17 August-Maureen O’Hara

Maureen O’Hara was an actress and singer who was a native of Dublin, Ireland. She became famous for her starring roles in films such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Quiet Man. During her long and successful career she worked with some of the most famous actors in Hollywood. O’Hara was presented with an Honorary Academy Award in November 2014.

Maureen O’Hara was born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, Dublin in 1920. She was educated locally and began her acting career as a child. She joined the Abbey Theatre at the age of 14 and played her first major film role in ‘Jamaica Inn’ in 1939. The film co-starred Charles Laughton and was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

During her career Maureen O’Hara starred in films such as How Green Was My Valley (1941), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), The Quiet Man (1952), The Parent Trap (1961) and McLintock! (1963). She appeared in several movies with John Wayne and made her final film, Big Jake, with him in 1971. She continued to make films and appear on television until 2010. Her final film, ‘Only the Lonely’, in which O’Hara starred with John Candy was released in 1991.

Maureen O’Hara, actress and Hollywood star was born in Dublin in the year 1920 On This Day.

Maureen O’Hara

The Quiet Man



28 June-Connaught Rangers Mutiny

The Connaught Rangers was an Irish regiment of the British Army. It had its home depot at Renmore Barracks in Galway City. From 1801 to its disbandment in 1922 the regiment fought in engagements in places such as Egypt, India, South America, The Crimea, South Africa and in several locations during World War 1. The regiment also played an active role in the suppression of the Easter Rising of 1916 in Ireland. The Connaught Rangers had the nickname: The Devil’s Own and the Motto: Quis Separabit.

In 1920 the Connaught Rangers were stationed in India. Some members based in the Punjab decided to protest at the effects of martial law then being enforced in Ireland. The protests spread to other areas where companies of the Connaught Rangers were based. The mutiny lasted for four days before being put down by other British troops. Two Connaught Rangers died during the mutiny. The leader of the revolt, Private James Daly was executed by firing squad.

The Connaught Rangers mutinied in India in the year 1920 On This Day.

Renmore Barracks, Galway City – once home to the Connaught Rangers





16 March-John Henry Devereux

John Henry Devereux who was a native of Co Wexford, Ireland became a prominent architect in Charleston, South Carolina, USA following the American Civil War. His buildings included churches, schools and a theatre. He also built Charleston Post Office and Courthouse which is designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

John Henry Devereux was born in Co Wexford on July 26th 1840. His parents Nicholas and Dorothy Devereux emigrated to the United States when John Henry was three years old. They settled in Charleston South Carolina. John Henry trained as a plasterer. He served in the Confederate army during the American Civil War. After the war he trained as an architect. The buildings which he designed are noted for their blend of architectural influences.

John Henry Devereux died at the age of 79 at his home in Charleston County, South Carolina in the year 1920 On This Day.

Image result for john henry devereux

Photo: Find a Grave

Charleston, US Post Office




24 January-Percy French

Percy French was a native of Co Roscommon, Ireland. He is regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest ever songwriters. French was also a famous entertainer and watercolour painter. He painted the watercolour, ‘Where ever I go my heart turns back to the County Mayo’ in 1902. It was sold by Dublin art auctioneers Whytes in 2005 for €44,000.

Percy (William) French was born at Cloonyquin House near Tulsk, County Roscommon on May 1st 1854. He was educated at Foyle College, Derry and in 1872 he began studying civil engineering at Trinity College Dublin. However at college French appears to have devoted much of his time to song writing, dramatics, painting and learning to play the banjo. He wrote his first successful song for a ‘smoking concert’ (live performance) in 1877. The song, which was called Abdul Abulbul Amir, became very popular but made only £5 for the writer.

French graduated from TCD as a civil engineer in 1881 after nine years at the University. He was employed as Inspector of Drains with the Board of Works in County Cavan. While working in Cavan he indulged his passion for painting and wrote two of his famous songs: ‘Phil the Fluter’s Ball’ and ‘Slattery’s Mounted Fut’. When he lost his job with the Board of Works in 1887 he began working as editor a weekly comic paper called ‘The Jarvey’. However the paper failed and French began his career as a fulltime entertainer and songwriter. He married Ethel Moore in 1891 but both his wife and daughter died a year later.

French became famous for songs such as Gortnamona and The Mountains of Mourne. In 1893 he married Helen Sheldon and they had three daughters. By 1900 he had become a well-known and very successful performer in Ireland. He began to tour successfully in the theatres of cities all over Britain and in 1910 he toured North America and the West Indies. He returned to Ireland each year to perform in towns and holiday resorts around the country. On one occasion he advertised a concert in the town of Kilkee in County Clare but was delayed getting to the venue because a train of The West Clare Railway broke down. He was awarded £10 damages and the incident led to him writing one of his most famous songs: Are ye right there Michael?

In January 1920 Percy French was giving performances in Scotland. Whilst giving a series of concerts in Glasgow he contracted pneumonia. He died a few days later at the age of 65.

Percy French died at the home of his cousin in the town of Formby near Liverpool in the year 1920 On This Day.

Percy French photo

Percy French

Percy French Mayo Mermaids


01 November-Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry was a member of the Irish Volunteers during the Irish War of Independence. He was executed in 1920 for his part in an ambush in Dublin which led to the deaths of three British soldiers. He was the first member of the Irish Volunteers to be executed since Eater Rising of 1916.

Kevin Gerard Barry was born in Fleet Street Dublin on January 20th 1902. He was one of a family of seven children. The Barry family ran a successful dairy farm at Tombeagh, Hacketstown, Co Carlow and a retail business in Fleet Street, Dublin. in 1920 Kevin barry was a medical student in University College Dublin

He was just 18 years old when he took part in the ambush of a British Army truck. The truck was picking up a delivery of bread from a bakery at the junction of Church Street and North King Street, Dublin. Mathew Whitehead one of the three soldiers who died as a result of the ambush was just 17 years old. Following the ambush Barry was captured and sentenced to death.

Kevin Barry was found guilty of murder and hanged in Mountjoy Jail in the year 1920 On This Day.

Kevin Barry House – North King Street (Dublin) by infomatique on 2013-06-08 14:54:52