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"Cad atá ar súil agat ?" - What are you doing?

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Féile Fidelma Returns To Cashel September 12th 2014

Celebrating Ireland’s International Best Selling Historical Crime Mystery Series.

The 5th three-day gathering of international enthusiasts of the best-selling historical crime series “The Sister Fidelma Mysteries,” by Peter Tremayne will be held in The Cashel Palace Hotel, Cashel, Co Tipperary from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September 2014.

The series, which has been published in some 18 languages to date, is set in 7th century Ireland, whose sleuthing heroine is Fidelma, sister of King Colgú of Munster. With her companion, a Saxon, Brother Eadulf, she is an advocate of the Brehon Laws of old Ireland. There are now 25 books in this series.

Sister Fidelma

The event will be extra special as it will coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the first ever Sister Fidelma novel entitled “Absolution by Murder” published in 1994.

Online registration is now open. You may pay in Euro or dollars. Full registration is €160 or US$225. This fee covers the opening reception on Friday evening, a registration pack, three days of talks, an outing to Coolmore Stud Farm to accompany a talk on the horse breeds in Fidelma’s day, tea/coffee breaks and of course the Saturday evening gala dinner with Peter Tremayne and guests.

Day registration is also available, which will include the three lectures and tea/coffee break at €30 per day and €40 if a visit to Coolmore Stud Farm is also to be included.

Please Note: There is limited availability to Coolmore Stud Farm for day registration.

Féile Fidelma 2014 Community Programme of Events

Friday, September 12th 2014
From 18.00-19.00: Registration at The Cashel Palace Hotel.
19.00: Reception by the Mayor of Cashel.
19.30 Official Opening of Féile Fidelma Weekend 2014.
20.00 An Evening with Peter Tremayne.
This will be followed by an informal session in the Cellar Bar.

Saturday, September 13th 2014
09.30: The Sister Fidelma Novels: Professor Edward Rielly, Maine, U.S.A..
10.30: Coffee Break.
11.00: What was in Sr. Fidelma’s Liber Hymnorum?: Dr. Ann Buckley, T.C.D..
12.00: Horses in Fidelma’s Day: Mr. Noel Mullins, equestrian expert.
14.30: Visit Coolmore Stud Farm, the centre of bloodstock breeding in Ireland.
19.30: Gala Dinner in The Cashel Palace Hotel featuring Caroline Lennon (The Voice of Fidelma) who will read passages from the Sr. Fidelma Series.

Click here to download the Gala Dinner Menu

Sunday, September 14th 2014
09.30: Food in Fidelma’s time: Regina Sexton, U.C.C..
10.30: Coffee Break.
11.00: The Eóghanacht: Professor Pádraig Ó Riain, U.C.C..
12.00: David Robert Wooten, founder of the International Society.
13.00: Conclusion of Féile Fidelma Weekend 2014.

Distinguished Speakers

Professor Edward Rielly from Maine, USA, who was co-editor, with David Robert Wooten, of the academic study “The Sister Fidelma Mysteries”: The Historical Novels of Peter Tremayne (2012). Rielly is Professor of English at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine in the U.S.A.

Professor Pádraig Ó Riain is Ireland’s leading scholastic expert of the Fidelma’s period. Ó Riain is an Irish Celticist and prominent hagiologist focusing on Irish hagiography, martyrdom, mythology, onomastics and codicology. He has spent much of his academic life at the University College Cork, where he became a lecturer in 1964 and was professor of Old and Middle Irish. He has been a member of the Royal Irish Academy since 1989, president of the Irish Texts Society since 1992, Parnell Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge, since 2002 and more recently, a member of the ‘Place Names Commission of Ireland,’  (Irish: An Coimisiún Logainmneacha).

Dr Ann Buckley is a leading expert on liturgical music in Fidelma’s time. Buckley holds a B.Mus., M.A. (National University of Ireland), doctoral (University of Amsterdam) and a Ph.D. (University of Cambridge) and is a research associate at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Trinity College, Dublin.

Regina Sexton from University College Cork, who is a food historian, food writer, broadcaster and cook. Sexton has been researching and publishing in the area of Irish food and culinary history since 1993. Her research interests include food and identity, food and tradition and food in the Irish country house. She has published widely at academic and popular levels and is a leading expert on food in Fidelma’s time.

Noel Mullins is an equestrian expert. Mullins has not only authored two books about the origin of horses in Ireland, countless articles in equestrian journals, but he is also an expert advising and appearing in many films and television shows on the subject. In 2005, for example, he played a huntsman in the remake of ‘Lassie’ with Peter O’Toole.

David Robert Wooten is the founder of The International Sister Fidelma Society, its director and editor of its thrice yearly journal The Brehon. Wooten will be introducing and chairing the first evening with the author, Peter Tremayne. He will also be winding up the event on Sunday with his usual look at the state of Fidelma’s World. He will be reflecting on the Society’s thirteen years of existence (it was founded in 2001 and The Brehon was launched in February, 2002). And, of course, he will be examining the Féile Fidelma past and present and future.

Caroline Lennon is the actress acclaimed as the ever popular ‘Voice of Fidelma,’ and who reads the Sister Fidelma Audio Books published by Soundings, Isis Publishing Ltd.

So please do note your calendar to experience this truly most enjoyable of annual events.

Book Your Tickets: http://www.cashelartsfest.com/content/Buy-Tickets.html
Date: Friday 12th until Sunday 14th September
Venue: Cashel Palace Hotel, Cashel, Co. Tipperary
Cost: €160.00

Hayes Hotel Goes Under The Hammer

Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary

Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary

Hayes Hotel, situated in Liberty Square here in Thurles and the birthplace of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), is finally set to go under the hammer at the next Allsops Space auction; to be held on September 16th 2014.

