A ‘Fable’, as every parent is aware, is a short story which helps illustrate particular morals to younger children. These stories, tales or parables are often humorous and entertaining for children of all ages, but also bear a strong message in their simple narrative.
The unpublished ‘Fable’ recently unearthed in Co. Tipperary
Dáil Éireann any given Friday.
“The weathermen at Dáil Éireann had assured our five elected Tipperary politicians that there was no chance of any rain falling over the coming weekend. So Matt, Al, Mick, Sham & Jacksie decided to take a well earned break, at the tax payers expense. They were to stay secretly at the €52.2 million Irish government purchased & refurbished, 78 acre, Irish State guest house, situated at Farmleigh, near Castleknock, Co Dublin.,
Although vulture fund free, it had been rumoured that the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA or Triple A) could quickly hand over this building to Dublin’s homeless, should they get their way, so this once in a lifetime weekend away opportunity was not to be missed.
Working their 3 day Dáil week, with no large funeral attendances expected in Co. Tipperary, which they needed to be spotted at; their intention was to go fly fishing on the estates boat lake, from Friday evening to Monday evening inclusive.
While checking their suit cases into the Steward’s Lodge, located in the grounds of Farmleigh, they met the chief gardener with his donkey. Upon seeing the Tipperary elected reps, the gardener, with bowed head and cap in hand, warned, “Distinguished Gentlemen, you should return to the guest house at once, for in just a short time I expect a huge deluge of rain to fall, mainly in this area”.
The politicians immediately shook hands with the simple gardener, but having considered his advice replied, “We hold the Dáil Éireann meteorologist service in high regard. Basically, unlike ourselves, they are extensively educated and an experienced group of true professionals. Besides, we pay them very high wages, and therefore it is only right that we place our trust in them and continue on to our fishing location”.
Ignoring the gardener, the politicians continued on their way, but alas sure enough within a short time later, torrential rain fell from the heavens, soaking our five elected representatives to the skin. Furious, the Tipp politicians returned to Dáil Éireann the following Tuesday morning and following a full independent enquiry, by the head of RTE, they ruled that all professional weathermen in the Lower House and principal chamber of the the Oireachtas (The Irish Legislature) be immediately fired with full pension entitlements.
Then they summoned the Farmleigh gardener and offered him the prestigious and high paying post of ‘Dáil Éireann Forecaster’. The simple gardener said “Sirs, you who wield such magnificent power over our country, I do not know anything about weather forecasting. I simply obtain my information from my dumb old donkey. If I see my donkey’s ears drooping, it means with certainty that torrential rain will fall within the hour”.
So following the passing of a Clerical Officer Public Jobs assessment by the gardener and his donkey, the Tipperary politicians went on to hire both, on high pensionable wages.
So thus began the continuing practice of hiring unsackable ‘Dumb Asses and Consultants’ to work in Dáil Éireann; and the further practise of paying outrageous salaries to those who occupy the highest and most influential positions in that esteemed pile of stones which houses our countries elected reps.”
Hopefully this practice will continue to remain unbroken well into our countries immediate future.
“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.” – Vera Nazarian.
Sadly a number of rare books, maps, and letters; readily identified as previously having being housed in St. Patrick’s College Library, (situated in Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary) were actioned off at the Gresham Hotel, Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin, recently (December 13th 2016 last to be precise), by Auctioneers Fonsie Mealy, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, as part of their Christmas 2016 sale.
Lot No 734
Dozens of books, with visible St Patrick’s College library stamp and shelf numbers, were among some 800 or so items in this December 13th auction. There were several with handwritten ownership marks of Archbishop James Butler (Lot No’s. 555, & 745.) priced at €6,000 – €8,000 or Archbishop Robert Laffan (Lot No’s. 691, & 693.) and at least one book donated by former early 20th century Thurles Town Clerk, local historian and IRB 1916 Volunteer, the late Mr James (Jimmie) Kennedy, with his name on it (Lot No, 630.).
There were also maps (Beaufort 280, Report of Bogs Lot No, 734.) priced at €1,800 – €2,500, Taylor & Skinner (Lot No 693) and several books with engraved views (Grose, Bartlett 215, Eyzingen (Lot No, 706) priced at €3,000 – €4,000), latter which can be made immensely more profitable by tearing our the maps or engravings and selling the pages separately in antique frames.
There were many travel books (if my memory serves me correct) reflecting Fr James Ryan’s fondness for travel – the man who brought the Pallottines to Thurles. There was an early report on the United States, (Lot No, 290.) priced at €1,000 – €1,500). There were several collections of Irish Statute laws; useful for obtaining knowledge and further understanding regarding the penal laws of the 1700’s, (Lot No’s 531, 710, 664.).
It must be to our great shame, as a community, that Thurles has been deprived of such historic works, now gone to ‘God knows where’, and this action must be seen as comparable to the wanton vandalism of moving the Protestant Bolton Library (Please read full report here) from Cashel, Co. Tipperary to Limerick city.
