16 February-LeVar Burton, Roots

LeVar Burton is an award-winning American actor who was born in Germany. He is best known for his role as Lt Commander Geordi La Forge in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. He first achieved fame at the age of twenty, playing the part of Kunta Kinte in the 1977 television series ‘Roots’. Burton was also the host of the long-running children’s television series ‘Reading Rainbow’.

LeVar Burton was born Levardis Robert Martyn Burton in Landstuhl, Germany in 1957. His parents were stationed with the US Army in Germany at the time. He grew up in Sacramento, California and graduated from the School of Theatre at the University of Southern California. In 1977 he made his acting debut as Kunta Kinte in the drama series ‘Roots’. The winner of numerous awards, Burton went on to have a successful career as an actor, presenter, director and author.

LeVar Burton, award-winning actor who starred as Kunta Kinte in ‘Roots’ and as Lt Commander Geordi La Forge in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ was born in the year 1957 On This Day.

LeVar Burton

 

 

07 August-Oliver Hardy

Oliver Hardy was a comic actor who was a native of America. He is best known as a member of the comedy double-act Laurel and Hardy. Stan Laurel was a comic actor, writer and film director who was a native of England. The comedy duo became well known for their slapstick comedy films during the first half of the 20th century.

Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in Harlem, Georgia on January 18th 1892. He was a gifted singer who appeared in minstrel shows form a young age. At the age of 18 he was managing a movie theatre and began his career as a comedy actor at the age of 21. In 1914 he made his first movie ‘Outwitting Dad’. Hardy appeared in several movies before moving to Los Angeles in 1917.

In 1921 Oliver Hardy made his first film with Stan Laurel. Laurel and Hardy officially became a team in 1927. The duo went on to appear in 107 films, including The Music Box, Way Out West, Men O’ War, Another Fine Mess, Sons of the Desert, Block-Heads and Busy Bodies. Oliver Hardy was inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. In his hometown of Harlem there is a Laurel and Hardy Museum.

Oliver Hardy, best known as a member of the comedy double-act Laurel and Hardy, died aged 65 in the year 1957 On This Day.

 

 

 

04 July-Fethard-on-Sea Boycott

Fethard-on-Sea is a village on the Hook Peninsula in Co Wexford, Ireland. In 1957 the village came to national and international attention due to a sectarian boycott of the local protestant community led by the local catholic priest. The boycott was the basis for the film ‘A Love Divided’ which was released in 1999.

In 1949 Sean Cloney, a Roman Catholic, married Sheila Kelly, a Church of Ireland Protestant. The parish priest Fr Stafford told the couple that their children had to be raised as catholic. Sheila resisted and the priest organised a boycott.

The boycott was given support by the local catholic bishop. In a debate in Dáil Éireann Taoiseach Éamon de Valera called on Sheila to honour her pledge to raise her children in the catholic faith. The boycott failed find support outside of Fethard-on-Sea. Though a formal end was arranged damage was caused to community relations for a time.

The Fethard-on-Sea boycott was debated in Dáil Éireann in the year 1957 On This Day.

Fethard-on-Sea

Photo Joe Rattigan

 

 

 

04 June-John Treacy

John Treacy, who is a native of Co Waterford, is one of Ireland’s most successful athletes. He represented Ireland at four Olympic Games. At the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 he was the winner of the silver medal in the marathon. Treacy was also the gold medal winner at the World Cross-Country Championships in 1978 and 1979. He was inducted into the Athletics Ireland Hall of Fame in 2009. He is the current CEO of the Irish Sports Council.

John Treacy was born in Villierstown, Co Waterford in 1957. He was educated locally and at St. Anne’s Secondary School in Cappoquin, County Waterford. St Anne’s is about 12km from his home and Treacy would run home from school as part of his athletics training. Following national and international success as a junior athlete Treacy decided to attend Providence College in Rhode Island, USA where he completed his third level education.

Together with winning his Olympic medal Treacy has a long list of successes to his credit. These include:

  • World Cross-Country Champion on two occasions (1978, 1979).
  • Winner of the Los Angeles Marathon 1992
  • Winner of the Dublin Marathon 1993

John Treacy was born in the year 1957 On This Day.

With Irish Sport Council Ceo John Treacy, Chair Kieran Mulvey, Tibor Navracsics & Gaa Head of Games Pat Daly

 

 

28 March-Jack B Yeats

Jack B Yeats is one of Ireland’s most famous painters. He was also an Olympic Medal winner and brother of the poet W B Yeats who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. Paintings by Jack B Yeats can be found in the National Gallery of Ireland and in other galleries in Ireland and abroad.

John Butler Yeats was born in London on August 9th 1871. His family had moved to England in 1867 so that his father could further his career as an artist. Jack B Yeats grew up in Sligo with his grandparents and what he saw there was the basis of much of his early work. Everyday life in Ireland is reflected in his most famous paintings.

Following independence, Yeats was the winner of Ireland’s first Olympic Medal. In the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924, his painting ‘The Liffey Swim’ won a silver medal in the Arts and Culture section. Today paintings by Yeats are much in demand. His painting ‘The Wild Ones’ was sold for over €1.5 million in 1999. ‘The Boat Builder’ which Yeats painted in 1913 was sold for over €600,000 in late 2015.

Jack B Yeats died at the age of 85 in the year 1957 On This Day.

Jack Butler Yeats