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Thurles Hospital Of The Assumption Graveyard Remembered 2010

May I first ask our readers to again refresh your memory in relation to the case of Mary Ellen Morris, Thurles, Co. Tipperary; the story of which can be located HERE.

Back in June 8th 2020 last, we asked if any of our readers could shed further light on those named in that story or indeed were any of you in anyway possibly related to either of these families named?

We still would love to hear from you, as indeed would family relatives living currently today, and who are actively tracing their Irish roots.

Back 10 years ago, in early September, the somewhat forgotten burial ground, which can be found to the rear of the Community Hospital of the Assumption, (once the Thurles Workhouse); had sad memories rekindled with the erection of a memorial headstone placed in this cemetery.

I recently unearthed my photographs of that same event, having been contacted by Morris family relatives, which I have now refreshed as a slide show to possibly aid further recollection. Alas, some of the congregation which can be seen back then have since passed on, but thankfully many others are still with us.

This monument was kindly erected by the local Sisters of Mercy Order of Nuns at a special Mass and blessing ten years ago in September 2010.

Sr. Mary Barry back then stated: “On behalf of the Sisters of Mercy, and the Staff of the Community Hospital of the Assumption, I extend a warm welcome to you all. Today, as we gather in the graveyard, we remember and pray for all those who are laid to rest here, down through the years. We trust that this headstone will now become a focal point where we can visit, pray and remember.”

The original old Thurles Union Workhouse, which many Thurles residents will well remember, had been originally built in 1840 under plans designed by British Architect, George Wilkinson. The building, designed to accommodate 700 paupers, like all such workhouses then erected, had the appearance of being a grim institution, with conditions inside and out, designed to discourage all but the destitute from attempting to seek refuge within. Nevertheless, it did made some contribution down through the years, especially to the saving of lives from starvation during that period of Irish history known as the Great Famine years, (1845-1849).

Over 15,000 persons were assisted with Indian meal (Ground Maize) in just one week, in 1848 and as many as 3,732 were housed here and in other associated rented buildings in the area back in 1850.

To give us some understanding as to the hardship then being experienced, we must look at primary sources still available. In the minutes of the Thurles and Rahealty Famine Food Committee book, 1846-1847; we can read a report dated 11th February 1847, sent to the British Association for the Relief of Extreme Distress in Ireland and Scotland, shown here as follows:

“Of the population of the united parishes of Thurles and Rahealty 8,000 are on the relief list. The majority obtain very inadequate relief by employment on Public Works. There are about 300 destitute families having no person to work, to whom gratuitous relief must be given; there are other families varying from 10 to 12 having only one member able to work, whose wages 10 pence a day, would not be adequate to the support of two persons at the present famine prices of food. The poor house (Hospital of The Assumption) built to accommodate 700 has now stowed within 940 and there cannot be any more admissions and groups, who cannot be admitted, are to be seen shivering in the cold and wet, anxiously expecting the fragments of cold stirabout, that remains after the inmate pauper meal. We have lived to see the poor sitting at the pauper’s gate, among the crumbs that fall from the paupers table. We have not had any deaths from actual starvation but numerous deaths have occurred from severe and long continual privation. The weekly average of deaths has increased fivefold.”

It was not until November 5th 1877, however, that four nuns from the Sisters of Mercy, set out from Doon, Co Limerick for Thurles town Co. Tipperary, to begin what was to become a long and beneficial association with this once workhouse. They came not to take charge, but to work under the Master and Matron of the Workhouse, Mr and Mrs Pat Russell until 1922, when the Order’s Sister Ita became the first nun to be appointed Matron. These newly arrived Doon Nuns were soon to raise hygiene standards by cleanliness through the scrubbing of floors etc. and bringing about other major change for good through leadership by example and through their rolls as both workers and carers.

Under the management of Sister Ita, the name of the workhouse was changed to “The County Home” and came under the jurisdiction of Tipperary Co. Council. In 1954 the name was again changed, this time to the ‘Hospital of the Assumption‘. Flower beds were introduced to enhance its still grim, grey looking facade, by Sister Baptist and her ‘men’, as she referred to them, latter her resident patients. Occupational Therapy for patients was also undertaken by Sister Bonaventure.

In 1960 the Health board under Mr P.J. Flynn, took on the responsible for the removal of the very high walls, which were in being, simply to keep inmates within the grounds. These were then replaced with railings possibly showing the true building facade to many outsiders for the first time.

Mr Larry Moloney Clerical officer, latter who died in 1970, was remembered at this event, 10 years ago, as being of tremendous help to the Mercy order. Mrs Betty Moore would be the first secular matron to be later appointed.

In February 2006 the old hospital building was replaced with the new present state of the art Community Hospital, which contains accommodation space for up to 72 patient beds.

The celebration Mass for the memorial ceremony 10 years ago was conducted by celebrant Rev. Fr. Jimmy Donnelly, ably assisted by Rev. Fr. Gerard Hennessey, then both in charge of Bohernanave Parish Church.

