29 December-Browne-Clayton Monument

The Browne-Clayton Monument stands on Carrigadaggan Hill, Carrigbyrne near New Ross in Co Wexford, Ireland. It was designed by Thomas Cobden, the architect who designed many well-known buildings in Carlow and Wexford. The monument, which was built by Lieutenant General Robert-Clayton Browne, is a 28.7m tall Corinthian column. It is modelled on Pompey’s Pillar which is located in the city of Alexandria in Egypt. Pompey’s Pillar, which was built in 296AD, commemorates the victory of the Roman Emperor Diocletian over Domitian who had tried to usurp the Emperors authority in Egypt.

Lieutenant General Robert-Clayton Browne was a son of Robert Browne of Browne’s Hill near Carlow town. He served with the British Army in Egypt in 1801, during the victorious campaign against the French under Napoleon. His commanding officer Sir Ralph Abercrombie died of wounds he received during a battle in the city of Alexandria. When Clayton-Browne returned to Ireland he set about building the monument in commemoration of Abercrombie.

The building of the monument began in 1839. It is reported that hundreds of Italian craftsmen were brought to Wexford to help with the building. The monument was built with stone was from Mount Leinster and was completed in 1841. There is a viewing platform inside the column’s capitol which is accessed by an internal spiral staircase. It is the only internally accessible Corinthian column in the world. The viewing platform gives spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

The Monument was struck by lightning in 1994 and badly damaged. Restoration was carried out with funding from The World Monument Fund, Wexford County Council, An Taisce, The Irish Georgian Society and The Government. The Monument was reopened in October 2004 by a member of the Browne-Clayton family.

The Browne-Clayton Monument near New Ross, Co Wexford was struck by lightning and severely damaged in the year 1994 On This Day.

The Browne Clayton Monument

Browne-Clayton Monument

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30 September-Boris Yeltsin at Shannon Airport

Boris Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation serving from 1991 to 1999. During his first term as President he made a stopover at Shannon Airport in 1994. He was returning to Moscow following a visit to the US. He was due to hold talks with An Taoiseach Albert Reynolds. However the meeting was cancelled because the Russian President failed to emerge from his jet. It was reported that he was sleeping and was not wakened on medical advice.

Boris Yeltsin was born in Sverdlovsk [now Yekaterinburg], Russia on the border between Europe and Asia. Having studied at the Ural Polytechnic Institute he majored in construction and worked in the building industry. He became active in politics, eventually being appointed mayor of Moscow by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. However Yeltsin was critical of Gorbachev and the slow pace of reform and was forced to resign in 1987. He continued to campaign for reform and was elected President of the Russian Federation in June 1991.

In power Yeltsin rapidly introduced the reforms which Gorbachev had initiated. In the event, during the change from communism to capitalism, some people became very wealthy but many Russians experienced poverty. The fall in the standard of living led to a fall in popularity for Yeltsin but he was re-elected as President in July 1996. He served until December 31st 1999 when he resigned and named Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as acting president.

Boris Yeltsin paid a visit to the United States in late September 1994. During a busy schedule he gave an address to United Nations General Assembly and held a summit with President Clinton. He also held business meetings in cities such as New York, Washington and Seattle. On his return journey to Moscow the Russian President was due to hold a meeting with An Taoiseach Albert Reynolds at Shannon. The meeting was to be followed by a reception at nearby Drumoland Castle.

President Yeltsin’s plane circled Shannon Airport for an hour before landing. When it finally landed the red carpet was rolled out. Mr Reynolds together with officials from the Irish Government and officials from the Russian Embassy waited for 15 minutes on the tarmac before being told that Mr Yeltsin was not available to meet them. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets, who reported the President was asleep held a brief meeting with An Taoiseach. Later in Moscow Yeltsin said he had overslept and would punish the officials who had failed to wake him. Yeltsin returned to Ireland in 2006. He went shark fishing off the Cliffs of Moher and had lunch on Inis Oírr.

Boris Yeltsin, President of the Russian Federation, failed to leave his plane at Shannon Airport to meet with Taoiseach Albert Reynolds in the year 1994 On This Day.

President Yeltsin photo

Photograph of President Boris Yeltsin and President William Clinton at Springwood the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York 10/23/1995

Photo by The U.S. National Archives

Boris Yeltsin monument by Harald Groven on 2015-10-20 16:09:48