1841 Patrick William Halton was born on this day in Mullingar in 1841. He was one of the best music directors of his era. He performed shows all around the world, including New York, London as well as across Europe.
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1905 Captain William O’Shea died on this day in 1905. He was a politician.
It was O’Shea’s wife who Charles Parnell had an affair with, which ultimately cost Parnell his career. His reputation was destroyed when it was publicly revealed that he had been having a relationship with the wife of a fellow MP. Parnell was named as co-respondent in the divorce of Captain O’Shea and Kitty O’Shea.
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1956 Happy birthday to Pól Brennan, born in County Donegal on this day in 1956. He is a musician and songwriter and a member of the family band Clannad. Pól is the brother of fellow musicians Enya and Moya Brennan.
Click here to read more about Clannad
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1989 Happy birthday to James McClean, born in Derry on this day in 1989. He is a professional footballer who has played in the English Premier League after he joined Sunderland in 2011. McClean plays for the Republic of Ireland national team, after making his debut in 2012.
Click here to read the list of the top ten Irish sports stars
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1996 Molly Keane died on this day in 1996. She was a playwright and novelist who had several books published. She initially wrote under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell. Most of her earlier work was published under this name.
Keane’s books were well received in the 1940s, but after her husband died suddenly, she didn’t publish any work for years. Then in 1981, after being prompted by a friend, Keane published her novel Good Behaviour, which was nominated for a Booker Prize.
Click here to read about more Irish writers
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1999 Sinéad O’Connor was ordained on this day in 1999 at Lourdes. The singer had publicly torn up a photo of the Pope years earlier, in protest to the Catholic Church’s reluctance to investigate child molestation charges against a number of its priests.
O’Connor became a priest, Mother Bernadette Mary, of the breakaway Latin Tridentine Church. She apologised for her previous actions saying: “I have never even met the Pope. I am sure he is a lovely man. It was more an expression of frustration.”
However, the singer received heavy criticism, with some accusing her of ‘buying’ her priesthood, after she made a £150,000 donation to the bishop who ordained her.
O’Connor has been no stranger to controversy over the years. She had a public spat with American teen Miley Cyrus after trying to warn her of the dangers in the music industry. She has also criticised TV Talent Show creator, Simon Cowell for ‘killing rock and roll’.
Click here to read more about Sinéad O’Connor
Click here to read O’Connor’s criticism of Simon Cowell and TV Talent Shows
Click here to read O’Connor’s letter attacking Miley Cyrus