Just a few of the assets stripped from St. Patrick’s College which I identified from Fonsie Mealy’s Catalogue.
Lot No. 280. Description: “Map: Beaufort (Dan. Aug.) Ireland Civil and Ecclesiastical, v. large engraved linen backed folding map, published by James Wyld, London 1829, finely hand cold. in outline, in slipcase. V. good. As a map, w.a.f. “ (1). Estimated value (Asking Price): €300 – €400.
Lot No. 435. Description: “We could vex Lord Doneraile in this Way” Croke (Archbishop Thomas W.) [1824-1902] A very good collection of three ALS to Michael [Murphy], evidently a church administrator at Doneraile, where Dr. Croke was formerly parish priest. All three letters on his headed notepaper from The Palace, Thurles, one dated 1876. The first letter, dated May 11, marked ‘Private’, states that Mr. Dudley [a teacher?] is leaving Doneraile, ‘having been very badly [treated?] by Lord Doneraile. ‘It occurs to me that we ought to give him an address and testimonial. First and foremost, he deserves it – and, secondly, we could vex Lord D. in this way.’The second letter, a fortnight later, welcomes the news of a testimonial for Mr. Dudley (as though he himself had nothing to do with it), and promises a subscription of £5. Both with excellent signatures.The third letter, dated 1876, is on a matter concerning cattle. Also with this lot is a small notebook containing church accounts for Doneraile Parish, 1866-1870, signed by Michael Murphy, countersigned in various places by T.W. Croke [parish priest]; and with a cabinet photograph of Dr. Croke (stained). Dr. Croke, from Co. Cork, was educated at the Irish Colleges in Paris and Rome. According to William O’Brien, he was present at the barricades in Paris during the revolution of 1848. He was appointed to Doneraile in 1865, and attended the First Vatican Council in 1870 as theologian to the Bishop of Cloyne. He became Bishop of Auckland in New Zealand in 1870, and was appointed Archbishop of Cashel and Emly in 1875. He is best known for his strong support for the G.A.A. in its early years.” (1). Estimated value (Asking Price), €400 -€600.
Lot No. 569. Description: “Milner (Rev. J.) An Inquiry into Certain Vulgar Opinions concerning The Catholic Inhabitants and the Antiquities of Ireland, L. 1868. First, cont. hf. calf; Usher (Dr. J. ) A Discourse on the Religious anciently professed by the Irish and British, D. 1815, hf. cloth; Clowry (Rev. W.) Controversial Letters in reply to Rev. Mr. Daly, Rev. Dr. Singer etc., to which are added The Letters Signed B.E., D. 1827, L.S. on t.p., boards. (3)“. Estimated value (Asking Price): €400 -€600.
Lot No. 577. Description: “Laborde (M. Leon de) Journey through Arabia Petraea to Mount Sinai and The Excavated City of Petra, 8vo L. 1836. First English Edn., frontis L.S. on title, fold. map, & 24 full page plts. & map, text illus., orig. hf. calf, tooled gilt spine.” (1). Estimated value (Asking Price): €150 – €200.
Lot No. 594. “Early Limerick Printing Meagher (Rev. Andrew) The Popish Mass, Celebrated by Heathen Priests, … or A Sermon Preached at Thurles, on Sunday 2nd August 1767. 8vo Limerick (T. Welsh) 1771. Sole Edn., list of subs., one leaf of preface torn with some loss, errata at end, cont. sheep worn. Scarce.” (1). Estimated value (Asking Price): €160 – €220.
Continue reading Asset Stripping Of St Patrick’s College Library, Thurles
“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one”
Extract from the song ‘Imagine’ with lyrics by John Lennon.
In our blog of January 21st 2017 last we called on Co. Tipperary elected representatives, from all political parties, to come together under one single umbrella; to find real solutions for our current poorly represented and grossly neglected town of Thurles and indeed the county of Tipperary.
Archdeacon Henry Cotten, C of I, Thurles & Chairperson of the Thurles and Rahealty Famine Food Committee.
Today we turn to history (knowledge acquired by investigation), to demonstrate, via a study of the past, the importance of politicians uniting under one umbrella; taking time to disregard their own personal differences, prejudices and beliefs, in favour of finding fair, equal and paramount solutions to the needs of every person residing in this forgotten rural ‘Premier County’.
Back then in 1845 it was not Irish elected Members of Parliament who came to the rescue of those shivering in the cold and wet, anxiously expecting the fragments of cold ‘stir-about’ that remained following the workhouse pauper meal. Rather it was religious leaders; Quakers, and here in Thurles Fr. William Barron (Administrator within the Thurles Roman Catholic community) closely working together with Archdeacon Henry Cotten (Head of the Thurles Church of Ireland community).
It was these same religious communities, whom we are so quick to condemn today that carried our town through the ‘Great Famine’ period, while at the same time encouraging the importance of education, which today 172 years later, has raised us out of hopeless misery and abject poverty.