The Allsop Space Catalogue (Lot No 82) lists the sale as follows:-
Hayes Hotel is an historic 30 bedroom hotel comprising a reception, Cusack’s Bar, lounge bar, coffee dock, two nightclubs, together with 30 bedrooms extends to approximately 1,949.9 sq. m (19,901 sq. ft) in a town centre location and holding a 7 day publican’s licence

The premises are situated on a site extending to approximately 0.44 hectares (1.08 acres). The property is arranged over ground with two upper floors to provide a hotel. The adjoining building comprises a former shop and seven bedrooms.

The property has not been internally inspected or measured by Allsop Space and viewing times, as  this article goes to print have not as yet been confirmed. The premises are being offered with vacant possession and with a guideline of just €450,000 – €500,000.

I don’t know about you, our regular readers, but it would appear rather peculiar to me, that as Failte Ireland, using taxpayers funding, set about spending some €20m to design a new logo for Dublin city, (Thus making it a more attractive city for women tourists no less), that a building bearing such important national historic importance is being completely cast aside, without a threatened revolt by lovers of our national games. (Michael Cusack and Maurice Davin must be turning in their graves.)

Still I suppose someone will eventually purchase this piece of our nation’s history and could then move its front facade to Dublin’s National Museum, in keeping with every other historical artefact stolen from Co. Tipperary and held in our nation’s capital city in recent years.

Tipperary’s Irish Anzacs – Clonoulty Village Hall

"Pat" Armstrong

“Pat” Armstrong, Moyaliffe, Co. Tipperary

More than 340 men and one woman from here in Co. Tipperary enlisted in the Australian forces during the First World War. Of those who enlisted; 45 were killed or died as a result of their service.

An event to be hosted in Clonoulty village hall on Wednesday next (August 20th 2014 beginning 7.30pm sharp) by Mrs Kitty Barry (Vice-chairperson of County Tipperary Historical Society) and Chaired by Mr Richard O’Brien (Chairman of County Tipperary Historical Society), will now for the first time discuss Tipperary’s overall involvement in this ‘war to end all wars’.

Guest speakers at this Clonoulty, Co Tipperary event will include historians Professor Jeff  Kildea, Dr. Danny Cusack and Mr Tom Carroll.

Professor Jeff Kildea – Tipperary’s Contribution to the Australian War Effort

Prof. Jeff Kildea is a historian, lecturer and author with a PhD in history from the University of New South Wales. He is currently the Keith Cameron Professor of Australian History at University College Dublin having previously taught Irish and Australian history to undergraduates at the University of New South Wales and at Sydney University’s Centre for Continuing Education.

Prof. Kildea is an Adjunct at the Global Irish Studies Centre at the University of New South Wales and has written books and articles and presented papers both in Australia and Ireland on early 20th-century Irish-Australian history. His books include “Tearing the Fabric”  (Sectarianism in Australia 1910-1925) (2002), “Anzacs and Ireland” (2007) and “Wartime Australians,” Billy Hughes (2008).  He is currently researching Irish Anzacs and a biography of Hugh Mahon, the Labour member for Kalgoorlie who in 1920 was expelled from the Commonwealth parliament for his criticism of British rule in Ireland.

For more than 30 years Prof. Kildea has practised as a barrister from 5 Wentworth Chambers and is now an Acting Commissioner of the Land and Environment Court. He is also the editor of Land & Environment Court Law & Practice NSW and a contributing author to “Planning & Development Service NSW,” published by Thomson Reuter.

On Wednesday night next Professor Kildea will for the first time here in Tipperary publicly examine Tipperary’s contribution to the Australian war effort and tell the stories of some of the little known Irish ANZACs from our county who fought and died in the War.

Dr. Danny Cusack – With the Anzacs at Gallipoli: Fr John Fahey

Dr. Danny Cusack is an independent historian currently residing at Kells, Co. Meath. A native of Perth, Western Australia, he has lived in Ireland for many years. He has completed a PhD and book on the Meath-born Western Australian politician Senator Paddy Lynch (1867-1944) and written and lectured on various aspects of the history of Meath (where he has family connections) and on Irish-Australia.
His talk entitled “With the Anzacs at Gallipoli: Fr John Fahey (1883-1959),” Dr. Cusack will discuss the Rossmore born priest who served most of his life in Western Australia. As an Australian army chaplain he took part in the famous Gallipoli landing of April 25 1915.

Mr Tom Carroll – Personal Accounts from Gallipoli

Mr Tom Carroll is a native of Clonoulty and a retired company director. His expertise was in regional and local economic development. His particular interest is local history and to understand how it was affected by change at national and international level i.e. political, economic, social and technological change. In regard to local history his focus has been on his native county, Tipperary, his mother’s county (Laois), his wife’s county (Kilkenny), and Limerick where he resided for some 46 years.
He will give those in attendance information on his uncle: Lce. Cpl. Martin Carroll, 1st Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers: killed in Gallipoli 28th June 1915.
Also on his uncle-in-law from Conahy / Three Castles, Co. Kilkenny: Private William Keeffe, 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers, killed in Gallipoli 25th April 1915. Tom has William’s diary completed to the day prior to his death, extracts from which provide insights into the life of an ordinary soldier.

WWI Memorabilia – St Mary’s War Museum

St Mary’s War Museum will display rare World War I memorabilia, some relating to Gallipoli, at this major Clonoulty historic gathering.
Note: Discussion & Refreshments afterwards.

Further Information: Please address all queries to: catherinebarry@eircom.net

Admission to this event costs just €5.00, with all proceeds going to the Tipperary Libraries Digitisation Project.

Tipperary – Two Degrees Of Separation From Adolf Hitler

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.

Dowling Hitler

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

Thurles Rare Famine Relief Book 1847 On Public Display

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.

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