February 2015
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Tipperary’s Molly Sterling A Eurovision Contestant

The eyes of all true music lovers will be focused on the ‘Late Late Show’ come Friday night next, February 27th, when five acts will take to the RTE1 studio stage to decide who will represent Ireland in this year’s 60th edition Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Vienna, Austria, following on from Conchita Wurst’s victory in the 2014.

But here in Tipperary eyes will be especially focused on an emerging and exciting talented musician; 16-year-old secondary school student, Molly Sterling from Puckane, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. Molly is a self-taught musician and despite her tender years is already an accomplished singer /songwriter and to use the words of a well known Tipperary politician, “bright, intelligent and is not bad looking either”. (Yip, no politically correctness is ever tolerated here in Co Tipperary, so Dublin media get used to it.)

Currently a student attending Saint Andrew’s College; the lyrics of Molly’s competing song “Playing With Numbers”, which she co-wrote with Greg French, discusses the risks people take every day in their respective loves, lives and other experiences and will be part of her upcoming new album which is well in the making.

With a pure belief in her lyrics, Molly admits that she reaches real true happiness only when channeling her feelings and emotions through her voice and those black and white ivory keys; latter an essential part of her dusty piano, cornered here in her Tipperary home.

Molly is likely to face some tough opposition via fellow contestants Nikki Kavanagh, Kat Mohan, Alex Saint and Erika Selin, but the lyrics of her song convey meaning beyond her years, her music is addictive, haunting and emotional and with a voice reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan, win or lose on Friday next, Molly’s future in the Irish and indeed the world’s music industry is most certainly guaranteed.

Dance Classes Begin In Thurles.

DANCE-CLASSES-2015A six week’s course in social dancing will commence in The Premier Ballroom, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on Tuesday 27th of January 2015 at 8.20pm sharp; ending at 10.00pm.

These classes are suitable for anyone over the age of 18 years, who may wish to learn the very basic steps of social dancing, (i.e. waltz, foxtrot, novelty dances and quickstep.).

The classes are ideally suited to the requirements of newly engaged couples, bridesmaids and grooms-men etc, who may be somewhat fearful of participating in that first ‘Wedding Dance,’ on some eagerly awaited sunny Saturday afternoon scheduled for the coming year, or indeed it may be for some other future public occasion or just for basic good old enjoyment.

(Click on Image left for greater magnification of poster.)

Of course it goes without saying that dancing, apart from the obviously enjoyment and the making of new friends; socially it is one of the best forms of physical exercise.

The total cost inclusive, of this enjoyable six weeks course is an inclusive €20, which covers, in full, all costs associated with this overall course.

This event is, as usual, being organised and subsidised by the very generous and professionalThurles Club for Dancing,’ who have been successfully now operating these classes for the last 20 year.

Want further information? Why not contact Tom Gleeson on Telephone 087-9732837.

Death Of Actor Rod Taylor


Late Actor Rod Taylor who visited Thurles in 1978.

It is with a great personal sadness I learned of the death, last Wednesday (7th January 2014), of Australian born actor Mr Rodney Sturt “Rod” Taylor.  Mr Taylor reportedly died aged 84, at his home in Los Angeles, surrounded by loved ones, including his wife Carol Kikumura and his daughter Felicia.

Mr Taylor had appeared in over 50 films and TV series throughout his long career, but was most famous for his role as Mitch Brenner, the love interest of Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock’s famous film ‘The Birds’.

His first leading role in a feature film was in the 1960’s adaptation of H. G. Well’s novel ‘The Time Machine’ and much later he went on to star as Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglorious Basterds’, for which he won a ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ in 2010.  In between he starred alongside Jane Fonda in ‘Sunday in New York,’ John Wayne in ‘The Train Robbers’ and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in ‘The V.I.P.s’. He was also the voice of ‘Pongo’ in Walt Disney’s animated ‘101 Dalmations’, as well as appearing on TV dramas such ‘The Oregan Trail’, ‘Falcon Crest’, ‘Murder, She Wrote’ and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’.

Rod Taylor Visits Thurles

I first met Mr Taylor when I was cast as his “Stand-In” for the making of the Irish based film Cry of the Innocent, whose cast also included Ms Joanna Pettet, Nigel Davenport, the late great Cyril Cusack, Walter Gotell, Alexander Knox and Dublin born Tony, Olivier and Jacob’s awards winner Jim Norton, latter who played the roles of ‘Bishop Brennan’ in the sitcom ‘Father Ted,’ and earlier as Chris Cawsey in ‘Straw Dogs’ with Dustin Hoffman, together with ‘Herr Lizst’ in the 2008 popular holocaust film ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’.

