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Faddan More Psalter Yet Another Piece of Tipperary Abroad

Faddan More Psalter

Yet another piece of Tipperary treasure went on show yesterday, to the benefit of Dublin City’s local economy.

I refer of course to the historical Faddan More Psalter, a book of psalms possibly as old as the Book of Kells, dated around 800AD and found by turf cutters in 2006 in a Tipperary bog.

Conservationists have spent the past five years painstakingly preserving this vellum paged, leather covered psalter, which now sits centre stage at a new exhibition in the National Museum, not in Tipperary, but in Dublin.

The new Dublin exhibition, which includes previously exhibited major pieces of church heritage, such as the St Patrick’s Bell and its Shrine, the Cross of Cong, the Broighter gold boat, the Corleck Head, and the unique ivory crozier from Aghaboe, Co. Kerry now on loan from the Statens Historiska Museum in Stockholm, certainly demonstrates an ecclesiastical feel, housed in towering glass boxes, beautifully illuminated and set out in a style resembling a monastic cloister.

This latest piece of Tipperary’s heritage now on display, joins five other liturgical vessels found in 1980 as part of the Derrynaflan Hoard, near Killenaule, Thurles, Co.Tipperary. Note all these pieces of priceless Tipperary treasure are greatly benefiting Dublin’s economy, at the expense of Co.Tipperary.

Speaking of Tourism, when will Fáilte Ireland, trading as Discover Ireland.ie, update Thurles on their website ? Click HERE to see that of which I speak. Next click on – Show all Festivals & Events in Thurles.  Stay on the page and check what is happening in Co. Tipperary. Of the 38 attractions featured can you see any mention of the Thurles GAA Museum, St.Mary’s Famine Museum, HQ Nightclub, The Source Theatre, Traditional Music at the Monk Gorman’s, Thurles Golf Club etc, etc, etc ? Answer “NO Sir,” but plenty of adverts for Racing and Comhaltas Summer Seisiún’s.

On the same page hit the down arrow beside Towns and Cities and click on Thurles.  Go to Whats on Tab and click on the down arrow alongside. Next click on Historical Houses and Castles – see my point, click on Music and Theatre, – see my point, click on Nightclubs, – see my point.

Without boring my readers much further, see Museums and Attractions Thurles Famine Museum.  Click on ‘More details,’and note: no website address shown, no complete postal address and see Map Pin on the accompanying map location showing the museum’s position, at Hillview drive, Thurles, Co. North Tipperary.

In January 2011, Dublin Tourism launched a new three year regional tourism plan, which sets a target to increase overseas visitor numbers by one million a year. Nearly two thirds of visitors to Ireland already visit Dublin. The city is currently lying at number seven on the list of the most visited cities in Europe. Now you now see why taxpayers money is needed to tunnel underground to keep transport moving.

It appears rural midland Ireland must continue to support the manufacturing of wealth for Dublin business, while those responsible for marketing county Tipperary continue to fund projects west of the Shannon river. I think it is time to drag those, given tourism responsibility, around a table for a serious chat.

Note the visitor figures given for fee paying attractions in Dublin last year, confirmed by Bord Failte, click HERE e.g. 469,674 people went to see the Book of Kells. Based on these latter figures, the Faddan More Psalter, at a charge €1 per visitor would be worth €500,000 to the Tipperary economy, plus spin offs in food, accommodation and other sales.

Whatever happened to the idea of a ‘Decentralisation Programme,’ anyway, or was that just another Fianna Fail vote catching idea. It seems Dublin has now become rural Ireland’s modern day plundering “Viking Raider,” and Tipperary has not one Brian Boru to protect us.

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15 comments to Faddan More Psalter Yet Another Piece of Tipperary Abroad

  • Nuala Holloway

    Dear Thurles News,
    Yes, I agree…..Why should Dublin benefit from Tipperary’s historic artefacts. A way must be found to have them returned….People Power. The people of Tipperary should be getting together and making their concerns known to those responsible for taking them away in the first place. Dare I say…speak to your local politicians. Tipperary has a rich heritage as evidenced by number of ancient items found over the years. Therefore, its the people of Tipperary that should benefit from this and NOT Dublin.

  • Rory Mac Mahon

    First of all George what’s your thing against Dublin? Do you have any valid reasons for the constant complaints about the place?

    2nd, are there any facilities in Tipperary capable of restoring and preserving something like the Faddan More Psalter? If not then a museum in Dublin is probably the best place for it.

    As for the Bord Failte website…perhaps the reason there’s no listings for places in Thurles on it is because the owners of places in Thurles have failed themselves to ask for listings on the website?

