6 great things Ireland gave the world
With St Patrick’s Day round the corner, we ask, what’s Ireland ever done for us? Quite a lot, as it turns out…
St Patrick’s Day
Whether you decide to wear your shamrock with pride or just use it as an excuse to down a few pints of the black stuff, St Patrick’s Day is now celebrated across the world. In Chicago they dye the river green as part of the festivities and in Moscow last year they actually extended it to a week of celebrations!
Why not take the 17th as an opportunity to say “Cheers” with friends and family. Now brewed in almost 60 countries and available in over 120, it is one of the most successful beer brands in the world and makes over €2 billion annually. It originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness in Dublin, but is now owned by the British-based drinks producer Diageo. In the 1920s it was marketed with the slogan “Guinness is Good for You”, but advertising that claims improved physical performance or health benefits is now banned.
Mrs Brown and her boys might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but since it first started as a radio show on RTE in Ireland it has now become a ratings winner both in Ireland and the UK, this year winning Best Comedy at the National Television Awards. It’s also proving popular as far afield as Australia and Canada. The brainchild of Brendan O’Carroll, who transforms into Mrs Brown, the series also features several of his family members. It’s filmed in Glasgow in front of a live studio audience and part of its charm lies in the cast’s corpsing and prop faults. O’Carroll has said the BBC are expecting Christmas specials up until 2020!
Born in Drogheda, County Louth, Pierce first appeared on our screens as the romantic detective Remington Steele, but it was when he took over the role of James Bond in 1995’s Goldeneye that he was transformed into a global star. His natural charm and wit were said to have attracted a whole new audience to the Bond series. Since then he has continued to work on stage and screen, earning an honorary OBE in 2003 for his outstanding contribution to the British film industry, but also lends his name and support to UNICEF and Greenpeace. He also raises money for charity through the sales of his paintings – what a nice man!
Not a lot of people know that John Joly, an Irish physicist from County Offaly, who is famous for his development of the use of radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer and for inventing the thermometer, also invented the process for producing colour images from a single photographic plate in 1895. So it’s thanks to him that we have all been able to capture magic moments through our lives in glorious technicolour. In 1973 a crater on Mars was named in his honour.
A cure for leprosy
Tuberculosis was a common disease in the 1940s and it was while working at the Medical Research Council in Dublin that Vincent Barry realized the similarities between TB and leprosy. He worked with a team of scientists to develop Clofazimine, the first line of treatment that has been used to virtually eradicate leprosy and is said to have saved the lives of more than 15 million people.
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