03 January-J R R Tolkien

J R R Tolkien was a writer, scholar and philologist. He is best known as the author of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. Together with being an internationally renowned fantasy writer he also served as Professor of Old English at Oxford University, England. Having sold more than 100 million copies, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the best-selling fiction book of all time. The trilogy, together with other writings by Tolkien, has been adapted into award-winning films.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, South Africa in 1892. His father, who was a banker, died when Tolkien was just four years old. Tolkien’s mother then took him and his younger brother to live in England near the city of Birmingham. Tolkien’s mother died in 1904. She assigned the guardianship of her sons to Fr. Francis Xavier Morgan, a close friend who helped rear and educate the boys.

Following second level education Tolkien studied linguistics Exeter College, Oxford and was awarded an honours BA Degree in 1915. He served in France during World War I. He was released from duty due to illness and returned to England in November 1916. After the war Tolkien was employed for a time at the Oxford English Dictionary before becoming Associate Professor of English Language at Leeds University in 1920. He was appointed to the post of Professor of Old English at Oxford a few year later. Tolkien’s friend and colleague, author C S Lewis from Belfast, also worked in the English department of Oxford University. They were both members a literary group known as the ‘Inklings’.

In 1949 Tolkien was appointed external examiner at the English Department at University College Galway. He held the post until the mid-fifties and frequently visited the Burren district in Co Clare. The Burren, a karst landscape, is unusual. Among the many features of this district is a cave called Poll na Gollum. It is generally accepted that the landscape of the Burren had an influence on some of the writings of Tolkien. He died aged 81 at his home in Bournemouth, England on September 2nd 1973.

J R R Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, South Africa in the year 1892 0n This Day.

J.R.R.TOLKIEN – 1972

Poulnabrone, The Burren – 30/365 by Neeku on 2015-11-19 05:18:29




01 January-Annie Moore

Ellis Island Immigrant Station was the reception centre for over 12 million immigrants to the United States, the first of whom was Annie Moore from Cork Ireland. Located in Upper New York Bay, immigrants had to sail past the Statue of Liberty on their way to Ellis Island. The reception centre at Ellis Island operated from 1892 to 1954.

Annie Moore who was born in Cork. At the age of 17 she sailed form Cork with her two younger brothers on board SS Nevada on December 20th 1891. Having spent 12 days at sea they arrived in New York Harbour on 31st December. Annie and her brothers were processed through Ellis Island the following day and joined their parents who were already in New York.

Annie Moore was the first person to pass through Ellis Island Immigrant Station in the year 1892 On This Day.

Annie Moor

Statue of Annie Moore in Cobh Harbour

29 October-William Hartnett

William Hartnett was a 19th century still life artist who was a native of Co Cork, Ireland. He became known for his trompe-l’œil still life painting of ordinary objects. His painting of objects such as a dollar bill is so close to visual reality that people tried to pick it up.

William Michael Hartnett was born in Clonakilty Co Cork in 1848. His family emigrated to the USA when he was young and settled in Philadelphia. As a young man he was apprenticed to an engraver and attended evening classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Hartnett became one of the best still life painters in the trompe l’oeil style. His work can be seen in galleries across North America and Europe.

William Hartnett died at his home in New York City in the year 1892 On This Day.

Music and Good Luck, 1888

Metropolitan Museum of Art

07 June-Kevin O’Higgins

Kevin O’Higgins served as Vice President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State from 1922 until his assassination on July 10th 1927. He also served as Minister for Justice. O’Higgins, whilst in prison, was elected as MP for Queen’s County (Laois) in the general Election of 1918. Following the Anglo-Irish treaty he was elected Teachta Dála (TD) for Laois–Offaly in the election of 1922.

Kevin Christopher O’Higgins was born in Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland. Educated at Clongowes Wood College and Knockbeg College Carlow he went to Maynooth College to study for the priesthood. Having broken the non-smoking rules at Maynooth O’Higgins had to move to Carlow College to continue his studies. He later qualified as a solicitor having graduated from University College Dublin with a BA Degree in 1915 and an LLB in 1919. He studies were interrupted in 1918 when he was imprisoned for his anti-conscription activities.

During his time in UCD, O’Higgins joined the Irish Volunteers in 1915. He was ultimately appointed captain of Stradbally Company, Carlow brigade. Following the War of Independence he supported the Pro-Treaty side and was elected as Teachta Dála (TD) for Laois/Offaly. He was appointed Minister for Justice and External Affairs. As Minister for Justice he established An Garda Síochána in September 1922.

O’Higgins played a central and sometimes controversial role in the defeat of the Anti-Treaty side during the Civil War which ended on May 24th 1923. In the following years he played a leading role in Ireland’s development. In his role as Minister for External Affairs he succeeded in increasing the autonomy of Ireland within the Commonwealth.

On July 10th 1927 Kevin O’Higgins was killed by three anti-Treaty members of the IRA. He was, at the time of his assassination, walking from his home to attend Mass at The Church of the Assumption on Booterstown Avenue in Dublin. He was 35 years old. A commemorative plaque, at the site in Booterstown where O’Higgins was assassinated, was unveiled by Taoiseach Enda Kenny on July 10th 2012.

Kevin O’Higgins, Vice President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State and Ireland’s first Minister for Justice, was born in Stradbally, Co Laois the year 1892 On This Day.

Full length picture, Kevin O’Higgins, Minister of Home Affairs by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1922-01-01 00:00:00

View of a church from the Rock of Dunamase near Stradbally, Co Laois by jamingray on 2008-07-19 07:32:12


7 June,1892

Kevin O Higgins  past pupil Of Clongowes Wood and Knockbeg College, appointed 1st Minister for Justice in 1922,  was assassinated in 1927, was  born in Stradbally Co. Laois in 1892 On This Day