Irish Phrase Of The Day

"Cad atá ar súil agat ?" - What are you doing?



September 2014
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Tipperary Success In 60th Texaco Children’s Art 2014

Art60th Texaco Children’s Art Competition Winners Announced

There were three succesful competitors from County Tipperary named in this years 60th Texaco Children’s Art Competition, announced yesterday.

In Category F (6 years and under) a painting entitled “New Year’s Eve,” by Benjamin Franklin from Shronell National School, in Lattin,  Co Tipperary wins for himself a €30 art box

In Category D (9 to 11 years) with her painting entitled “Crow In The Storm,” Miranda Yanez from Lackamore National School, in Newport, Co Tipperary wins for herself a €50 art box

While in Category B (14 to 15 years) with her painting “My Sister Aisling (Model)” Emily Bourke, from the Ursuline Convent, here in Thurles, wins herself a €100 Art Box

This year a total of 126 winners will be honoured at a ceremony in June next and the top 21 pieces selected from the competition will remain on display in the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin.

Congratulations and well done to all concerned.

Thurles Born Mark Maher Joins W5

W5, Ireland’s award winning science and discovery centre has acquired the services of Thurles-born model maker Mark Maher for an enchanting new model display called “Once Upon A Christmas.”  W5, for those not familiar with this incredible exhibition centre, is part of the Odyssey, Northern Ireland’s Landmark Millennium Project, based in the Abercorn Basin, beside the River Lagan in Belfast.

So what has Mark Maher been getting up to recently. Well Mark has spent the last three years working in New Zealand as special effects artist for none other than Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of “The Hobbit.”

Master model and effects craftsman Mark Maher from Thurles, Co Tipperary

Mark has now been enlisted by W5 for his expertise as a miniature model maker and sculptor to recreate scenes for a brand new Christmas experience, where families will step into a world of ‘fairy tales’ and ‘happily ever afters’ as they stroll round a mythical castle square filled with Christmas ambience in the Odyssey Centre.

Wandering throughout this square will be wonderfully costumed fairytale and storybook characters, both meeting, greeting and posing for photos with all those who visit. To reach this castle square in the centre, visitors will enter through a display of old-style fashioned Christmas windows and discover model sets from six classic children’s books and fairy tales.
Each of these beautifully detailed models have been lovingly created by Mark especially for W5 and will feature scenes from Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and The Snow Queen.

Mark has been working on these models at W5 now since July of this year and already some of his work has been described as “simply breathtaking.”

Of course Mark’s other work can be seen on the big screen (Trailer above) when the much anticipated “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” gets its cinema release on December 13th next. In this forthcoming screen episode the Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf  have successfully escaped the Misty Mountains, and Bilbo has gained the One Ring and they will all continue their journey to get their gold back from the Dragon, Smaug.

Visitors can get up close and personal with Mark Maher’s mini masterpieces for W5 when the festive fun starts at the Odyssey centre on Saturday November 23rd next.

Note: This model collection will go on tour as “Once Upon a Fairytale,” later in the year, as it has strong links to the National Curriculum for Literacy and Creativity.

Calling 100 Thurles Small Business Investors

Just a thought, but may I ask a question?  “Has anyone got a few quid hidden away under the Bathroom Floor, in a Cookie Jar, the Fridge Salad Crisper Drawer or under your Mattress?

How much do you want?”  I hear you scream excitedly.

Well to be honest it all depends on an item that goes under the hammer at “The Chatsworth Fine Art Sale,” to be held in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny on Tuesday October 8th next.  The particular item which generates my particular interest is, I believe, numbered Lot 727.


Painting of Mary Francis Power Lalor (Ryan)

It is a painted portrait of Mrs Mary Francis Power Lalor (nee Ryan) formally of Long Orchard, Templetuohy, Co. Tipperary.  Mrs Power Lalor is featured wearing a black lace dress with pearl and diamond necklace, (Print Size about 130 cms x 105 cms or 51 ins x 41 ins) set in its original carved gilt-wood oval frame, signed and dated 1859.

This featured individual was born Mary Francis Ryan, daughter of George Ryan of Inch House, Thurles, Co. Tipperary and Catherine Whyte of Loughbrickland, Co Down. Her father was born on July 17th 1791 and died on September 6th 1884 at the age of 93.  He had held the office of Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) of County Tipperary and the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for County Tipperary.

I believe this painting should now be purchased so as to remain in North Tipperary and preferably be proudly hung in Thurles Library for all to see and contemplate.

In early 1858, Mary Francis Ryan was presented at the State Drawing Room in Dublin Castle, to George William Frederick Howard, seventh Earl of Carlisle (Lord Morpheth of Morpeth Roll fame) being then Viceroy at that time, and in October of that year at the tender age of eighteen, she was married to Captain Edmund James Power Lawlor of Long Orchard, Templetuohy, Thurles Co Tipperary.

In 1859 Mary was presented to the Papal Court, during which time spent in Rome she was greatly admired for “her unusual beauty and a singular fascination of manner.” She visited some artist studios by special invitation and was painted at this time by G. Canavari.

After the death of her husband Edmund, James, Power Lalor, on August 4th 1873, and the following year by her daughter Helen Georgiana Power-Lalor in 1874, latter from meningitis, Mary devoted her life to charitable works and in 1880 published an appeal in the leading newspapers of the time on behalf of starving children following the famine of 1879 known as the “mini-famine” or An Gorta Beag.  The New York Herald donated the massive sum then of £10,000 which enabled her to feed over 52,000 starving children throughout the country.

