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More News On Efforts To Destroy Thurles Heritage


Warning: The content printed hereunder may be upsetting to some of our readers.

“A man of the name of Leahey died [townsland of Moyny, (Maoiní Láir)] in the parish of Dromdaleague (Co. Cork) about a fortnight ago; his wife and two children remained in the house until the putrescent exhalations from the body drove them from their companionship with the dead; in a day or two after, some persons in passing the man’s cabin, had their attention attracted by a loud snarling, and on entering, found the gnawed and mangled skeleton of Leahey contended for by hungry dogs.”
Source: Cork Southern Reporter, of Jan. 26th 1847.

“I started for Ballydehob, (Coastal Village Co. Cork) and learned upon the road that we should come to a hut or cabin in the parish of Aghadown, (Murrahin South, Co. Cork) on the property of Mr Long, where four people had lain dead for six days; and, upon arriving at the hut, the abode of Tim Harrington, we found this to be true; for there lay the four bodies and a fifth was passing to the same bourne. On hearing our voices, the sinking man made an effort to reach the door, and ask for drink or fire; he fell in the doorway; there, in all probability to die; as the living cannot be prevailed to assist in the interments, for fear of taking the fever.”
Source: Illustrated London News – Saturday February 13th 1847.

“Deaths here are daily increasing. Dr. Donovan and I are, just this moment, after returning from the village of South Reen, (Co. Cork) where we had to bury a body ourselves that was eleven days dead; and where do you think? In a kitchen garden. We had to dig the ground, or rather the hole, ourselves; no one would come near us, the smell was so intolerable. We are half-dead from the work lately imposed on us.”
Source: Illustrated London News – Saturday February 13th 1847.

One hundred and forty have died in the Skibbereen Workhouse in one month; eight have died in one day! And Mr McCarthy Downing states that “They came into the house merely and solely for the purpose of getting a coffin.”
Source: The Illustrated London News January 16th 1847.

My Question Was: “Will the planned Thurles inner relief road impinge, in a negative way, on the 1846 Thurles “Double Ditch”, which has been a right of way and a Mass Path for almost 175 years and which is the property of the people of Thurles and a National Monument?”

The map shown above; Cllr. Mr Michaél Lowry (Lowry Team) informed me verbally that the above map was only “drawn up to purchase land”

I am now asking the people of Thurles to look carefully at the map shown above, latter supplied by Tipperary County Council themselves. Find the word “Start” (Pink colour on map above) and travel in a straight direct line to the word “Finish”.
Is there something I am missing or are the 3 straight lines representing the “Double Ditch” shown on THEIR map, being dissected by the proposed inner relief road?

Then ask why Co. Council Officials and some County Councillors, elected by you the public, are choosing to NOT reply to questions over an almost eight week period.

Here in the town of Thurles, Co. Tipperary, the situation during the Great Famine 1845 – 1849 was totally different to the source extracts posted above, thanks mainly to the Thurles Relief Committee made up of responsible business people and Clergy of both denominations; all working closely together to defeat a 19th century pandemic of a somewhat different nature than the one being experienced today.

No memorial walls have been built to honour the famine committee, and no streets in Thurles town has been named after any one of them, but here we dare to name men of great integrity and compassion, hereunder:-

Thurles Famine Food Committee 1845 – 1847

Nicholas V. Maher MP, [Member of Parliament and Justice of the Peace, (Chairman)];
Revd. Wm. Barron (P. P., Thurles);
Revd. Dr Henry Cotton, [C. of I. Rector, Thurles (Vice Chairman)];
Francis O’Brien Esq. (Justice of the Peace);
Revd. Wm. Baker (C. of I. Curate);
Revd. Martin Laffan (C.C. Thurles);
Revd. D. K. Lanigan (C.C. Thurles);
Revd. Thomas O’Connor (President St. Patricks College Thurles);
Robert C. Knaggs Esq. [Medical Doctor (Secretary)];
Revd. Patrick Leahy, (Professor, St. Patricks College Thurles);
Joshua Lester Esq;
John Gore Jones R. M. (Magistrate);
John Brachan Esq.;
Alfred Gahan Esq. (Civil Engineer),
James B Kennedy, (Thurles Board of Guardians Secretary).

Archdeacon Revd. Dr. Henry Cotton, on behalf of the above named Thurles committee sent a final report from Thurles to the then British Authorities in Dublin, following the closure of the committee in 1847, by the British authorities.

In a part of that final report, he writes:-
“The committee constituted by the Lieutenant of the County, in March last (1846) pursuant to the directions of the Act 10 Vic. Chap 7 commenced its labours immediately and continued them with a steady perseverance of men who were conscious of the magnitude of the task imposed on them. The greatest harmony prevailed among the members. The same spirit animated both Protestant and Roman Catholic, all appeared to remember that poverty and misery know no distinction of sect and that it was the duty of all to unite in alleviating that calamity which providence had thought fit to send upon our land.
Nor can we admit that the amount of relief (though great) was adequate to the overwhelming mass of destruction which covered the land. But at all events we have the happiness of feeling assured that innumerable lives were saved by the prompt and benevolent exertion made; and although many of our poor have fallen under the complicated privations of the last twelve months, we of this district have mercifully been spared those heart rending scenes of death from actual starvation which are said to have occurred in other parts of the country.”

Suffice is to state, the above named committee instigated and funded the building of the “Double Ditch“, granting wages of 8 old pence per day to men and boys, who were then able to put bread into the mouths of their starving Thurles families.

This is the same “Double Ditch” that I believe Tipperary County Council, are anxious to demolish, using taxpayers money.

This evening I received a long overdue email reply from the email address of Ms Janice Gardiner (Tipperary Co. Council); the contents of which have now confirmed my worst fears.
But pecularly, while it was sent by Ms Gardiner, it is signed by one, Mr. Eamon Lonergan, latter Acting District Manager, Thurles, Municipal District. (Perhaps a paste and copy error, but nevertheless confusing.)
In the interests of “transparency, integrity, conduct and concern for the public interest,” the details of Ms Gardiner’s email of this evening will be published and dealt with publicly over the coming days.

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
Extract from “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by author J.K. Rowling, OBE, FRSL.

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