29 August-Éamon de Valera

Éamon de Valera was one of the major political figures in Ireland during the 20th century. He was involved in Irish political affairs from 1917 to 1973. de Valera served several terms as head of government and in his later years he served as President of Ireland.

Éamon de Valera was born in New York City on October 14th 1882. He moved to Ireland at the age of two and grew up in Bruree, Co Limerick. He qualified as a teacher and joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913. He was involved in the Easter Rising of 1916 and was court-martialled and sentenced to death. The sentence was later commuted to penal servitude for life.

The Irish War of Independence ended with signing of a truce between the British and Irish on July 11th 1921. The Anglo-Irish Treaty was negotiated in 1921 between the British Government and representatives of the Irish Republic. The Treaty led to the establishment of the Irish Free State. The Treaty established Ireland as a self-governing Free State and was ratified by Dáil Eireann 64 votes to 57 by in January 1922.

When those opposed to the Treaty lost the vote, they walked out of parliament led by Éamon de Valera. They began a campaign of violent opposition to the Treaty and Civil War ensued. The Irish Free State came into being on December 6th 1922. The civil war ended in victory for the supporters of the Treaty on May 24th 1923.

In 1926 de Valera founded a new political party, Fianna Fáil. The party has played a major role in Irish politics since its foundation. On March 9th 1932, Fianna Fáil entered government for the first time. Since then it has been in government more than any other political party. Éamon de Valera served as Taoiseach for 21 years. He also served as President of Ireland for two terms

Éamon de Valera, one of the major political figures in Ireland during the 20th century, died aged 92 in the year 1975 On This Day.

President Éamon de Valera with his ADC and Donie Nolan of Carlow

Courtesy Donie Nolan Facebook



28 August-Willie John McBride

Willie John McBride is a rugby legend who played at lock for Ireland on 63 occasions from 1962 to 1975. He was captain on eleven occasions. McBride was captain of the British and Irish Lions which successfully toured South Africa in 1974. In all, he toured with the Lions on five occasions.

Willie John McBride was born William James McBride into a farming family at Toomebridge, County Antrim on June 6th 1940. He was educated at Ballymena Academy where he began playing rugby at the age of 17. He played his first test for Ireland against England at Twickenham on February 10th 1962.

Later that he year McBride was selected to tour with the Lions in South Africa. He went on to tour with the Lions on five occasions and played in 17 test games. He captained Lion’s team which toured South Africa in 1974. The Lion’s won the Test series 3-0, the first ever win in South Africa for the Lions.

McBride scored his only try for Ireland in the second last game of his career when Ireland defeated France 25-6 at Lansdowne Road in 1975. After his final game for Ireland against Wales in Cardiff on March 15th 1975 McBride announced his retirement. He received an MBE in 1971 and was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 1997.

Willie John McBride, Irish international rugby football player, announced his retirement from international rugby in the year 1975 On This Day.

Landsdowne Road



10 August-Robert Barton

Robert Barton was one of the signatories of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. In 1921, Barton together with General Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith, Éamonn Duggan and George Gavin Duffy were members of the Irish delegation which went to London to negotiate the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The Irish representatives, with plenipotentiary status, signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty on December 6th 1921.

Robert Childers Barton was born in Glendalough House, Annamoe, Co Wicklow on March 14th 1881. His great grandfather was the founder of the Langoa & Barton vineyards in France. The vineyards are still in the control of the Barton family. Another branch of the family were members of Barton & Guestier, wine shippers of Bordeaux.

Robert Barton served in the British Army. He was stationed in Dublin during the 1916 Easter Rising. After the Rising he resigned his commission and joined the Republican movement. He was elected as an MP in the 1918 General Election and in 1921 was chosen as a member of the delegation to negotiate the Anglo-Irish Treaty. When he died aged 94 he was the last surviving signatory of the Treaty.

Robert Barton, one of the five signatories of the Anglo-Irish Treaty died in Dublin in the year 1975 On This Day.


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Family of Robert Erskine Childers




09 September-Michael Bublé

Michael Bublé is a singer and songwriter who is a native of Canada. He is also an actor and record producer. Influenced by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, Bublé’s musical genres include, classic jazz, traditional pop, swing and blue-eyed soul. To date he is the winner of numerous awards.

Michael Steven Bublé was born in Burnaby, about 14km east of Vancouver, British Columbia in 1975. Interested in music from a young age he won the British Columbia Youth Talent Search at the age of 17. Bublé went on to gain a worldwide audience with albums such as ‘It’s Time’, ‘Crazy Love’ and ‘To Be Loved’. He is the winner of four Grammy Awards.

Michael Bublé, award winning singer from Canada, was born in the year 1975 On This Day.

Michael Bublé




31 July-Miami Showband Massacre

The Miami Showband was one of the most successful Irish bands of the showband era. During the 1960’ and 1970’s the band played to large audiences all over Ireland and had seven number one recordings in the Irish singles charts. In 1975 three members of the group, Fran O’Toole, Tony Geraghty, and Brian McCoy were murdered. They were killed by the paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteer Force in what has become known as the ‘Miami Showband massacre’.

Showbands were popular form of entertainment in Ireland from the mid 1950’s to the late 1970’s. The showband, which played dance music together with pop, rock and roll and country music of the time, usually consisted of six or seven members. They played in large venues all over Ireland and some bands toured with success in Britain, the United States and Canada.

In 1962 the Miami Showband, led by singer Dickie Rock, was established in Dublin. Dickie Rock left the ban in 1972 and was replaced as lead singer by Fran O’Toole. In 1975 the band was returning from a performance in the Castle Ballroom in Banbridge County Down. They were stopped by gunmen at a bogus military checkpoint at Buskill near Newry, Co Down. Three members of the band were killed and two were wounded.

The Miami Showband massacre occurred in the year 1975 On This Day.


The Miami Showband