Author Liam Ó Donnchú’s long-awaited biography of ‘Tom Semple and The Thurles Blues’ will, I am happy to relate, be launched at the Thurles Sarsfields Centre, (beside Semple Stadium, Thurles), on Saturday June 13th at 8:00 p.m.
Tom Semple, a GAA icon and whose name is immortalised in the name “Semple Stadium” here in Thurles, is synonymous worldwide with the game of hurling, having led the legendary ‘Thurles Blues’ to All-Ireland glory in 1906 and 1908.
The Book’s Contents:
This well researched publication will discuss in great detail these earlier heroes of the ‘camán’ (Irish: Hurl), together with Tom Semple’s training regime and tactics. Readers can follow ‘The Blues’ on their amazing tour in 1910 to Brussels in Belgium and historic Fontenoy in France. They can also learn the fascinating story of the early years of the Thurles Sports field; now Semple Stadium, and how same developed into today’s ‘Field of Legends’. They can observe the role played by Tomas Semple and others in the local War of Independence and which is also detailed in this hardback publication; containing more than 400 truly well researched and fascinating pages.
The book is beautifully illustrated throughout and offers new insights, in many cases erased through time, into the life and times of a yesteryear.
Note: All are welcome to attend this book-launch and books costing €30 will be available from bookshops in Tipperary or signed copies can be ordered by post (€35) from the author: Liam Ó Donnchú, Lár na Páirce, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
The burial place of Tom Semple can be located in the grounds (north side) of St Mary’s Churchyard, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, close to St Mary’s Famine Museum.
Pardoned – Mr Harry Gleeson
The recently pardoned Mr Harry Gleeson, latter wrongfully executed in Mountjoy Jail, Dublin in April 1941 for the murder of unmarried mother, Miss Mary (Foxy Moll) McCarthy, latter found shot dead in New Inn, Tipperary on November 21st 1940, now raises further controversy with the publication of a new book entitled “The Framing Of Harry Gleeson”.
The new publication, by author Kieran Fagan, has caused some disquiet here in Co. Tipperary, as its contents suggest possible names for the fathers of Miss McCarthy illegitimate children.
Unmarried mother Miss McCarthy had six children in total, all born to possibly five different married men and it is the naming of these possible fathers, all now long deceased, that appears to have re-opened old wounds in the village of New Inn, which heretofore believed time had erased its guilty secret.
Children born from these same men’s marriages are understood to be furious over new revelations that their fathers possibly had other children outside of marriage. This in turn has led to some demands to view this publication prior to its recent release on the grounds that it contains names of men, one of whom author Kieran Fagan believes was possibly responsible for Miss McCarthy murder.
The real culprits appear to be local ex-IRA men and this serious travesty of justice appears to have suited the local parish priest, Gardaí and indeed other apparently respectable family members whose sons, brothers and husbands may have fathered Moll’s seven children, one of whom was still in her womb at the time of her death.
Did Mary McCarthy’s daughter Mary, approaching her own death some fifty years later in a Dublin hospital, inform a nurse stating “I saw my own mother shot on the kitchen floor and an innocent man died ?” This publication will attempt to answer such questions, while also naming some of those involved in Harry Gleeson’s framing and details of the possible cover-up of the truth.
Harry Gleeson, who is to be awarded the first posthumous pardon in the history of the Irish State, was acknowledged as being innocent by the Irish Government just last month, following a full review of the case history.
Mr. Charles Lysaght, the biographer of Brendan Bracken, is giving a lecture on Bracken to the Borrisoleigh Historical Society at the Community Centre, Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary at 8pm on Thursday, March 12th 2015.
Brendan Bracken, son of J.K. Bracken of Templemore, one of the founders of the GAA, strayed from his background so far as to became a Tory Member of the House of Commons, Minister of Information in Winston Churchill’s wartime Government and finished up as Viscount Bracken, Chairman of the Financial Times Group of newspapers.
His mother, Hannah Ryan, was born in Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary. Widowed in 1904, when her son Brendan was only three, she moved her family of four children and two step-children, to Dublin.
In 1916, aged just 14, he ran away from a boarding school in Co. Limerick. As a result his mother exiled him for the remainder of his teenage years, to Australia.
On his return Brendan settled in England passing himself off as an Australian and made a mystery of his background. The only connection he maintained with Ireland was with his mother, who had treated him so harshly, but to whom he remained unequivocally devoted.
When she died in 1928, aged 54, he travelled to attend her funeral in Borrisoleigh and was seen weeping beside her grave in Glankeen cemetery. This was to be his last known visit to Ireland.
