25 March-Turlough O’Carolan

Turlough O’Carolan was a harpist, composer and singer who was a native of Co Meath Ireland. He was the composer of over 200 songs, most of which were written in Irish. O’Carolan spent most of his life as a travelling harpist. He travelled all over Ireland composing tunes for his patrons.

Turlough O’Carolan was born in Nobber, Co Meath in 1670. Some accounts say he was born in Newton, Co Westmeath. When he was fourteen his family moved to Ballyfarnon in Northern Co Roscommon. O’Carolan’s father was employed by the MacDermott Roe family of Alderford House near Ballyfarnon. O’Carolan received an education from Mrs MacDermott Roe.

At the age of 18 O’Carolan was blinded by smallpox. During the following three years he was taught how to play the harp. Mrs MacDermott Roe then provided him with a horse and guide so he could become an itinerant harpist. For over 40 years O’Carolan travelled around Ireland composing tunes for his patrons. In early 1738 he began to feel ill. He returned to Alderford House where he died and is buried in the MacDermott Roe family crypt.

Turlough O’Carolan died in the year 1738 On This Day.

Carolan Statue

 

 

 

24 May-Methodist Church Carlow

Carlow Methodist Church is located on the Athy Road, Carlow, Ireland. From the time of the arrival of Methodism in Carlow the Methodist community worshiped at various locations in Carlow town. On April 15th 1898 opening services were held in the present church and weekly services continue to be held in the church to this day.

The Methodist movement was founded in the 18th century by John Wesley. It was founded to bring about a reformation within the Church of England. However the movement became a separate church and today it has millions of adherents worldwide.

John Wesley was ordained a priest of the Church of England in 1725. He went with his brother Charles to Savannah, Georgia in America on missionary work. However their mission was not a success and they returned to England. Shortly after his return Wesley had what he called a ’conversion experience’ whilst attending a Moravian service at Aldersgate Street in London. Shortly thereafter, with his brother Charles, he established a Methodist society in London and later in the city of Bristol. He began preaching to colliers in the city of Bristol and the Methodist movement had begun. They were called Methodists because of their methodical approach to religious observance and their strong commitment to charitable works.

Wesley first visited Ireland in 1747. He became a regular visitor in the following years. He visited Carlow where he preached and held services on six occasions. His first visit to Carlow was in 1765. He paid his final visit to Carlow in 1789 when he was 66 years old.

John Wesley had what he called a ‘conversion experience’ in the year in the year 1738 On This Day.

John Wesley photo

Photo by jonworth

John Wesley photo

Photo by bixentro

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Carlow Methodist Church