The Pogues’ Phil Chevron. Poet Emily Lawless. Shorthand Inventor John Gregg on this day in Irish History

June 17: TODAY in Irish History:


Today in Irish History: Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Chicago Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.


1845: Irish novelist and poet Emily Lawless is born in County Kildare. She wrote a number of books but is probably best remembered for her book of poetry With the Wild Geese, an often forlorn, sorrowful book of poetry on the estimated 200,000 Irish who left Ireland from 1690-1750 to fight for continental armies of France and Spain primarily.

The poem After Aughrim (a pivotal battle in 1691 as Ireland fought a losing battle against English conquest) is representative of her work.

She said, " They gave me of their best, 
They lived, they gave their lives for me ; 
I tossed them to the howling waste. 
And flung them to the foaming sea." 

She said, " I never gave them aught, 
Not mine the power, if mine the will ; 
I let them starve, I let them bleed, — 
They bled and starved, and loved me still." 

She said, " Ten times they fought tor me, 
Ten times they strove with might and main. 
Ten times I saw them beaten down, 
Ten times they rose, and fought again. 

She said, " I stayed alone at home, 
A dreary woman, grey and cold ; 
I never asked them how they fared. 
Yet still they loved me as of old." 

She said, " I never called them sons, 
I almost ceased to breathe their name. 
Then caught it echoing down the wind. 
Blown backwards from the lips of Fame.' 

She said, Not mine, not mine that fame ; 
Far over sea, far over land. 
Cast forth like rubbish from my shores^ 
They won it yonder, sword in hand." 

She said, "God knows they owe me nought, 
I tossed them to the foaming sea, 
I tossed them to the howling waste, 
Yet still their love comes home to me.

1859: Impressionist painter Walter Osborne is born in Rathmines, Co. Dublin.


On Suffolk Sands by Walter Osborne

1867: John Gregg, inventor of Gregg Shorthand is born in County Monaghan. He would die eigty years later in New York

Shorthand Inventor John Gregg 1867-1948


1957: Phil Chevron (Phil Ryan), singer songwriter and Pogues guitarist is born in Dublin.

The Pogues: Phil Chevron front 2nd left with guitar

His most evocative Pogues work is Thousands are Sailing which he wrote shortly after landing in America for the first Pogues tour. Chevron says of this time with the Pogues “were the best ten years of my life and the worst ten years.”

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

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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.


This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

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 HistoryTODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

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