30 March-Natural Gas

Carlow town in 1984, was one of the first towns in Ireland to be supplied with natural gas. Natural gas was first brought ashore in Ireland from the Kinsale Head gas field off the Cork coast in 1976. A pipeline which passed through Co Carlow brought gas to Dublin. Gas from this line was supplied by a spur-line to Carlow town.

Natural gas was discovered about 50km off the Old head of Kinsale in 1971. Production of gas from the field began in 1976 and gas was initially supplied to a power plant in Cork. The Cork-Dublin pipeline was constructed in 1982. The gas supply network was expanded during the following decades.

As the demand for gas increased the supply from the Kinsale Head field began to decline. In 1993 a sub-sea interconnector was constructed to supply gas from Great Britain to meet Ireland’s growing demand. A second interconnector was constructed in 2002.

The Corrib gas field was discovered was discovered in the Atlantic Ocean off the Mayo coast in 1996. Gas supply from this field began to flow into the national grid in 2015. The Kinsale Head field and the Corrib gas field now supply 58% of Ireland’s gas needs. The remainder is imported from Great Britain.

Construction work began on the Cork to Dublin gas pipeline in the year 1982 On This Day.

Old Head of Kinsale

 

 

16 November-The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument in Washington DC was built to commemorate George Washington the first President of the United States of America. At 170m it is the tallest obelisk in the world. The Monument attracts over half a million visitors each year.

The Washington National Monument Society was formed in 1832 on the anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Following a period of fundraising a competition was held in 1836 to design a memorial. The cornerstone of the Monument was laid on July 4th 1848. Donations ran out and construction stopped in 1854. By then the monument had reached a height of 46m.

Requests were made for donations in either money or memorial stones to help in the building and the decoration of the monument. Almost 200 memorial stones were donated from all over the United States and from countries around the world. Pope Pius IX donated a marble stone one metre long by half metre high. It came from the ruins of the Temple of Concord in Rome which had been built in 366 BC. The stone was engraved with the words ‘FROM ROME’ and arrived in Washington DC in October 1853.

The anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic ‘Know-Nothing Party’ objected to the stone being used in the Monument. On the night of March 6th 1854 nine members of the party broke into the grounds of the Washington Monument. They stole the stone and dumped it in the Potomac River. Following the American Civil War building recommenced in 1877 on the Washington Monument. It was finally completed and was dedicated on February 21st 1885. The monument was opened to the public on October 9th 1888.

The memorial stones, other than the ‘Popes Stone’, were built into the east and west interior walls so that they can be easily viewed by people ascending the monument. One hundred and twenty eight years after the first stone had disappeared, the Vatican during the reign of Pope John Paul II, donated another stone to replace the first. It was placed in the interior of the west wall of the Washington Monument 103m above ground level. The inscription on the stone reads ‘A ROMA AMERICAE’ (Rome to America).

A dedication ceremony to mark the occasion of the new stone from the Vatican being placed in the Washington Monument was held in the year 1982 On This Day.

The Washington Monument & Reflecting Pool by ArtBrom on 2008-04-02 15:46:05

14 September-Princess Grace

Princess Grace of Monaco visited her grandfather’s house in Co Mayo, Ireland in 1961. She was greeted by Mrs Ellen Mulchrone who was then the owner. The house is located close to Drumgoney Lough, better known locally as Leg of Mutton Lake, in Drimurla near Newport County Mayo. Princess Grace’s grandfather, John Bernard Kelly, who was a bricklayer, left Drimurla in 1887 for Philadelphia where he founded a successful construction company.

John Kelly’s granddaughter Grace Kelly was interested in acting from a young age. After completing high school she decided, against her father’s wishes, to pursue an acting career. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and shortly after graduation she moved to Hollywood. She went on to appear in eleven films and numerous television productions. Grace Kelly received several awards including two Academy Awards. Her first award was for Best Supporting Actress for her part in the film Mogambo in 1953. She received her second Academy Award for her role as Best Actress in The Country Girl in 1954.

Grace Kelly’s marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco in April 1956 brought to an end her acting career. She concentrated on her role as Princess of Monaco and became involved in various philanthropic projects. She established the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco which opened in 1984. Following her visit to Newport in 1961 Princess Grace purchased her ancestral home. On subsequent visits in 1976 and 1979 she discussed architectural plans for a holiday home at Drimurla. The plans never materialised as Princess Grace died following a car crash in 1982.

The Rainiers had three children Princess Caroline, Prince Albert, and Princess Stéphanie. Following the death of Prince Rainier in 2005 he was succeeded by his son Prince Albert II. Prince Albert II of Monaco and his fiancée Charlene Wittstock met relatives of the Prince at Newport House, Co Mayo, Ireland on April 6th 2011 while on a state visit to Ireland. The couple then followed the footsteps of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace and visited the ancestral home of the prince’s great grandfather at Drimurla. A Festival in honour of Princess Grace is held in the picturesque town of Newport Co Mayo.

Princess Grace of Monaco died at the age of 52 in the year 1982 On This Day.

Grace Kelly by twm1340 on 2007-10-11 16:52:33

Railway Bridge, Newport County Mayo by Mark Waters on 2006-08-07 21:59:40

Railway Tunnel Newport, Co Mayo by National Library of Ireland on The Commons on 1892-01-01 00:00:00

14 June-Fieldcrest Factory Kilkenny

The Fieldcrest Factory was officially opened at the Purcellsinch industrial estate near Kilkenny city in September 1980. The factory was established to manufacture luxury towels for the European market. It was established by the Fieldcrest-Cannon Corporation of Kannapolis, North Carolina USA in partnership with Carroll Industries and Bank of Ireland. The Irish Government provided grant assistance through the Industrial Development Authority (IDA)

Work on the building of 50,000m squared building was undertaken by the Mercury Company and began in 1979. It was fully completed and ready to start production by September 1980. At its peak the factory employed over 630 people. However it quickly became evident that there was not a market for the quantity of goods the Kilkenny factory was producing. By September 1981 the factory was incurring huge financial losses. The losses continued to mount up over the following months and intensive efforts were made to save the plant and make it a profitable enterprise. All efforts failed and it was decided to cease production.

The Fieldcrest Factory in Kilkenny was closed in the year 1982 On This Day.

Image from page 836 of “The Ladies’ home journal” (1889) by Internet Archive Book Images on 1889-01-01 00:00:00