14 December-United Nations

The United Nations (UN) was established in October 1945. It is an international organisation which has its headquarters in New York, USA. At its founding the United Nations had 51 member states. Today the organisation has 193 member states and each of them is a member of the United Nations General Assembly.

Ireland applied to join the United Nations in 1946. The application was refused however, because of Ireland’s failure to support the Allies against Hitler and Nazism during World War II. Ireland eventually became a member of the United Nations in 1955. The Irish Defence Forces have a continuous presence on peace support operations since 1958. Ireland is also active in many other aspects of UN operations.

Ireland was admitted to the United Nations in the year 1955 On This Day.

UNITED NATIONS by BOMBMAN on 2006-09-30 21:08:20

The United Nations by JasonParis on 2011-06-04 12:52:03

United Nations Grunge Emblem – Sepia by Free Grunge Textures – www.freestock.ca on 2013-04-25 01:33:13

28 October-Bill Gates

Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1976. He served as chief executive of Microsoft until January 2000. Gates still works with the company as technology advisor. He is currently one of the wealthiest people in the world.

William Henry Gates III was born in Seattle Washington, USA in 1955. He took leave of absence from Harvard in 1975 to co-found Microsoft. The company was registered on November 26th 1976. Today Microsoft is a global company with over 114,000 employees.

Since stepping down as chief executive of Microsoft Bill Gates has become involved in a number of philanthropic endeavours. He is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation is devoted to improving education and healthcare and also to ending poverty.

Bill Gates was born in the year 1955 On This Day.

Bill Gates photo

Bill Gates

Photo by ToddABishop

18 October-Thompson of Carlow

Thompson of Carlow is an engineering firm based in Carlow town, Ireland. It is one of the longest established steel fabricators and builders of truck bodies in Ireland. An Original Equipment Manufacturer, well known for its ability to meet new challenges, Thompson has recently fabricated Wave Motion Machines for Openhydro. The machines are used to generate electricity from tidal waves.

Thomas Thompson established the original company in 1878. Carlow gaol, which was built in 1800, was purchased by Thompson following its closure in 1897. He subsequently based his engineering business, Hanover Works, in the old gaol. The firm initially manufactured items such as farm machinery, turbines and haulage wagons. During World War I ammunition cases and wings for the Bristol F2 Fighter bi-plane aircraft were manufactured at the Hanover Works.

In later years several major engineering works were carried out by Thompsons at locations all over Ireland and in the Carlow area. These included building Carlow Sugar Factory in 1926 and dismantling St Anne’s Church on the Athy Road in Carlow in 1929. The church was then re-erected as St Clare’s Church in Graiguecullen on the west side of the river Barrow. The firm also manufactured peat processing machinery, canal barges and was involved in hydro-electric installations.

During World War II armoured cars were manufactured for the army by Thompsons. Some of these saw service in the Congo when the Army served there as part of the United Nations force in 1961. Thompsons have manufactured and installed several well-known Irish landmarks. These include the Millennium Bridge and the East Link Toll Bridge both of which span the river Liffey in Dublin City. The firm has also manufactured and installed the Dale Bridge over the river Carron in Scotland

Thompsons moved their manufacturing plant to a new premises about 5km north of Carlow town in 2005. The Hanover Works site is now Carlow Shopping Centre. What was the main gate to the gaol is the Barrack Street entrance to the shopping centre. This gate was the location where public hangings took place. Immediately inside the gate the Governors House still stands. When Thompsons was based in Carlow gaol new areas of the gaol were brought into use as the firm expanded. During one such expansion an account of an 1853 extension to the gaol was found written on a door in the gaol.

The account of the 1853 extension to Carlow gaol was discovered in the year 1955 On This Day.

The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge spanning the River Liffey Of Dublin manufactured and installed by Thompson of Carlow by infomatique on 2010-09-20 15:12:47


Thompson of Carlow


Carlow Shopping Centre, formerly Thompsons Hanover Works and previously Carlow Gaol

11 March-Sir Alexander Fleming

Dr Robert Fleming unveiled a monument in 2001 to his parents Sir Alexander and Lady Sarah Fleming in Kincon near Killala Co Mayo, Ireland, the birthplace of his mother. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in September 1928. At the unveiling Robert Fleming recalled the many visits the Fleming family made to Mayo when he was growing up.

Alexander Fleming was born near Darvel, Ayrshire, Scotland on August 6th 1881. He attended Kilmarnock Academy, where John Boyd Orr another Nobel laureate was also educated. It is one of the few schools in the world to have two past pupils who are Nobel Laureates. At the age of thirteen Fleming moved to London where he lived with his older brother who was a doctor. He studied at what was then the Regent Street Polytechnic, now the University of Westminster later going on to work in the shipping industry.

In 1903 Fleming entered St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in Paddington, London and qualified as a doctor in 1906. He later worked as a lecturer at St Mary’s before joining the Army Medical Corps in 1914. He served in France during World War I and returned to work in St Mary’s in 1918. He was elected Professor of Bacteriology at the University of London in 1928. In 1945 Fleming was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the discovery of penicillin.

Sarah McElroy was born in, Kincon in 1881. After leaving school she went to Australia where she trained as a nurse. She returned to Ireland and practised in Dublin for a time before moving to London where she established her own Nursing Home. Alexander Fleming and Sarah McElroy met while they were both working in London. They were married on December 3rd 1915 when Alexander, then a captain in the Medical Corps, was on leave from France. Their son, Robert, qualified as a doctor. Besides the Nobel Prize Fleming was the recipient of numerous awards during his lifetime. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1943 and was knighted by King George VI in 1944.

Sir Alexander Fleming died at his home in London at the age of 73 in the year 1955 On This Day.

SIR ALEXANDER FLEMING MEMORIAL BUST – DARVEL by summonedbyfells on 2013-12-16 10:45:15