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Does Tipperary Live In A Democratic State?

“Where Tipperary leads, Ireland follows.”

Party

The Runners & Riders in the 2016 Tipperary General Election.

Tipperary is often referred to as the “Premier County,” a term attributed to Thomas Davis, editor of ‘The Nation‘ newspaper in the 1840’s. Davis gave Tipperary this name as a tribute to the strong nationalistic feeling held here at that particular time. It was he who also coined the phrase, “Where Tipperary leads, Ireland follows.”

The idea of Republican democracy did not begin in Dublin in 1916. It began in Co. Tipperary with a rather naive, yet thoroughly well-meaning rebellion in 1848, some 68 years previous. The venue; the Widow McCormack’s cabbage patch, in Ballingarry South, in Co. Tipperary. Ireland was three years into the middle of a famine which had cost the lives of some 1.3 million Irish people nationally.  The 1916 rebellion in O’Connell Street, was also a failed, naive rebellion, which regrettably saw the execution of thoroughly well-meaning patriots, including Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary born Thomas MacDonagh; himself a signatory of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

Ask yourself the following questions: (A) “Identify the government regime currently existing in the Ireland of 2016, one hundred years after the 1916 rebellion?” (B) “Do we currently reside in a Democracy or under an Authoritarian Regime?”

Democracy
The term democracy comes from the Greek language, meaning “rule by the people”.  This means just that; rule by all the people, not just some of the people; some rich people; some poor people or some middle income earners, – no it means all of the people.

Some simple dictionary definitions of democracy are described as: (1) A form of government in which people (yes all people) choose their leaders by voting; (2) An organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has full equal rights. (3) A meaningful political participation by all citizens.

Our theory of modern democracy was not really formulated until the so called ‘Age of Enlightenment’; when between the 17th and 18th century, then theorists; truth-seekers; thinkers – whatever you will, defined the essential elements of democracy as; A Separation of Powers; Basic Civil Rights & Human Rights; Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State.

Authoritarianism
‘Authoritarianism’ stands in fundamental contrast to real ‘Democracy’. Under Authoritarian Regimes there usually exists one ruler or a small group of leaders who hold the real power in the political system. One example of blatant Authoritarianism is the ‘Chief Whip’ system. Same operates within Irish political parties to ensure that all Deputies, including Ministers, attend for Dáil Business and follow the reigning government line on all issues. Politicians therefore are being forced to disregard the precise wishes of their electorate.

Usually Authoritarian Governments hold elections and those going forward for election may have had, as is the case in Ireland, very limited contact with their citizens. But citizens, as we have amply observed in the last 5 years, are not necessarily permitted to have any real voice in how they themselves wish to be governed. Their elected leaders do not give their subjects free choice. Instead, they decide what the people can or cannot have. Citizens are observed as subjects who must obey, have no independent will and are not participants in any government decisions made on their behalf.

Thus individuals or small groups such as Prime Ministers, Taoisigh, Presidents, Dictators, Aristocrats, Kings / Queens, Military Leaders, and Emperors may rule at the head of an Authoritarian Government, while hiding behind the face of apparent democracy. Numerous examples of an authoritarian regime can be examined over the past 5 years under our present Labour / Fine Gael government. In highlighting just two; namely the introduction of Water Charges and Property Tax, we find that despite continuous massive street protests the voter / electorate has been ignored in the governments pursuance of an authoritarian regime; thus disregarding their voters democratic wishes.

Other authoritarian activity now abounds abundantly in our midst, which must be recognised as an affront not just to voters in Co. Tipperary, but far more seriously to Ireland’s attempts to achieve future real and full democracy.

This activity is being aimed at the Tipperary electorate through the so called “free press”. “Are you prepared to enter into government supported by Michael Lowry TD”, is the daily question fired by the press at our present authoritarian coalition members. “No way” states Labour member Minister Alan Kelly and company.

Here in Tipperary our electorate see that as – If Michael Lowry TD is elected and invited to support any future government, Alan Kelly (assuming he is elected; a situation which on a daily basis seems ever more unlikely, unless Noel Coonan passes on second preference votes), together with his possible diminished 8 seat authoritarian Labour government, his party will no longer wish to prop up a coalition.  A possibly larger retained Fine Gael party will now not have any difficulty in finding others to take Labour’s place.  The same goes for other political groupings. Of course this scenario now begs the question; “Why bother to vote for Alan Kelly and his diminished, dishonest Labour Party membership at all?”

To the members of the Dublin based, so called ‘Free Press’ and their ‘Copy & Paste .ie colleagues’, please take note:- The Tipperary electorate will vote and choose their 5 elected representatives in the forthcoming February 2016 General Election. They will vote for the representative whom they believe will:- best represent them in Dáil Éireann; whom they believe will democratically support this county; whom they believe will enhance our local communities; whom they believe listens intently to all people as individuals; whom they believe has the ability to solve the problems communicated, by taking same to the heart of government; and finally, whom they believe will fight their corner to bring about democratic change.

New Coins To Commemorate 1916

Coin1916The Central Bank are poised to issue a total of 4.5 million coins including a new €2 coin to commemorate the ‘1916 Easter Rising’. Contrary to newspaper reports, this is not the first occasion that Ireland has issued commemorative currency into circulation.

It is interesting to note that the Irish Central Bank issued 2,000,000 coins to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1966. Unfortunately they were not popular with the Irish public and did not circulate widely; the Irish government actually put them into the pay packets of civil service in their efforts to distribute them.

It is reputed that the Irish Central Bank later, just some six years later, around 1971, melted down about 1,250,000 of same, with the advent of decimalisation. Many more are reckoned to have entered into the melting pot due to another popular ‘Irish Rising’, that being the rising of the price of silver to record heights in 1980/81.