Music and song for the event was originally supplied by the wonderful Thurles Tenor, Mr Michael Molumby; Mrs Antonette Ruth; with the magical fingers of Mrs Mary Rose McNally on keyboard and violin.
Alas, no sound recording was taken on that day. However, thanks to the courtesy and generosity of The Cullinane Gospel Band, (Telephone 087 6729242), we have been permitted to use sound from a recent charity CD produced by them.


Food Safety Authority of Ireland Recall Iceland Chicken Products

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland have informed Iceland to recall batches of its Chip Shop Curry 4 Chicken Breast Toppers and its Southern Fried Chicken Popsters, due to the presence of Salmonella.

Point-of-sale recall notices will now be displayed in stores which were supplying the implicated batches; which name the country of origin as Poland.

These particular products refer to Iceland Chip Shop Curry 4 Chicken Breast Toppers; pack size: 400g; with best before dates: 27/02/2021, 17/03/2021 and 08/04/2021.


Iceland Southern Fried Chicken Popsters; pack size: 220g; best before date: 04/04/2021.

To remind our readers; Salmonella infection is a common bacterial disease that affects a consumer’s intestinal tract. The bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines and is spread through faeces / excrement (Waste matter discharged from the bowels).


Covid-19 Update: Tue. 11th Aug. 2020 – 1 New Death – 35 New Cases

“Keep fighting hard against Covid-19 virus”

This evening, the Department of Health has confirmed that there have been 1 new death caused by this pandemic, leaving the overall death toll here in the Republic of Ireland remaining at 1,773.

No new cases have been confirmed in Tipperary for the second day.

However, there are 35 new additional cases reported to the Department of Health, leaving the current total number of confirmed cases, since conception in the Irish Republic at 26,801.

Five of the new cases have been identified as community transmission while 24 are associated with close contacts with other confirmed cases.

Weekly testing for Covid-19 will be now be rolled out at all meat plants and direct provision centres across the country.

Speaking after this morning’s Cabinet sub-committee meeting, Taoiseach Mr Micheál Martin stated: “There will be a systemic programme of testing at all meat plants across the country; along with direct provision accomodation centres. This had been proved particularly successful with nursing homes and will also now continue with nursing homes on a regular basis also”.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) have stated that any ‘WHO stamp of approval’ on a Covid-19 vaccine would require a rigorous safety data review, after Russia announced that it had approved a vaccine for immediate use.

Russia’s ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine has been developed, we are told, by the Gamaleya research institute, in co-ordination with the country’s defence ministry, financed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund.


Tipperary TD Cahill Out Of Touch On Covid-19 Issues

Jackie Cahill TD

The Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 is meeting via video link today to discuss the recent hike in covid-19 new cases, with the spread of the virus in meat plants expected to be high on their agenda.

The acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn will brief the Government with an update on the progression of Covid-19 within Ireland, in light of lock-down measures introduced over the weekend, relating to counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly, where 4 meat factories have now been requested to close their processing plants.

The Cabinet sub-committee meeting comes about on a morning when one ‘out of touch’ Tipperary Fianna Fáil member of Dáil Éireann, Mr Jackie Cahill TD goes on local radio to voice his criticism on the delay in opening a meat plant in Banaher, Co. Offaly, latter a county already currently forced into lock-down.

His out of touch and frowned on remarks by his own party, also comes about as the European Centre for Disease Control suggests that Ireland be urged to consider reinforcing lock-down restrictions; together with a number of other European countries, following a major resurgence in our coronavirus cases.

The disease watchdog says the levels of risk in Ireland will rise to ‘very high’, if restrictions aren’t brought in yet again.


Sea Eagles Released At Lough Derg, North Tipp.

White Tailed Sea Eagle

White-tailed sea eagles, 4 in number, were released back into the wild at Lough Derg Co. Tipperary, on Sunday last, by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The release is part of a project to increase the sea eagle breeding population here the Irish republic.

A further two birds are expected to be released in the same area later this month, while four will be released further down close to the Shannon estuary.

The young eagles, collected from nests in the wild, were flown in from Norway last June with 6 held in purpose-built flight cages at Lough Derg.

White-tailed Sea Eagles are our largest birds of prey and one of the most impressive birds to observe in action in the wild. This release is seen as critical in helping support the existing population.

The first breeding pair took place on Lough Derg on the Co Clare side in 2012. Since then some thirty-one chicks have been fledged from a small breeding population of possibly 10 pairs, since their initial introduction; with one female bred at a nest on Lough Derg, now herself having produced chicks of her own, thus marking the birth of the first Irish-bred, white-tailed sea eagle.

This release of the birds comes under the Irish White-Tailed Sea Eagle Reintroduction Programme, which is a long-term initiative to re-establish once again the species here in the Republic of Ireland.