05 November-John Byrne VC DCM

John Byrne VC DCM was born in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, Ireland on September 27th 1832. At the age of 22 he was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry while serving as a private in the British Army during the Crimean War. The Victoria Cross is awarded for ‘most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy’. The Victoria Cross has been awarded to 168 soldiers from Ireland, six of whom were born in Kilkenny.

Having moved from Castlecomer to Coventry in England to find work John Byrne, at the age of 18, enlisted in the British Army on July 27th 1850. It appears he breached regulations during his first years in the army and was imprisoned on two occasions. He was released and joined his regiment, the 68th Light Infantry, when it set sail for the Crimea on in August 1854. In November 1854 Byrne’s regiment was involved in the Battle of Inkerman. When his regiment was ordered to retreat during the battle John Byrne went, under fire, towards the enemy lines at great risk to his own life, to help a wounded comrade to safety. Five months later on May 11th 1855 Private Byrne’s regiment was involved in a battle near Sebastopol in the southwestern region of the Crimean Peninsula on the Black Sea. During the battle Private Byrne, in defending his position, engaged in a hand-to-hand combat with a Russian soldier. He killed the soldier, captured his arms and prevented a breach of the British defences.

Private John Byrne was awarded the Victoria Cross Medal for his acts of bravery and promoted to the rank of Corporal. His award was presented to him by Major-General Sir George Buller on July 22nd 1857 while his regiment was stationed on the Island of Corfu.

John Byrne later served with the British Army in New Zealand where he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). In 1866 he was promoted to Sergeant and after having served for twenty one years in the British Army was discharged in Cork in 1872.

In 1878 at the age of 45 John Byrne began working for the Ordinance Survey in Wales. A year later he was involved in a dispute with a fellow workman called Watts whom Byrne accused of insulting the Victoria Cross. On July 10th 1879 he fired a pistol at Watts, wounding him slightly. Byrne himself died a few hours later in tragic circumstances. He is buried at St Woolos Cemetry, Bassaleg Rd. Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.

Private John Byrne, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery at the battle of Inkerman during the Crimean war in the year 1854 On This Day.

Victoria Cross by Defence Images on 2012-10-01 14:10:51

Castlecomer by gabig58 on 2015-10-25 12:07:58

04 November-PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland)

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is the police force in Northern Ireland. The force, which has over 7,000 officers, replaced the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in 2001. It has as its motto: ‘To work with communities and partners to make Northern Ireland safe, confident and peaceful’.

The Peace Preservation act of 1814 brought about the first police force in Ireland. However it was the Irish Constabulary Act of 1822 that saw the real beginning of an Irish Police Force. Under that Act a police force was established in each province in Ireland. A police command structure was put in place which had its headquarters in Dublin. The Constabulary (Ireland) Act of 1836 further reorganised the new police force and led to the introduction a constabulary code of regulations.

Permission to name The Irish Constabulary as the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) was granted by Queen Victoria in 1867. The Dublin Metropolitan Police had responsibility for the policing of Dublin and the cities of Belfast and Derry for a time but it later became a separate division within the RIC. The RIC became the model for many other police forces around the world.

Following the ratification of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1922 the RIC was replaced by new police forces, called the Civic Guard and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Sir Charles George Wickham was appointed as the first Inspector-General of the RUC when it was established on June 1st 1922. Wickham was from Tadcaster, Yorkshire in England and remained in charge of the RUC until 1945. When the Civic Guard was established Michael Staines from Newport Co Mayo was appointed as first Commissioner on August 17th 1922. The Civic Guard was later named An Garda Síochána.

As part of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 an Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland was set up. The report of the Commission was published in 1999. The implementation of the recommendations of the report brought about a major reorganisation of policing in Northern Ireland. Under its terms the Royal Ulster Constabulary was replaced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland was formed in the year 2001 On This Day.

PSNI Motor Bike by leppre on 2013-02-24 15:33:02

G-PSNI by Dec32 on 2013-06-22 16:05:35

03 November-Kilkenny City Library

Kilkenny City Library is located on John’s Quay, Kilkenny city, Ireland. The library was built with the help of a grant of £2,100 from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The grant was awarded in 1908. It is one of over 2,500 ‘Carnegie’ libraries established with the aid of Carnegie grants in the United States, Britain, Canada, Ireland and other English-speaking countries.

