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Thurles
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sunrise: 7:22 am
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Féile Returns To Thurles, Co. Tipperary After 28 Years

Are You Ready To Rock?

Féile Classical will take place in Semple Stadium, Thurles this coming weekend. Bands performing will include ‘The Stunning’, ‘Hothouse Flowers’, ‘An Emotional Fish’, ‘Something Happens’, ‘The 4 of Us’, ‘The Frank & Walters’; all with special guests and all performing alongside the Irish Chamber Orchestra. This festival will be fully seated and complete with organised food stalls and bar facilities.

From tomorrow, this two day event [Friday and Saturday, 21st and 22nd September 2018], Semple Stadium and Thurles town here in Co. Tipperary, (after 28 years), are happy to make welcome once again 10,000 expected attending guests.

All traffic travelling to this event will be directed along designated routes thus ensuring that all persons arrive at a chosen car park designated for that particular route. Each route will be colour coded and will coincide with the car parks in that area.

Access Routes:
There will be 3 primary vehicle access routes to this event, which will be colour coded as follows:
Red – Vehicles approaching from East/South.
Blue – Vehicles approaching from North/West.
Purple – Local vehicular traffic via R660.

Emergency Routes:
Emergency routes will be maintained for all emergency services. They will be designated as a Yellow route.

Signage:
All routes, both to and from the concert venue, together with car parks will be clearly signposted. The organisers in conjunction with An Garda Siochána will ensure adequate signage is put in place the day before this event; same to help ease traffic flow, thus providing full information to all patrons attending and leaving this event.

Security:
Patrons are please asked to park in supervised car parks and remember to secure and lock all vehicles, leaving no possessions or other valuables on display.

NB: Ploughing Championship Traffic:
All patrons should note that the newly extended National Ploughing Championships are also taking place in Tullamore on tomorrow Friday the 21st of September 2018 and therefore extra traffic can be expected, returning through Thurles town at the same time as concert goers are arriving. Therefore it is advisable to allow extra time for your journey to Féile Classical.

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More Children Than Ever Sign Up Free To “Summer Stars”

Ms Breda O’Shea, (Tipperary Library Headquarters, Castle Avenue, Thurles, Co. Tipperary) reports:-

“Summer Stars” has been rolled out again this year to all County Libraries nationwide. Interest in this exciting reading-based programme has escalated since the beginning of July in Tipperary Libraries, with more children than ever signing up.

It has been proven that children who visit their local Library regularly, develop stronger literacy and numeracy skills, alongside a positive attitude towards reading for pleasure and knowledge building.

As Dr Seuss so perfectly put it, “The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”.  Reading is a powerful motivational developmental tool. Parents who introduce and encourage their young children to read are giving them a huge gift for life.  Numerous studies show strong links between reading and a child’s emotional development, imagination, creativity, social skills and overall well-being.

If you have not already registered your child for “Summer Stars”, simply drop into your local Library today and collect your Summer Stars Reading Card to record and track reading progress.  It’s never too late to join up!  Registration will be accepted right up to the last week in August. Rewards and incentives will continue throughout the summer with a presentation of certificates in early September for all participants who return their cards to their local library.

Don’t forget to check out the Summer Stars website HERE to participate in the online games and activities as well as sampling a range of animated e-books.  Keep an eye on our library website HERE, for up and coming Summer Star events at your local Library.

Note: “Summer Stars” is a free programme and events are also free.

Nenagh Library for example will entertain your 5-8-year olds with Arts n’ Crafts sessions on Wednesday mornings at 11.15am and with Storytime on Thursday mornings at 11.15am throughout the Summer months.

Borrisokane Library are hosting Rico’s Magic show and Balloon Modelling on Thursday 9th August at 3.00pm.  Booking is essential.

Cashel Library has a Teddy Bears Picnic Storytime on Wednesday 25th July at 3.00pm, and again booking is also essential.

This is just a sample of what is on offer in Tipperary Libraries this summer.

Well done to everybody who has signed up to Summer Stars. Keep up the excellent work and tell all your friends; so that they get to join in the fun too.

Finally, well done also to our excellent Library Staff, who as usual are working tremendously hard to provide a top-class service to everybody in our communities.

Library Membership is free to all ages.

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Mac Donagh Pipe Band To Open Annual Killea “Field Day”

Make the village of  Killea, Templemore, Co. Tipperary you destination on Sunday, June 24th next.

Journalist Tom Ryan reports:

A rural Tipperary village will revive its traditional lifestyle of some 80 years ago, when it takes a step back in time for its 11th annual fun day; in the old -fashioned tradition, on Sunday, June 24th next. It will be officially opened by the Thomas Mac Donagh Pipe Band, from Templemore, starting at 1.30pm.

Children will be admitted free of charge on what should be a colourful day at Killea Sportsfield, latter a nice gesture, indeed, from the organising committee, who are hoping for yet another sunny day for this eagerly awaited annual event, which has gone from strength to strength; sheltering in the shade of the famous 480m high (1575 ft) Bearnan Eile (Translation from the Irish – “Devil’s Bit”) mountain.

