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Sinead Guiney Crowned International Miss Macra 2016


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.


Thurles Credit Union June 2016 Winners

Thurles Credit Union

Thurles Credit Union

The first of the monthly ‘Cash Draws’ for Thurles Credit Union (TCU) Members, for the new season June 2016 /2017, took place last Saturday (25th of June 2016).

This, the first of 12 monthly draws, which are all computer generated; which saw the 1st prize of €10,000 go to M/s Catherine Cooke, Cluain Glas, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Congratulations must also go to three other lucky TCU Member winners; namely M/s Anne Hogan, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary;  M/s Peggy Barry, Bouladuff, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, and M/s Eileen O’Shaughnessy, Kennedy Park, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, each of whom received prizes of €1,000 each.

Congratulations to all this month’s winners.

Please Note: Members can still join the TCU Members current Monthly Cash Draws by simply completing an application form in any of the 3 Thurles Credit Union’s associated offices.


May Live Register Figures Increase In Co. Tipperary

According to figures from the CSO, the number of persons claiming Welfare Benefit in Co. Tipperary, have increased by 223 persons during the month of May 2016.  Note these figures shown hereunder, are accessed using the search criteria; All Ages, Both Sexes, Social Welfare Office and Month.


Thurles was the only Social Welfare Office (S.W.O.) in Co.Tipperary last month, recording a reduction of some 29 claimants, with Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir recording the highest number of claimants of all eight S.W.O. centres.

Clonmel is now the only town in Tipperary which has increased its Social Welfare dependants over the past 5 months, (11 persons) with an increase of 99 persons during May and despite 200 extra jobs being promised, pre-election, for the area.

Some 1,432 jobs promised for Tipperary by Fine Gael /Labour, leading up to six months prior to the 26th February 2016 General Election, still remain elusive or non-existent.

Nationally 26,500 young people line up in Social Welfare queues every week; more than 16,000 of which remain in long term unemployment.


Lowry Calls On Banks To Defer Attacks On Those Financially Weak

Lowry“Financial Institutions being allowed to ignore their own wrong-doings, while trampling and terrorising Irish borrowers.”

Independent TD Michael Lowry has called on the Ulster Bank to reverse its decision to sell more than 900 of distressed loans to ‘vulture funds’ in their efforts to rid themselves of acquired problem assets, mostly obtained during the so called ‘boom era’.

“The recent threatened sale of assets by Ulster Bank, valued at €2.5bn, is made up of distressed business loans, buy-to-let mortgages and owner-occupier mortgages. Their decision to sell is aimed at drastically eradicating all remaining so called ‘toxic’ property loans from its books on both sides of the border. However if carried out there exists a further fear that other banking establishments will line up to replicate similar procedures against their customers.

About €100m of the total face value of Ulster Bank loans, now being offered for sale, are owned by farmers and in many cases are linked to necessary on-farm business investments. This threat now comes at a time when Irish agriculture, in particular, is already on its knees with farm debt on an upward spiral, due to world market price volatility, which looks set to remain for the foreseeable future.

This threatened outcome by Ulster Bank is an appalling and insensitive approach to vulnerable business mortgage holders, who are currently finding themselves in financial difficulties. On a daily basis, I am confronted with appalling instances of financial institutions being allowed to ignore their own wrong-doings, while trampling and terrorising Irish borrowers.

This devastating decision, if carried through, will bring about the most negative and damaging of effects to families, overall business development in regional communities and more especially will decimate attempts at any real rural recovery. If Ulster Bank mortgages are sold off to these ‘vulture funds’, then we will witness further new and increased cases of homelessness and a continuance in the escalation of private rental costs.

I now urge all banking establishments to develop new long-term funding arrangements and to immediately suspend their present threatened action. The vast majority of customers are keen to find a resolution to their current financial difficulties and should be given professional, independent advice on restructuring their outstanding loans. I also call for a renewed sense of urgency by the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure, to assist in creating a more efficient funding mechanism to halt and reverse these recent banking decisions.” concluded Deputy Lowry.


A Huge ‘Thank You,’ From St. Mary’s Church, Littleton

M/s Martha Melbourne reports on a successful ‘Afternoon Tea Fundraiser’ in aid of  St. Mary’s Church, in Littleton, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.


St. Mary’s Church, Littleton.

St. Mary’s Church (C of I) parishioners would like to thank, most sincerely, everyone who supported their recent ‘Afternoon Tea Fundraiser,’ which proved to be a huge success.

Martha stated; “Sincere thanks to all those who baked cakes and buns, made sandwiches, those who came to enjoy a ‘cuppa’ and a ‘chat’, those who bought raffle tickets and cakes on the day. Truly your support and help is most greatly appreciated”.

Martha also expressed a special word of thanks to all those who worked so hard in the kitchen and serving at table, keeping the tea flowing and everyone fed.

“Thank you to those who donated raffle prizes, made cash donations and let us borrow your china. A sincere word of thanks to the Management of the MB Community Hall for all their help with this event and also for housing us for Church Services, while the Church was closed, following a fire. We are now back using the Upper Room of the Church for Sunday services, while works are still progressing downstairs, concluded Martha.

The St. Mary’s Church in Littleton village was extensively damaged by fire, leaving restoration works expected to cost in the region of €200,000. The proceeds of this recent afternoon tea event will now go, in its entirety, towards the ongoing works which parishioners hope to have fully completed by the autumn of 2016.