Filmed here in Ireland in counties Wicklow, Kildare, Dublin and Kerry, ‘Cry of the Innocent,’ (Originally entitled ‘An Eye for an Eye’) was written by Frederick Forsyth (Screenplay by Sidney Michaels) and was directed by the late Irish born Michael O’Herlihy, who also directed ‘Star Trek’ (1965), ‘Hawaii Five-O’ (1968), ‘M*A*S*H’ (1972) and ‘The A-Team’ (1983).  Incidentally, Michael O’Herlihy once confirmed to me that his wife was a member of the Ryan family, which same family once were the owners of the Brewery Stores here in Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

In this film Rod Taylor played the character of an American insurance executive who finds himself on a grim mission to track down those responsible for the killing of his wife and two children, following a private plane which crashed and exploded into his holiday home. Also on board this plane was a scientist who was the initial target of the criminals who had engineered this accidental tragedy. The “maguffin” in this script is a secret formula worth untold millions, and aiding Mr Taylor (Playing the character of Steve Donegin) in bringing the murderers to eventual justice, is the investigative journalist Joanna Pettet, (Playing the character of Candia Leighton) who bears a close resemblance to Taylor’s ex-wife Cynthia Donegin; and no wonder, since Joanna Pettet plays both roles in the film. Produced by NBC Film, Tara Films & Tara Productions, this made-for-TV espionage saga premièred on June 19th, 1980.

Prior to the film’s launch Rod Taylor visited Thurles, where we met-up in Hayes Hotel. Mr Taylor’s visit to Thurles had been arranged by the now retired former Tipperary Fianna Fáil Senator Mr Des Hanafin. At this time Senator Hanafin was extremely conscious of the fact that Ireland badly needed to promote its national tourism industry and prospective visitors from abroad needed to be made more aware of Ireland’s picturesque natural landscapes in an era then devoid of today’s easy internet video access.  He, then as chairperson of  the Tara Production Team, latter which included RTE’s Morgan O’Sullivan, director Michael O’Herlihy and writer Frederick Forsyth, had invited Mr Taylor to visit Thurles; not just to promote Ireland through this new film, but also to attract attention in his support for a local Mentally Handicapped charity fund-raiser, to which the Senator was then offering a much needed supporting shoulder.

On arrival to Thurles we met privately in the Commercial Room of Hayes Hotel. It was here I was to discover that for several days Mr Taylor had been suffering from a severe and persistent toothache. Despite it being Sunday, I made a quick phone call to the home of then Thurles Dentist, the late Mr Noel Treacy. Some minutes later Mr Treacy arrived and twenty minutes later Mr Taylor’s tooth problem was solved with Mr Treacy refusing to accept any payment for his work. Mr Taylor later confirmed to me that he had spent several thousand dollars with an American dentist, prior to his trip to Ireland. He was later to leave Thurles admitting he was embarrassed that Noel had refused point blank to accept any payment for what the actor regarded as ‘magnificent dental surgery.

In both professional and social settings, Mr Taylor was always a most charming and humorous individual, displaying a truly rare and amazing acting ability.

Mr Taylor is survived by his wife Carol Kikumura and his daughter Felicia Taylor, latter a former CNN correspondent and only child of the actor.

From the many people of Thurles who chatted with him, in I believe 1978, go sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

UPC Services To Increase By Twice The Charge Of Irish Water

Folks it is not even April 1st; the day people are most wont to play practical jokes on each other, but UPC appear to have brought that date slightly forward.

Most of Thurles residents returned home weary from their labours today to find the following email waiting in their Inboxes. (Actual Account Number & Name hereunder withheld.)

The price of your UPC Service is going up so we can keep giving you the best.
Account Number: XXXX
Dear Mr Smith,
We’re writing to inform you that the price of your UPC service will go up by €6.00 a month from 1st February 2015 and will be reflected in your next bill. While a price rise is never welcome, it means that we can bring you even more of the best value and most exciting entertainment in 2015.
Some of our Home Phone call rates will increase from 3 March 2015. You can find more details on these changes in the link below.
To find out more about these changes visit our website at
We really hope you want to continue enjoying all the great value entertainment you get from us. But if you wish you can downgrade or cancel your service within 30 days of receipt of this notice without any penalty or cancellation fee.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued custom and for selecting UPC.

Kind regards
Stephen Ruschitzko
Customer Care Director

Now having read this email you will be rushing to return to the link, “To find out more about these changes.” But prepare yourself; the link is returned as ‘Timed Out’ in many areas of Thurles; at least it was as I go to print, but refresh a couple of times and you may be lucky. No doubt this €6.00 increase will assist in their efforts to “bring you even more of the best value.”

Of course you could get totally rid of their TV Service for a once off initial fee of between €99.00 (On-line) or €120.00 (Purchased Locally) by purchasing an Ariva 150 Combo Box which combines Irish Terrestrial Channels and Satellite Channels, leaving you with one less future bill to pay.

