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November 2015
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“The Curious Eye” An Exhibition By Catherine Daly

I had the privilege, last week, of viewing the latest exhibition, featuring the work of Thurles artist Catherine Daly; currently on display in the exhibition space at The Source Arts Centre here in Cathedral Street, Thurles.

ArtThis new exhibition, entitled “The Curious Eye”, marks a somewhat unexpected departure from her previous wonderful watercolour exhibition which enjoyed unprecedented success last year touring nationwide; and somewhat similarly entitled “The Delighted Eye”.

Catherine new collection takes inspiration from the stunning photographs of Earth from the International Space Station by the Canadian astronaut and Irish Tourism Ambassador Chris Hadfield. This her newest work is extremely textural, achieved through the use of wax and acrylic and influenced by Rembrandt’s use of impasto; latter a technique used in painting, where paint is laid on an area of the surface very thickly, allowing for the brush  strokes viewed close-up to be readily visible.

Strong colour as always continues to be of huge import in Catherine’s labours; same complimenting her imagery as being both real and abstract, while also bringing about a wonderful alliance between the artist and the viewer.

It comes as no surprise that Catherine’s work has had the honour of being featuring in the RHA annual Banquet Exhibition; won the 2014 North Tipperary County Council solo exhibition prize at Nenagh’s Civic Offices; while also featuring in a collaborative exhibition in Spain at the Aviles Asturias Gallery.

The exhibition, which was officially opened by Liz O’ Donnell (Irish Independent Columnist) on the 3rd of November last, will continue to run until the 24th of November.  For further information on this and her other work go on line at www.catherinedalyartist.com and for further queries contact (087) 2991503.

For anyone with a little ‘time to kill’, while ‘hanging out’ here in Thurles, over the next week; this exhibition comes highly recommended and is a ‘must see’ for all students and lovers of art.

The exhibition is presented by Thurles Library.

Thurles – National Credit Union Art Competition

National Credit Union Art Competition 2015

“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.”  – George Bernard Shaw.


Congratulations to the very talented Miss Emily Bourke, latter a student attending the Ursuline Secondary School, Templemore Rd, here in Thurles; on receiving a Merit Award in the recent prestigious National Credit Union Art Competition.

Miss Bourke qualified for the National Credit Union level competition having received a first prize in both the popular Thurles Credit Union art competition and the subsequent Chapter 14 art competition, held recently.

James Watson Stained Glass Window Thurles


“A poor life this if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.”
[Extract from a poem by William Henry Davies (1871 – 1940)]

All too often these days, in the hustle and bustle of our individual daily life, we fail to take time to‘stand and stare’, to observe and enjoy with local pride the many historic symbolic gems contained within our own individual communities. Many of these gems are to be found staring us in the face on a daily basis, their significance now perhaps partially erased from the blackboards of our minds, as we go about scratching a livelihood for ourselves and our dependants.

The Watson stained glass window in St Mary’s Church, Thurles, which we discuss hereunder, is one such perhaps temporary forgotten artistic gem.


Left To Right: (1) The ‘Watson of Youghal’ stained glass window, St Mary’s Church, Thurles, Tipperary. (2) William Holman Hunt’s original painting “The Light of the World”.  (3) Photo of artist William Holman Hunt in eastern dress.

The original allegorical portrait (centre above) depicted by James Watson in this stained glass window is the work of renowned Pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt. This work, entitled “The Light of the World,” was originally painted by night in a makeshift hut at Worcester Park Farm in Surrey, England, between the years 1851 & 1853. Due to Holman Hunt’s failing eyesight, he was assisted in the completion of a larger version of this painting by the English painter Edward Robert Hughes.

The painting (Centre above) and stained glass depiction (Left above) both show the figure of Jesus Christ knocking on a door and careful further study indicates that this same painted overgrown entrance has remained unopened for some considerable time.  In his painting Holman Hunt is attempting to illustrate a quote from the New Testament scriptures; to be precise the Book of Revelation: Chapter 3: Verse 20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me”.  Viewers of the original painting will note that this depicted door has no visible handle and can therefore only be opened from the inside, thus representing the choice given to the closed and unsure minds of both lapsed Christians and non-believers.

Here in Thurles regrettably, we do not have Holman Hunt’s wonderful painting “The Light of the World,” to view; same lovers of art must travel to the Chapel at Keble College, Oxford, or to St Paul’s Cathedral in London, where a later version, latter which once toured the world, has now taken up residents. However here in Thurles we do own the next best thing; “The Light of the World,” as depicted by renowned stained glass artist James Watson of Youghal, Co Cork.

