February 20

Customs House at night photo Jimmy-Harris_CC3

James Gandon1743 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.
Customs_House_at_night_photo Jimmy-Harris_CC3

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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

Helen Blake lifeboat Fethard Disaster Image Ireland Calling* * *

war-of-independence-top.html1921 On this day in 1921, IRA volunteers were surrounded and attacked by the Black and Tans in a conflict that became known as the Clonmult Ambush during the Irish War of Independence. In total 14 volunteers, 2 Black and Tans and 6 civilians were killed.

Clonmult Ambush Image Ireland Calling

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2010 The 7th Irish Film & Television Awards took place at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin on this day in 2010. Colin Farrell won the prize for best leading actor for his part in Ondine, and Saoirse Ronan was named best leading actress for her performance in the thrilling The Lovely Bones.
Meryl Streep won the best international actress after her role in It’s Complicated, and Robert Downey Jr won the best international actor for Sherlock Holmes. The Eclipse won the best film award and The Hurt Locker was named as the best international film.
Click here to read more about Colin Farrell
Click here to read more about Saoirse Ronan

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