Today in Irish History. Galway Bay Composer Born. Pope John Paul Visits Ireland

Welcome to Today in Irish History.

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the world

This is a website published by IrishmanSpeaks that provides you with interesting insight and information on what happened on this day in Irish history and people of Irish heritage. If you spot any inaccuracies please let us know.

Today in Irish History

1798: Matthew Tone Executed

Matthew Tone, brother of Wolfe Tone is executed in Dublin following his capture at the Battle of Ballinamuck. Tone was a captain in the French Army under General Humbert. While as many as six hundred French soldiers were repatriated, the Irish were not so lucky.



1854: Galway Bay Composer Francis Arthur Fahy

Francis Arthur Fahy, composer of Galway Bay and The Old Plaid Shawl is born in Kinvara, Co. Galway. Fahy emigrated to England as a young man. He stayed heavily active in Irish cultural and nationalist activities. He died in 1935.

‘Tis far away I am today from scenes I roamed a boy,
And long ago the hour I know I first saw Illinois;
But time nor tide nor waters wide can wean my heart away,
For ever true it flies to you, my dear old Galway Bay.


Dolores Keane sings Galway Bay.


One of Fahy’s more poignant poems is An Old Irish Hill in the Morning which appears in Irish Songs and Poems.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Irish Songs and Poems by Francis Fahy

Francis Fahy Galway Bay composer Irish Songs and Poems

Click for download

An Old Irish Hill in the Morning

I’m weary and sick of the sights of the town

Though haughty its mansions and high its renown

O! if some good fairy would but set me down

On an Old Irish hill in the morning!

My soul ever sighs for a sight of the sea

By dear old Kinvara, or down by Kilkee,

Or where Moher cliffs in their majesty free

Fling back ocean billows scorning.

An old Irish hill where the crag is so steep

The air is so sweet, and the heather so deep –

O! gladly I’d labour, and soundly I’d sleep

On an Old Irish hill in the morning!


READ: Francis Fahy biography


1979: Pope John Paul II visits Ireland

Pope John Paul speaks to over 300,000 people in Drogheda, Co Louth on the first day in Ireland. During his visit, he would celebrate mass to over one million people at Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Over three days, estimates suggest he was seen by over half of Ireland’s population.

Coincidentally, just one year previously, Pope John Paul I died and his body was allegedly found by his private secretary Bishop John Magee who has since gained a level of infamy for his lack of candor (some would suggest stronger language) to Irish government re priest abuse in the Cloyne diocese of Cork.

For another interesting take on Irish history and culture, check

For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson which is an A-Z of all things Irish. This is a book that contains History, Horror, Humor, Passion, Pathos and Lyrical Limericks that will have you giving thanks (or wishing you were) For the Love of Being Irish

Watch For the Love of Being Irish author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks on his Youtube channel IrishmanSpeaks. Laugh and Learn. Here Conor was speaking to Harley-Davidson


This blog is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaksto Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History

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