James Watson, born in England circa 1860, came from a long line of English stained-glass manufacturing artists. In 1888, attracted by the growth in church building in Ireland, both Catholic and Protestant, James moved to Youghal, with his wife, Mary and his sons Hubert and Maurice. His reputation as a stained glass artist soon became a by-word for artistic excellence, with the importing of brilliantly coloured glass from Europe; the red from England, the best blue’s, orange and yellow’s coming from France and the green’s coming from Germany. Watson would eventually go on to exhibit his stained glass at the St Louis World’s Fair of 1904.

Using large detailed artistic drawings called “cartoons,” painting was undertaken using a translucent stain
which was then applied in numerous layers, giving that masterful effect of light and shade. The final tiny details achieved often using a needle and each complex masterpiece produced demanding several firings. The required leading, joining each piece of painted glass, had to be made by a hand cranked machine, while thermally insulated chambers or kilns used, took days to fire up.

Although the Watson workshop survived until recently, maintained by successive generations of the Watson family, much of the firm’s finest work was done in the early years of the 20th century, as can be seen in the designs and drawings displayed currently at the Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork, under the stewardship of Exhibition Curator M/s  Vera Ryan, latter who recently visited Thurles to view the Watson window in St Mary’s Church.

Note: A truly magnificent “Watson Archive Exhibition” is currently on display at the Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork, containing some one thousand works on paper, including records, account books and other material. This exhibition will only run until March 2015, but is a must see for lovers of art and indeed Tipperary history.

Frank Rafter Art Exhibition To Open In The Source Thurles


Artist Frank Rafter.

M/s Lorraine Treacy, Thurles Library, The Source, Cathedral Street, Thurles,  Co Tipperary, reports:-

An exhibition of the selected artistic work of former Thurles dentist and keen environmentalist Mr Frank Rafter will go on display in the Source exhibition centre on Wednesday next November 5th at 7.00 p.m.

Presented to the public by Thurles Library and entitled ‘From the Edge,’ the exhibition will give an idea of how Frank’s work has progressed over recent years; from mainly painting through a return to drawing and on to printmaking, which is now this artists main preoccupation.

This exciting exhibition will also feature some of the books that Frank has made; these being artists’ books which he has made and books of his photographic work which document some of his very welcome obsessions.

Frank says, “Much of my drawing and print work is concerned with the concept of binary opposites, such as smoothness, rust, growth, decay, glitz, dereliction;, all derived initially from the idea of edge – a persistent obsession in my thinking.”

The area of artists’ books exerts a deep fascination for Frank as they unite his two great interests, art and literature.

The exhibition will run from Wednesday 5th to Tuesday 25th of November 2014 during normal library opening hours and later on at selected performance evenings.

For further information contact Thurles Libraries’ M/s Ann Marie Brophy –  Tel: 0504-29720.

A visit to this upcoming exhibition is truly not to be missed and comes highly recommended.

Remember:  Wednesday next November 5th at 7.00 p.m.

Week Long Thurles Halloween Arts Festival

Thurles Halloween Festival

Thurles Halloween Festival 2014

Tipperary Councillor Jim Ryan, Chairperson of the Thurles Halloween Arts Festival 2014 reports.

The 7th annual Thurles week-long Halloween Arts Festival begins in 7 days time from October 24th to October 31st 2014 inclusive.

Once again this year there is a wonderful festival line up, with some of the best national and international acts (All now fully confirmed) performing in our midst this year.

A continued policy of Thurles community participation is very much evident once again and with so many different forms of ‘The Arts’ taking place here in Thurles this year, both local and an anticipated large turnout of visiting public will most definitely find something for each and everyone, in this year’s diverse programme of major events.

Daily Programme of Events for Thurles Halloween Arts Festival 2014

Friday 24th October

ART“Art Exhibition.”  VENUE: Cabragh Wetlands. TIME: Each Day of the Festival period – 10.00am to 5.00pm. ADMISSION: Free of Charge.
Exhibition by Artist Michael Fogarty whose work is mainly inspired by the Irish countryside. Artist will be in residence each afternoon during the festival.