Events Taking Place at Killea “Field Day” in Co. Tipperary.

Sean-nós Dancing will feature in this popular “Field Day”, same to be held in conjunction with the hugely popular Margaret O’Sullivan Feile. This old style dance, very popular in the Gaeltachtaí will have seen Tipperary persons; Katie Bourke, Sean Bourke and Tadhg Quinlan, very much to the fore in the GAA’s Scór na bPaisti competitions. Jim Hamill, (Field Day Secretary), stated “The dance requires intricate body movement, using head, hips and hands as well as feet.”

Face painting, Bouncy castles and music will all be “free of charge”, as will entry to a five-aside mini-soccer tournament. A competition will also be held to find the fastest sheep in County Tipperary. Killea will stage a mammoth 30 plus events, to stir nostalgia among older Tipperary people.

A local celebrity will be there to judge the “Elegant Lady”  Competition, to raise cash for local groups; including Killea National School, Killea GAA and the Tidy Villages and graveyard committees.

Other events will include set-dancing, figure-dancing, horseshoe-throwing, pillow fights, skittles, penalty taking, pony rides, stock-judging, sheaf pitching, a tug of war competition, a dog show, darts and a tractor run. Participants in the Co. Tipperary Fleadh Cheoil in Templemore are expected to feature among the many musicians who will entertain those in attendance.

Local GAA personalities, including Tipp Senior Hurling panellist, Tomas Hamill, son of Jim, will be present and perhaps others from outside the village who will be involved in hurling skills events.

There will be a five a side mini-Soccer Tournament for children from local schools in the under 10 and under-13 years age groups. [Maybe Martin O’ Neill might pop in in search of talent for the Republic of Ireland squad and find a future star like Shane Long].

There will be a canteen and shop in operation during the day, with locally baked confectionery, home-made Colcannon and sides of bacon at the barbecue provided.  A local ladies committee here are in charge, and they will have many home-cooked goodies for folks, including pancakes, which are always very popular in Killea.

All the fun of this event will get under way with a tractor run at 11.00am, which will return to Killea Sportsfield. There will be a set-dancing display from the top senior and junior dancers of Killea & district, together with a host of traditional musicians , singers and dancers from various parts of the county, many of whom have won awards, who will entertain from 1.00pm to 6.00pm. Local musicians will also grace the occasion, which should prove most entertaining.

There are a talented 200 member music class in Killea, which ‘Matt The Thresher’ himself would surely have approved, as would indeed Charles J. Kickham, author of “Sliabh na mBan”, latter the Co Tipperary ‘anthem’.

The officers of the organising committee are:-  Chairman – Michael Duff; Secretary – Jim Hamill, & Treasurer – John Fogarty.

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Tipperary Library Service, Celebrate ‘Cruinniú na nÓg’.

Ms Suzanne Brosnan, (Senior Library Assistant), Thurles Library, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Reports:-

Tipperary Library Service will celebrate Cruinniú na nÓg (Translated from the Irish language – “Meeting of the Young”), through numerous activities planned for their family fun-day here in Thurles Library, taking place on Saturday 23rd June from 11.00am4.00pm. All the child-centred events are totally free and activity based, with plenty of opportunities for children to ‘make and create’.

Thurles Library

We look forward to our magic show with Jelly Bean Julie from 11.00am in the hopes to dazzle and amaze our younger children, join in our puppet show, try balloon modelling and get your face-painted.

Our interactive drum and fun sessions area is a perfect way to bring upbeat and high energy to both children and their parents. Fergal O’Connor will be available for 3 sessions throughout the day starting, at 12.30pm.

Running alongside these events we will run Art and Crafts Work Stations throughout the day, with local artist Ms Danielle Martin of ‘Masquerade Parties’ and, weather permitting, we hope to take the artistic designs of the children onto the board-walk for a “Pavement Art” session.

For those who love to create, learn new skills and just have fun with Lego, LearnIt will host 3 workshops over the course of the day, dealing with Junior Robotics, Senior Robotics and Senior Engineering. LearnIt promotes working as a team, creative thinking,  while solving problems through this interactive and fun workshop, all by using Lego.

Please note: Bookings are now open for the Learnit Workshops, with Junior Robotics, suitable for 7-9 years taking place at 11.00am12.15pm; Senior Robotics, suitable for children aged 11 years plus, taking place at 12.30pm2.30pm; and Senior Engineering, suitable for persons aged 9 – 12 years, taking place 2.45pm4.15pm.

Summer Stars Reading Challenge 2018

Tipperary Library Service will also launch the “Summer Stars Reading Challenge 2018” at 12.00 noon. “Summer Stars” is an exciting reading-based programme which is available free of charge to all children across the country. Children are invited to register for the reading adventure and enjoy reading many books throughout the summer months. All participants will be given a Summer Stars Reading Card to record and track their own progress.

