The Shelbourne Hotel on the north side of St Stephen’s Green in Dublin was first established in 1824 by a Tipperary man, aged in his 40′s, named Martin Burke. Almost nothing is known about Martin Burke’s early history; we do know however that he was a Tipperary man, born about 1788, a practising Catholic by birth and his death was reported in a Clonmel newspaper, the Tipperary Free Press on January 20th 1863. The mystery remains where he got his start-up money for such an enormous transaction and where or even when he acquired the necessary training to be a hotel manager. He may have had connections with the Honourable East India Company trading into the East Indies and certainly sold private lands prior to this his new venture.
Bridget Dowling and Alois Hitler Jr.
Martin’s ambition was to open a hotel in Dublin that would, as he stated “Woo genteel custom who wanted solid, comfortable and serviceable accommodation at a fashionable address.”
Burke to achieve his ambition, leased three houses situated side by side and numbered 27, 28 and 29 St. Stephen’s Green. The buildings, then situated in one of the most fashionable parts of Dublin were taken over, “in consideration of a down payment of £1,000 and the promise of a further £2,000 at a later date and a yearly rent of £300,” with Burke and his future heirs being granted the leasehold interest for 150 years. Martin Burke then set about turning these three buildings into the quality licensed accommodation holder and hostelry that was his long awaited dream.
His shrewd marketing ability soon came to the fore in the chosen name attributed to his new venture. Instead of calling it Bourke’s Hotel, he named his new enterprise after William Petty, 1st Marquess, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, Prime Minister of Great Britain (1782 – 83) and who had succeeded in securing peace with America during the final months of the American War of Independence. Burke carefully took the liberty of adding an ‘o’ into the name’s spelling, thus instantly linking the hotel with the fame and standards of the late Lord Shelburne, while also attracting the immediate attention of the then ruling ascendancy classes.
Within a year of its opening and the first hotel to install a gas lighting system lately arrived in Dublin, The Shelbourne Hotel was now firmly established as a favourite of visitors “doing the season,” and stood proudly at the centre of Irish upper class society. Historically “The Season” ran from April to August; latter which marks the beginning of the shooting season. Here upper class Society would retire to the country to shoot birds during the autumn and hunt foxes during the winter, before coming back to the city again with the offset of spring, to hold débutante balls, dinner parties, large charity events and take part in political activity.
So what is the connection with Adolf Hitler, I hear you scream? Read on.
Continue reading Tipperary – Two Degrees Of Separation From Adolf Hitler
The recently discovered ‘Gratuitous Relief Ration Record Book,’ (or the ‘Distribution Book,’ as it was also called,) for the electoral divisions of Holycross, Thurles and Ballycahill in 1847, has now been digitized, allowing an instant search facility for those anxious to trace their family roots.
The rare book, found in private collection, is now on public display at St. Mary’s Famine Museum here in Thurles and will be available to be viewed by all those attending the forthcoming Thurles Sarsfields International Festival Of Gaelic Sport (July 4th – 12th 2014).
This book contains the names of those who were classed as paupers in the hinterland / towns-lands of these aforementioned areas, during that most harrowing period of the Great Irish Famine, referred to as ‘Black ’47′.
This extremely rare ‘Rations Record Book,’ contains the names of the heads of each household and in many cases the names of all the adults in each household. It also contains the number of rations each householder was allowed. Details of how, where and when it was located will be discussed here on Thurles.Info later this month.
Just over 3 million Irish people were being supported by outdoor relief in July 1847. To those it supported, covering the electoral divisions of Holycross, Thurles and Ballycahill while providing records of the food rations distributed in the period May – Sept. `47 and part of `48, it was a very humiliating and an insufficient system. Nevertheless it did keep starvation at bay for a very sizeable portion of Tipperary people at that crucial time in Black ’47.
Meanwhile four other ancient manuscripts, one found close to Thurles here in Co Tipperary are to undergo special preservation work and to be digitized and put on show beside the Book of Kells, in Trinity College, Dublin.
These priceless manuscripts, going back to the fifth and eighth century, will include the eighth century “Book of Dimma,” possibly written originally at St. Crónán‘s Monastery, Roscrea, Co Tipperary.
In 1789, the Book of Dimma was supposedly discovered in a small cave on “The Devils Bit” near Thurles. The little known Book of Dimma, was preserved by Thady O’Carroll, Prince of Ely, and later during possibly the mid-twelfth century was encased in a rich gilt case. The book is a copy of the four Gospels written in Old Latin and is representative of Irish ‘Pocket Gospel’ manuscripts.
