05 January-Young Scientist Exhibition

The Young Scientist Exhibition is an annual science competition for Irish students. It has been held in Dublin every year since 1965. Officially known as the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition it is sponsored each year by BT Ireland. It is the longest running event of its kind in the world. The aim of the competition is to encourage interest in science among primary and second level students.

The first exhibition was held over 50 years ago and attracted 230 participants. Two research Physicists from UCD (University College Dublin), Rev Dr Tom Burke and Dr Tony Scott had observed ‘Science Fairs’ being held in the USA and adapted the idea for Ireland. The first exhibition was held in Dublin’s Mansion House. However the exhibition became such a popular event a bigger venue was necessary. The exhibition moved to the RDS in 1966 and has been held there ever since.

The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition attracts over 2000 entries each year. Just over 500 of these entries qualify for the four day exhibition which attracts around 60,000 visitors every year. Only individual students competed when the exhibition began, but competition for groups was introduced for the first time in 1976.

Projects are judged during the three days of the exhibition and prizes are awarded in the various categories. These include biology, physics, social and behavioural sciences, and technology. Apart from the overall winners and the runners up there are prizes for 36 individuals and 36 group projects. The overall winners go on to compete in international events such as the European Union Contest for Young Scientists. Ireland has won first place at European Union Contest for Young Scientists on fourteen occasions.

The first ever Young Scientist winner was John Monahan from Newbridge College, Co Kildare for his project, Demonstrating Chemical Reactions during Digestion. John is now Vice-president of Synthetic Biologics in California USA.

The first Young Scientist Exhibition opened in the Round Room of the Mansion House in Dublin in the year 1965 On This Day.

Politicians visiting the young scientist exhibition as the stands are being set up




24 December-Barwell Meteorite

Barwell near Leicester, England was the site where one of the largest meteorites recorded in British history, landed in December 1965. At around 4.20pm on Christmas Eve, what looked like a bright star in the East, was a meteor burning up as it passed through the Earth’s atmosphere. The people of Barnwell heard a sonic boom as the meteorite broke up and landed in various locations.

Nobody was hurt, as fragments of the meteorite landed, but some property was damaged. The 4.5 billion year old rock attracted large numbers of meteorite hunters. Fragments of the meteorite are held at several locations including the natural History Museum and the Herbert Museum in Coventry.

The Barwell Meteorite landed in the year 1965 On This Day.

Meteorite, Natural History Museum, Oxford by TEDizen on 2005-07-13 14:47:10


27 November-Francis MacManus

Francis MacManus was a novelist, broadcaster and teacher who was a native of Kilkenny Ireland. He wrote several novels and short stories during his lifetime. The Francis MacManus Short Story Award is named in his honour.

Francis MacManus was born in Kilkenny on March 8th 1909. He was educated at Kilkenny CBS, St Patricks College Dublin and UCD (University College Dublin). Following graduation MacManus worked as a teacher at Synge Street CBS for 18 years. He was appointed Director of Features at Radio Éireann (now RTE) in 1948. He worked there until his death in 1965.

In 1985 The RTÉ Francis MacManus Short Story Award was established in his memory. The winner is awarded a prize of €3,000. In 2014 the overall winner was The Oyster Catchers by Beth Tyrrell.

Francis MacManus died at the age of 56 in the year 1965 On This Day.

Mobile RTE by topgold on 2012-05-06 11:06:43

16 November-W T Cosgrave

W T Cosgrave was an Irish statesman who served as first President of the Executive Council (Taoiseach) of the Irish Free State. He was elected chairman of the provisional government when Michael Collins became commander in chief of the army in July 1922. When Arthur Griffith died suddenly on August 12th 1922, Cosgrave became President of the Dáil. He served as President of the Executive Council of Ireland from 1922 to 1932. Liam Cosgrave, son of W T Cosgrave served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 1972 to 1977.

William Thomas Cosgrave was born at 174 James’s Street, Dublin on June 6th 1880. He was educated at the Christian Brothers School on the Malahide Road in Dublin and later joined his father’s business. He became politically active in the early 1900’s and served as a councillor on Dublin Corporation from 1909 to 1922. Cosgrave joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and played an active part in the Easter Rising of 1916, serving as one of Éamonn Ceant’s officers at the South Dublin Union.

Following the Rising W T Cosgrave was sentenced to death. This was later commuted to penal servitude for life and he was interned in Fongoch prison camp in Wales. He was elected MP for Kilkenny City in the 1917 by-election though he was in prison in Wales at the time. He was elected MP for Kilkenny North in the general election of 1918.

Dáil Éireann voted to approve the Anglo-Irish Treaty in January 1922. The Irish Free State came into being on December 6th 1922 and W T Cosgrave became the first prime minister, called President of the Executive Council. His greatest achievement was to establish a stable democratic government in Ireland. He lost office following the general election of 1932 but continued to lead his party in opposition until 1944.

William Thomas Cosgrave died aged 85 in the year 1965 On This Day.

W T Cosgrave (holding furled umbrella) visiting the sugar beet processing factory at Strawhall, County Carlow, October 1926.

Tour of Inspection by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1926-10-01 00:00:00

John Devoy arriving at government buildings to meet President Cosgrave by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1924-07-28 12:23:04

15 November-Kilkenny Design

Kilkenny Design Workshops were founded in Kilkenny city, Ireland in 1963. Established as a semi-state agency, the aim was to improve the design of Irish products. It was a time when Ireland was beginning to industrialise in a large way. The economy was beginning to expand, foreign direct investment was being encouraged and earnings from exports were increasing.

The Irish Export Board (An Córas Tráchtála) was tasked with promoting Irish goods abroad. The Chief Executive of the Board, William H Walsh, recognised the importance of design in industry in order to encourage commerce, trade and export. Scandinavian designers were commissioned to carry out an audit of the standards of design in Ireland. Their report was officially called ‘Design in Ireland’ but was generally known as the Scandinavian Report. The report was used as a basis for the establishment of Kilkenny Design Workshops.

Employing designers from across Europe William Walsh established the Design Workshops in the converted stables at Kilkenny Castle. Five workshops in the areas of textile weaving, textile printing, silver and metalwork, ceramics, and woodworking were established. As time went on industrial design was incorporated into the work of Kilkenny Design. Kilkenny became a centre for design excellence and the name Kilkenny became synonymous with excellent design.

The team of international designers undertook design projects for both indigenous industry and as time went on for international companies which had been established in Ireland. Retail operations were developed in Ireland, London and North America. Kilkenny Design Workshop operated at its base in Kilkenny city until its closure in 1988. Today the Castle Yard is home to the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and a number of thriving craft and design businesses.

Kilkenny Design Workshops were officially opened in the year 1965 On This Day.

Kilkenny Design Centre by Kieran Lynam on 2008-01-15 17:17:13

Kilkenny design by Bernie Goldbach on 2005-03-02 13:50:33