For many years here in Thurles, the youth musical theatre group, ‘Phoenix Productions’ have been bringing, annually to the stage, performances par excellence.
As the years have progressed, many of these young performers have continued in their great love of theatre and are regularly invited to join other musical groups and societies nationally, because of their acknowledged talents.
To ensure and encourage that such talent is continued on into the future, Phoenix Productions are holding a fund raising coffee morning in the Source Library on tomorrow(Saturday November 19th), from 10.00am – 1.00pm.
So do take a well deserved break from your busy shopping and pop into Thurles Library for a relaxing cup of coffee, a piece of delicious home-made cake and of course ‘that inevitable good humoured banter’. All support will be greatly appreciated.
Tipperary Hill, Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York.
Tipp Mid West Radio’s Tom Hurley Reports:
For centuries the Irish have emigrated all over the world and named many of the places where they settled after towns and districts remembered from back home. Sizeable contingents of men and women and their families from Irish counties would often flock to a particular area with the result that generations later, many of their descendants would claim to feel a deep connection and identification with their once ancestral homeland, even though most may never have visited there themselves.
It’s a fascinating and often under researched topic, but one which is to be the subject of a forthcoming two-part documentary due to be aired shortly on Tipp Mid West Radio, when the connections between one such place in America and the Premier County (Co. Tipperary) are, possibly for the first time, openly investigated.
Tipperary Hill, Syracuse, New York
Tipperary Hill is a district in the city of Syracuse, in Onondaga County in the State of New York. It’s located roughly 300 miles inland from both New York City and Boston. Simply put, Tipperary Hill is purported to have got its name because of the sheer amount of immigrants who had settled there by the year 1860, which came not just from Ireland, but from our own county of Tipperary.
Not surprisingly the majority of these immigrants arrived during the Famine, but the programme can now also reveal that numbers also made this journey from Co. Tipperary earlier; during the Revolutionary War of the late 1700’s, and from 1817 onwards many were attracted to find work on the construction of the 363 miles (584 km) long Erie Canal, begun in 1817 and opened on October 26th, 1825.
Today, Tipperary Hill is a thriving community with many of its residents extremely conscious and proud of their districts links to those who arrived from the Premier County. A large number of their descendants have also traced their ancestry back to particular towns and areas, with Cashel, Thurles, Upperchurch and Ballyporeen amongst the locations pinpointed by interviewees to the programme.
In addition to investigating with American contributors what drew these early settlers from Co. Tipperary to the Syracuse area and how they fared when they got there, historians Des Marnane from Tipperary Town and Seamus King in Cashel offer an insight into the kind of place Co. Tipperary was to live, during the first half of the 19th century when the bulk of the emigration was taking place. Des Marnane, well-known for his extensive research into the Famine, also provides some heart wrenching eviction and emigration figures pertinent to the county for the period.
The documentary also sheds light on the discrimination faced by the early Irish in the city of Syracuse and examines the origins of the evil leprechauns and the famous ‘Upside Down Traffic Light’, positioned at the intersection of Milton Avenue and Tompkins Street at Tipperary Hill, which many in turn link to the ancient practice of ‘stone throwing’, associated with the Premier County.
Part one of this revealing documentary entitled ‘Conquering Tipperary Hill’ by Tom Hurley, is due to be aired on Tipp Mid West Radio on Monday morning next, November 7th at 11.30am. Part two of the programme will be broadcast at the same time on the following week. Both radio broadcasts can be heard live, outside the Co. Tipperary area, by going online on www.tippmidwestradio.com.
For lovers of Ireland, Co. Tipperary and Irish history, both radio documentaries make for essential listening.
Former much loved ‘Coronation Street’ actress Jean Alexander (Hilda Ogden); once voted Britain’s greatest soap star, has died three days after her 90th birthday.
Ms Alexander died yesterday, having been re-admitted to hospital on her birthday, after feeling unwell. Stars of Coronation Street have paid tribute to the actress, describing her as a “legend”.
Born in Liverpool; Ms Alexander won the hearts of TV viewers here in Ireland as the sharp-tongued cleaning lady. Rarely viewed without a set of tightly-wound plastic hair curlers hidden under a headscarf; saw vast numbers of her fans tuned in daily to watch her interaction to get her ineffectual spouse, Stan Ogden [Played by Bernard Youens (born Bernard Arthur Popley)], out of the pub and into work.
An estimated 30 million viewers watched her farewell episode, when she made her decision to leave Weatherfield in 1987.
Following her exit from ‘Coronation Street’ she became a mainstay of BBC sitcom ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’; playing the part of a somewhat eccentric bric-a-brac shop proprietor known as ‘Auntie Wainwright’.
In 2005 Ms Alexander was voted ‘the greatest soap opera star of all time’. Offers to memorialise her in a statue, Ms Alexander was reported as stating, “I just couldn’t see myself stood on a pedestal cast in bronze and knowing my luck, the Southport seagulls would find me and do their worst, as they have done before – usually when I have just washed my hair.”
It is understood that Ms Alexander suffered a stroke in 2014 and had been living in a nursing home prior to her death.
Pictured L – R: Miss Josephine O’Dwyer, Miss Sinead Guiney (International Miss Macra 2016) and Miss Aileen Sheehan, all judged winners at the 45th International Miss Macra 2016 Festival’s Gala Banquet, held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, last night.
Primary School Teacher Miss Sinead Guiney, (representing Avondhu Macra Club, Co. Cork), was crowned International Miss Macra 2016, at the close of the 45th International Miss Macra Festival, held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, last night.
Miss Josephine O’Dwyer (representing South Co. Tipperary), achieved second place, while Miss Aileen Sheehan (representing Muskerry Macra Club, Co. Cork) achieved third place.
