U2 Play Slane – Arrest of Robert Emmet – The First Rose of Tralee

August 25: TODAY in Irish History:

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U2 Slane 2001 (Photo: MCD)

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.



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1803: Robert Emmet Arrest

Irish nationalist Robert Emmet (1778-1803) is captured in Dublin following a hopelessly unsuccessful attempt at insurrection. Sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, he was executed Sept 20 1803.


Robert Emmet 1778-1803


Emmet’s rebellion deserves little more than a footnote in history. The rebellion itself where the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland was killed was little more than a riot. His place in Irish history is primarily due to his speech from the dock where he said:

“Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance, asperse them. Let them and me rest in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, and my memory in oblivion, until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then and not till then, let my epitaph be written. I have done.”

Emmet’s burial place is unknown.



Emmet’s love affair with Sarah Curran inspired Thomas Moore to write She is far from the land 

Sarah Curran

She is Far from the Land

She is far from the land, where her young hero sleeps,

And lovers are round her, sighing;

But coldly she turns from their gaze, and weeps,

For her heart in his grave is lying!

She sings the wild song of her dear native plains,

Every note which he lov’d awaking

Ah! little they think, who delight in her strains,

How the heart of the Minstrel is breaking!

He had lov’d for his love, for his country he died,

They were all that to life had entwin’d him,

Nor soon shall the tears of his country be dried,

Nor long will his love stay behind him.

Oh! make her a grave, where the sun-beams rest,

When they promise a glorious morrow;

They’ll shine o’er her sleep, like a smile from the West,

From her own lov’d Island of sorrow!




1939: IRA Bomb Explosion in Coventry Kills Five

SEE: History of Coventry article




1959: The Rose of Tralee

Ninetenn year old Alice O’Sullivan from Dublin wins the first ever Rose of Tralee. The internationally famous contest was conceived to generate additional visitors to the famed Kerry town. An objective that is achieved every year as up to 50,000 people visit over the festival period. The 1959 Rose of Tralee had a budget of £750.

The festival gets its name from a song written by William Mulchinock about his unrequited love for Mary O’Connor

The Rose of Tralee

The pale moon was rising above the green mountains,
The sun was declining beneath the blue sea,
When I strayed with my love by the pure crystal fountain,
That stands in the beautiful Vale of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me.
Oh no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.


READ the STORY of MARY O’Connor, The Rose of Tralee which will bring a tear to your eye as you sip a pint of Guinness and listen to the magical tones of John McCormack below!





2001: U2 headlines Ireland’s biggest one day festival at Slane Castle. Support bands include Red Hot Chilli Peppers and ColdPlay. The demand for tickets was so great, that the band played a second concert the following week where a young up coming band named the Foo Fighters was an opening act. U2 released a DVD of their Slane performance U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle


U2 Slane Castle 2001

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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – 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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