Shorthand Inventor John Gregg – The Pogues’ Phil Chevron – Poet Emily Lawless at Today in Irish History

June 17: TODAY in Irish History:

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Shorthand inventor John Gregg

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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1845: Poet Emily Lawless

Emily Lawless

Emily Lawless 1845-1913

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.


READ: More poems by Emily Lawless




1859: Painter Walter Osborne

Walter Osborne 1859-1903
Self-portrait in National Gallery of Ireland

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


On Suffolk Sands by Walter Osborne

Walter Strickland’s 1913 Dictionery of Irish Artists states:

Walter Strickland’s 1913 Dictionery of Irish Artists states:

“Osborne was equally successful in portraiture, landscape, subjects and animals, and worked with equal facility in oil, water-colour, pastel and pencil.

Of engaging personality, he was held in affectionate regard by all his friends as a delightful companion and a true artist.

He died at his residence in Castlewood Avenue on the 24th April, 1903, of pneumonia, and was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery




1867: John Gregg, inventor of Gregg Shorthand is born in County Monaghan. He would die eighty 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 this time with the Pogues “were the best ten years of my life and the worst ten years!”

Phil Chevron died from oesophageal cancer, October 8 2013.





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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 booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from 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.

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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