03 September-Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a writer and historian who was a native of Russia. He spent over a decade in labour camps and in exile for criticizing the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. In 1970 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, Russia, on December 11th 1918. He served with distinction in the Red Army during World War II, but was arrested in February 1945 for criticizing the conduct of the war. Solzhenitsyn was sentenced to an eight year term in a labour camp. Having served his sentence he was exiled to Kazakhstan where he remained until his release in 1956.

On release he was employed as a secondary school teacher. In 1962 he was allowed to publish the novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in the Soviet Union. He later published novels such as Cancer Ward (1968), August 1914 (1971) and The Gulag Archipelago (1973) in the west.

Solzhenitsyn was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. He spent most of the following two decades living and working the United States. He returned to Russia in 1994 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, writer and historian who was a native of Russia, died aged 89 in the year 2008 On This Day.



11 April-Heritage Council

The Heritage Council is located in Kilkenny City, Ireland. It is a statutory body which was established under the Heritage Act, 1995. The Heritage Council describes as its mission ‘to engage, educate and advocate to develop a wider understanding of the vital contribution that our heritage makes to our social, environmental & economic well-being’.

Fourteen year after its establishment, the Heritage Council moved to its permanent home in the former Bishop’s Palace in the Cathedral quarter of Kilkenny City. The Bishop’s Palace which dates back to 1350 has seen many alterations down through the centuries. The Heritage Council agreed to purchase and conserve the building. A new See House for the Bishop was built nearby.

The new headquarters of Heritage Council in the Bishops Palace, Kilkenny was officially opened by President Mary McAleese in the year 2008 On This Day.

The Heritage Council HQ

Heritage Council Headquarters, Kilkenny

11 April-Rothe House

Rothe House, which dates from the 17th century, is located in Kilkenny city, Ireland. It consists of three houses which were built by John Rothe Fitz-Piers from 1594–1610 to accommodate his growing family. Rothe and his wife Rose Archer had 12 children.

The Rothe family were wealthy merchants and were also involved in politics. In 1613 John Rothe served as mayor of Kilkenny. His son Peter who succeeded him in the family business was a member of the General Assembly of the Confederate Government during the Confederation of Kilkenny.

Rothe House is on the Kilkenny City Record of Protected Structures. Because it has survived through the centuries in good condition it is considered to be of national importance. It is now owned by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society. The Society’s library and museum of local history are located there.

The Rothe House Garden is a walled garden located to the rear of the house. It would have contained herb and vegetable gardens and an orchard. The gardens were restored by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society and the Rothe House Trust to reflect a typical 17th century garden. The gardens are open to the public.

The newly restored gardens at Rothe House in Kilkenny city were officially opened by the President of Ireland Mary McAleese in the year 2008 On This Day.

Rothe House photo

Rothe Hous

Photo by yellow book




09 April-Carlow Weather Station Oak Park

Kilkenny city and Carlow town were locations for weather observation stations established by the Irish Meteorological Service. The stations were established during the 1940’s and 1950’s at a time of rapid expansion of the meteorological service. In common with other stations around Ireland both stations were manned. The Irish Meteorological Service adopted the title Met Éireann in March 1996.

In Ireland weather observations have been made for centuries. Weather records for Kilkenny city for instance date back to January 1st 1682. Weather observations were also made at the astronomical stations at Dunsink near Dublin, at Armagh, at Markree Castle in Co Sligo and at Birr in Co Offaly. The highest air temperature ever recorded in Ireland was 33.3° Celsius (91.94°F) at Kilkenny Castle on June 26th 1887.

The Irish Meteorological Service weather observation station in Kilkenny was located about 2km northwest of the city. It was established in May 1957. The first weather observation was made at the Kilkenny station on May 31st   1957. A manned weather station began operations in the grounds of Teagasc, Oakpark, Carlow, in 1961.

As technology improved the manned weather stations gradually became automated. The weather station in Carlow was automated in 2003. In the case of Kilkenny the weather station was closed in 2008. It was replaced by the Automated Weather Station (AWS) at Oak Park in Carlow.

The last weather readings at meteorological station in Kilkenny were taken and the station was replaced by an automatic station at Oak Park, Carlow in the year 2008 On This Day.

Oak Park photo

Flowers in Oak Park by andrew_j_w





29 May-Carlow town By-pass

Carlow town located in the South-East of Ireland is about half way between the cities of Dublin and Waterford. Prior to May 2008 over 9,000 vehicles passed through Carlow town every day causing major traffic disruption. Local people were also subjected to traffic noise and pollution.

A By-pass for the town was under discussion for many years. It eventually became part of a larger scheme, the M9 Motorway linking the cities of Dublin and Waterford. The Carlow By-pass however was built two years before the M9 was completed.

Prior to building the By-pass archaeological investigations were undertaken at 57 sites. The excavations produced evidence of settlers in Carlow from the Mesolithic era, of houses belonging to people of the Neolithic period and sites relating to the Bronze Age. Material relating to the discoveries were put on display in County Carlow Museum which is located in Carlow town centre.

The By-pass begins at the Carlow North exit in Prumplestown just south of Castledermot in County Kildare, passes to the east and south of Carlow Town as far as the Carlow south exit at Powerstown. It cost €216.5 million and took 22 months to build. The motorway gave rise to some objections from local people. This was particularly true of the Tinryland GAA Club whose members felt their facilities would be compromised by the development.

The Carlow town By-pass was officially opened in the year 2008 On This Day.

Map of Carlow by brookscl on 2015-10-04 10:41:02