Brendan died from throat cancer in 1958, aged 57 and not reconciled to his Roman Catholic Church to which his mother had reared him. He left instructions that no funeral or memorial service was to be held and that his ashes should be scattered on Romney Marsh in Kent. He wished to leave, as he had arrived……..without trace.
Charles Lysaght, who has researched Hannah’s family background, including letters her famous son wrote to her, makes the case that she may be the key to a whole strange story.
A cold case review sanctioned by former Justice Minister Alan Shatter in September 2013 on a man hanged for murder almost 74 years ago, is to receive a pardon.
Mr Harry Gleeson was executed for the murder of Miss Mary (Foxy Moll) McCarthy, latter who was found shot dead in Tipperary on November 21st 1940, by the then British hangman Albert Pierrepoint (1905 – 1992) in Mountjoy jail in April 1941. Pierrepoint executed at least 433 men and 17 women during his time as a hangman.
According to a fictional novel, The Dead Eight by Carlo Gebler, Moll McCarthy’s story truly begins with her mother, who was reportedly a woman of ‘ill repute,’ and who sold sex to improve her impoverished lifestyle during a sojourn in Dublin city. Moll, her daughter, lived in a children’s home here in Thurles Co Tipperary for the first sixteen years of life and was never acquainted with her actual father. Carlo Gebler paints Moll, like her mother, as somewhat of a promiscuous woman, even by the then standards of her time, having had numerous relationships with local men, both married and unmarried and also used these encounters to gain basic economic support, e.g. Unexplained Loads of Turf, Bags of Spuds, Groceries paid for at local shop etc..
Minister for Justice Mrs Frances Fitzgerald is due to bring a memo to Cabinet in the coming weeks recommending that Irish President Michael D Higgins now pardon Mr Gleeson.
Senior Counsel Shane Murphy has since reviewed the case on behalf of the Department of Justice; based on new submitted and compelling evidence from the Irish Innocence Project, based at Griffith College in Dublin. New evidence is understood to relate to withheld information by the prosecution which shows a discrepancy in their case in relation to a local gun and ammunition register. Evidence submitted is also understood to show that the then police involved may have encouraged witnesses to submit less than true statements relating to these events.
Mr Harry Gleeson, a neighbour of Ms Mary McCarthy, latter a single mother of seven, had first reported the discovery of her body and some 5 months later was hanged for her murder.
Previously this story was documented by the late broadcaster and journalist Cathal O’Shannon (1928 – 2011) in a TV series entitled “Thou Shalt Not Kill, ” back in 1995. Perhaps it is time to dig into the archives and refresh our memories.
Gabrielle Ní Mheachair – Author,
Over a twenty-two year period, Gabrielle Ní Mheachair has researched and recently published a detailed history of the Maher/Meagher/ O’Meachair Clan, thus providing for the very first time a well researched history of the Clan. Same publication now provides a valuable asset to any library and more importantly a convenient research tool for any person wishing to research the Maher Clan.
“Ó Meachair -The Story of a Clan” is the most thorough history of the Maher/Meagher Clan possibly ever written. Appreciate the role your Maher/Meagher ancestors played in all the major events of Irish history from the coming of the Celts to National Independence in 1922.
This book is not only a history of the Maher/Meagher Clan but also a simple history of Ireland written for an audience versed or unversed in Irish History.
Gabrielle Ní Mheachair – The Author
Author Gabrielle Ní Mheachair spent the first twenty years of her life residing on a rural farm just outside Templemore, Co. Tipperary, here in Ireland. After four years of teaching in Co. Donegal, she travelled to the United States on an adventure that has kept her resident there ever since.
A renowned historian, folklorist and genealogist, Gabrielle is also the author of several children’s books in the Irish language, together with three genealogical works and is a former columnist for the Mid West Irish Focus, Jefferson City, Missouri; latter which focuses primarily on Irish-Americans in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Arkansas and Oklahoma. She lectures and writes for various genealogical organizations and historical journals throughout the United States and currently resides with her husband and three children in Saint Louis, Missouri. The Tipp FM, Arts and Entertainment Award, was awarded to Gabrielle in 2009, for her valuable contribution to the arts through her various writings.
Irish authors, like Gabrielle, spent years of their lives researching history at tremendous personal expense. They invest thousands of Euros into the travel, research, and self-publication of their works for the benefit of future generations, knowing they can never ever recoup their expenditure. As a result, they rely on the help of our historical societies to promote their work, not for profit, but for educational value and for posterity.
This book is a ‘must have,’ for anyone who bears the Maher/Meagher name.