April 2

April

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1902 WB Yeats’ play Cathleen ni Houlihan was first performed on this night in 1902. The play is about the failed rebellion of 1798, with a woman representing the ideal of an independent Irish republic.

The lead role was played by the beautiful actress, Maud Gonne, for whom Yeats had a long standing attraction. In fact, after she rejected his marriage proposal, Yeats wrote the poem When You Are Old, as a warning to Gonne that she would not always have her youthful beauty, and that she should be aware that men may not always find her desirable.

The poem was voted inside Ireland’s top 100 favourite poems in 1999.

WB Yeats When you are old. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Click here to read about the love story of WB Yeats and Maud Gonne
Click here to read When You Are Old
Click here to read more about the life and career of WB Yeats 
Click here to read some of the best quotes from WB Yeats 
Click here to see the list and read Ireland’s 100 favourite poems 
Click here to read about more great Irish writers 
Click here to read about more great Irish actors

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Countess_Markiewicz1914 Cumann na mBan, a women’s paramilitary republican group, was formed on this day in 1914. The group was born out of a meeting chaired by Kathleen Lane-O’Kelly in Dublin of women wanting to support the newly formed Irish Volunteers.

Members of Cumann na mBan played an active role in the Easter Rising 1916. There were women at every major rebel stronghold in the city, barring one, with Éamon de Valera refusing to allow women onto the battleground in his command.

The women were mainly used as lookouts and for the transportation of arms and messages around the city, as well as to tend the wounded. However, some senior members were armed and in command. Constance Markievicz reportedly shot a policemen in the head during a battle on St Stephen’s Green.
Click here to read more about the Easter Rising

Cumann_na mBan formed 2 April 1914 Image Ireland Calling

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1972 On this day in 1972, the RTÉ Irish language radio station Raidió na Gaeltachta was launched.

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1977 Happy birthday to Michael Fassbender, born in Germany on this day in 1977. The X-men star moved to Killarney when he was a child, though he regularly visited Germany, and speaks the language fluently.

He has become a major Hollywood star in the last few years, with roles in box office hits 300, Inglourious Basterds and 12 Years a Slave for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Click here to read about more great Irish actors

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1987 Happy birthday to Shame Lowry, born in County Offaly on this day in 1987. He is a professional golfer, who has played on the European Tour since 2009, after he had become only the third amateur to win the Irish Open earlier in the year. Lowry also represented Ireland in the 2013 World Cup.

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2000 On this day in 2000, Irish boyband Westlife made music history, when their single Fool Again became their fifth consecutive number one in the British charts.

April

April ~ 1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7 ~ 8 ~ 9 ~ 10 ~ 11 ~ 12 ~ 13 ~ 14 ~ 15 ~ 16 ~ 17 ~ 18 ~ 19 ~ 20 ~ 21 ~ 22 ~ 23 ~ 24 ~ 25 ~ 26 ~ 27 ~ 28 ~ 29 ~ 30

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