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St Mary’s Graveyard Project Under Way In Thurles

Death the Leveller

[Extract from the poem by James Shirley. (1596–1666)]

“The glories of our blood and state, are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against Fate; death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and Crown must tumble down and in the dust be equal made
With the poor crookèd scythe and spade.”

On April 2nd last year (2014) here on Thurles.Info we featured a Video Blog, asking the question “Are we Neglecting Tipperary’s National Heritage?”.  We highlighted in that particular feature, the neglect of St Mary’s Graveyard here in Thurles, in which numerous individuals of national and county historical importance have, in the past, been laid to rest.

Now one year later, following planning and debate, work has finally begun, using voluntary labour and the valued assistance of Tús Community Work Placement Initiative members, led by supervisors Mr Tony Lanigan, Mr Maurice Leahy and Mr Michael Carey.

This project, now ongoing, together with those involved, have been extremely careful to ensure that this historic burial ground is respected in full, firstly, with regards to the rights of living family members of those deceased, and secondly, the rules already put in place by the Heritage Council with regard to the Guidance for the Care, Conservation and Recording of Historic Graveyards.

A partial planting programme began last November (2014) with the support and supervision of North Tipperary Co Council officials, Mr Michael Ryan (Administrator) and Mr Seamus Hanafin (Co.Councillor), under the direction of Dr Aine Lynch, latter a Conservation Ranger with the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Note: You can view details of many of those persons currently laid to rest within St Mary’s Graveyard simply by clicking HERE.

Click on ‘Vimeo’ (Bottom Right of this Video Clip) to view progress to date in HD.

Aims and future aspirations of this St Mary’s Graveyard Conservation Project.

Very few tourists, if any, visit St.Mary’s Graveyard in Thurles for its own merits presently, with those who do arrive intent only on viewing the Famine and War Museum, latter situated centre on this site. Imagine their delight when, weather permitting, they are taken into the surrounding ancient graveyard area, to view the final resting places of some of Tipperary’s greatest citizens.

Continue reading St Mary’s Graveyard Project Under Way In Thurles

Borrisoleigh Rural Community In Larger Irish Setting

The very successful monthly series of history lectures which have been continuing in the Community Centre, Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Co Tipperary, (Latter building situated behind the Sacred Heart Church) over the past year, will continue on Friday April 10th next, at 8.00pm.

Borrisoleigh

Picture from the late 1960’s of Borrisoleigh village centre in Co. Tipperary.

This month’s lecture, a broader than usual theme, will examine social change in rural Ireland, as seen through the prism of guest lecturer Professor Liam Kennedy’s own parish of Borrisoleigh in North Tipperary.

For those of you not already familiar with the work of Professor Liam Kennedy; he is Professor Emeritus of Economic & Social History at Queen’s University Belfast. He was born in Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, in 1946, well before the era of rural electrification, the Friesian cow, Radio Telefís Eireann and the European Union. His interests include social change in Irish rural society, the Great Irish Famine and ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland.

In 2005 he held a visiting professorship at the University of Toronto and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Professor Kennedy retired from the academic staff in September 2011, but remains an active member of Queen’s History community. He is currently completing a book of historical essays, less than imaginatively titled “The Irish,” latter which will be published, possibly towards the end of this year.

In the 1950’s and the 1960’s a number of studies appeared which proclaimed the death of rural Ireland. Most of these came out of the west of Ireland and somehow did not seem to fit the rural world of Professor Kennedy who had experienced growing up here in Co. Tipperary. Thus began his interest in studying marriage patterns, dowries, farm inheritance, land hunger, religious change, women in rural society and much more.

“At this history discussion in Borrisoleigh I hope to explore these and other related themes and would be delighted to hear of the life experiences of others as well,” stated Professor Kennedy.

This planned evening event promises to be truly entertaining, particularly for lovers of social history, so do try to keep your calendar free for Friday April 10th next, 8.00pm.

Summer ‘Daylight Saving Time’ Begins 1.00 am Tomorrow Morn

Remember at 1.00am tomorrow morning, Sunday, our clocks here in Ireland will go forward by one hour, thus marking the official start of Irish Summer Time.

NPG x91747; William Willett by Elliott & Fry

William Willett

Daylight Saving Time is instigated annually here in Ireland so as to make better use of our natural occurring daylight. So by putting clocks forward one hour during the Summer and one hour back again in the Autumn, same can be achieved. These same actions reduce considerable unnecessary energy consumption, while also saving countless lives, since fewer accidents occur in the mornings when compared to our darker evenings.

Tomorrow morning in the European Union, all time zones will change at the same moment.

DST or ‘Daylight Savings Time’ has been in use throughout much of the world including the U.S.A., Canada and Europe since World War I, when it was first established by the ‘Summer Time Act’ in 1916. However between 1940 and until July 1945, (during the Second World War), clocks were not put back an hour at the end of ‘Summer Time’ in a bid to save both fuel and public finance.

