1897 Margaret Wolfe Hungerford died in Cork on this day in 1897. She was a popular novelist, who wrote light romantic fiction, in the late 1800s, with her most famous book being Molly Bawn.
Initially, she published her books anonymously, then with the pseudonym ‘Mrs. Hungerford’. In the America, she published her books under the pseudonym “The Duchess”. The book and its author get a mention in one of James Joyce’s books, Ulysses.
In Molly Bawn, 1878, the line “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is the earliest time it’s in print. Shakespeare wrote in Love’s Labours Lost wrote ‘Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye’.
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1920 Percy French died on this day in 1920. He was one of Ireland’s greatest songwriters, having produced standard numbers, which are are still part of the playlists of today’s top folk bands, such as the Mountains of Mourne and Come Back Paddy Reilly.
French, however, considered himself primarily as an artist and his water-colour paintings are still popular and being sold for thousands of euros today.
The plinth of his grave is fittingly made from Mourne granite.
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1933 Fianna Fáil retained power in Ireland on this day in 1933 when they were re-elected in the Irish general election winning 50% of the votes.
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1987 Happy birthday to Ruth Bradley, born on this day in 1987. Bradley studied drama at Trinity College, Dublin and has starred in several British television series. She has appeared in Primeval, Ultimate Force and Doctor Who.
Bradley was awarded an Irish Film and Television Award for best supporting actress for her role in Stardust, a two part drama telling the true story about a Dublin nightclub that caught fire, killing 48 people.
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1998 On this day in 1998, the Loyalist Volunteer Force claimed responsibility for the brutal murder of taxi driver John McColgan in Belfast. The killing was the latest in a string of attacks on Catholics by the LVF.
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2002 On this day in 2002, the Irish Medical Organisation announced that Irish doctors do not charge enough to run a viable business, and that they are among the worst paid in Europe.
A decade of emigration followed, with thousands of skilled workers leaving Ireland in search of better wages and future prospects.