caused widespread death and destruction in the city of Nagasaki in the year 1945 On This Day.

Nagasaki bomb 9 August 1945 by The Official CTBTO Photostream on 2008-12-21 16:31:09

 

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07 August-Mata Hari

Mata Hari was a native of the Netherlands. She was a professional dancer who also worked as a spy for the French government during World War I. However she was suspected by the French, of being a double agent. She was arrested and tried for being a German spy and executed by firing squad.

Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in Leeuwarden, Netherlands in 1876. She studied at a teachers college in Leiden. She later married Dutch army Captain Rudolph MacLeod and the couple lived in Java and Sumatra until 1902. They returned to Europe and following their separation Margaretha began to dance professionally in Paris under the name Mata Hari.

Mata Hari began to work as a spy for France in 1917. She agreed to use her meetings with Germans to glean information for the French authorities. She was however suspected of passing information to the Germans. She was arrested for being a double agent and found guilty by a military court in July 1917. Mata Hari was executed by firing squad on October 15th 1917.

Mata Hari, a professional dancer who worked as a spy during World War I, was born in the year 1876 On This Day.

Mata Hari

Mata Hari in 1916

 

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