Archive for February 1st, 2012

February 1,

The Great John Ford. Wolfe Tone in France on this day in Irish history

February 1: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks)  
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1796: Wolfe Tone arrives at Le Havre under the assumed name of James Smith, having travelled from the United States where he had been living for a time. He would spend 9 months in France, generating French support for the Irish cause.


1873: John Barry, who would be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery during a Boer War incident is born in Kilkenny.


1894: Film Director John Ford is born in Maine to Irish immigrant parents. His father was born in Spiddal, Co. Galway. His mother in the Aran Islands. Film site IMDb states “John Ford is, arguably, The Great American Director.” Although born John Martin Feeney, he never forgot his Irish roots.

In For the Love of Being Irish, An A-Z of Ireland, author Conor Cunneen writes of Ford and what he did for Irish tourism:

“In Ireland, everyone wishes you a “Top o’ the Morning,” you’ll find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and leprechauns dance on mushrooms while a roguish horse-trader will try and sell you the same horse twice before encouraging you to buy a pint of Guinness and “another one for the brother – he’ll be here soon” before telling you that he has got to go home to “the little woman.”

Or at least that is what John Ford’s homage The Quiet Man to his ancestral home would have you believe. Although, hardly an accurate depiction of Ireland, the 1952 movie is probably the best tourist commercial ever for Ireland. Filmed in County Mayo on the grounds of luxurious Ashford Castle, the magnificent scenery combined with cleverly written romantic comedy encouraged generations of Irish Americans to visit the land of their parents.”


1922: County Dublin born Harry Hammon Lyster dies, age 92. Lyster rose to the rank of Lieutenant General in the British army won the Victoria Cross at the age of 27 during the Indian Mutiny of 1858. He is buried in Maidenhead, England.

Lieutenant General Harry Lymon Lyster


Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish books   Joyce Image in For the Love of Being Irish  

Today in Irish History is edited by Chicago based business keynote speaker, author, award winning humorist and history buff Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks.  As a Chicago based professional speaker, this Irishman’s client base ranges from Harley-Davidson to Helsinki, from Memphis to Madrid as he Energizes, Educates and Entertains his audience to grow their business, people, teamwork and productivity.

Conor Cunneen is just the 63rd person in the history of Toastmasters to be awarded Accredited Speaker designation. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. – Cheers!