11 November-Muintir na Tíre

Muintir na Tíre (National Association for the Promotion of Community Development) is an Irish national organisation. It was established in 1937 to promote community development in Ireland. Since its foundation Muintir na Tíre has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of Irish society.

Muintir na Tíre was founded by Canon Hayes the Parish priest of Bansha, Co Tipperary. A native of Limerick, Hayes was appointed Parish Priest of Bansha in 1946. His parish became a model for neighbourliness, self-help and self-sufficiency, the principles of Muintir na Tíre.

The organisation promoted initiatives such as rural electrification and building of Community Halls and Centres throughout the country. During the decades following its establishment Muintir na Tíre has been involved in the development of initiatives such as Tidy Towns’ competition, Citizens Information Centres, Rural Group Water Schemes and Community Alert.

The founder of Muintir na Tíre, John M Canon Hayes, was born in the year 1887 On This Day.

August 7, 1945 by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1945-08-07 12:03:13

Tidy Town Ireland photo


Photo by kthypryn

06 November-Glasgow Celtic

Andrew Kerins from Ballymote Co Sligo, Ireland was the founder of Glasgow Celtic Football Club. The club was founded in 1887 to alleviate poverty among the immigrant Irish people of Glasgow. Glasgow Celtic plays in the Scottish Premiership. It has millions of fans in Scotland and around the world. Kerins was a member of the Marist Order.

Andrew Kerins was born on May 18th 1840. He moved from Ballymote to Glasgow to work at the age of fifteen. Nine years later at the age of 24 he joined the Marist Brothers. The Order sent him for training to Beaucamps near Lille in northern France. He was given the religious name Brother Walfrid. Following four years of training he returned to Glasgow.

In Glasgow Brother Walfrid taught in various schools. He also worked with local organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul society to alleviate the cost for parents of sending their children to school. In 1874 was appointed Headmaster at the Sacred Heart School in Bridgeton in the east end of Glasgow. He founded a charity called the ‘Poor Children’s Dinner Table’ to help alleviate poverty in the East End of Glasgow. He also started a football league and a literary society. He worked with local employers to find work placement for his students.

The football leagues proved popular. Within a short period large numbers of people were paying an admission fee to attend games. In 1886 Brother Walfrid invited Hibernian Football club from Edinburgh to play a charity game against a team from Glasgow. Over 1,000 spectators attended which proved to be of great financial benefit to the ‘Dinner Tables’. The success of this and other games led Brother Walfrid and others to establish a football club in the East End of Glasgow. It was named Celtic Football Club. It had as its main objective ‘to supply the East End conferences of the St. Vincent De Paul Society with funds for the maintenance of the “Dinner Tables”’.

At a meeting in the church hall of St Mary’s in Calton, Glasgow, Glasgow Celtic Football Club was formally constituted in the year 1887 On This Day.

Brother Walfrid photo

The Jock Stein, Brother Walfrid and Jimmy Johnstone statues at Celtic Park by StartAgain on 2012-11-13 23:53:29

Photo by StartAgain

Brother Walfrid photo

4-0 Sammy!…Celtic Park 21/04/13 by Graham`s pics on 2013-04-21 13:33:16

Photo by Graham`s pics

02 February-Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a cultural tradition celebrated annually in the United States and Canada. The largest celebration of the day is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Having been first celebrated there in 1887, it gradually spread throughout the United States and Canada. It is related to Candlemas, one of the oldest Christian feasts.

On Groundhog Day, the emergence of the groundhog from his den supposedly predicts the arrival of spring. If the groundhog emerges and sees his shadow he will return to his den and winter will last for six more weeks. However if the day is cloudy he will remain above ground and spring will soon arrive.

Groundhog Day was first observed in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in the year 1887 On This Day.

Groundhog Day, Gobblers Knob – Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania



21 November-Joseph Plunkett

Joseph Plunkett, who was a native of Dublin, was a signatory of the 1916 Proclamation. He was a poet and journalist who was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising 1916. During the Rising he was stationed in the General Post Office where his aide de camp was Michael Collins.

Joseph Mary Plunkett was born to wealthy parents at Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin in 1887. His father was a Papal Count. He was educated in Ireland and at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England. Having contracted tuberculosis at an early age, Plunkett lived for a time in Mediterranean countries.

In 1913 Plunkett joined the Irish Volunteers and later the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He travelled to Germany to meet with Roger Casement and to seek weapons. He fought in the Easter Rising despite having surgery a few days before Easter. After the Rising, Plunkett was court-martialled, found guilty and sentenced to death. Prior to his execution he married his fiancée Grace Gifford.

Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the Easter Rising 1916, was born in Dublin in the year 1887 On This Day.

Joseph Plunkett – Easter Rising 1916





19 August-Francis Ledwidge

Francis Ledwidge was a poet and soldier who was a native of Co Meath, Ireland. He is often referred to as the ‘Poet of the Blackbirds’. During World War I Ledwidge served in both the Balkans and Western Europe. He was killed by a German shell at the Battle of Passchendaele on July 31st 1917.

Francis Edward Ledwidge was born at Janeville near Slane Co Meath in 1887. When he was five years old his father died. At the age of 13 Francis left school to work in support of his family. He worked at various jobs including farm labourer, road worker, miner and shop assistant. During this time he was writing poetry and his first poems were published in the Drogheda Independent when he was fourteen years old.

Lord Dunsany became his patron and helped Ledwidge publish his first poetry collection, ‘Songs of the Fields’. He also introduced him to poets of the day including Katharine Tynan and W B Yeats. Following the outbreak of World War I, Ledwidge enlisted in the 5th battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He was at the time a supporter of the Gaelic League, a nationalist and founder of the local branch of the Irish Volunteers. Despite this and against the advice of Lord Dunsany he decided to enlist. He later said: ‘I joined the British army because England stood between Ireland and an enemy common to our civilisation, and I would not have had it said that she defended us while we did nothing at home but pass resolutions.’

Ledwidge first served in The Balkans. He landed at Gallipoli in July 1915 and in August took part in the joint allied attack on Suvla Bay. Following the failure of the attack his regiment was transferred to Serbia where Ledwidge damaged his back and was transferred to Hospital in Manchester, England. Whilst in hospital Ledwidge heard about the 1916 Easter Rising. He was dismayed to learn about the execution of Thomas MacDonagh whom he had known before the war. His poem, ‘Lament for Thomas MacDonagh’ is one his best known compositions.

Ledwidge was given leave to return home. He was badly affected by the events in Dublin of 1916 and was disillusioned with the war. Following his period of leave he failed to report on time for duty and was arrested for being drunk. He was demoted and sent to the western front in France. In the spring of 1917 Ledwidge was involved in the Battle of Arras. He was later sent to Belgium where he was killed while involved in preparation for the battle of Passchendaele near the Belgian city of Ypres.

Francis Ledwidge, poet and soldier, was killed in action at the Battle of Passchendaele during World War I was born in Co Meath in the year 1887 On This Day.

Monument to Irish poet Francis Ledwidge in Flanders