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

30 July-JK Rowling

When the author J K Rowling began writing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, she was living on state benefits. Today she is one of the richest women in the United Kingdom. She is best known for her Harry Potter series which have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide.

Joanne Rowling was born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England. She did not have a middle name. Her publishers suggested she should use initials rather than her full name in order to keep her identity anonymous as her readership was likely to be young boys. She chose Kathleen, her grandmother’s name as her second name. As a result the Harry Potter series was produced under the pen name J. K. Rowling.

Having completed secondary education Rowling went on to study at the University of Exeter. She was awarded a BA in French and Classics in 1986 and moved to London to work for Amnesty International. She later moved to Portugal where she taught English as a foreign language in the city of Porto. When Rowling separated from her husband in November 1993 she moved with her daughter to Edinburgh, Scotland.

In Edinburgh Rowling began writing her first Harry Potter book. It was published in June 1997 and led to six other books in the Harry Potter series being published. The series charts the life of Harry Potter and others at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As the various books were published they broke many previous sales records. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows was released on July 21st 2007 it sold eleven million copies on the first day and became the fastest selling book of all time. Rowling has also published books for adults, including The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm under the pen name Robert Galbraith.

The novelist Joanne Rowling was born in the year 1965 On This Day.

JK Rowling (Harry Potter Author), Aberfeldy Home by Delboy1940Essex (Still trying to catch up) on 2013-11-15 12:38:54

100405_EasterEggRoll_683 by Daniel Ogren on 2010-04-05 13:49:24

JK Rowling Autograph by baslow on 2004-12-26 19:10:26