03 February-Val Doonican

Val Doonican was a singer, musician and entertainer who was a native of Waterford City, Ireland. He became one of the most popular and best-selling entertainers during a career which lasted over 60 years. Donnican’s easy-going, relaxed style and baritone voice appealed to a wide audience. He was awarded the BBC TV Personality of the Year Award on three occasions.

Michael Valentine Doonican was born in Waterford city in 1927. Born into a musical family he began performing from a young age. Following performances in Waterford and around Ireland Doonican moved to England in 1951 to join the Irish group The Four Ramblers.

Doonican began his solo career in 1962. He had several hits during the 1960’and 1970’s including ‘Walk Tall’ and ‘The Special Years’. Doonican also had his own show on BBC television. The show which ran from 1965 to 1986 attarcted almost 20 million viewers at its peak. The show was also shown on networks in America and Australia.

Though Val Doonican retired in 1990 he continued to perform for almost two more decades. He was conferred with the Freedom of Waterford City in 2011. He died at his home in Buckinghamshire, England the age of 88 on July 1st 2015.

Val Doonican was born in the year 1927 On This Day.

Bar- steward sons of Val Doonican


10 July-Kevin O Higgins

Kevin O’Higgins served as Vice President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State from 1922 until his assassination in 1927. He also served as Minister for Justice. O’Higgins 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 on June 7th 1892. 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.

In July 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 assassinated in the year 1927 On This Day.

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

Booterstown Avenue by RedAgenda.com on 2008-06-22 16:41:01

26 May-Ford Model T

Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company. His father William Ford emigrated from Ballinscarthy near Clonakilty County Cork, Ireland to America in 1846. Henry Ford manufactured the Ford Model T, the first car to be affordable to a person on an average income. It made possible relatively cheap travel and brought about a revolution in transportation.

Henry Ford began the mass production of the ‘Model T’ in October 1908. The assembly line as a method of production in the motor industry had been first introduced in 1901 by Ransome E Olds. He used the method to build the first mass produced car which was known as the Oldsmobile Dash. Henry Ford introduced a similar method to mass produce the Model T. He succeeded in developing and improving the method to the stage where it took only 93 minutes to fully assemble a car.

Production of the Model T continued for nineteen years and by 1917 it accounted for over half of all the cars in the world. Initially the car was available in several colours but from 1913 to 1925 it was available only in black. By 1925 over 2 million units of the Model T were being sold annually. Ford ceased production of the Model T in 1927. Henry Ford drove the final and 15 millionth car off the assembly line, accompanied by his son Edsel. The Model T remained the top selling car in the world until February 17th 1972. On that date sales of the Volkswagen Beetle surpassed those of the Model T. The Model T is still in the list of the top ten best-selling cars of all time.

Henry Ford and his son Edsel paid a visit to his father’s home place in Ballinscarthy in 1912. He returned to Ireland in 1917 and established a plant in Cork City producing Fordson Tractors. It was the first manufacturing plant built by Ford outside the USA. The plant in Cork later produced Ford cars such as, the Prefect, the Cortina and the Sierra. Members of the Ford family continue to visit Cork.

The last Ford Model T was driven off the assembly line at the Ford factory in Highland Park, Michigan USA in the year 1927 On This Day.

Ford Model T photo

1917 Model T Ford

Photo by Jon’s pics