12 August-Kilkenny Marble

The city of Kilkenny is located in the south east of Ireland just over 120 Km from Dublin. it is often referred to as The Marble City. The dark limestone flecked with fossils was mined in the Black Quarry near Kilkenny City from the 17th century. It was used in local buildings and for street paving. The marble was also used in many buildings in Ireland and abroad. The headstone on Daniel O Connell’s grave in Glasnevin cemetery is made from Kilkenny Marble.

Kilkenny Marble was also used in the building Cobh Cathedral which was consecrated in the year 1919 On This Day.

daniel o connell photo

Photo by infomatique


daniel o connell photo

Photo by tinyfroglet

08 March-Follow Me Up To Carlow

‘Follow me up to Carlow’ is a ballad which was written by P J McCall. The ballad celebrates the victory by Fiach McHugh O’Byrne over an English army of 3,000 soldiers at the Battle of Glenmalure in 1580. P J McCall was a songwriter and poet who was a native of Dublin, Ireland. His father John was from Clonmore, Co Carlow and his mother Eliza May Newport was from Rathangan, Co Wexford. Apart from his writing McCall also collected several old Irish airs.

Patrick Joseph McCall was born at 25 Patrick Street, Dublin on March 6th 1861. His father was a historian, folklorist, writer and patriot who ran a public house and grocery shop on Patrick Street. P J went to school in St Joseph’s Monastery, Harolds Cross and spent his summer holidays in Rathangan in Wexford. Living among the people of Rathangan he heard the ballads and music of the locality.

P J McCall would later become famous as the author of songs such as: ‘Follow Me Up to Carlow’, ‘The Boys of Wexford’, ‘Boolavogue’, ‘The Lowlands Low’, ‘Kelly the Boy from Killanne’ and many other ballads. ‘The Boys of Wexford’, ‘Boolavogue’ and ‘Kelly the Boy from Killanne’ were written to commemorate the 1798 Rising.

In 1900 P J McCall married Margaret Furlong, the sister of the poet Alice Furlong. In 1902 he took over his father’s business which included editing Old Moore’s Almanac. However he was able to organise his business affairs so well, he could concentrate on his literary and political activities. The McCall family home became a centre for writers and musicians.

In 1902 McCall was elected to represent the Wood Quay ward in Dublin and he became a Poor Law Guardian. He was a member of the Pan-Celtic Society, a literary association which had been founded in Dublin in 1888. When it later became the Irish National Literary Society McCall was its first Honorary Secretary.

P J McCall, poet and composer of songs such as, ‘Follow Me Up to Carlow’ died aged 58 in the year 1919 On This Day.





03 February-de Valera Lincoln Prison Escape

Michael Collins and Harry Boland organised the escape of Éamon de Valera from Lincoln Prison in London in 1919. Two other Irish prisoners Seán McGarry and Seán Milroy escaped at the same time. Once outside the prison de Valera departed from London dressed as a woman. He travelled by road to Manchester and later travelled to Ireland.

Éamon de Valera was one of the major political figures in Ireland during the 20th century. He served several terms as head of government and in his later years he served as President of Ireland. He had been arrested and imprisoned by the British in May 1918. The key used in the escape was made by Peter de Loughry.

Peter de Loughry was a native of Kilkenny. He took part in the 1916 rising and was imprisoned on several occasions for revolutionary activities. Following Independence in 1922 de Loughrey, who supported the Anglo-Irish Treaty, was elected to the Senate. He was elected to Dáil Eireann as Cumann na nGaedheal (which later became Fine Gael) TD for the constituency of Carlow-Kilkenny in 1927. De Loughry also served as Mayor of Kilkenny. The key, used in the escape, was presented to de Loughry in Dáil Éireann by de Valera many years after the event.

Michael Collins and Harry Boland organised the escape of Éamon de Valera from Lincoln Prison in the year 1919 On This Day.




28 June- World War 1

World War 1 began on July 28th 1914. One month previously, Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Duchess Sophia. Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the heir to throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

World War 1 was fought between the Allies and the Central Powers. Often also referred to as the Great War it led to the deaths of 20 million people. It lasted over four years and was one of the deadliest conflicts in history. In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles brought a formal end to WW1 and established the League of Nations.

The German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires came to an end following World War 1. The War also brought about great changes in society and led to several revolutions. The Armistice on the ‘11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month’ of 1918 brought an end to the fighting on the Western Front. This was followed by a peace conference which led to the Treaty of Versailles.

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and wife Duchess Sophia began events which led to World War1. They died Sarajevo1914 On This Day.

The Treaty of Versailles brought a formal end to WW1. The treaty was signed in 1919 On This Day.

Tank world_war_1

In the trenches





07 May-Evita

Eva Perón, also known as Evita, was a native of Argentina. As wife of Argentine President Juan Perón she served as first lady of Argentina from 1946 until 1952. During her time as first lady she championed women’s suffrage and inspired millions with her campaigns to help the poor.

María Eva Duarte de Perón was born in Los Toldos in north western Argentina in May 1919. She moved to Buenos Aires in 1934 to pursue a career in acting. Ten years later she met Colonel Juan Perón. They married in 1945 and Juan Perón was elected President of Argentina the following year.

As first lady Eva Perón became a popular and sometimes controversial figure. Her support for the poor and her campaigns to overcome poverty and injustice was opposed by the establishment and the military. She died at the age of 33 on July 26th 1952. Her life was made into the hit musical ‘Evita’ by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice. A film version of the musical starring Madonna was released in 1995.

Eva Perón was born in the year 1919 On This Day.

Eva Peron’s Portrait