In the meanwhile do give UPC a call to their Loyalty Department on Tel: 061 272190 and thank them for increasing your monthly charges, keeping in mind that this company now charges €12.50 if you pay your account later than 10 days after an invoice has been issued.  Thank them also for leaving you without Internet access in some areas of Thurles for 6.5 days in December 2014 and after their shoddy repairs, only partial access for a further 3 days, during the same period. Don’t forget to say ‘thanks you’ also for charging €37.00 per month to their long term customers, for Sky Sports; while offering all new customers the same channel for just €1.00.

Remember this new €6.00 monthly increase or €72.00 per year (Almost the cost of an Ariva 150 Combo Box) is not to glean extra profit for the company; it is because they want to “keep giving you the best.”

No wonder Alex White TD is ‘holding off ‘ on the controversial €160.00 broadcasting charges, which were originally to be introduced this month on all eligible households, regardless of whether they owned a TV.

In the meanwhile ask your employer for an immediate increase in salary and explain why; your employer will fully understand your request.

Thurles Born Actor Peter O’Meara Stars In ‘Charlie’

 First RTÉ drama ever commissioned about a political figure includes portrayal by Thurles born actor.


Thurles born Peter O’Meara as Brian Lenihan in ‘Charlie’.

Episode one (Duration: 1hr – 12mins) of the feature-length drama ‘Charlie’; exploring the real events and the emergence of modern Ireland through the rise and fall of Charles J. Haughey, was broadcast last night (Sunday, January 4th) at 9.30pm for the first time.  It should be noted that this RTÉ One slot was previously occupied by ‘Love/Hate’ and will continue to air this month for the next two Sunday nights.

The first Episode of ‘Charlie’ seen last night, began with the Fianna Fáil leadership heave of 1979 in which Mr Charles J. Haughey (September 1925 –  June 2006), ousted the then sitting Taoiseach Mr Jack Lynch (August 1917 –  October 1999) and ended with the formers 1981 narrow election defeat.

This new historical drama stars Aidan Gillen, formally drug trafficker ‘John Boy Power’ in the aforementioned ‘Love/Hate’ drama, as Charlie J Haughey, while Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, formally ‘Nidge‘ in ‘Love/Hate’, plays Mr Haughey’s press secretary P.J. Mara in ‘Charlie’.

However from a Thurles viewing perspective all eyes were on the outstanding performance, once again, by Tipperary and Thurles native, actor Peter O’Meara, who played the part of a young ‘Brian Lenihan TD’ in ‘Charlie’, having been formally cast as ‘Andrew’, latter the dentist who fleeced his clients to fund his love of champagne and low-rent prostitutes, also in the popular ‘Love/Hate’ series.

The Thurles, Co Tipperary 5ft 9in award-winning Irish actor, producer and television host (born Peter Emmanuel O’Meara on October 27th, 1969) is no stranger to stage and screen. Hailed for his work on the London stage he came to the screen in the ground-breaking HBO series ‘Band of Brothers’ playing 1st Lt. Norman Dike. He acquired an impressive following on the US TV series ‘Peacemakers’ as detective Larimer Finch latter bringing the science of the future to the ‘Old West,’ opposite Tom Berenger playing Marshall Jared Stone, and received the Western Heritage ‘Bronze Wrangler’ award.

Peter O’Meara later went on to star on season 4 of ‘Alias’ as the International arms dealer Martin Bishop opposite Jennifer Garner and guest starred on ‘CSI: NY’ with Gary Sinise, and in ‘Without A Trace’ with Anthony La Paglia and of course ‘The Forgotten’ with Christian Slater.  He recently returned to the Sky/Cinemax action series ‘Strike Back’ as Major Brian Donoghue.

Peter has appeared in the independent feature films; ‘Haven’ with Orlando Bloom, ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ with Milla Jovovich and the acclaimed British World War I drama ‘My Boy Jack’ with Daniel Radcliffe and Carey Mulligan.

In relation to comedy roles Peter is friend to Justin Long in the New Line Cinema hit romantic comedy ‘He’s Just Not That into You’ playing Bill opposite Ginnifer Goodwin. He has also taken minor roles in the comedy‘The Grand’ with Ray Romano and the movie ‘Leap Year’ opposite Amy Adams and John Lithgow.

Peter, who is married to comedy and drama writer Kayla Alpert, are both parents to twin 7-year-old boys, Myles and Clive and often take low profile trips home here to Thurles to visit his parents, now living in active retirement.

For those of you who may have missed episode one of this historical drama, his excellent and most believable portrayal of the late Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Brian Lenihan TD (November 1930 – November 1995), can be viewed by clicking HERE, anytime over the next 14 day.

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