Contact: Telephone: 0761 066131 during normal working hours 9.00am to 5.00pm (Closed for Lunch 1.00pm-2.00pm) or E-Mail: thurleslibrary@tipperarycoco.ie

So, do come along and be part of Cruinniú na nÓg and enjoy a day of guaranteed fun with your family at Thurles Library, where you are guaranteed to find something for just about everyone.

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Davidia involucrata ‘Birr Gold’ – “The Handkerchief Tree”

Seamus O’Driscoll’s Garden Centre on the Mill Road, here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, is as far as you need to travel over the next week or so, should you be on the lookout for something extremely rare and truly exotic.

By rare and exotic, I refer in particular to “The Handkerchief Tree” (Davidia involucrata ‘Birr Gold’) just one of the many rare trees, shrubs and plants located at this ‘Mecca’ of garden cultivation and management; all specimens which are strikingly unusual and delightfully strange, both in visual effect and in appearance.

Pictures Left to Right: (1) French Lazarist missionary Catholic priest, zoologist, botanist and naturalist, Fr. Armand David, (1826 to 1900); (2) Davidia involucrata (The Handkerchief tree); (3) Kew Garden’s trained gardener, botanist, plant collector / hunter & explorer Ernest Henry Wilson, (“Chinese” Wilson – 1876 to 1930).

The tree Davidia involucrata, was first named after French Lazarist missionary, Roman Catholic priest (Lazarist – A Catholic organization founded in 1625, at the priory of St Lazare in Paris, by St. Vincent de Paul, latter renowned for his compassion, humility and generosity to those found impoverished) and naturalist Fr. Armand David, who first described it, and who coincidently was also the first westerner to describe the Giant Panda Bear, native to south central China.

This deciduous Chinese native ‘Handkerchief Tree’  is also referred to as the ‘Dove Tree’; which can grow up to 20 metres in height (or 66 ft.) and is best acknowledged for its striking display of floral bracts in late spring. Its small, reddish purple flower heads surrounded by a pair of large, white bracts, same up to 30cms (1 ft) in length, said to resemble dangling handkerchiefs or doves perched on its branches. Foliage here is vivid green, heart shaped leaves with serrated edges and with fine points developed at each tip. Here also you will find that the very young leaves are strongly scented.

Henry Veitch (1840 – 1924)

The obituary of Henry Veitch, published in the Gardeners’ Chronicle on 12th July 1924 stated; “Sir Harry Veitch may be regarded as the most outstanding figure in contemporary horticulture, and during the last fifty years no one has exercised so great an influence on all things pertaining to gardening”.

It took some 35 years, following Fr. Armand David’s formal description given back in 1868, before the ‘Handkerchief Tree’ eventually arrived into Britain. While preserved specimens of Davidia involucrata had been sent to Kew Gardens, it was the eminent English horticulturist and nurseryman, Sir Henry Veitch, (Latter instrumental in establishing the now famous Chelsea Flower Show), who insisted on obtaining some seeds from which to propagate the tree.  In 1899 he commissioned a bright young prize-winning botanist, Ernest Wilson, to travel to China to locate the ‘Handkerchief Tree’. This proposed trip presented something of a challenge for the 22-year-old Wilson, who had had never travelled abroad previously and did not speak one solitary word of the Chinese language.

Nevertheless, following some six months stay at Veitch’s Coombe Woods Nursery, Wilson then travelled west towards China, staying for five days at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Massachusetts. Here he studied identified and established techniques involving the shipping of seeds and plants, without causing damage, before continuing to cross the United States by train; eventually sailing from San Francisco, to reach Hong Kong in June of 1899.

With difficulty, he eventually located a specimen of ‘Handkerchief Tree’ in Yichang city, in the western Hubei province of China. It was from this same first trip that Wilson would also introduce to Britain ‘Actinidia deliciosa’, or the Chinese gooseberry, better known today to supermarket shoppers as Kiwifruit.

Irish Botanist and Sinologist, Professor Dr. Augustine Henry (1857 to 1930).

Just a 53 minute drive, travelling north some 55.7 km via the N62, we reach the town of Birr in Co. Offaly. Here in the formal garden at Birr Castle, a “Handkerchief Tree” grew, before its death in 1980. This was propagated by Hillier’s Nursery in Ampfield, Hampshire and young plants were, I believe, planted at Birr Castle.

It is believed that the cultivar that resulted in ‘Birr Gold’ may have been a seedling from one of the original introduced here into Ireland. Certainly, Professor Dr. Augustine Henry; latter an Irish Botanist and Sinologist (Sinologist meaning person with knowledge pertaining to all things Chinese including language, literature, culture and history), further prompted the sending of Ernest Wilson to China with secret instructions to locate the ‘Handkerchief Tree’.

If you are around Thurles in the coming days, why not find your way to O’Driscoll’s Garden Centre, Mill Road, to view “up close and personal”, this rare and unusual tree, and marvel, while recognising the sheer beauty, complexity and equilibrium that is openly displayed to our world, courtesy of Mother Earth.

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