De Valera and Churchill Meet. Dr. Pat O’Callaghan. Muhammad Ali – Today in Irish History

September 15: TODAY in Irish History: _______________________________________________________________________

Today in Irish History: Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks Chicago Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff. __________________________________________________________________________

September 15: TODAY in Irish History:



1905: O’Callaghan is born near Kanturk, Co. Cork. (Other articles reference O’Callaghan’s birth dates as Twenty three years later, Dr. Pat O’Callaghan would become a national hero winning the first ever Olympic gold medal for the Independent Ireland in the Hammer Throw competition at the Amsterdam Olympics. O’Callaghan had to pay his own fare from Ireland to compete! He repeated the gold medal in Los Angeles in 1932.


Hammer Thrower Pat_O'Callaghan

Hammer Thrower Pat O’Callaghan 1905-1991


O’Callaghan spent a number of years in the US after winning his second gold medal. His high public profile with Irish America ensured a number of unique offers including movies and wrestling. He returned to Ireland in the late 30s and pursued a distinguished medical career.

READ: Dr. Pat O’Callaghan profile at

The following interesting articles on O’Callaghan each offer different birth days for a man who helped generate strong positive international profile for Ireland

READ: Pat O’Callaghan at Tipperary Athletic  (Hover over image to enlarge for reading)

READ: Dr. Pat: The Boy from Duhallow


De Valera and Churchill Meet at Downing Street for First Time

1953: Long time antagonists Eamonn De Valera and Winston Churchill meet for the one and only time at Downing Street.


Churchill and De Valera meeting 1953

Churchill and De Valera 1953


The two dominant political figures of their respective countries had a healthy dislike of each other. Churchill believed (correctly) that De Valera’s rebuke of the Treaty vote and the subsequent Irish civil war was an undemocratic act. In 1938, when De Valera in a fine act of diplomatic negotiation secured Ireland’s treaty ports from Britain (despite Irish Free State independence,  the ports were still under British authority.) Churchill bitterly criticized the action by his predecessor Neville Chamberlain.  Although De Valera could not have appreciated it at the time of the negotiations, the fact that the ports were not under the control of Britain during the war helped ensure Irish neutrality remained viable.

Very public spats between the two leaders erupted at various times, not least when De Valera, to the astonishment of the world offered condolences to Germany on the death of Adolf Hitler. On May 13, an enraged Churchill criticized “The Long Fellow” as Dev was often called in a radio address. In one of his finer moments, Dev responded to Churchill on May 16th in a very stately and conciliatory manner that evoked widespread support in Ireland and helped redeem De Valera’s reputation internationally.


LISTEN: Eamonn De Valera Response to Churchill


By all accounts, the meeting at Downing Street in 1953 was a relatively cordial affair. Indeed, the following year, Dev sent birthday greetings to the eighty year old Churchill, something that a few years previously might have been thought unthinkable.



1978: Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks in the Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans to win the world title for a record third time. The great fighter had Irish origins and visited Ennis, Co. Clare – his ancestral home – in 2009 as you can see in this YouTube clip. Ali twice fought and defeated “Irish” Jerry Quarry in the early 70’s.




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For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson 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 IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

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