03 March-Roger Bannister

Roger Bannister is former athlete who is a native of England. In 1954 he became the first person in history to run a mile (1.61km) in less than four minutes. Though it was a feat many believed to be impossible at that time, it now the competition standard for all male middle distance runners.

Roger Bannister was born in Harrow, Middlesex, England on March 23rd 1929. He studied medicine and graduated from St Mary’s College Medical School in 1954. He continued his medical studies becoming a neurologist in 1964.

A successful athlete during his school years, Bannister continued his involvement in athletics at University. He competed in the 1,500m in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki where he finished fourth. After the Olympics he resolved to run the mile in less than four minutes. He succeeded in his endeavour on May 6th 1954 at the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, when he ran a mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds. Following his retirement from athletics he pursued a successful career as a neurologist.

Roger Bannister, who became the first person in history to run a mile (1.61km) in less than four minutes, died aged 88 in the year 2018 On This Day.


02 March-John Wesley

John Wesley was a cleric and theologian who was a native of England. He founded the Methodist movement in the 18th century. It was founded to bring about a reformation within the Church of England. However the movement became a separate church and today it has millions of adherents worldwide.

John Wesley was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England on June 17th 1703. He was ordained a priest of the Church of England in 1725. He went with his brother Charles to Savannah, Georgia in America on missionary work. However their mission was not a success and they returned to England.

Shortly after his return Wesley had what he called a ’conversion experience’ on May 24th 1738. At the time he was attending a Moravian service at Aldersgate Street in London. Shortly thereafter, with his brother Charles, he established a Methodist society in London and later in the city of Bristol.

Wesley began preaching to colliers in the city of Bristol and the Methodist movement had begun. They were called Methodists because of their methodical approach to religious observance and their strong commitment to charitable works.

Wesley first visited Ireland in 1747. He became a regular visitor in the following years. He visited Carlow where he preached and held services on six occasions. His first visit to Carlow was in 1765. He paid his final visit to Carlow in 1769 when he was 66 years old.

John Wesley, cleric, theologian and founder of the Methodist movement, died aged 87 in the year 1791 On This Day.

John Wesley






01 March-Hoover Dam

The Hoover Dam is located on the Colorado River about 50km (30 miles) southeast of Las Vegas Nevada. When it was completed in 1935 it became the largest hydroelectric station in the world. Until then the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme in Ireland was the largest. The Hoover dam was called the Boulder Dam at first. The name was changed to the Hoover Dam in 1947.

Construction on the Hoover Dam began on September 17th 1930. It was completed more than two years ahead of schedule. It began to generate electricity and transmit it 266 miles to Los Angeles for the first time on October 9th 1936. Both the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme and the Hoover dam continue to supply electricity in their respective countries. The Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme supplies 2% of Ireland’s power. The Hoover Dam supplies electricity to California, Nevada and Arizona.

The Hoover Dam, which is located on the Colorado River about 50km (30 miles) southeast of Las Vegas Nevada, was completed in the year 1935 On This Day.

Hoover Dam




31 March-Robert Bunsen

Robert Bunsen was a native of Germany. He was a chemist who is best remembered for the invention of the Bunsen burner with his laboratory assistant Peter Desaga. Bunsen burners are used in laboratories worldwide to this day. Bunsen discovered how geysers work, invented flash photography and made important discoveries in spectrometry and organic chemistry.

Robert Wilhelm Bunsen was born in Göttingen, in Lower Saxony, Germany in 1811. In 1830 at the age of 19 he was awarded a PhD by the University of Göttingen. Following graduation he travelled around Europe during the following two years studying chemistry. He later taught for a time at the University of Göttingen. In 1834 Bunsen discovered an antidote for arsenic poisoning while working with the physician Arnold Berthold.

From 1838 to 1851 Bunsen taught at the University of Marsburg. In 1852 he took up a teaching post at the University of Heidelberg. He remained there until his retirement in 1889. He invented several laboratory tools including a grease-spot photometer and the Bunsen cell battery. In 1859, with the physicist Gustav Kirchhoff he invented the first spectroscope which he used to discover the elements caesium and rubidium. He died aged 88 on August 16th 1899.

Robert Bunsen, chemist and native of Germany, who is best known for the invention on the Bunsen burner was born in the year 1811 On This Day.

Robert Wilhelm Bunsen

Geysir en el suroeste de Islandia




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