Feb 3: TODAY in Irish History:
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Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks
Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.
WATCH: A Short History of Ireland
1896: Death Speranza – Oscar Wilde’s Mother
Lady Jane Wilde (Speranza), mother of Oscar Wilde dies in London. At the time, Oscar Wilde was incarcerated in Wandsworth Prison, serving two year of hard labor for “gross indecency” – homosexuality. Despite her dying wish, she was not allowed see him.
Lady Jane Wilde was famous in her own right as a writer and poet under the name of “Sperenza.” Sperenza was an ardent nationalist in addition to being a staunch feminist. Her most famous poem is probably The Famine Year.
Weary men, what reap ye?—Golden corn for the stranger.
What sow ye?— human corpses that wait for the avenger.
Fainting forms, hunger–stricken, what see you in the offing?
Stately ships to bear our food away, amid the stranger’s scoffing.
There’s a proud array of soldiers — what do they round your door?
They guard our masters’ granaries from the thin hands of the poor.
Pale mothers, wherefore weeping— would to God that we were dead;
Our children swoon before us, and we cannot give them bread.
SEE: The complete poignant poem The Famine Year at very bottom of this post
READ: Speranza, The Hope of the Irish Nation by Professor Christine Kinealy
Image of Oscar Wilde in For the Love of Being Irish by Conor Cunneen. Illustrations my Mark Anderson.
Purchase Author Signed Copies at My Irish Gift Store
1919: De Valera’s Jail Escape
Eamonn De Valera escapes from Lincoln Jail. As is often with Irish history, the “Long fellow’s” escape became the stuff of folklore. The New York Times initially reported “Irish Girls aided De Valera Escape. Sympathizer warbled Gaelic ballads to advise him of deliverance.”
He returned to Ireland and was elected President of the new Dail before he traveled to the United States to seek financial support for the Irish cause. He would return to Ireland in 1920, ultimately leading the anti-Treaty movement in 1922 precipitating a devastating civil war.
See NY Times article: Irish Girls Aided De Valera’s Escape.
1927: Waterford’s Val Doonican
Crooner Val Doonican is born in Waterford. Doonican was a hugely popular performer in Ireland and UK in 60s and 70s during which time he had five successive albums in the UK Top Ten spending more than 160 combined weeks in the charts.
An insightful, realistic, yet humorous book on the job search process by Today in Irish History Curator Conor Cunneen
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
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.
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