In examining factual history; we ask the question “What were living conditions like in the town of Thurles, Co. Tipperary in 1847; the third year of the ‘Great Famine’ (1846 -1852), during a period of mass starvation, disease and the mass emigration and migration from rural Irish towns, villages and their hinterlands?”
For Thurles the most accurate answers to these queries are set out in two ‘Question and Answer Reports’ sent out by the Thurles and Rahealty Famine Food Committee, which met in the rented parlour of the home of Dr Robert C. Knaggs MD. (MD – Medical Doctor), Main Street, Thurles (Today known as Liberty Square, Thurles, in the shoe shop currently occupied by McMahons.)
First Report – British Association for the Relief of Extreme Distress in Ireland and Scotland.
The first of these reports was sent to the British Association for the Relief of Extreme Distress in Ireland and Scotland and forwarded to Lieutenant Col. Douglas on February 11th 1847. This Association had been formed in January 1847, in London, supported by bankers and other prominent people, to provide, “competent machinery for administering the public munificence”. Queen Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria) had requested that her name be placed at the head of the list of donors to this Association with a contribution of £2,000.00 and later added a further £500, one sixth of whose total funds only went to support the potato failure in Scotland.
 It would be Charles Stewart Parnell (1846 – 1891), Irish nationalist politician and one of the most powerful figures in the British House of Commons in the 1880’s who later would spread the untruth, indeed myth, that Queen Victoria of England was the only sovereign who gave nothing out of her private purse to a starving Irish people.
Continue reading Great Famine – State of Thurles in Black 47 (1847)
Tipperary Library Service to host a panel discussion on the 1916 Rising.
Executive Librarian (Thurles Library), M/s Ann-Marie Brophy reports:
As 2016 draws to a close, Tipperary County Council Library Service will hold an author panel event; same entitled: – ‘1916: Remembering the Rising’.
The Source Library
Join our panel discussion to remember, reflect and re-imagine this pivotal period in Irish history. The panel will feature writers who have approached the subject in diverse and interesting ways. Chaired by Mr Fran Curry, broadcaster with Tipp FM and he will be joined in conversation by M/s Marita Conlon-McKenna, Dr Fearghal McGarry, and M/s Mary Morrissy. The event will take place on Thursday 24th November, at 7.00pm in the Source Library & Arts Centre, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Panel Discussion – Guest Members.
Marita Conlon-McKenna is a well known author of fiction for both children and adults. Her latest novel, ‘Rebel Sisters’, is set in Ireland during the 1916 Rising and is based on the real life Gifford sisters – Muriel, Grace, and Nellie – three young women at the very heart of the Rising. ‘Rebel Sisters’ has been shortlisted for the ‘Popular Fiction Book of the Year’ at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.
Dr Fearghal McGarry is based in Queen’s University, Belfast, and is the author of many books about Irish modern history, including ‘The Rising: Ireland, Easter 1916’. Much of his recent research on the Easter Rising of 1916 has focused on the role of memory and commemoration in Irish history.
Mary Morrissy is the author of ‘The Rising of Bella Casey’, which explores the life of Bella Casey, an ambitious young schoolteacher, and her relationship with her brother, the celebrated Irish playwright Sean O’Casey.
As stated, the panel will be chaired by Mr Fran Curry, well known broadcaster from Tipp FM. This free event is presented by Tipperary County Council Library Service and has received funding from the Tipperary 2016 Programme.
For further information:
Please contact M/s Ann-Marie Brophy, (Executive Librarian), Tipperary County Council Library Service at Telephone: 0761 06 6100.
Promises to be a ‘must attend’ event for lovers of Irish History.
Thurles Rotary Club are delighted to assist Mr Christopher Kavanagh, of the Sue Ryder Homes, to launch his third book entitled: “Memoirs of a Small Town Solicitor”.
The launch will take place in Thurles Library, situated in the Source Arts Centre building, Cathedral Street, Thurles, on Tuesday May 24th, beginning sharp 6.30pm; with a Judge of the Circuit Court, Mr Gerard O’Brien, doing the honours on the evening.
The book tells the story of Christopher’s most exciting and interesting life, during which time he practised as a Solicitor in Zimbabwe, for some 47 years.
Do not be misled by the title of this book; apart from his life as a Solicitor, it also encompasses his life experiences as a Mountaineer: a Commissioned Officer in the Rhodesian Armed Forces; a part time Policeman; an Actor; his activities as a Rotarian; his first marriage in Switzerland and subsequent honeymoon in Budapest and Vienna; his participation in various Legal Conferences in Venice, Vancouver, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania etc. not to mention his incarceration in a Zimbabwe prison. The publication also deals with his second marriage to Wendy and his decision to settle in Ireland.
The book is lavishly illustrated with some 30 colour photographs and contains the most amusing of anecdotes; moments of terror; his sadness’s / joy’s, and is guaranteed to appeal to everyone who enjoys a thoroughly good factual read.