Emmet Mullins, the designer of the new coinage, was chosen following a competition that saw 52 Irish and international designers submit proposals, based on ‘The Proclamation of the Irish Republic’.

The new coinage features a representation of the statue of Hibernia which presently sits, centre, on top of the General Post Office (GPO Ard-Oifig an Phoistis), the headquarters of the Irish Post Office. The name ‘Hibernia’ is the classical Latin name for the island of Ireland. The Roman historian Tacitus, in his book Agricola (c. 98 AD), possibly first used the name ‘Hibernia’, which is rarely used today with regard to Ireland. In 1642 the motto of the Irish Confederates, a Catholic-landlord administration that ruled much of Ireland until 1650 was: “Pro Deo, Rege et Patria, Hibernia Unanimis”, which when translated is ‘For God, King and Fatherland, Ireland is United’.

The GPO is one of Ireland’s most famous buildings and was the last of the great Georgian public buildings erected in Sackville Street (today named O’Connell Street) in Dublin. The building was opened for business on January 6th 1818, with the structure having been completed in the space of just three years for the sum of £50,000. (Faster and cheaper than we can provide houses for our Irish homeless today).

During the Easter Rising of 1916, the GPO served as the headquarters of most of the uprising’s leaders. It was destroyed by fire in the course of this rebellion and was not restored until the Irish Free State government, some years later, identified the task.

Interestingly, particularly from a Sinn Féin point of view, despite its fame as an iconic place of Irish freedom, ground rent for the GPO continued to be paid to British and American landlords; right up until the 1980’s.

The hand-rendered lettering featuring the centenary dates and the name ‘Hibernia’ are reportedly influenced by the Book of Kells, which according to the Central Bank, An Post and all Bank branches are expected to get into general circulation as soon as is possible.

Later this year other gold and silver proof coins designed by Welsh artist, engraver and graphic designer Michael Guilfoyle, also commemorating 1916, will be released for sale. Guilfoyle’s designs also feature the name ‘Hibernia’, along with an arrangement of other key words and phrases taken from the 1916 Proclamation.

“Those That History Forgot” – Borrisoleigh Historical Society

BorrisoleighThe next welcome guest speaker at the Borrisoleigh Historical Society’s monthly series of lectures will be Borrisoleigh native, Mr Gerry Kearney.

Gerry will lecture those in attendance on some of the personalities of our past history, who for various reasons are now conveniently erased. History is generally written by the victors, and narratives are mostly handed down from their perspectives, thus the input and contributions made by many are often never fully recognised or worse still, deliberately and conveniently excluded.

From War of Independence, the Civil War and many other momentous and defining events that have happened since then, people, whose contributions were more more than significant, are either totally unknown or alas, largely forgotten in the fading mists of time.

Gerry, who is a senior civil servant, based in Dublin, has for many years studied these, now, somewhat hazy events and the people involved. He will identify to those assembled who these forgotten people are; the reasons for their often exclusion; the politics and petty jealousies that caused this event to happen and shine a light on the lesser known, yet hugely significant happenings that have contributed enormously towards the making of our country.

The lecture will commence at 8.00pm sharp, on Monday next January 25th in the Community Centre, Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

UPDATE
M/s Delia Ryan, representing Borrisoleigh Historical Society, contacted us here on Thurles.Info this morning.

She is sorry to have to relate to our readers that the societies monthly ‘Lecture Series’, which this month was to feature, Mr Gerry Kearney, has to be temporally postponed.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the event, which was fixed for Monday night January 25th 2016 in the Community Hall Borrisoleigh, will now instead take place on February 22nd, 2016.

Delia apologises to all our readers for any inconvenience this cancellation may have caused.

It Happened 100 Years Ago This Week (1916) In Tipperary

Hospital Depot For wounded WWI Soldiers
On January 6th 1916 Tipperary was chosen to be the first depot in Ireland for wounded soldiers in a post-hospital stage of recovery. In announcing the establishment of this depot during World War One it was initially stated that the depot would accommodate 4,000 such individuals. This statement possibly relates to the Barracks already in existence in Tipperary Town.

Barracks-Tipp

During the First World War, the Tipperary Town Military Barracks played two decidedly different roles. In 1914-15, it was the headquarters for the 49th Brigade 16th. Irish Division and 7th. & 8th. Battalions, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who were all trained here for service, before being dispatched to the Western Front. From 1916 however this same Barracks became more a place where efforts were made to undo damage caused by war, when for several years the Barracks appears to have become more a centre for the recuperation and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.

Continue reading It Happened 100 Years Ago This Week (1916) In Tipperary

Mr Harry Gleeson Officially Pardoned

Gleeson

Mr Harry Gleeson

President Michael D. Higgins has officially granted Ireland’s first posthumous pardon to a man from Co. Tipperary; hanged for murder over 74 years ago.

Mr Harry Gleeson was hanged having being wrongfully convicted of the murder of a mother of seven, namely Miss Mary ” Foxy Moll” McCarthy, in New Inn, Co. Tipperary. Mr Gleeson was executed by the then British hangman Albert Pierrepoint (1905 – 1992) in Mountjoy jail in April of 1941.

A recent review of the case found that then Gardaí and the Prosecution had withheld crucial information and fabricated evidence against Mr Gleeson, thus securing his execution.

The granting of this posthumous pardon yesterday by the Irish President, completely clears Mr Gleeson’s name and it is hoped that same, however late, will  serve as a tribute to his memory.

It is understood that the government through the Department of Justice have expressed sympathy to Mr Gleeson’s family and indicated their intention to hold a commemorative event for family members, early in the New Year, when a more detailed explanation of the pardon will be forthcoming.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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