28 September-Game Boy

The Game Boy is a handheld game console. Developed and manufactured in Japan by Nintendo, it is one of the most successful game systems of all time. The Game Boy and its successor Game Boy Colour have sold over 100 million units around the world since first launched in Japan on April 21st 1989.

Game Boy has four operation buttons and a directional pad. It also has volume and contrast control knobs. When first produced Game Boy came with the puzzle game Tetris. The games for the console are on a ROM cartridge which is inserted in the top rear of the console. Other games such as Donkey Kong, Super Mario and Pokémon are also available.

Game Boy, a handheld game console developed and manufactured in Japan by Nintendo, was first released in Ireland in the year 1990 On This Day.


Game Boy by Tomislav Mavrovic on 2010-09-08 21:57:17

Sorcha’s Bihrtday

27 September-The Royal Showband

The Royal Showband was founded in Waterford City, Ireland in 1957. Showbands were a popular form of entertainment in Ireland from the mid 1950’s to the late 1970’s. The showband, which played dance music together with pop, rock and roll and country music of the time, usually consisted of six or seven members. They played in large venues all over Ireland and some bands toured with success in Britain, the United States and Canada. Though a band called the Clipper Carlton is regarded as the first of the Irish showbands, the Royal Showband became one of the most successful bands of the era.

The Royal Showband was founded by a group of young musicians which included Brendan Bowyer, Tom Dunphy, Michael Coppinger, Jim Conlan, Charlie Mathews and Gerry Cullen. The band was managed by T J Byrne from Carlow. As the band members all had day jobs they could only perform at the weekend and did not turn professional until 1959. During the following decade the band, with Brendan Bowyer as the lead singer, became the most popular band in Ireland.

The Royal showband had a brief change of name to the Waterford Showband in 1960. The change occurred because two members of the British royal family were in attendance when the band made an appearance at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London. By 1962 Brendan Bowyer and the Royal Showband were so successful that The Beatles were the supporting act for them at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. On the poster advertising the concert The Beatles were called ‘Liverpool’s own beat group’. The Royal Showband band toured extensively in Great Britain and the US and had several number one hits, the most popular of which was ‘The Hucklebuck’ in 1965.

In 1966 the Royal Showband played at a venue in Las Vegas, Nevada for a four week period. This led to the band performing in Las Vegas for up to six months each year during the following years. In 1970 Brendan Bowyer and Tom Dunphy left to form a new band called the ‘Big 8’. The Royal Showband gave its final performance on July 29th 1971 at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Royal Showband, which became one of the most successful bands of the era, was launched in Waterford City, Ireland in the year 1957 On This Day.

Waterford photo

Waterford City, Quays

Photo by Hotelsireland


25 September-Fieldcrest Factory Kilkenny

The Fieldcrest Factory was officially opened at the Purcellsinch industrial estate near Kilkenny City, Ireland in September 1980. The factory was established for the manufacture of luxury towels for the European market. It was established by the Fieldcrest-Cannon Corporation of Kannapolis, North Carolina USA in partnership with Carroll Industries and Bank of Ireland. The Irish Government provided grant assistance through the Industrial Development Authority (IDA)

Work on the building of 50,000m squared building was undertaken by the Mercury Company and began in 1979. It was fully completed and ready to start production by September 1980. At its peak the factory employed over 630 people. However it quickly became evident that there was not a market for the quantity of goods the Kilkenny factory was producing. By September 1981 the factory was incurring huge financial losses. The losses continued to mount up over the following months and intensive efforts were made to save the plant and make it a profitable enterprise. All efforts failed and it was decided to cease production on June 14th 1982.

The Fieldcrest Factory in Kilkenny City, Ireland was officially opened in the year 1980 On This Day.

Image from page 836 of “The Ladies’ home journal” (1889) by Internet Archive Book Images on 1889-01-01 00:00:00

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