The idea of attempting to not waste our daylight came about following a campaign by the Edwardian British builder William Willett who lived in Chislehurst, Kent, England (Great-great-grandfather of co-founder, lead singer and songwriter Chris Martin of the band ‘Coldplay.’), former who strongly promoted this idea of time change in 1907.  Annoyed by what he viewed as the continuous waste of daylight (Note Willett loved golfing in the evenings which may have also encouraged this notion of ‘Daylight Saving’.), he produced a promotional pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight.

During Willett’s own lifetime however no such change ever took place. It was not until one year, following his death from influenza at the age of 58, on March 4th 1915, that British Summer Time became a reality; beginning on May 21st 1916 and ending on October 1st, in an effort to improve output in factories and reduce the amount of coal used in particular for obtaining gas, used in public lighting.

Charles Lysaght To Lecture Borrisoleigh Historical Society

BrackenMr. Charles Lysaght, the biographer of Brendan Bracken, is giving a lecture on Bracken to the Borrisoleigh Historical Society at the Community Centre, Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary at 8pm on Thursday, March 12th 2015.

Brendan Bracken, son of J.K. Bracken of Templemore, one of the founders of the GAA, strayed from his background so far as to became a Tory Member of the House of Commons, Minister of Information in Winston Churchill’s wartime Government and finished up as Viscount Bracken, Chairman of the Financial Times Group of newspapers.

His mother, Hannah Ryan, was born in Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary.  Widowed in 1904, when her son Brendan was only three, she moved her family of four children and two step-children, to Dublin.

In 1916, aged just 14, he ran away from a boarding school in Co. Limerick. As a result his mother exiled him for the remainder of his teenage years, to Australia.

On his return Brendan settled in England passing himself off as an Australian and made a mystery of his background. The only connection he maintained with Ireland was with his mother, who had treated him so harshly, but to whom he remained unequivocally devoted.

When she died in 1928, aged 54, he travelled to attend her funeral in Borrisoleigh and was seen weeping beside her grave in Glankeen cemetery. This was to be his last known visit to Ireland.

Brendan died from throat cancer in 1958, aged 57 and not reconciled to his Roman Catholic Church to which his mother had reared him. He left instructions that no funeral or memorial service was to be held and that his ashes should be scattered on Romney Marsh in Kent. He wished to leave, as he had arrived……..without trace.

Charles Lysaght, who has researched Hannah’s family background, including letters her famous son wrote to her, makes the case that she may be the key to a whole strange story.

Death Of Tipperary Born Commodore Liam Brett

deathIt is with great sadness we learn of the death last Friday (20th February 2015) of Tipperary born former Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Service, Commodore Liam Brett, of Glounthaune, Co. Cork and formerly of Lucan, Co. Dublin and Cappauniac, Cahir, Co Tipperary.

Mr Brett passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, while in the tender and compassionate care of the Sisters, Nursing and Care Staff at the Bon Secours Care Village, Mount Desert, Co. Cork.

Loving husband of the late Eileen (nee Twomey) and father of Bríd, Denise, Martin and Joseph; Commodore Brett will be sorely missed by his children for his love, life and leadership and by his son-in-law Seán, grandchildren Róisín, Deirdre and Gearóid Cottrell, Amy and Richard Brett, nieces, nephews, relatives and a wide circle of neighbours and close friends.

Commodore Brett’s internment will take place following 11.00am Requiem Mass at the Sacred Heart Church, Glounthaune, tomorrow, in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Little Island, Co. Cork.

Aged 86, Commodore Brett, during his lifetime, was central to the development of the Irish Naval Services, beginning when the Service commissioned the ‘LE Deirdre’ (1971) from the Verolme Dockyard in Co. Cork. Later under his watch the Naval Service would also acquire a further seven ships, thus allowing it to carry out Irish offshore patrols and fishery protection duties, following Ireland’s access to the then EEC.

Commodore Brett was also involved in the operation to recover the Aer Lingus Viscount aircraft that crashed off Tuskar Rock in 1967 and was involved in the recovery operation to raise the Air India plane which crashed into the sea off the West Cork coast in 1985. He played a major role in the interception, by three Naval Service ships, of the ‘MV Claudia’, latter bearing with guns, bound for the Provisional IRA, off Helvick Head in Co Waterford in 1973. Some eleven years later he was involved in a similar operation, when the ‘LE Emer’ and the ‘LE Aisling’ intercepted the vessel ‘Marita Anne,’ again with an arms cargo, off the Kerry coast.

Commodore Brett first joined the Naval Service in 1947, enjoying a 44-year career and rising to the rank of Flag Officer, prior to his retirement in 1990.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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