BOOK LAUNCH“Rights of Succession.”  VENUE: Cabragh Wetlands. TIME: 7.00pm. ADMISSION: Free of Charge.
The book, a tale of early 19th century family intrigue by author Michael Fogarty will see the author on hand to sign copies of his new book.

DRAMA“In Acting Shakespeare” – Written by and starring James DeVita. VENUE: Source Arts Centre. TIME: 8.00pm. ADMISSION: €18/€16 (concession).
“In Acting Shakespeare” expect a funny, touching and uplifting story of one man’s discovery of Shakespeare, acting and language. This is a show for anyone interested in Shakespeare or theatre. The show is followed by Q&A session with James DeVita.

Music“Whistle This,”  VENUE: Bowes Pub. TIME: 9.30pm. ADMISSION: Free of Charge.
A night of culture and music with some of the Premier County’s finest singer song writers, poets and musicians in an intimate atmosphere.

Truly one of Ireland’s finest Bluegrass musicians, Clem O’Brien; brings his unique band to Thurles for a special performance not to be missed.


Saturday 25th October

MUSIC, FOOD & CRAFT “SCARE IN THE SQUARE.”  VENUE: Liberty Square. TIME: 12.00 noon to 4.00pm. ADMISSION: Free of Charge.
Come join us for live music, food & craft stalls, Street Entertainment, Funfair Rides and much more, as we transform Liberty square into a Halloween “Scare in the Square,” occasion. Note: This year we will be having a Halloween Scarecrow Trail around Thurles town. With the help of ‘Thurles Mens Shed’; over 25 Scarecrows will be put on display around the streets of Thurles during the duration of this years festival. We hope to grow this into a major event going forward and we hope you enjoy the creative skills of the volunteers who created these pieces of scary art.

LITERATURE“Poetry in the Making.”  VENUE: Source Arts Centre. TIME: 3.00pm to 5.00pm. ADMISSION: €20.00.
This poetry workshop, run by poet Enda Wyley, is suitable for emerging poets. It aims to celebrate the power of poetry and the making of it. Participants will be encouraged to create new work of their own and to enjoy poetry by established poets, including the work of Thurles poet Dennis O’Driscoll. (Limited capacity – early booking advised. Please book directly through the Box Office on 0504/90204.)

LITERATURE“A Public Interview with John Kelly.”  VENUE: Source Arts Centre. TIME: 7.00pm. ADMISSION: €10.00.
In memory of Thurles poet Dennis O’Driscoll. For many years John Kelly has been at the forefront of music and arts broadcasting in Ireland. Having presented ‘The View’ on RTÉ television for 12 seasons, and assorted programmes for BBC NI before that, John now heads up RTÉ Television’s brand new arts show ‘The Works.’ Known for his wide-ranging knowledge of music he has also presented some of the best-loved and most critically acclaimed music programmes on the Irish airwaves. From his shows on the BBC to the legendary ‘Eclectic Ballroom’ on Today FM and the award-winning ‘Mystery Train’ on RTÉ1, he has always put the music first. He currently broadcasts the ‘John Kelly Ensemble’ on RTÉ Lyric FM and ‘Radio Clash’ on RTÉ Digital Radio 2XM.

WORKSHOP“Halloween Art and Craft Workshop.”  VENUE: Bookworm, Parnell Street, Thurles. TIME: 11.00am – 5.00pm. ADMISSION: €5.00 per person.
Get in the Halloween spirit, come and get creative; experience the make construction of some Halloween arts and crafts. Each workshops begin on the hour and last for 50 minutes. Note: Please book in advance – Tel: 0504/22257.

COMEDY“TOM O’ MAHONY & GUESTS.”  VENUE: County Bar, Liberty Square. TIME: 10.00pm sharp. ADMISSION: Free of Charge.
Dubbed by the critics as a ‘Bad-ass of Irish comedy’ Tom starred alongside the legendary and late, great Rik Mayall on RTE’s hit comedy Damo & Ivor in 2013 and made his return in Season 2 (alongside Snatch’s Alan Ford) reprising his role as the intolerable toff ‘Tarquin.’ A finalist in RTE’s 2013 New Comedy Awards, this lad has starred in several TV adverts, (typically playing someone you wouldn’t like). In 2014 Tom played support to Nina Conti at the Cork Opera House and also Police Academy’s Michael Winslow on a nationwide tour. Playing the country’s biggest festivals, Tom supported the brilliant Stewart Francis at this year’s Vodafone Comedy Festival in Dublin. This year saw another sell-out solo show of Tom’s, “Bring on The Apocalypse” in theatres nationwide and at the Edinburgh Fringe. Tom has a weekly radio slot on Spin103.8 entitled “Mantime,” where he discusses the failings of modern blokes and how they can redeem themselves (There are a lot of stanley-knives and hammers).


