Archive for June 27th, 2014

June 27,

Kennedy in Ireland Day II – Charles Stewart Parnell – Union General Robert Nugent

June 27: 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.

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1824: Union General Robert Nugent

Birth of Robert Nugent in Kilkeel, Co. Down who would go on to become a decorated Brigadier General in the Union forces during the civil war.

Fighting 69th Officers. Nugent is sitting in center.


Nugent died in 1901. His obituary in the Brooklyn Eagle read:

General Robery Nugent died at his home,
332 McDonough street, yesterday, as the
final result of a bullet wound in the stomach
received at the battle of Fredericksburg, De-
cember 13, 1862, while leading his command
up Marye’s Hill.  For seventeen years he
suffered from chronic dyspepsia. General
Nugent was born in Killkeel, County Down,
Ireland, July 24, 1824, and came to New York
when a young man. He joined the Seventh
Regiment as a private and afterward was a
captain in the Fourteenth Regiment. In 1853
he became a member of the Sixty-ninth
Regiment, New York State Militia, and rose
to the colonelcy before the beginning of the
Civil War.  At the firing on Fort Sumter he
led the regiment to Virginia. On it return
he helped organize the Sixty-ninth New York
Volunteers, which was the first in Meagher’s
Irish Brigade. He served as colonel of the
regiment until 1862, when, General Meagher
becoming incapacitated, he succeeded to the
command of the Irish Brigade.  It was while
leading this charge that he received the
wound that finally caused his death. He was
carried from the field and brevetted for his
bravery. During his convalescence in New
York he was appointed deputy provost mar-
shal of New York and Brooklyn, serving as
such from May to November, 1863. During
that time the draft riots took place. He
returned to the Army, reaching the rank of
brigadier general. At the close of the war
he became a captain in the regular Army
and commanded a company in many battles
in Montana, Dakota, and Wyoming, against
the Sioux and other Indians, being with Gen-
eral Miles in the battles against Sitting Bull.
In 1877 he was retired as major and returned
to Brooklyn to live. His wife, three daugh-
ters and a son survive him




1846: Charles Stewart Parnell

  Charles Stewart Parnell is born the seventh child of a well to do Ascendancy land-owning family in Avondale Co. Wicklow. Parnell benefited from his family background with a good education which included some time at a girl’s school in England!

Once he got involved in Irish politics and the demand for Home Rule, he proved himself a master orator and debater  and a thorn in the side of an English parliament that refused to give any autonomy to Ireland. Elected MP for Ireland’s County Meath in 1875, he became leader of the Irish National Land League whose primary aim was to abolish the landlord-tenant farmer relationship that guaranteed a life of poverty for the Irish tenant.

Parnell soon became a beloved and influential politician who was an able and respected foe of Prime Minister William Gladstone as he  pushed harder for Home Rule for Ireland.

But the great politician had a great “secret,” known to many but not made public for many years. Parnell was in a relationship with Kitty O’Sea, wife of fellow politician and party member Captain William O’Shea whom she had been separated from for years. She bore Parnell two children. Captain O’Shea (partly for financial reasons) finally went public with the affair citing Parnell as a co-respondent in divorce proceedings. Parnell’s career was over.


READ: Biography of Charles Stewart Parnell 




1963: JFK Visits his Ancestral Home

File:JFK-New Ross 1963.jpg

Kennedy at New Ross, Co. Wexford                                                       Source: JFK Presidential Library

Day two of President Kennedy’s visit to Ireland where he is literally mobbed   every place he goes. In an action packed day, he speaks at New Ross and Wexford,  visits his ancestral home of Dunganstown, Co. Wexford where his great grand-father was born and who emigrated to the United States in 1848.

Kennedy had previously visited Dunganstown in 1947.

JFK absolutely sparkled in Ireland. His speeches were laced with good humor and little political weight. The video below shows Kennedy speak in New Ross. Note the lack of security.




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.

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