21 January-George Orwell

Novelist, essayist and critic George Orwell was born in India. He is best known for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Orwell once said, ‘The English are not happy unless they are miserable, the Irish are not at peace unless they are at war, and the Scots are not at home unless they are abroad’.

George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in Motihari, Bengal, India on June 25th 1903. As a young boy Orwell moved with his mother and older sister to England in 1904. His father, who was a civil servant stayed in India. He visited his family in England just once in 1908 before retiring to England in 1912. Orwell had one younger sister.

George Orwell won a scholarship to Eton College, Windsor, England. After school his family could not afford to send him to university so he joined the police in India in 1922. Deciding he wanted to be a writer he resigned and returned to England in 1927. His first book ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ was published in 1933.

In 1936 Orwell married Eileen O’Shaughnessy. Shortly thereafter he went to Spain to fight against Franco during the Spanish Civil War. He was badly injured during the war and returned to England. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1938 and spent several months in a sanatorium.

During the following years, whilst continuing to suffer from the effects of tuberculosis, Orwell wrote several essays and also worked as a producer for the BBC. The novels for which he is most famous Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four were published in 1945 and 1949 respectively.

George Orwell died in hospital in London at the age of 46 in the year 1950 On This Day.



02 November-George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and co-founder of the London School of Economics. He visited Carlow town, Ireland in February 1918. He came to Carlow to view the various properties in the town which he had inherited from Thomas Gurly, his mother’s grandfather.

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin on July 26th 1856. He was raised in Dublin and moved to London in 1876 at the age of 20. In London he lived for a time with his mother who had moved to London a few years previously. Shaw became a successful author and wrote over sixty plays. He is the only person in history to be awarded both the Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Academy Award (1938).

George Bernard Shaw and Charlotte Payne-Townshend of Rosscarbery Co Cork married in London in 1898. He made his first visit back to Ireland in 1905. On that occasion he and his wife stayed at his wife’s family home in West Cork. From that year on Shaw and his wife frequently spent their holidays in Ireland. They visited Dublin and often stayed for extended periods in the southwest of the country. Shaw visited Ireland for the last time in 1924 when he finished writing Saint Joan whilst staying at Parknasilla in Co Kerry.

Shortly after his visit to Carlow in 1918 Shaw gave a building on Dublin Street known as the Assembly Rooms as a gift to the Carlow Technical Instruction Committee. He made a stipulation that the building was to be used for educational purposes. The Committee converted the building to a school which opened as Carlow Technical School in 1923. This school is reputed to have been the first co-educational second level school in Ireland.

The school, which is now known as Carlow Vocational School, moved to the Kilkenny Road in the early 1970’s. A portrait of George Bernard Shaw hangs in the main lobby of the school. Because of increasing enrolments Carlow Vocational School will move to a new building in September 2017. The new institution will be called Tyndall College in honour of world famous scientist John Tyndall who was born about 12km south of Carlow town in Leighlinbridge in August 1820.

Over twenty years after his visit to Carlow, Shaw made a bequest of his remaining properties in Carlow to Carlow Urban Council. However the town council had no authority to accept the gift. Shaw wrote to the government and as result an act was passed allowing the council to accept the gifted property. He stipulated the rents from the properties amounting to £180 become the part of a Civic Improvement Fund.

George Bernard Shaw died at the age of 94 in the year 1950 On This Day.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW 1856 – 1950 ESCRITOR NACIDO EN DUBLIN by sinaloaarchivohistorico on 2014-03-18 22:44:58



15 August-Angelus

The Angelus is a prayer recited three times during the day, 6am, noon and 6pm. It commemorates the Incarnation and is usually accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell. Though the current form of the Angelus dates from the mid 1500’s, the prayer has its origins in the 11th century.

In Ireland the ringing of the Angelus bell is broadcast at noon and 6pm on RTÉ (Radio Teilifís Éireann) Radio. The ringing of the Angelus bell is accompanied by imagery at 6pm on RTÉ television. The broadcasting of the Angelus began in response to requests from some members of the public. Discussions were held between Mr Leon Ó Broin Secretary of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid in 1948. It was agreed to broadcast the sounding of the angelus bell.

A search for a suitable bell was carried out by engineers from Radio Éireann. However Archbishop McQuaid was in favour of using the bell in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin city centre. From there the Angelus bell would be broadcast at precisely six o’clock from the Radio Éireann studios then located in the GPO on O’Connell Street. Today the bells from the Pro-Cathedral are used during the broadcast of the Angelus on both radio and television.

When television broadcasting of the Angelus began pictures of the Annunciation were shown. This was changed in 2009 and again in 2015. Now the broadcast shows people in a period of reflection at the sound of the bell.

The Angelus was first broadcast on Radio Éireann in the year 1950 On This Day.

The Angelus by 悠遊山城.樹玫瑰.庭園美食. on 2008-06-29 08:11:11


17 June-First Successful Organ Transplant

The first successful human organ transplant in the world was performed at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Chicago, Illinois in June 1950. On that occasion Dr Richard Lawlor, a surgeon at the hospital, performed a kidney transplant on a 44 year old woman called Ruth Tucker. The woman had polycystic kidney disease. As a result one of her kidneys had ceased to function. The other kidney functioned at only at 10 percent.

Ruth Tucker’s mother and sister had died of polycystic kidney disease and Ruth herself was seriously ill. At the time dialysis was not available. A decision to perform a kidney transplant was made by the patient, the doctor and the hospital.

Ruth Tucker had been in hospital for five weeks when a healthy kidney became available from a lady who had died of liver disease. Having removed the kidney from the 49 year old woman who had died it took Dr Lawlor just an hour and a half to replace Ms Tucker’s left kidney. The operation was filmed and was also observed in the hospital by a large number of people.

The operation took place prior to the development of tissue typing and immunosuppressant drugs. The transplant worked and Ruth Tucker left hospital a month later. The kidney began to fail within a year and was rejected by her body’s immune system. However it had worked long enough to allow her other kidney to recover somewhat. Ruth Tucker lived for another five years. She died in 1955 of coronary artery disease.

The first successful human organ transplant in history took place when Ruth Tucker given a donor kidney at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Chicago, Illinois in the year 1950 On This Day.

Scar by aturkus on 2006-11-17 12:03:00