December 2016

History Selection

Carlisle Circus, Belfast
Carlisle Circus
York Street station, Belfast
York Street station
Royal Avenue, Belfast
Royal Avenue
York Street, Belfast
York Street
Green Linen Market, Belfast
Green Linen Market
Peters Hill Baths, Belfast
Peters Hill Baths

Ireland in 1962

January 2nd: Birth of Niall Patterson, hurler.

January 18th: Taoiseach Seán Lemass addressed the members of the other EC governments in the lead-up to the opening of negotiations on Ireland's entry to the European Community.

January 23rd: Birth of Letitia Gwynne, journalist, in Belfast.

February 1st: Death of Thomas Westropp Bennett, Cumann na nGaedheal member of the Seanad.

February 4th: The first colour supplement was published by The Sunday Times.

February 5th: England defeated Ireland 16-0 in the Five Nations rugby union championship at Twickenham.

February 6th: Birth of Tony Scullion, hurler and footballer, in Derry.

Dublin, 1962

Dublin, 1962

Éamon de Valera meets the Pope

Éamon de Valera meets the Pope

February 26th: The Irish Republican Army officially called off its Border Campaign in Northern Ireland.

March 13th: Irish artists left Dublin Airport for the Congo to entertain United Nations troops there.

March 13th: Death of Anne Crawford Acheson, sculptor.

March 17th: President Éamon de Valera and Mrs. Sinéad de Valera had a private audience with Pope John XXIII in Rome.

April 1st: Belfast Zoo was transferred from Belfast's Corporation's Transport Department to the Parks & Cemetries Department.

April 5th: The final train was run on the west Cork railway.

April 17th: The President Éamon de Valera and his wife Sinéad had a private audience with Pope John XXIII in Rome.

April 17th: The annual Gaelic Games competition was televised for the first time. RTÉ broadcast the finals of the Railway Cup, the GAA's hurling championship.

May 8th: Irish troops left for a peace-keeping mission in the Congo.

May 28th: Birth of Andy White, singer, in Newry.

May 31st: The Northern Ireland general election produced a large majority for the Ulster Unionist Party, who won 34 out of 51 seats. The Nationalist Party gained two seats for a total of 9.

June 30th: The Theatre Royal in Dublin closed.

July 3rd: Birth of Roy Beggs, future Ulster Unionist MLA.

July 6th: Gay Byrne presented the first edition of The Late Late Show on RTÉ.

Gay Byrne on an early episode of the Late Late Show

Gay Byrne on an early episode of the Late Late Show

Eisenhower in Northern Ireland

Eisenhower in Northern Ireland

July 11th: Birth of Pauline McLynn, future actress and author, in Sligo.

July 13th: Secretary General of the United Nations U Thant arrived in Dublin. He paid tribute to Irish soldiers who had fought in the Congo.

July 19th: Birth of Caitríona Ruane, future Sinn Féin MLA.

July 24th: Death of Margaret Buckley, former leader of Sinn Féin.

August 11th: Birth of Paul McCrum, cricketer.

August 21st: Former United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in Belfast.

August 21st: Death of Irish-American actor and director Richard Garrick.

August 25th: Birth of Vivian Campbell, rock guitarist.

September 1st: Birth of Tony Cascarino, future soccer player.

September 2nd: The Republic of Ireland drew against Iceland in the European Championship.

September 2nd: Death of William Richards Blair, Irish-born American scientist who had worked on the development of radar.

September 23rd: Kerry beat Roscommon in the 75th All-Ireland Final.

September 29th: England beat Northern Ireland 3-2 in the European Championship.

October 5th: Birth of Caron Keating, future television presenter.

Belfast street in 1962

Belfast street in 1962

Jacob's Award ceremony 1962

Jacob's Award ceremony 1962

October 11th: Birth of Anne Enright, future writer, in Dublin.

October 30th: Birth of Colin Clarke, footballer, born in Newry.

November: 'The Chieftains' were formed in Dublin.

November: The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's was founded by student Michael Emmerson.

November 13th: Aer Lingus hostesses received new uniforms in fern-green and St. Patrick's blue.

December 3rd: By decree of the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Patrick was confirmed the patron Saint of Ireland and Saint Brigit of Kildare was second patron.

December 4th: The first Jacob's Awards ceremony took place in Dublin.

December 7th: Birth of Jeffrey Donaldson, future DUP MP.

Snowy Christmas

A snowy Christmas Eve near Portadown

© Copyright P Flannagan and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Grafton Street in snow

Grafton Street in snow

Wicklow Mountains in snow

Wicklow Mountains in snow

Irish History on Film

Christmas carols

The Wexford Carol

Oíche Chiúin (Silent Night)

A Christmas Childhood

Patrick Kavanagh

One side of the potato-pits was white with frost –

How wonderful that was, how wonderful!

And when we put our ears to the paling-post

The music that came out was magical.

The light between the ricks of hay and straw

Was a hole in Heaven’s gable. An apple tree

With its December-glinting fruit we saw –

O you, Eve, were the world that tempted me.

To eat the knowledge that grew in clay

And death the germ within it! Now and then

I can remember something of the gay

Garden that was childhood’s. Again.

The tracks of cattle to a drinking-place,

A green stone lying sideways in a ditch,

Or any common sight, the transfigured face

Of a beauty that the world did not touch.

My father played the melodion

Outside at our gate;

There were stars in the morning east

And they danced to his music.

Across the wild bogs his melodion called

To Lennons and Callans.

As I pulled on my trousers in a hurry

I knew some strange thing had happened.

Outside in the cow-house my mother

Made the music of milking;

The light of her stable-lamp was a star

And the frost of Bethlehem made it twinkle.

A water-hen screeched in the bog,

Mass-going feet

Crunched the wafer-ice on the pot-holes,

Somebody wistfully twisted the bellows wheel.

My child poet picked out the letters

On the grey stone,

In silver the wonder of a Christmas townland,

The winking glitter of a frosty dawn.

Cassiopeia was over

Cassidy’s hanging hill,

I looked and three whin bushes rode across

The horizon — the Three Wise Kings.

And old man passing said:

‘Can’t he make it talk –

The melodion.’ I hid in the doorway

And tightened the belt of my box-pleated coat.

I nicked six nicks on the door-post

With my penknife’s big blade –

there was a little one for cutting tobacco.

And I was six Christmases of age.

My father played the melodion,

My mother milked the cows,

And I had a prayer like a white rose pinned

On the Virgin Mary’s blouse.