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Life Here In Thurles Easter Week 1916

The Irish Easter Rebellion or Easter Rising (Éirí Amach na Cásca) began on Easter Monday, April 24th, 1916 and lasted for six days. It was launched by seven members of the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, led by schoolmaster and Irish language activist Patrick Pearse, joined by the Irish Citizen Army of James Connolly, together with 200 members of Cumann na mBan.

It ended with unconditional surrender on Saturday April 29th, following by the courts-martial and execution of most of the leaders.

Old I.R.A. / Cumann na mBan Easter Meeting: Market House, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary, (Circa 1957).


Some faces identified in this picture; Travelling L-R (1) Con Spain, (2) Billy Maher, (3) Paddy (The Master) Ryan, (4) Dinny Byrne, (5) ?, (6) ?, (7) T.Long, (Gortnahoe). (8) Andrew Hackett, (9) ?, (10) ?, (11) Jimmy Carroll, (12) John Burns, (13) Patsy Doran, (14) Jimmy Loughnane, (15) Mrs O’Brien (16) Mrs O’Shea, (17) Bill Coman (Known fondly as ‘Bill the Black’, Connaught Rangers, Holycross,) (18) Mrs Delaney, (19) Tommy Griffin, (20) Ml Cleary, (21) Mick Quinn (CIE), (22) Joe Carroll, (23) Mick Leamy, (24) Stephen Troy, (25) Tom Doran, (26) Pakie Gorman, (27) Tom Duggan (Gortnahoe), (28) ?, (29) ?, (29a) Martin Dwyer, (30) Ml Cooney, (31) ?, (32) Hugh Long (Gortnahoe), (33) Tade Gleeson, (34) Jack Hackett, (35) Paddy Maher (Moyne), (36) Jack Kelly, (37) Sean Hayes, (38) ?, (39) Charles Steward Parnell O’Donnell (Gortnahoe), (40) James Mooney.     (Can anyone help us by putting names to the unknown faces captured in the above image?)

(Our sincere thanks to historians; Monseignor Dr. M. Dooley, Liam O’Donoghue and Sean Spain for their research.)

The following extracts, relating to life in Thurles during the week of the Easter Rising 1916, are taken from the journal of Fr. Michael Maher C.C., Thurles, then Secretary to the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Dr. John Mary Harty.

Easter Monday, 24th April 1916

“On Easter Monday, everything was peaceable to all appearances and we spent a quiet day, as the weather was cold and rainy. It appears that a notice was inserted in the evening papers of Saturday calling on the Irish or Sinn Féin Volunteers* not to have any parades on Easter Monday. It was signed by Eoin MacNeill who was regarded as their head.

[ * Note: In an effort to thwart both informers and the Volunteers’ own leadership, Pearse issued orders in early April for three days of “Parades and Manoeuvres” by the Volunteers for Easter Sunday. His idea was that the republicans within the organisation (particularly IRB members) would know exactly what this meant, while men such as MacNeill and the British authorities in Dublin Castle would take it at only face value.  MacNeill got wind of the truth and threatened to “do everything possible short of phoning Dublin Castle”, to prevent such a rising. ]

I did hear on Sunday morning that a motor car with Sinn Féin Volunteers ran into the sea near Killorglin* in Kerry and that the bodies of the occupants, who were drowned, were on recovery, found to have contained several rounds of ammunition as well as arms and Sinn Féin badges. The man that told me had it by letter and he seemed rather excited, but I paid no heed to it because I knew that the Sinn Féiners had no following or strength except in Dublin, where it was known that they had a force of about five thousand trained and equipped men.

[ * Same news refers to the incident at Ballykissane Pier, on Good Friday 1916, when Con Keating, Charlie Monaghan and Donal Sheehan were drowned. The driver of the car, Thomas McInerney, managed to swim to safety. ]

Around us there were about 50 in Dualla, headed by Mr. Pierce McCan of Ballyowen, and more in Ballagh under the leadership of Éamon O’Dwyer, who is a small farmer near that village. There were a few in Tipperary town and a few in Clonmel and Fethard, but none in Cashel or Templemore. Four was the number in Thurles, but we knew that only one could be counted on to take up arms. There were about a dozen in Drom and that was the sum total of their strength in Tipperary. They were mostly men who had seceded from the National Volunteers when McNeill and his followers took exception to Mr. Redmond’s tendency towards recruiting.

We got the papers on Monday morning April 24th [1916] and there was an account of the motor car incident as well as something about a ship that had been seized off the Kerry coast, but all these things did not disturb us in the least.