The foundation stone was laid in 1908. When construction was completed in 1910 the library was handed over to Kilkenny Corporation. Membership of the library was free to residents of Kilkenny City. Lady Desart performed the opening ceremony using a silver key supplied by Kilkenny jeweller P.T. Murphy

Kilkenny City Library, Kilkenny, Ireland which was established with the aid of a Carnegie grant, was officially opened in the year 1910 On This Day.

KILKENNY CITY CARNEGIE LIBRARY ON JOHN’S QUAY [SONY 28-135 LENS]-115848 by infomatique on 2016-05-09 16:38:50

02 November-Buck Whaley

Castletown Castle is located on the Bunclody road about 5km to the south east of Carlow town Ireland. During the 1780’s Thomas ‘Buck’ Whaley an MP in the Irish Parliament and a gambler was the owner of the castle. The castle, which has been extended and upgraded down the centuries, incorporates the fabric of a tower house dating from 1550. Today it is the home of the Monahan family but has been owned at various times by Kavanaghs, Bagenals and the Earl of Kildare.

Thomas ‘Buck’ Whaley was born 86 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin on December 15th 1766. 86 St Stephen’s Green became Newman House in 1854 when The Catholic University of Ireland was established there. The Catholic University of Ireland was the precursor of University College Dublin. Whaley was educated in Dublin until the age of sixteen. He was then sent to Paris to continue his education. He became involved in gambling and built up large debts. He returned to Ireland and in 1784 was elected to serve in the Irish House of Commons for Newcastle Co Dublin.

In 1788 Whaley, who was a member of the Hellfire Club, made a wager for £15,000 that he would travel to Jerusalem, play handball against its walls and return in less than a year. He succeeded in the venture, leaving Dublin in October 1788 and returning in summer 1789. As a result he was sometimes referred to as Jerusalem Whaley.

Whaley continued to gamble. In the early 1790’s, having sold most of his estate to pay off his debts, he moved to the Isle of Man. He wrote his memoirs but these were not published until 1906. He returned to Ireland in 1798 and was elected MP for Enniscorthy. During the debates on the Act of Union he is reported to have offered his vote to the highest bidder.

Thomas ‘Buck’ Whaley, gambler, politician and onetime owner of Castletown Castle in Carlow, Ireland died in England aged 34 in the year 1800 On This Day.

Buck Whaley photo

Buck Whaley’s – Leeson street by infomatique on 2009-04-11 15:28:36

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 December-Buck Whaley Castletown Castle

Castletown Castle is located on the Bunclody road about 5km to the south east of Carlow town, Ireland. The castle, which has been extended and upgraded down the centuries, incorporates the fabric of a tower house dating from 1550. Today it is the home of the Monahan family but has been owned at various times by Kavanaghs, Bagenals and the Earl of Kildare. During the 1780’s Thomas ‘Buck’ Whaley an MP in the Irish Parliament and a gambler was the owner of the castle.

Thomas ‘Buck’ Whaley was born at 86 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin in December 1766. 86 St Stephen’s Green became Newman House in 1854 when The Catholic University of Ireland was established there. The Catholic University of Ireland was the precursor of University College Dublin. Whaley was educated in Dublin until the age of sixteen. He was then sent to Paris to continue his education. He became involved in gambling and built up large debts. He returned to Ireland and in 1784 was elected to serve in the Irish House of Commons for Newcastle Co Dublin.

In 1788 Whaley, who was a member of the Hellfire Club, made a wager for £15,000 that he would travel to Jerusalem, play handball against its walls and return in less than a year. He succeeded in the venture, leaving Dublin in October 1788 and returning in summer 1789. As a result he was sometimes referred to as Jerusalem Whaley.

Whaley continued to gamble. In the early 1790’s, having sold most of his estate to pay off his debts, he moved to the Isle of Man. He wrote his memoirs but these were not published until 1906. He returned to Ireland in 1798 and was elected MP for Enniscorthy. During the debates on the Act of Union he is reported to have offered his vote to the highest bidder. Whaley died on November 2nd 1800 at the age of 34 in Knutsford, Cheshire while travelling to London.

Thomas ‘Buck’ Whaley, gambler, politician and onetime owner of Castletown Castle in Carlow, Ireland was born in the year 1766 On This Day.

Buck Whaley’s – Leeson street by infomatique on 2009-04-11 15:28:36

Castletown Castle photo

Castletown, Isle of Man by ahisgett on 2007-10-24 15:01:49