29 September-James Hoban Stamp

James Hoban, Architect of the White House, was born in Kilkenny, Ireland. In 1981 a stamp was jointly issued in his honour by the Irish Post Office and the United States Postal Service. It was the first occasion that the Irish Post Office did a joint stamp issue with a foreign postal service. Called the James Hoban Commemoration Stamp its design was the same for both countries.

James Hoban was born in Kilkenny 1758. He grew up on an estate of the Earl of Desart in Cuffesgrange near Callan, County Kilkenny. Until his early 20’s, he worked on the estate as a wheelwright and carpenter. From there he moved to Dublin to study at the Dublin Society’s Drawing School on Lower Grafton Street where he excelled at his studies. Having completed his studies in 1779 he worked on various building projects in Dublin including Dublin City Hall. He is credited with the building of Belcamp House in Dublin. The building has been described as a mini Whitehouse complete with ‘oval office’. Belcamp House later became Belcamp College which closed in 2004.

By the year 1785 Hoban, having emigrated to the United States, had established himself as an architect in Philadelphia. He later moved to Charleston South Carolina where he designed both private and public buildings. The courthouse in Charleston which he remodelled form the old colonial state house is still in use today.

James Hoban won a competition to design the residence of the President of the United States now called the White House. He oversaw its construction from 1793 to 1800. During the war of 1812 the building was attacked and burned by the British who had invaded from their base on Ireland Island in the Caribbean. Hoban supervised the restoration work which was completed in 1817. The White House is modelled on Leinster House in Dublin, a fact acknowledged by President John F Kennedy in his speech to the Oireachtas in 1963.

Irish artist Ron Mercer and American designer Walter Richards collaborated to design a stamp in honour of James Hoban. A dedication ceremony announcing the release of the stamp was attended by the then First Lady Nancy Regan and the then Irish Ambassador to the United States Sean Donlan.

The dedication ceremony for the James Hoban Commemoration Stamp took place in the White House, Washington DC, in the year 1981 On This Day.

The White House Northside by Glyn Lowe Photoworks. on 2012-05-31 15:44:20

Architect James Hoban Stamp photo

Image from page 34

Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

21 January-DeLorean

DeLorean is a sports car which was manufactured by the DeLorean Motor Company at Dunmurry, near Belfast in Northern Ireland in the early 1980’s. The iconic car which was officially known as the DeLorean DMC-12 had a fibreglass chassis and a stainless steel body. The stainless panels for the DeLorean, were all produced at the Läpple Factory in Carlow, Ireland.

In 1981 John DeLorean began manufacturing the DeLorean DMC-12 sports car at the Dunmurry plant. The iconic sports car with gull-winged doors became famous as a modified time machine in the film ‘Back to the Future’. The car had a fibreglass chassis, a stainless steel body.

The stainless steel panels for the DeLorean, were all produced at the Läpple factory in Carlow. The panels were transferred by truck to Belfast. On at least one occasion the DMC (DeLorean Motor Corporation) needed panels urgently and sent a helicopter to Carlow to pick them up. Production began in 1981. However production was halted and the firm went into liquidation in early 1983. Over 9,000 DMC-12’s were produced.

The Delorean, the iconic sports car with gull-winged doors, began production at Dunmurry near Belfast in the year 1981 On This Day.

DeLorean at Google




06 January-AJ Cronin

AJ Cronin was a physician and novelist. His most famous novels include The Citadel, The Stars Look Down, Hatters Castle and The Keys of the Kingdom. Several of Cronin’s novels were adapted for film. The television series Dr Finlay’s Casebook was based on his novel Country Doctor.

Archibald Joseph Cronin was born in Cardross, Dunbartonshire, Scotland on July 19th 1896. Having completed second level education in 1914, he won a scholarship to study medicine at the University of Glasgow. He graduated with honours in 1919. He trained at various hospitals including the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin and was awarded an MD in 1925.

Having worked as a doctor in South Wales for a period Cronin was employed as medical inspector of mines before opening a practice in London in 1926. In 1930 due to ill health he was forced to take a break from his work as a doctor. He used the time to write his first novel, Hatter’s Castle. The novel was a success and Cronin never returned to practising medicine.

A J Cronin went on to write several successful novels. He moved with his family to the United States in 1939 where he lived until 1945. He returned to Europe and lived for a time at Raheny in Dublin before returning to the US in 1947. He returned to Europe in 1956 and settled in Switzerland.

AJ Cronin, physician and author of novels such as The Citadel, The Stars Look Down, Hatters Castle and The Keys of the Kingdom, died 84 in the year 1981 On This Day.

Gothic revival castle



04 August-Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle is a native of California. She is a former actress who married Prince Harry of Great Britain on May 19th 2018. Prince Harry is the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II. Meghan Markle is now Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex was born Rachel Meghan Markle in the year 1981 On This Day.

14 February-Stardust Fire

Stardust Memorial Park is located is located in Coolock on the north side of Dublin, Ireland. It is dedicated to the memory of the 48 people who lost their lives in a fire in February 1981 at the Stardust Nightclub in nearby Artane. The fire also resulted in over 200 people being injured, some seriously.

Over 800 people were attending a disco when the fire broke out at the Stardust Nightclub at 1.42am. The fire spread quickly. Lighting failed and patrons panicked as they tried escape. Several people were trampled on in the rush to the exits, some of which were locked. Dublin Fire Brigade fought the fire and hospitals in Dublin city were overwhelmed with casualties.

The Stardust fire in which 48 people lost their lives, occurred at the Stardust Nightclub in Artane, Dublin in the year 1981 On This Day.

Remembering The Stardust Disaster, Ireland’s worst-ever fire. 48 young people perished

The Stardust Disaster

Stardust Memorial Park