26 April-Catriona McKiernan

Catriona McKiernan is a native of Co Cavan, Ireland. She is the winner of numerous long distance and marathon races and is widely regarded as one of the best ever cross country runners. In 1998 McKiernan became the first Irish person to win the London Marathon.

Catriona McKiernan was born in Cornafean, about 13km west of Cavan town on November 30th 1969. Interested in sport from a young age she played Gaelic games before concentrating on athletics. She represented Ireland at the Olympics in 1992 and in 1996. In 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 she was the winner of the silver medal at the World Cross Country Championships.

In 1997 McKiernan began competing in the Marathon, winning her first race in Berlin that year. In 1998 she was the winner of the marathon in both London and Amsterdam. Due to injury she was unable to compete in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She announced her retirement in 2004.

Catriona McKiernan became the first Irish person to win the London Marathon in the year 1998 On This Day.

London Marathon


17 April-Paul McGrath

Paul McGrath is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever to play for the Republic of Ireland. He spent most of his career playing with clubs in the English Premier League and played 83 times for his country. A confident and decisive tackler McGrath is regarded as an outstanding football talent and a great athlete whose preferred playing position was centre back. During his career he continued to play despite having alcohol problems and serious knee injuries which required surgery on several occasions.

Paul McGrath was born in Ealing, London on December 4th 1959. He showed exceptional talent as a footballer from an early age and began his full-time football career with St Patrick’s Athletic in Dublin in 1981. He spent one season with St Patrick’s before moving to England where he joined the Manchester United Club. Over a period of seven seasons McGrath appeared 163 times for the club and scored 12 goals. He won an FA cup medal with Manchester United in 1985.

McGrath moved to the Birmingham club, Aston Villa, in 1989. Again over seven seasons he made 252 appearances and scored 9 goals. He was a member of the team in the club’s victory over Manchester United in the League Cup final in 1994. McGrath left Aston Villa in 1996 and went on to play briefly with Derby County and Sheffield United. He played the final game of his club career, just a month before his 39th birthday, with Ipswich Town on November 9th 1997.

Paul McGrath played his first game for Ireland in a 1985 friendly against Italy at Dalymount Park. He would go on to play for Ireland on 83 occasions and score 8 goals. His appearances included UEFA Euro 1998, FIFA World Cup 1990 in Italy and again in the FIFA World Cup 1994 in the USA. He played his final international for Ireland against Wales in 1997 after which he stated: ‘The thought of retirement is a bit scary, soccer has been my life’. A Testimonial match for Paul McGrath was held in Lansdowne Road in May 1998. Over 37,000 fans attended what was an emotional occasion, in which McGrath made an appearance.

The Paul McGrath testimonial match was announced in Dublin in the year 1998 On This Day.

Winners 2008

Villa Park Dressing room photo

Villa Park dressing room (1), September 1995 by Ben Sutherland on 1995-09-01 00:00:00

Photo by Ben Sutherland




27 March-Viagra

Viagra is one of the brand names for the drug sildenafil citrate. Sildenafil citrate was developed by Pfizer scientists to treat raised blood pressure and angina pectoris. However it was discovered during testing of the drug that patients developed erections.

As a result of the discovery Viagra was approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The approval was given in 1998 in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. It was approved for use in other countries at a later stage. Most of the world’s supply of Viagra is produced at the Pfizer facility in Ringaskiddy in Cork, Ireland.

Viagra was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the year 1998 On This Day.




28 February-Dermot Morgan

Dermot Morgan was an actor and comedian who was a native of Dublin. He became famous for playing the role of Father Ted Crilly in the sitcom ‘Father Ted’.

Dermot Morgan was born in Dublin on March 31st 1952. He was educated at Oatlands College, Stillorgan before going to University College Dublin (UCD) where he studied English and Philosophy. In 1974 he began working as a teacher at St. Michael’s College, Ailesbury Road in Dublin. He left his teaching post two years later to pursue his comedy career.

Between 1979 and 1982 Morgan regularly appeared on ‘Live Mike’ on RTE (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) where he played several comic characters. The most popular character he played was a catholic priest called Father Trendy. He later made appearances on shows such as Kenny Live. However his comedy sketches, which were at times controversial were eventually dropped from the show. His comedy show ‘Scrap Saturday’, which began on RTE radio in 1988, became a big broadcasting success. The show lampooned several aspects of Irish life, especially its politicians. It was cancelled by RTE in 1991 much to the annoyance of Morgan.

Dermot Morgan’s big break came in 1995, when he starred in the show ‘Father Ted’ on Channel 4. ‘Father Ted’ ran for three series with a total of 25 episodes. It was also shown on RTE, Nine Network in Australia and on ABC Television. Morgan died suddenly in 1998 having just completed the final episode in the third series of ‘Father Ted’.

Dermot Morgan, actor and comedian died in London at the age of 45 in the year 1998 On This Day.

Father Ted



29 October-John Glenn

John Glenn is a former Astronaut who in 1962 became the first American to orbit the earth. On that occasion he made three orbits around Earth aboard Friendship 7. Glenn became the oldest astronaut in history when he made a return to space on the space shuttle Discovery in 1998.

John Herschel Glenn was born in Cambridge, Ohio on July 18th 1921. Having served as a military pilot he was chosen to train as an astronaut in 1959. On February 20th 1962 he was the astronaut aboard Friendship 7 spacecraft when it was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

In 1974 Glenn was elected to the United States Senate. He served for four terms as Senator for Ohio. In 1998 while still serving as a senator, Glenn returned to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery. In 2012 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

John Glenn flew into space at the age of 77 in the year 1998 On This Day.

John Glenn by Oregon State University on 2004-03-29 10:38:56

John Glenn enters his Friendship 7 capsule by NASA on The Commons on 1962-02-20 00:00:00