Sunday 26th October

TOURS & TALKS“Cabragh Wetlands Trust Open Day.”  VENUE: Cabragh Wetlands. TIME: 11.00am to 4.00pm. ADMISSION: Free of Charge.
Cabragh Wetlands invite the public of Thurles and Tipperary to an all day open event. There will be a ‘Walk and Talk’ at 11.30am which will be repeated at 2.30pm, led by volunteers and environmental experts. Find out about their work in conservation and education, and their plans for the future. Take this opportunity to view their exciting new building, have a guided walk around the wetlands or wander around at your own pace, see what they do and join them for a cup of tea. All are welcome.

MUSIC“Flamenco Guitarist John Walsh.”  VENUE: Anner Hotel. TIME: 4.00pm. ADMISSION: €5.00.
John Walsh is Ireland’s leading Flamenco Guitarist and an accomplished musician and composer, performing solo since 2006. Along with performing concerts throughout Ireland together with venues in Spain and the UK, he has performed in one of the most historically important flamenco venue’s ‘El Candela’ in Madrid, as well as being the invited International Artist for the 2014 Flamenco Festival “Flamenco de Consuegra”.


PARTY “FANCY DRESS PARTY.”  VENUE: Thurles Rugby Club. TIME: 10.00pm till Late. ADMISSION: €15.00.
Thurles Rugby Club presents its annual Halloween Fancy Dress Party with live music and disco. This event is one of the highlights of the year in Thurles and we would encourage those attending to purchase your ticket as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Tickets available from Hickey’s Pub or any Rugby Club Member.


Monday 27th October

FAMILY SHOW “Halloween Trick or Treat Party.”  VENUE: Anner Hotel. TIME: 2.30pm to 4.30pm. ADMISSION: €5.00 per child & €2.00 per adult.
This annual children’s party returns with all the usual favourites. Dress up in your favourite Halloween costume and let your child enjoy a wonderful and safe spooky party. Event includes: Party food and drink, Party music & games, Barney, Bob the Builder, Peppa Pig and Friends show, Magic show, Balloon Modelling and Face painting.


Tuesday 28th October

WRITERS“A Writers Covert.”  VENUE: Anner Hotel. TIME: 8.00pm. ADMISSION: Free of Charge
Writers from across Tipperary’s many regular writing groups will get together to read their own compositions and well-known writers works. This event is open to the general public, so do feel free to bring along your own work and join in. Note: Refreshments will be served.

WORKSHOP“Pumpkin Carving and Painting.”  VENUE: Bookworm, Parnell Street, Thurles. TIME: 2.00pm to 3.00pm. ADMISSION: €5 per person. Note: Pumpkins will be provided. Please book in advance – Tel: 0504/22257.

WW1 COMMEMORATION“Ecumenical Thurles WW1 Memorial Service of Remembrance.”  VENUE: St Mary’s Church, Thurles. TIME: 7.30pm. ADMISSION: Free of Charge, however a collection will be made during the Service with proceeds going to the St Mary’s War Museum. (Latter presently under re-construction and due to be reopened as a local tourist attraction on May 1st 2015 next.)
The Great War of 1914-1918 was so terrible and inflicted such large numbers of casualties on all sides that when it was over it was believed by many to be “The War to end all Wars”. Alas, by the end of four years of fighting from August 1914 to November 1918 many thousands of families around the world including some 72 households from Thurles were affected by this tragedy, through the wounding or loss of life of at least one of their family members.
The ceremony will begin with the naming of all 72 known Thurles WW1 soldiers who lost their lives.
Church music for this event is being provided by renowned local pianist M/s Mary Rose McNally, with special guests; music composer and much-loved Folk Singer M/s Nora Fogarty and Retd and former Aide de camp to H.E. the President of Ireland and Co Galway native, Commandant Michael Walsh, latter who will also give the commemorative address.
The remembrance service will be conducted in St Mary’s Church by the Rector Rev. Ian Coulter and will be followed by a rare display of local primary source artefacts pertinent to Tipperary participants in this Great War of 1914-1918 .


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