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Question: Which Irish County Grows The Best Spuds?

 Which Irish county grows the best potatoes?

potatoflowerSupposedly first discovered by the Spaniards back in the 16th Century, and understood to have been eaten by the Peruvians some 2,000 years previously, our humble potato is still, by far, the most popular of all consumed vegetables. This versatile tuber can be boiled, chipped, steamed, baked, roasted and sautéed.

However according to An Bord Bia which held its All Ireland Quality Potato Championships recently, not surprisingly the winning county was identified as; yes you have guessed correctly, Co. Tipperary.

Last weekend at the Tullamore Show in Co Offaly, latter which is attended by some 60,000 people annually, potato grower Mr David Curran from Fethard, Co. Tipperary was crowned All Ireland Champion and quality spud producer.

According to An Bord Bia, this annual competition is designed not just to increase the level of awareness among growers, but to highlight what actually constitutes a top quality potato.

Comm’r Karmenu Vella Lunches At Anner Hotel Thurles

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Pictured L- R: Commissioner Karmenu Vella with Mrs Anne & Mr Michael Maher, Anner Hotel.

“If our oceans are not healthy, our economy will be sick.” – Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment.

The European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Mr. Karmenu Vella, together with leading business people from Thurles, visited the Anner Hotel for a business lunch last week.

Commissioners Vella’s present EU responsibilities include protecting our environment while maintaining Europe’s competitiveness, harnessing the potential of our land and seas to create sustainable jobs that preserve our natural resources, implementing the new Common Fisheries Policy and leading the task of defining the management and governance of our planet’s oceans with our global partners.

Commissioner Vella is also part of the Project Team which promotes Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Energy Union, Better Regulation and Inter institutional Affairs and Budget and Human Resources.

Commissioner Vella later travelled to the Co. Cork hosted national maritime festival ‘Seafest 2015’ where he spoke of the progress being delivered through the Harnessing of our Ocean Wealth strategy, which positioned Ireland as a world leader on Ocean Governance.

The invisible side of our oceans wealth

“The seas are a new frontier”, stated Commissioner Vella. “New technologies such as underwater robotics and DNA sequencing mean that marine resources have become ever more accessible. Today, perhaps more than ever before, the seas offer new opportunities and new types of jobs.

The seas can deliver food. The UN reckons that aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food-producing sectors. The seas can deliver medicine. Scientists wondered why certain marine sponges caused a decline in nearby species – and found a substance that inhibits breast cancer.

The seas can deliver energy. Some 13% of new wind turbine capacity was installed offshore in 2014. And this is creating new jobs: since 2008, employment in offshore wind has grown at an astonishing 30% a year.

The seas are the destination of choice for our holidays. Some 45% of all nights spent by tourists in paid accommodation are in coastal areas. The turnover of the European cruise industry has grown at 3% a year since 2008. Surfing schools and yachting marinas are thriving.

As islanders, the Irish people understand the importance of the sea, adept at making the most of the opportunities that it provides, from aquaculture and marine biotechnology to coastal tourism. Taking the risks that go with a drive for innovation, for instance in ocean energy, is part of the make-up.

But as a people who are so closely linked to the sea, the Irish also understand the importance of preserving this shared resource for the future. Our seas are a huge economic asset. Europe’s maritime economy employs around 5 million people and contributes with around 550 billion Euros to our wealth. The Irish maritime economy is growing nearly twice as fast as the overall economy: by 9% between 2010 and 2012 and by over 8% for 2012 to 2014.

But there is also the ‘invisible side’ of our oceans’ wealth. Our oceans regulate the climate, their wetlands and dunes protect our coasts. If we are to preserve these benefits it is crucial that we preserve our natural assets. If our oceans are not healthy, our economy will be sick”, stated Commissioner Vella.

Borrisoleigh Annual Festival Begins July 24th To 26th

All roads will lead to Borrisoleigh this coming weekend for the annual Borrisoleigh Festival, which takes place from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th July.