  • Hi Nuala, Here begins the effort to highlight our rich history. See link: http://www.hiddentipperary.com/historical-chalices-of-thurles/

  • Rory, with 470 thousand people visiting the book of Kells – surely if we charged just €1 to visit and observe the Faddan More Psalter, we could afford secure housing and employ security. Likewise The Derrynaflan Chalice at another €1, sure we could house both in the same place.
    What amuses me, is the assumption by Dublin, that they only have the edge when security is required, while ‘country hicks,’ (God Save Us ) would not know how to care for such objects.
    I love Dublin and its people, but logic tells me to get tourists into the midlands and permit them to spend their way out again. “Gateway tourism,” costs this country much needed revenue at the expense of “Country Hicks.” There is much more to Ireland than Dublin and West of the Shannon. For starters see link:- http://www.hiddentipperary.com/historical-chalices-of-thurles/ . Perhaps we should send those up to Dublin as well.

  • Rory Mac Mahon

    Rory, with 470 thousand people visiting the book of Kells – surely if we charged just €1 to visit and observe the Faddan More Psalter, we could afford secure housing and employ security. Likewise The Derrynaflan Chalice at another €1, sure we could house both in the same place.

    That’s €470,000 a year, have you actually researched how much it would cost for the initial restoration and continued preservation of both artefacts? Add to that the cost of running the building they are housed in and museum staff for that building.


    What amuses me, is the assumption by Dublin, that they only have the edge when security is required, while ‘country hicks,’ (God Save Us ) would not know how to care for such objects.

    Really Dublin has this assumption? George there are multiple museums around the country that care for such artefacts. St. Mary’s in Thurles included in that so I don’t think your comment is valid.


    I love Dublin and its people, but logic tells me to get tourists into the midlands and permit them to spend their way out again. “Gateway tourism,” costs this country much needed revenue at the expense of “Country Hicks.” There is much more to Ireland than Dublin and West of the Shannon. For starters see link:- http://www.hiddentipperary.com/historical-chalices-of-thurles/ . Perhaps we should send those up to Dublin as well.

    Already had a look at the link. The whole “country hicks” thing is a bit old to be honest. It sounds like blaming the woes of Thurles on someone else because it’s convenient to blame it on the Jackeens rather than looking at what’s being done or not done in our own back yard.

  • (1)In answer to restoration: Irish tax payers including Co.Tipperary have already paid for this restoration, all benefits of this fine work however have gone to boost Dublin’s economy.

    (2)With respect, it was you who raised the issue of restoring and preservation and preservation must surly infer correct security. Your own quote “is there any facilities in Tipperary capable of restoring and preserving something like the Faddan More Psalter? If not then a museum in Dublin is probably the best place for it.” By your remark you yourself infer that Dublin is somewhat superior to rural Ireland with regard to such matters.

    (3) Not so, no blame to Dublin, rather blame to those handed the responsibility of handling our organisational funding. With one voice we are discussing decentralisation, moving large groups of people out of our cities. With another voice we are strangling rural Ireland by greedily holding on to items, holding them at the Gateways to Ireland, ensuring that tourist spend is not allowed to percolate further inland.

    The hub of any wheel must be placed at its centre, not its edge. Dublin and Shannon etc should be Spokes of that wheel and not, as is present, hubs, however, latter appears to be what is considered ‘best practise’ by both previous and current Irish vote catching administrations.

    The visits by high profile individuals recently to Ireland further demonstrate: – Queen: 20 mins in Cashel – no visit to Thurles, her native town – 2/3 days in Dublin. US president: 45 mins in Moneygall limited to 3,000 people – 12 hours in Dublin – no visitor limit – over 50,000 people, of which many drove from Tipperary because they were prevented from entering Moneygall, in their own County. Excuse – “Security.”

  • George on several occasions I have asked various tourist bodies to email us/add us to a mailing list for tourism related news for Tipperary. If no news, then an article we could use about a specific tourist location to publish in the Tipp Tatler magazine and on our website to try help promote tourism in the area. Needless to say we never received anything. I would agree with Rory when he mentions that maybe there’s no listing on the website as the owners/caretakers of certain places haven’t requested they be added. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. I know we’ve never received any correspondence from St Mary’s Famine Museum for instance. If we did we would certainly publish it. Maybe some of your readers with an interest in their local tourist sites may send us on some info if they read this. Promotion of tourism in an area needs to be an ongoing thing, publishing a book every now and again for instance is not sufficient. Local and national press need to be constantly reminded about what is happening and what’s available. A simple example would be to notify the media in the counties visiting Semple Stadium in advance of a big match for instance what’s to see and do in the area. I agree that Tipperary’s treasures should be on display in Tipperary. There was no problem finding the money for security for the fleeting visits of our latest guests with the promise of the extra tourism it would generate in the area.

  • Noel Wade

    The National Museum is as the name suggests national and is meant to reflect the nation’s heritage.If every site associated with an artifact were to demand that they alone house these items then we would have no central location for people to either study or simply view these items. When you visit the Louvre or the British museum surely you don’t want to look at items that are just from Paris or London? Why then would we expect visitors to Ireland to have to pay (the museum in Dublin is free by the way) to see the book of Kells in Kells or the Ardagh chalice in Ardagh and then off to Cong ,Tara or wherever else? It’s not realistic in a small country like this.