The names of the winners were publicly announced following a Banquet in the Four Star Anner Hotel, Dublin Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary last night; in front of a record crowd of some 250 guests; marking the conclusion of this year’s 3 day successful farming festival. Musical entertainment at the Sunday night Gala Banquet was provided by Tipperary popular band ‘Silver Dollar’.
Following the judges final decision last night, Miss Guiney was presented with a specially designed Sterling Silver Tiara, embellished with Cubic Zirconia, designed and hand crafted by Michael Carew Jewellers, West Gate, Thurles. Miss Willis also was presented with the Perpetual Silver International Miss Macra Trophy, (Fitzgibbon Perpetual Cup), together with a beautiful piece of Galway Crystal and a bouquet of flowers by Festival Chairperson Miss Anne Marie Lyng, and Festival Secretary’s Miss Eibhlis Maher and Miss Simone Loughman respectively. A cash prize of €1000, sponsored by the Anner Hotel, was presented by one of the joint owners of the establishment, Mr Michael Maher (Managing Director).
Second placed, Miss Josephine O’Dwyer, received a specially commissioned piece of Galway Crystal and a cash prize of €500, while Miss Aileen Sheehan, judged a close third, also received a piece of Galway Crystal and €300 in prize money.
Previously, that morning all International Miss Macra 2016 contestants had attended Mass in the local parish church in Clonoulty-Rossmore and afterwards togged-out to prove their worth by taking part in a sports day, field event.
This year saw twenty-two contestants, each chosen by their respective Macra Clubs, taking part in this year’s 45th International Miss Macra Festival. Given the very difficult task of selecting this year’s “International Miss Macra 2016” winners were:- Joan Pollard Carew, (Representing Main Sponsors Michael Carew Jewellers, West Gate, Thurles); Geraldine Henchion, (Representing Tipp FM, Tipperary’s No 1 Local Radio Station); & Declan Ryan, (President of the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra Club).
The enormous success of this year’s festival, which attracted record crowds, is due completely to the hard work of all the Clonoulty / Rossmore Macra members, who undertook the precise planning and organising of this year’s festival on a completely voluntary basis, under the strong leadership of Miss Anne Marie Lyng (Chairperson). Other speakers at the event included Mr Ger Griffin (Munster Vice President of Macra Na Feirme), Mrs Joan Pollard Carew (Spokesperson for the Sponsors), Mr Declan Ryan (Spokesperson for the judges) and Miss Susan Willis (Outgoing 2015 Int. Miss Macra Winner).
Also speaking at the Gala Banquet, Miss Anne Marie Lyng (Festival Chairperson) was high in her praise for the outgoing 2015 winner and runners-up. She stated that “last year’s winners Miss Willis, Miss Julie Muldowney and Miss Helen Hayes, over the past year, had shown total dedication in their promotion of Macra principals and Macra Clubs, throughout the length and breadth of Ireland and abroad.”
The International Miss Macra Festival 2016 event is understood to have attracted some €300,000 into the local Tipperary economy, in tourism product; promoted by a committee whose ages range from the oldest just 29 and youngest a mere 24 years of age. Club profits from this well organised event will be fully invested in next year’s International Festival, thus further ensuring its security and success into the future.
Left – Right pictured above: (1) Representing South Tipperary, M/s Josephine O’Dwyer. (2)M/s Ailin Walsh, representing Waterford, ‘meets & greets’ former Epsom Derby & Irish Derby Stakes Winner ‘Galileo’ yesterday, at the world famous Coolmore Stud in Co. Tipperary. (3)Representing South Tipperary, M/s Denise Ryan.
Yesterday saw the welcome return of the 45th International Miss Macra Festival, returning to its initial roots; coming back to Thurles, Co. Tipperary for the full duration of this August Bank Holiday weekend. Such was the high calibre of the venues present here in Thurles that the Festival this year is taking place in three separate areas, showcasing the best that Thurles and Co. Tipperary has to offer, e.g.Hayes Hotel (Birthplace of the GAA), last night; The Dome(Semple Stadium), tonight, and the magnificent family-run Anner Hotel(Graded Four-Star by Fáilte Ireland), Dublin Rd, Thurles, for the Annual Macra Banquet tomorrow night.
Yesterday, the festival kicked off, when contestants met the Festival Committee and Host Families in Clonoulty village, before being taken on a personal tour of the world famous Coolmore Stud Farm. This was followed by a late lunch in the Anner Hotel’s ‘Green Room’ restaurant. Last night the participants attended a themed ’90’s Disco’, in Hayes Hotel, dancing into the early hours of this morning.
However today saw the contestants appear ‘bright eyed & bushy tailed’, rising early in preparation for their private personal interviews in front of a three judge panel, namely Joan Pollard Carew, (Representing Main Sponsors Michael Carew Jewellers, West Gate, Thurles); Geraldine Henchion, (Representing Tipp FM, Tipperary’s No 1 Local Radio Station); & Declan Ryan, (President of the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra Club). This panel have been given the very difficult task of selecting this year’s “International Miss Macra 2016” winner; latter which will be announced following the Banquet on Sunday night in the Anner Hotel.
Tonight(30th July 2016) in The Dome, Semple Stadium, Thurles, will see the ever popular “Cabaret Night”, commence. Here the contestants will be interviewed publicly on stage, by expert interviewer Mr Mike Egan; himself a previous Macra Member and long-term friend of the festival. Live music will be provided by ‘Switch’ to which the contestants, their supporters and the public attending, can later dance the night away.
Guaranteed to be a most enjoyable and memorable evening.