Here there will be something for everyone and for all ages over the course of this well planned festival weekend.

festival-sponsors

Pictured here prior to the launch of the 2015 Borrisoleigh Festival sponsored by Ryan’s of Camden St., Dublin are:- Back Row: Brendan Maher (Tipperary Senior Hurling Captain), Sean Shanahan, Marie Shanahan, Patrice Cooney, Mayor of Borrisoleigh, Tom Mason, Phil Mason, Kathleen Scanlon, Nuala Ryan, Fiona Max, Breda Ryan. Front Row: Joe Loughnane and members of the Ryan Family, Bernie, Liam, Martin (Snr), Pauline and Brenda.

Programme of Events
The weekend will kick-start with the Tomás Max Camogie U10 tournament on Friday evening to be held in the Town Park. Macks Funfair will also be present in the Town Park all weekend. The opening of the Festival will take place in The Square, with this year’s main sponsors, Ryan’s of Camden St. Dublin, making their official declaration at 9:00pm. This will be followed by live music from that hugely popular band ‘Acoustra’.

Walking Tours
Saturday July 25th starts early with walks organised by the Bush and Briar Ramblers to Knockanora (The Tower) and Latteragh, Forest Loop. Registration for these walks takes place in the Community Centre, to the rear of the Church, at 9.30am and 10.30am respectively.

A Historical Walk through Borrisoleigh takes place from 3:00pm to 6:00pm; starting at Shanahan’s Centra Store, coming down to McDonagh Square and finishing on Pallas Street. This event promises as always to be an enlightening and entertaining journey as participants examine Borrisoleigh’s past rich history.

Line Dancers
Borrisoleigh ‘Line Dancers’ will be displaying their fancy footwork from 12:00 noon to 1.30pm in McDonagh Square. A Food and Craft Fair will also be taking place in the Square from 12:00 noon to 6:00pm with local food and handmade crafts for sale.

Bake 4 Borris
A baking competition, ‘Bake 4 Borris’, will tantalise your taste buds also on Saturday. All baking entries must be dropped into the Community Centre before 2:00pm. (Viewing is from 3:00pm with the final results being announced by judges at 6:00pm.) Note: Entry is free and all cakes will be sold afterwards in aid of Festival organisational costs.

Be part of Irish TV
Irish TV will be present to record some of the events on Saturday, so ladies be sure to put on your best ‘Frock’ and you men, your best ‘Bib and Tucker,’ for this most publicised of televised event.

Variety Concert
Also on Saturday a ‘Variety Concert’ featuring talent from Borrisoleigh and neighbouring parishes begins at 7.30pm in The Square. There will be a special guest appearance by the Dubai Rose, Marie Ryan from Ballyroan; latter who will be interviewed by the local Mayor Patrice Cooney. Marie will also present the prizes for the school art competition. This Artwork will be on display to view in the local Community Centre throughout the weekend.

Churn Racing & Salsa Band
A large crowd is expected at 7.30pm for the Churn Racing display on Pallas Street which will feature some of the participants from the All Ireland Churn Racing competition held in Tipperary Town. This is a great opportunity to now see this unique and growing sport. To truly add to the festival atmosphere there will be live music in The Square with ‘Ochy Calderon’ Latin Caribbean Fusion Salsa Band; beginning from 9:00pm.

Family Fun Day
There will be a Family Fun Day in the Town Park on Sunday July 26th from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. This features a number of entertaining events such as a Veterans Hurling Tournament, Bubble Soccer, Vintage Car Display, Strongman Display, Tug of War, Pony Rides, Athletics, Sheaf Tossing, BBQ, Games of Skill, plus much, much more.

Live Music
Live music starts in The Square with Old Time Dancing by ‘The Castle Trio’ from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. They wll be followed on stage by the wonderful ‘Ebony’ from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. The band ‘Silver Dollar’ will finish off the live outdoor music from 8:00pm to 9.45pm with the official closing of the Festival by Lord Mayor Patrice Cooney.

