12 November-Princess Grace of Monaco

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 was a bricklayer. He left Drimurla in 1887 for Philadelphia where he founded a successful construction company.

Grace Patricia Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in November 1929. She 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. 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 aged 52 following a car crash on September 14th 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.

Grace Kelly, Princess Grace of Monaco, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA in the year 1929 On This Day.


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

Princess Grace in Mayo photo

Railway Bridge at Newport, Co Mayo, Ireland

Photo by Mark Waters

11 November-D J Carey

Kilkenny hurler D J Carey is regarded as one of the best players ever to play the sport of hurling. He is looked on as an icon of the game. During his career he has won multiple County, Provincial and All-Ireland hurling titles. He has also been the recipient of several awards including being chosen for nine All-Star awards. Carey has been named Texaco Hurler of the Year on two occasions and in 2000 was named on the Kilkenny Hurling Team of the Century.

Denis Joseph Carey was born in Gowran Co Kilkenny in 1970. He was educated locally and received his second level education St. Kieran’s College in Kilkenny City. St Kieran’s is famed as a hurling school where Carey’s hurling skills were first developed. He won two All-Ireland Colleges’ Medals playing for St Kieran’s in 1988 and 1989.

While still a student at St Kieran’s Carey began his inter-county career playing for the Kilkenny minor hurling team in 1987. He won an All-Ireland medal with the team in 1988. He went on to win his second All-Ireland medal playing with the Kilkenny under-21 team in 1990.

Carey began playing with the Kilkenny senior team in 1989. Over the next seventeen years he made 57 appearances for his county before he retired 2006. During his senior career he won 5 All-Ireland titles, 10 Leinster titles and 4 national Hurling League titles.

D J Carey, who is regarded as one of the best players ever to play the sport of hurling, was born in the town of Gowran, Co Kilkenny in the year 1970 On This Day.

DJ Carey School of Hurling by Bernie Goldbach on 2006-07-14 12:04:44

D J Carey Kilkenny photo

Hurling action

Photo by Florian Christoph

10 November-Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic theologian and Augustinian Friar who began the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. The publication of his 95 theses on October 31st 1517 called into question some of practices then in vogue in the Catholic Church. The Theses and other writings gained numerous followers who split from the Catholic Church.

Martin Luther was born in Eisleben in present day Germany in November 1483. Having joined the Augustinian Order he was ordained a priest in 1507. He began teaching at the University of Wittenberg and was made a Doctor of Theology in 1512. He visited Rome in 1510 where some of the corrupt practices he witnessed there, led him to publish his Theses.

He was excommunicated by Pope Leo X in 1521 and declared a heretic and outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. His writings however became popular across northern and eastern Europe. Luther made the bible accessible to the laity by translating it into the German language. He made strong written attacks on people of the Jewish faith saying their homes should be destroyed and their liberty curtailed. Luther married a former nun with whom he had six children. He died on February 18th 1546 at the age of 62.

Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic priest who began the Protestant Reformation in 16th-century Europe, was born in the year 1483 On This Day.Martin Luther photo

Martin Luther


07 November-St Willibrord

St Willibrord was a native of England. He moved to Co Carlow in Ireland in 678 AD. He studied at an abbey near Carlow town under St Egbert for twelve years. Willibrord was ordained a priest in 688AD. He is a patron saint of the Netherlands and of Luxembourg.

St Willibrord was born in Northumbria, England c. 658. Having been ordained to the priesthood in Carlow he was sent with 11 companions to bring Christianity to the Frisian people. Having built a cathedral in Utrecht in the Netherlands, St Willibrord moved to Luxemburg where he founded an abbey in town of Echternach.

Echternach became a centre for missionary activity. In 739 AD Willibrord died aged 81. He is buried in Echternach. There is a bronze statue of St Willibrord in Carlow Cathedral. It contains a relic of St Willibrord which was gifted to Carlow in 2017.

St Willibrord, who was a native of England, was ordained a priest in Carlow, Ireland and is a patron saint of the Netherlands and Luxemburg, died in the year 793 AD On This Day.





06 November-Bishop John Carroll

John Carroll, whose father Daniel Carroll was born near Kinnitty Co Offaly, was the first Roman Catholic Bishop to be appointed in the USA. He was also the founder of Georgetown University in Washington DC. Daniel Carroll was a member of the Ó Cearbhaill, lords of Éile. He was born in the Townland of Aghagurty near Kinnitty Co Offaly in 1696. He emigrated to America where he married Eleanor Darnall who was the owner of a large plantation near Upper Marlboro in the state of Maryland.

Daniel Carroll and his wife Eleanor had seven children. Two of their sons, Daniel Carroll II and John Carroll were educated at a Jesuit College in Maryland. Daniel and John and their cousin Charles Carroll were then sent to Europe to continue their education. They studied at the Jesuit College of St. Omer in French Flanders from 1742 to 1748.

Daniel Carroll II and Charles Carroll returned to the United States where they became two of the Founding Fathers. John Carroll joined the Jesuit Order and was ordained to the priesthood in 1769. He taught for a time at the Jesuit College in Liege before returning to the United States in 1775. He served as the first Roman Catholic Bishop and later Archbishop in the United States. During his time as Bishop John Carroll founded Georgetown University. It is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit University in the USA.

John Carroll, founder of Georgetown University in Washington DC, was appointed as the first Roman Catholic Bishop in the United States of America by Pope Pius VI in the year 1789 On This Day.

Bishop John Carroll photo

Image from page 369 of “Life and times of the Most Rev. John Carroll, bishop and first archibishop of Baltimore” (1888) by Internet Archive Book Images on 1888-01-01 00:00:00

Georgetown University founder by Serge Melki on 2010-10-16 12:01:00