After dinner I was sitting in my room with Dr. Heffernan of the College, when Fr. M.K. Ryan came in and told us that the Sinn Féiners had begun a rebellion in Dublin, that the trains were not running and, as far as he could learn, it was on a large scale. I did not pay much heed to the tale because I knew that the Sinn Féiners had only a comparatively small force in Dublin and that they had practically no following in the remainder of Ireland. Yet I knew that a comparatively small body of men well trained and operating in a city could occupy houses and give a great deal of trouble to a military force sent to dislodge them. On the other hand, England had never as many soldiers at her call as now, and I believed that all the forces of the Crown would be sent to the work of suppressing any rising in Ireland, even though it meant shelling Dublin. We got no papers that night and no trains came from Cork or Dublin.”

Continue reading Life Here In Thurles Easter Week 1916


National Pilgrim Paths Week In Tipperary Begins

National Pilgrim Paths Week in Tipperary – March 22nd to March 29th, 2016

Over the coming Easter 2016 period, thousands of Irish residents and foreign visitors are expected to retrace ancestral heritage as they take to Ireland’s ancient pilgrim paths to celebrate the inaugural National Pilgrim Paths Week. This Easter Festival will see a nationwide series of pilgrim walks taking place on Ireland’s medieval penitential trails. Knowledgeable local guides will lead each event, outline the story of the route and explain how medieval penitents coped with their arduous and often dangerous journeys.


Pictured above, taken at the launch of Pilgrim Paths Week, shows (L – R): John G O’Dwyer (Thurles), Chairman of Pilgrim Paths Ireland; Diarmaid Conden, Knockmealdown Active; Isabel Cambie, Manager South Tipperary Development Company; Mark Rylands, Knockmealdown Active; Beatrice Kelly, Heritage Council and John Egan ( Drom & Inch), Secretary of Pilgrim Paths Ireland.

Speaking at the launch of the new festival, Chairman of Pilgrim Paths Ireland, Mr John G O’Dwyer stated; “National Pilgrim Paths Week was created to raise awareness and use of Ireland’s historic pilgrim routes. The event is targeted, not only at those who enjoy exploring Ireland’s ancient tracks, but also the growing number of people seeking to escape from the daily grind of life and take some time out to reflect and enjoy the outdoors.

The medieval pilgrimage was originally a journey combining prayer and sacrifice – with an element of physical discomfort – by which the pilgrim could become closer to God. In recent times, there has been a renewed interest in following the footsteps of pilgrims past and over the last number of years we in Pilgrim Paths Ireland have worked to develop these routes for the enjoyment of walkers and pilgrims alike.”

Upcoming Events In Tipperary
St. Declan’s Way: In Co Tipperary two pilgrim walks are planned for Holy Saturday, March 26th. Knockmealdown Active will retrace the footsteps of St. Declan over the scenic Knockmealdown Mountains on the border of Tipperary and Waterford. St. Declan’s Way is an ancient pilgrimage route linking the 5th century monastery of St. Declan in Ardmore, County Waterford with Cashel in County Tipperary. This event commences from Mount Melleray Abbey at 11:00am. For further information contact Kevin O’Donnell on Mobile (086) 354 1700.

Kilcommon Pilgrim Loop: On Kilcommon Pilgrim Loop the event will commence at 12:30 pm from Kilcommon Community Hall, with registration and a ‘Welcome Lecture’ by Fr. Dan Woods, P.P., (Kilcommon Parish), on the spiritual heritage of the walking route and the surrounding landscape. Further details available here by telephoning (062) 78103.

To find out more about these two events and the nationwide series of walks for National Pilgrim Paths Week, go to website www.pilgrimpath.ie


‘Tipperary Echoes of 1916’ – Extra Performance Announced

Horse and Jockey Hotel – Tipperary Echoes of  the 1916 Rising’

Since announcing their show ‘Tipperary Echoes of 1916′ on Thurles.Info on March 6th last, tickets for this much anticipated event have sold out faster than a U2 Concert in Croke Park.

Originally planned as simply a one night performance, such was the interest shown in this musical event that the company have now been invited to undertake a second extra performance which will take place on Saturday March 19th at 8.00 p.m. In order not to disappoint patrons the Horse and Jockey Singers will now present ‘Tipperary Echoes of 1916’ on stage at the Derrynaflan Theatre, in the Horse and Jockey Hotel on both Friday and Saturday 18th and 19th March.


Enjoying the rehearsals for ‘Tipperary Echoes of 1916’ at the Horse and Jockey Hotel are: – Liam O’Neill, Mary Egan, Flan Quigney, Peggy Morris and John Gorman.

This event is a Tipperary commemoration of the historic events of Easter 1916, remembered in music, verse, song and story. The content of the show is compiled by Kilkenny historian, Jim Maher and features many of the songs of the period including:- A Nation Once Again, A Soldier’s Song, Banna Strand, Grace, Tri-Coloured Ribbon, James Connolly, etc. The poems of William Butler Yeats get notable inclusion as does the poetry of 1916 ‘Proclamation Signatories’ – Pádraig Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh and Joseph Mary Plunkett.