Note: In the event of severe or inclement weather; all outdoor music gigs, due to play outdoor in The Square, will move to the village Community Centre.

Storytelling
Local pubs will also have live music on this weekend and even some Storytelling with the hilarious comic monologues of Fergus Costello; latter performing his show ‘Tell me lies horse’ in Finn’s pub on Saturday at 9:00pm.

For full event listings and more info visit www.borrisoleighfestival.com or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Warning: Undeclared Gluten In Gluten Free Crisps

CrispPer information posted on the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAOI)  website yesterday (7th May 2015), the presence of an ‘Undeclared Ingredient Containing Gluten (Wheat)’  has been identified in a Batch of 50g Authentic Hand Cooked Tipperary Gluten Free Crisps, sold under the brand name O’Donnells Tipperary Mature Irish Cheese and Red Onion (Gluten Free) Crisps.

The identified batch code is numbered 5105 with ‘best before date’ shown as the 5th Aug 2015.

The report states that some packs of the above batch of Gluten Free O’Donnells Tipperary Mature Irish Cheese and Red Onion Crisps unintentionally include some corn snack product which contains wheat and gluten.

This may make the implicated batch unsafe for consumers who are allergic to wheat or intolerant of gluten.

A Murder Takes Place In The Anner Hotel Thurles

Yes, I knew that headline would get your immediate attention and now that I have gotten same, please, please do read on.

Calling all you lovers of ‘Mystery’ and ‘Intrigue’. Have you a ‘taste’  for that something which is often difficult initially either to understand or explain? Do you perhaps secretly ‘hunger’ to be a top notch homicide investigator, a type of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ if you will?

“I do”, I hear you say! Then take special note of a unique upcoming event. On Friday, May 22nd, 2015 you can see an unusual fund-raising event here in Thurles with the Anner Hotel hosting a ‘Murder Mystery Dinner’ in aid of the Irish Lung Fibrosis Association (I.L.F.A.) and Thurles Rehabcare.

The four course dinner will be the scene of a ‘Foul Murder,’ acted out between each course of your meal, by Goldstar Productions, a professional acting troupe. Those of you attending will play the part of attendees at a school reunion, with the acting troupe presenting a light hearted mystery for you to puzzle over and perhaps solve. This dinner will be followed by a School Disco, with you playing the ‘floor fillers,’ dancing the routines of many a former teenage memory.

This fund-raiser is being promoted by the family of the late Phyl Troy latter formally of Thurles, in conjunction with I.L.F.A. and Thurles Rehabcare.  Phyl, as everyone remembers, was totally devoted to her career in Rehabcare and hence the full proceeds of this event will go directly to Castleview House in Two Mile Borris.

Phyl, prior to her sad passing last year, had been diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), latter a progressive and generally fatal disease characterized by scarring of the lungs that eventually thickens the lining of the lungs, causing an irreversible loss of the tissue’s ability to transport oxygen. This lung condition, IPF, ultimately robs a patient of the ability to breathe and is more deadly than most cancers. This disease affects some 800 new patients each year here in Ireland and has brought about quite a number of deaths in Co. Tipperary over the last few years, including two of the late Phyl Troy’s own siblings. Proceeds raised by this event and given to I.L.F.A. will now assist in ongoing research, support and further education of this normally fatal disease.

TICKETS: Same cost just €35 each, and will include a ‘Sumptuous Four Course Dinner’, the ‘Murder Mystery’ and the ‘School Disco’. Tickets are available from the Anner Hotel or from individual members of the Troy family, actively promoting this worthy event. Let’s be honest here, where today can you obtain Dinner, A Theatre Seat, Dancing, not to mention the Kudos from “her indoors,” for such a small admission fee; plus of course that great inner feeling you yourself will gain by having supported this truly worthwhile cause.

This said; remember the date; Friday, May 22nd, 2015, Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Oh and from now on remember to never turn your back in the shower, especially when the water is running.

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