  • Hi Noel,
    Firstly, understand there is nothing free, staff in the National Museum are well paid by you the tax payer, and while visitors to the museum enter for free at the gateway to Ireland, the taxes collected from midland counties picks up the wage bill, while Dublin reap the benifits. There is a charge to see the Book Of Kells, except for TCD library users.
    The word National may suggest all Ireland, but, in truth, means Dublin City.
    The Louvre is in Paris, Paris is in central France. Perhaps the Louvre should be moved to Le Havre or Cherbourg! The hub of any wheel is it’s centre, not its edge, and by placing our tourist attractions more centrally on our small Island, we are benefiting all the taxpayers of Ireland, while supporting rural Ireland and ensuring that everyone is not forced to move to Dublin, Cork and Limerick.

    Dublin city does not reflect the nation’s heritage, it currently reduces the revenue collected from tourism at the expense of Rural Ireland.

  • Noel Wade

    Hi George.
    Can I just begin by saying that I admire all of the work you have done on local history and heritage over the years and I take your point about the book of Kells but your point about the Louvre being moved would still not change the fact that it would be a national museum and not a local museum and would still house all of the national and indeed international artefacts of note.

    Capital cities suffer this type of criticism everywhere. If I were to visit a a capital city I would expect to see and visit national institutions especially in such a small state as Ireland.

    I am not so sure what you mean by saying that Dublin “does not reflect the nation’s heritage”?
    Do you mean the people of Dublin or the institutions?

    As for salary scales in the NM its hardly a career to enrich yourself at the taxpayers expense. In a vacancy advertised in 2006 ,the height of the boom, an assistant conservator ( post graduate desired) started at just over 400€ p.w.

    The revenue question is interesting. Do you suggest a federal model and let counties raise and spend their own taxes? I wonder what that would look like when schools, arts centres ,social welfare and even agricultural subsidies have to start footing their own bills from a local fund.

    As regards national taxation, I haven’t done the maths but I would think that the eastern seaboard pays more than it’s fair share of tax revenue. I do not understand what is meant by “reducing the revenue” either.I am not familiar with that terminology as I have no experience in taxation issues.

    Thurles as a tourist venue has always sold itself short. It has a good reputation as a sporting town. Why does it not exploit this reputation. with a stadium, a dog track, a race course it could position itself as the hub of Irish rural sports?

    I enjoy reading your blog and keep up the good work.

  • […] In 1789, the Book of Dimma was supposedly discovered in a small cave on the mountain. The little known Book of Dimma, written possibly late in the 8th century at nearby St. Cronan‘s Monastery, Roscrea, was preserved by Thady O’Carroll, Prince of Ely, and later during possibly the mid-twelfth century was encased in a rich gilt case. The book is a copy of the four Gospels written in Old Latin and is representative of Irish ‘Pocket Gospel’ manuscripts. The book which had a blessing to the sick and dying added in the 10th or 11th century, can be viewed in Trinity College, Dublin, together with many other articles of Ireland’s rich historical treasures found in Tipperary, now bringing prosperity to our capital city’s economy at Tipperary and rural Ireland’s expense. […]

  • […] you are playing chess tell Phil to return the Derrynaflan Hoard, the Faddan More Psalter,  the Book of Dimma and the Two-Mile- Borris Viking hoard, stolen from Tipperary, to boost Dublin […]

  • Indeed, if the items were found in Tipp, then thats where they should be displayed, I believe that this Treasure would have a big/hugh,impact on Tipp’s Tourist trade. Perhaps at Holy Cross Abbey, might be a good place for such Historic Treasure’s.( My View )

  • […] from Celtic and Early Christian Ireland, which contains the recently conserved Tipperary owned Faddan More Psalter & the Tipperary owned Derrynaflan […]

  • Eoin O'Murchu

    Guess the issue is what has Ireland become since we became a Republic. Don’t think we have ever been grown up to manage our own culture and democratise what is a fantastic country. Oligarchy prevails -politically and economically and third world corruption doesn’t help either. It is not Tipp versus the rest but Ireland collaborating together to build our market rather that this me fenism

    Tipperary needs and should enjoy its tourism potential but it seems that we don’t get the same shout as other areas and our local heritage is not effectively marketed. What is the Atlantic Way anyway -apart from driven by Failte Ireland with numerous bright people failing to brand Tipperary. Presumably the new County Council and the even newer County Tourism Board will need to address these needs and we should insist they are run as businesses and not fiefdoms for coteries of career bureaucrats. The Old Tourism Company seems to have been dormant for years.

    The TD’S Hayes and Kelly, Lowry etc either need to start getting effective across the spectra or get elected out.

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