Extra Attraction on both Show Nights  (Friday and Saturday 18th & 19th March).
An extra commemoration attraction for patrons holding tickets on each night, will be a chance to view a small but rare collection of actual artefacts connecting Co. Tipperary’s history with the 1916 – 1922 period. Same will go on show at 7.00 pm, just one hour prior to patrons taking their seats for the main event, latter as already stated which begins sharp at 8.00pm. So do arrive early on both nights for a truly enjoyable 1916 experience.

The Horse and Jockey Singers & Musicians
The Horse and Jockey Singers, who come mostly from the mid Tipperary area, have been together now for some years and are under the music direction of Patrick Conlon. Included among the musicians performing will be: John Gorman, Liam O’Neill, John Harnett and the Uilleann piper Michael Cooney.
On the opening night, Muriel McAuley and her husband Dermot will be guests at the show. Muriel is grand-daughter of Thomas MacDonagh, one of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation, who was executed at Kilmainham Gaol, following the Rising.

As tickets for the opening night on Friday 18th, have now been sold out, tickets for Saturday 19th March, costing €15, are now again available from the Horse & Jockey Hotel reception or from Connie O’Keeffe, Tel: 087 6667988.

Please do book early to avoid disappointment and remember patrons may wear period costume should they so desire.


Tipperary – Echoes of 1916


Shown Above: A rare image believed to include Sean Hogan (Right), a native of Stockaun, Greenane, north of Tipperary town, and the Officer Commanding (O/C) the 2nd Tipperary Flying Column, which became active during the Irish War of Independence in January 1921. An usher in Dáil Éireann for many years, Sean died, in poor circumstances, aged sixty-seven on Christmas Eve 1968 in Dublin. He was buried with full military honours in the family grave at St. Michael’s Cemetery, in Tipperary town.

A Tipperary Commemoration of Easter 1916

The “Horse and Jockey Singers” will present “Tipperary Echoes of 1916″ on stage at the Derrynaflan Theatre, Horse and Jockey Hotel on Friday, 18th March. This event is a Tipperary commemoration of the historic events of Easter 1916, remembered in music, verse, song and story.

The content of the show is compiled by Kilkenny historian, Jim Maher and will feature many of the songs of the period including:- ‘A Nation Once Again’, ‘A Soldier’s Song’, ‘Banna Strand’, ‘Grace’, ‘Tri-Coloured Ribbon’, ‘James Connelly’, to name but a few.

The poetry of William Butler Yeats also gets notable inclusion as does the poetry of 1916 Proclamation signatories; Pádraig Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh and Joseph Mary Plunkett.

The “Horse and Jockey Singers”, who come mostly from the mid Tipperary area, have been together now for some years and are under the music direction of Patrick Conlon. Included among the many musicians performing at this event will be; John Gorman, Liam O’Neill, John Harnett and Uilleann Piper Michael Cooney.

Muriel McAuley and her husband Dermot will be guests at the show. Muriel is grand-daughter of Thomas MacDonagh, (Latter born in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary), one of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation, who was executed at Kilmainham Gaol, following the Rising.

Early booking at the hotel is encouraged (Tickets €15, Tel: 0504-44192) and patrons may wear period costume, should they wish.


Ireland’s Pilgrim Paths Lecture In Ardmayle Church

pilgrimAt the invitation of Ardmayle Heritage Society, Mr John G. O’Dwyer, Chairman of Pilgrim Paths Ireland will give a lecture and slide-show on his exploration of ancient pilgrim trails, entitled “Walking Through History.” The event will take place in Ardmayle Church, Cashel on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016, at 8:00pm sharp.

Mr O’Dwyer, the author of the first guidebook to Ireland’s Pilgrim Paths, will also talk about the more recent developments on the pilgrim paths of Ireland and the upcoming ‘Pilgrim Paths Week’, which takes place from March 22nd to March 29th. Tipperary will be offering two fully guided pilgrim walks during this week long event, same taking place on ‘St Declan’s Way’ with a crossing of the Knockmealdown Mountains and on the ‘Kilcommon Pilgrim Loop’.

His talk on March 2nd next will also cover details of Ireland’s new Pilgrim Passport, which is similar to the Spanish Camino passport; offering an opportunity for Irish people and overseas visitors to get out and explore 120 kilometres of Ireland’s most unforgettable penitential paths, while reconnecting with the pilgrims past.

Those who have all Five Panels stamped on Passports, latter certifying full completion, automatically become eligible for a Teastas Oilithreachta (Irish Pilgrim Walk Certificate) from Ballintubber Abbey.

So, if you would like to walk some of Ireland’s pilgrim paths in the future or find out more about them, this upcoming lecture is certainly the event for you.

Admission to the lecture is free and all are welcome to attend.

For more information, contact M/s Marion Ryan at Tel: 087-6110338 or visit www.pilgrimpath.ie