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Thurles Man Scoops EuroMillions Jackpot

Cathedral of The Assumption Thurles.

Having just scooped the EuroMillions jackpot worth €28.9m; Thurles native Paddy Meagher, after much consideration and deliberation, decided to travel abroad.

Following a visit to Bowe Travel, a travel agency, situated at Friar Street, Thurles, it was decided he should undertake a European tour.

His first stop was the ancient city of Rome. With an interest in church architecture, Paddy went to view the Cathedral of St. John Lateran, latter the official Cathedral of Rome (not St. Peter’s as commonly believed) and the seat of the bishop of Rome, the 266th pontiff, His Holiness, Pope Francis.

Attached to a polished marble column Paddy noticed here, a golden telephone. Amazed that a telephone was needed inside a church, of all places, he queried why it was thought necessary. A passing English speaking priest informed him that it was ‘a direct line to Heaven’, and if he wished to make a call it would cost ‘€500 for a strictly 3 minute duration’.  Despite his newly acquired wealth, Paddy declined what he believed as an unnecessary extravagance.

Indeed Paddy’s miserliness and penny-pinching behaviour is often openly discussed here in Thurles. How he had come into the possession of a lottery ticket in the first place was considered a mystery; for certainly he, himself, had never purchased one. It was reckoned that the English, seven sided, large 50 pence coin was designed so as to remove same from Paddy’s fist, using a size 12 spanner.

His meanness was not just publicly displayed by his insistence that a fork be always kept in his sugar bowl, but on one occasion, when heading out to the Arch Bar, Liberty Square, here in Thurles, he had turned to his wife Mary, in front of neighbours, advising that she should put on her hat and coat.
“Awe Paddy” said she, “that’s nice; are you taking me out to the Arch Bar?’
“Nah”, replied Paddy, “I’ve just switched off the central heating; sure there is no need to be wasting oil while I’m out.’

Now as Paddy travelled to each of the major cities in Europe, he continued to see these same golden telephones installed in the Cathedrals where he visited. Always he queried the cost and always the reply came back; “a direct line to heaven for 3 minutes at a cost of €500”.

On returning to his home town of Thurles, in Co. Tipperary; having finished his European tour, Paddy went to the 11.00 am. Mass in the Cathedral of The Assumption, Cathedral Street. Walking through the ornate facade, he discovered that as part of recent beautiful restoration work, here also was now installed a golden phone, attached to one of the old magnificent polychrome marble colonettes.  A sign underneath the phone read, “Call Heaven Direct – 3 Minutes – 25 Cents”.

Disbelieving the sign, Paddy called over to the Parochial House across the road.  “Father”, said he, “I have travelled extensively all across Europe and I have seen numerous golden telephones in numerous Cathedrals in other countries, but the price for a 3 minute call has always been €500. Can you explain why the phone in Thurles is only .25 cents?

Smiling the priest stated, “Paddy remember you are in Thurles now, sure it’s the price of a standard local call”.

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