The book, which had a blessing dedicated to the sick and dying added in the 10th or 11th century, can be viewed in Trinity College, Dublin, together with many other articles of Ireland’s rich historical treasures found in Tipperary, now bringing prosperity to our capital city’s economy at the expense of Tipperary and indeed mid rural Ireland.
M/s Susie Bioletti, head of conservation at Trinity, said that this funding for the project, obtained from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, is the most generous grant the library has secured for works on early Irish manuscripts and will enable scholarship and public engagement with the manuscripts, sharing these national treasures with our Irish and visitors from abroad.
The funding obtained by Trinity College is part of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global art conservation project which has awarded grants to museums in 26 other countries for 71 conservation projects since 2010.
Admission to St Mary’s Famine Museum, Thurles, to view this rare ‘Gratuitous Relief Ration Record Book,’ costs just €2.00.
Popular local radio presenter Mr Seamus King, broadcasting on Tipperary Mid West Community Radio, is out and about around Tipperary over the coming weeks visiting the various tourist attractions to be found here in our native Premier County.
Tipperary Mid West Community Radio, as everyone will be aware, aims to inform, educate and entertain, through providing a service dedicated to celebrating local music, sports, culture and that rich heritage contained in our ever diverse and picturesque local communities.
Seamus will be broadcasting from St Mary’s Famine & War Museum here in Thurles, just after 11.00am tomorrow morning, (Friday June 13th 2014) in the first of what we hope will be many Friday half-hour broadcasts over the coming months which will be featured and highlighted live on air.
So do turn your radio dials to 104.8 FM-106.7 FM, beginning tomorrow morning, just after 11.00am to listen to radio’s “The Voice of Tipperary” and over the coming weeks be prepared to learn from Seamus King that there is, and I quote; “a hell of a lot more to be found in our historic haven of Co Tipperary, than that which just simply meets the eye.”
Of course if your radio is out of reach you can always catch this broadcast simply by ‘Live Streaming’ same on your computer at http://www.tippmidwestradio.com/radioplayer/listenlive.html
Mr. Paddy Gleeson, acting tour guide with Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin, will present a lecture entitled “Glasnevin Cemetery, Ireland’s Necropolis,” in the Community Centre, behind the Church in Borrisoleigh, tomorrow night (Wednesday 28th May) at 8.00 pm sharp.
Expect an informative historic lecture based in particular on famous political funerals from Daniel O’Connell (6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847) often referred to as ‘The Liberator’ or ‘The Emancipator,’ to the great Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins (16 October 1890 – 22 August 1922), latter Minister for Finance and Teachta Dála (TD) for Cork South in the First Dáil of 1919, Director of Intelligence for the IRA and member of the Irish delegation sent to England to parley during Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.
This event promises to be extremely informative and all are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.
Note: Borrisoleigh Historical Society in conjunction with Sr. Aine Historical Society will travel to Glasnevin Cemetery on June 14th and note a few seats are still available on the bus for those who would like to take advantage of what promises to be a marvellous and informative history outing.
Borrisoleigh Historical Society will continue their successful series of historic lectures in the Community Hall Borrisoleigh, on Wednesday night next, April 30th, at 8.00pm sharp.
The title of this months lecture is “Holycross Abbey & the Medieval Treasures of Holycross,” and same will be delivered by historian and retired school principal Mr. Tom Gallagher, Ballycahill, Thurles. Refreshments as usual will be served.
Holycross Abbey, as most people are aware, is a beautifully restored medieval monastery on the banks of the River Suir here in central Tipperary and since its restoration has now returned to its original roll as a parish church.
Visitors to Holycross Abbey today experience rich history, heritage, folklore and legend, as well as breathtaking art and architecture. A Relic of the Cross has attracted millions of pilgrims from far and wide, since its foundation in 1182 AD. In the Abbey Cistercian art can be observed in the form of the rare ‘Sedilia’ and ‘Waking Bier’ found here, carved in stone. The old bell, called Michael, hangs in the tower and is reputedly the oldest church bell in Ireland, originally cast some 800 years ago. The beautiful outdoor Stations of the Cross are the work of Enrico Manfrini, who also designed His Holiness Pope Francis’ ring.
Here also can be observed the widest range of window patterns and tracery of any medieval building and today boasts the only surviving medieval chapter house doorway in Ireland.
Then of course there is the “Whispering Arch” – but enough from me, instead do drop in on Tom Gallagher’s lecture and prepare to be fascinated by his extensive and detailed knowledge of this great Irish treasure that is, after all, Holycross Abbey, Co Tipperary.