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1743 James Gandon was born in London on this day in 1743. He was one of the leading architects in the 18th and 19th century.
In 1781 he was invited to Ireland by Lord Carlow to take over the design of the Custom House in Dublin, after the original architect had died. Gandon also designed several other prominent buildings in Dublin, including Four Courts and King’s Inns, as well as Emo Court in County Laois.
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1794 William Carleton was born in County Tyrone on this day in 1794. He was one of the prominent writers of his day, and his most famous work is Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry.
Carleton was an interesting character who alienated many people throughout his life. He was raised as a Catholic but converted to Protestant because he was unimpressed after attending a Catholic pilgrimage.
He wrote about his experiences in rural Ireland, and also fictional stories about the ‘stereotypical Irishman’. Much of the public were unhappy with Carleton’s portrayal of peasant life in Ireland, although the controversy only helped his career.
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1914 On this day in 1914, nine Irishmen and two Norwegians died off the coast of Wexford in a failed rescue mission that became known as the Fethard Lifeboat Disaster.
A Norwegian crew of ten men were on board their boat, The Mexico, on a journey to deliver timber to Liverpool. However, they got into difficulty in rough seas and swirling rain.
The boat was spotted from the shore by Fethard man Bill Banville who sounded the alarm. Within minutes, 14 members of the lifeboat crew were heading out to rescue the ten Norwegian sailors on board.
Despite being the one that raised the alarm, Banville was late arriving to the lifeboat and headed out to sea without time to put on a lifejacket.
Read more about the Fethard lifeboat disaster
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