It was in this same year that on the Thursday evening of August 21st 1879, 15 people in Knock (Irish Translation: An Cnoc, meaning ‘The Hill,’ now more generally known in Irish as Cnoc Mhuire, “Hill of Mary”) County Mayo experienced an apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist, who all appeared at the south gable of the local church, together with an altar with a cross and the figure of a lamb, around which angels hovered. Two Commissions of Enquiry, in 1879 and 1936, would later accept their testimony as being both trustworthy and satisfactory.

This Knock apparition brought about a massive religious revival during this Irish famine, latter now erased and rarely remembered in Irish history. Many Christians even today believe that this visitation to the “Hill of Mary”, contributed greatly to the low number of deaths then experienced in 1879, compared to the earlier Great Famine of 1845 -1849.

Mary Francis Power Lawlor now took full charge of this fund, clothing children of all denominations, thus saving many from certain death. In 1886 Mary Power Lalor established the Distressed Ladies Fund; latter to assist poor Irish women suffering through the non-payment of rent and the then land depression in Ireland. This Fund also established in Dublin a home to care for the many poor old ladies living in garrets and cellars, which in 1887 was opened in Mountjoy Square (Then Rutland Square,). This house subsequently became known as the Power Lalor Home, with Queen Victoria as patroness, and Princess Louise as President of the Central Committee, when this fund was extended to include England.

In 1912 Mary Francis Power Lawlor took up the reins in Ireland of the International Catholic Girls Protection Society and opened the Bureau and Home for Catholic Girls in Dublin, in the same year. It is also to her that the people of Templetuohy owe a debt of gratitude for organising  the building of the magnificent Church of The Sacred Heart, Templetuohy and the beautiful stained glass window, which she then had specially commissioned in memory of her late husband, with the fitting title “For The Greater Glory Of God.”

Mrs. Power Lalor died on March 26th 1913, (100 years ago this year) and is buried next to her husband in Templetuohy Graveyard.

It’s just a thought but if 100 people, including businesses and  including myself, came up with €50 each, we could possibly meet the asking price (Between €3,000 – €5,000) for this portrait of one truly great Tipperary lady and take her home to her native County.

Anyone interested in venturing into this “Thurles Historic Art Investment Co-Operative Programme,” should contact me Email and sure who knows, it might just sell for less than its asking price.

There I go, possibly dreaming again, but in recessionary times we all must dream.

Thurles Credit Union – Gotta Lotta Colour

All budding local artists are invited to get to work and submit their entries for this year’s Credit Union National Art Competition which has just been launched by Thurles Credit Union Ltd, illustrating this year’s theme “Gotta Lotta Colour.”


Our pictures above show winners from last year’s competition (set centre) together with just some winning posters, courtesy of four competitors: namely Tommy O’Sullivan, Joseph Bourke, Rocel Flores and Niamh O’Sullivan.

Now in its 30th year, the competition attracts up to 50,000 entries through 300 credit unions nationwide and caters for all ages, with categories ranging from under 7 to over 18 years. There is also a Special Category for those with physical or intellectual disabilities.

Thurles Credit Union here in Co Tipperary are inviting anybody with an interest in art to enter this local competition. Entry forms have been distributed to all local primary and secondary schools. Closing date for entry is Friday 1st November 2013.

Winners, runners up and merit award winners here at local level will go on to represent the credit union at regional level and if successful, then at national level. Local winners will receive their prizes at a local prize giving ceremony and their artwork will be displayed as part of an art exhibition in Thurles Credit Union.

Speaking at the Thurles launch Mr Michael Harty (Marketing Officer Thurles Credit Union) stated;  “Following on from the great success of last year’s competition we want to encourage and reward self expression, creativity and imagination amongst all artists young and older, throughout our community, so let’s go and get creative.  Thurles Credit Union are proud and delighted that a large number of our local representatives have gone to success both at regional and national levels in recent years.

So request your entry form from your Art Teacher or your busy School Principal and get busy straight away, keeping strongly to the chosen theme “Gotta Lotta Colour.”

“The Delighted Eye” – Artist Catherine Daly


Picture above (L-R) ; Mrs Mary Fitzgerald (Holycross), Mrs Catherine Daly (Thurles) and Mr P.J. O’Connell (Thurles).

Congratulations to Thurles artist Mrs Catherine Daly, the 2013 winner of the North Tipperary County Council’s Solo Art Exhibition Award 2013.

This wonderful exhibition of art, entitled; “The Delighted Eye,” will now go on display at the North Tipperary County Council’s Civic Offices, situated at Limerick Road, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, on Friday September 20th 2013, with an official launch by Mr Eamonn De Stafort, and with a welcome for the many expected to attend by North Tipperary Mayor Cllr. Ger Darcy.

The exhibition will remain on view to the public from September 23rdNovember 1st  2013 during the hours 9.30am4.30pm (Monday – Friday).

Having already viewed this exhibition myself, I strongly recommend that as many people as possible take a little of their time to halt awhile and cast their eyes over this truly remarkable collection of very fine art collection.

Photo courtesy G.Willoughby

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