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Enigma Cipher Machines – The Tipperary Connection

 The Stoney Family of North Tipperary

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Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS (1912 – 1954).

The Stoney family (latter family name originally Danish), were once prominent landlords, here in North Tipperary.
Ethel Sara Stoney (1881–1976), was born on November 18th, at Podanur, in the city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India, the daughter of Edward Waller Stoney (Borrisokane, North Tipperary) and Sarah Crawford (Cartron Abbey, Co. Longford); Protestant Anglo-Irish gentry.

Her father was Chief Engineer of the Madras Railways, which played a pioneering role in developing railways in southern India, before being merged in 1908 with Southern Mahratta Railway to form the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway.

Educated at Alexandra School and College, Dublin, and at Cheltenham Ladies College, before attending lectures at the Sorbonne in Paris, she returned to join her parents in Madras, preferring to use her middle Christian name that of ‘Sara’. On October 1st 1907 she married Julius Mathison Turing, son of Reverend John Robert Turing and Fanny Boyd, in Dublin.

Many television viewers recently would have watched the film “The Imitation Game” which starred amongst others Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. This film, which grossed over $233.6 million at the box office, was based on the life of Sara Turing’s son Alan Mathison Turing.  Born on June 23rd 1912, the second and last child (after his brother John Ferrier Turing) later he would be regarded as being one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century.

Those of you, our readers, who viewed this film (Highly recommended viewing, I might add) will be aware that Alan Turing was educated at Sherborne College and Cambridge University, and received a PhD from Princeton, having sailed on the liner Berengaria to New York arriving at Princeton in September 1936. A brilliant mathematician and cryptographer Alan was truly the founder of modern day computer science and artificial intelligence and designed a machine to help break secret Enigma encrypted messages [1] being then circulated by the Nazi German war machine during World War 2.

[1]  Enigma devices were electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines developed and used in the mid-twentieth century to convey and protect sensitive commercial, diplomatic and military communications. Invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius towards the end of World War I, these early models were also used commercially by Japan, Italy and most notably Nazi Germany before and during World War II.

Many readers however will not be aware that Alan’s mother was a member of this same Stoney family who once resided at Tombrickane, Kyle Park, Borrisokane, North Co. Tipperary.

Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill once stated that Alan Turing made the single biggest contribution to the Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany, possibly saving the lives of an estimated 2 million people, through his efforts in shortening World War 2. Churchill was first introduced to Alan Turing during a visit to the highly secretive Hut No 8 at ‘Bletchley Park’, establishment in September 1941. The following month Turing and three other cryptographers wrote directly to Sir Winston Churchill seeking further administrative resources; a request which Prime Minister Churchill immediately made available.

Described as one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century, in 1945 Turing was awarded the OBE by King George VI for his wartime services which included (between the years 1939 – 1942), the breaking of U-boat Enigma messages, thus ensuring allied victory in the battle of the Atlantic. His work continued to remain top secret for many years and Turing machines still remain, to this very day, a central object for study in the theory of computation.

Apart from his work in breaking Nazi Enigma codes from 1945 to 1947, Turing worked on the design of the ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) at the British National Physical Laboratory and presented a paper (February 19th 1946), laying out his vision for the first detailed design of a stored-program computer.

Alas, in 1952 his brilliant career was to be halted; brought about by a short homosexual affair with a 19 year old, named as Arnold Murray. “Eaten bread is soon forgotten” as my grandmother used to say, and Alan’s private life would now come into conflict with an ingrate society displaying short term memory.

Turing and Murray were both prosecuted for homosexual acts, (under section 11 of the then Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885), then considered illegal whether carried out in private or in public. Now with the loss of security clearance to fund his work, Alan chose chemical castration as an alternative to the punishment of a long gaol sentence.

Between 1953 and 54 much of his work in biology and physics remained unfinished and on the 7th of June 1954 Alan was found dead as a result of cyanide poisoning, in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Although suicide was suspected, Alan left no suicide note, having eaten an apple apparently laced with cyanide. This apple however was never fully tested, leaving his mother to never accept the Coroner’s suicide verdict or indeed understand Alan’s actual motivation to end his life.

Certainly his humiliation by prosecutors and the cruel effects of his hormone treatment would have greatly influenced his then mental state, but it was not until September 2009 that former British Labour Prime Minister Mr Gordon Brown would make a formal apology on behalf of the British Government, firstly recognising his contribution to World War 2 and secondly for Turing’s treatment stating ‘he deserved better’.  On the 12th of June 1954, Alan’s body was cremated at Woking Crematorium, St John’s, and his ashes scattered.

Perhaps the apple with the bite taken out, which constitutes the logo on the back of your iPhone or MacBook Pro after all remains as a tribute to Alan Turing, although Apple the American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, apparently dismiss this association.

Regarding his mother Ethel Sara Stoney from North Tipperary; her death came during the early part of her 95th year, on March 6th 1976, while she residing at Stoneycrest, Churt Road, Hindhead, Surrey, England, and following her death, like her son, she too was also cremated.

Perhaps someone will unveil a small commemorative plaque during 2017 in memory of Sara and Alan at Borrisokane; if only in our quest to encourage elusive tourists.

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North Tipperary Man Awarded With ‘Legion of Honour’

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Mr James Moore – ‘Legion of Honour’ recipient.

Three Irishmen who fought in France in the Second World War; namely, Mr Albert Sutton, Mr James Moore and Mr Jack Allshire (Latter named whose award was posthumously accepted by his wife, Mrs Barbara Allshire) were awarded with the Legion of Honour by Minister Jean-Marc Todeschini at a ceremony in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin today.

The Legion of Honour; full name National Order of the Legion of Honour (In French: Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur) is the highest French order for military and civil merits, established by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802 and divided into five degrees of increasing distinction: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand-Croix (Grand Cross). The order’s motto is “Honneur et Patrie” (“Honour and Fatherland”).

Mr James Moore, aged 92, was born on June 5th 1924 in Borrioskane, Co. Tipperary, and presently resides in the Coolbawn area of North Tipperary. After the ceremony Mr Moore spoke briefly of the landing on a Normandy beach just a few days after D-Day while being bombed from the air.  Indeed the first dead German he remembers seeing was an airman who had been shot down, aged, he believes, no more than 19 or 20 years old.

Thurles WW1
Meanwhile back here in Thurles on today, Remembrance Sunday (The closest Sunday to eleventh day of the eleventh month), let us never forget some 73 soldiers, including one Victoria Cross recipient; all who were residents of the area and who lost their lives during WW1.

For the Fallen.
[Extract from the poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)]

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

Anderson John, – Beirne John, – Bermingham Patrick, – Bourke James, – Brett Timothy, – Butler John, – Byrne Patrick, – Carroll Martin, – Carroll Thomas, – Carty John, – Cassidy John, – Cleary Joseph, – Cleary Patrick, – Cleary Thomas, – Coady Edward, – Coady Joseph, – Coady Richard, – Coffey Michael, – Cooke Henry F, – Cooney David, – Cummins John, – Conway Denis, – Cunningham John V.C., – Cunningham Patrick, – Cusack Oliver, – Dea Patrick, – Dwyer Cornelius, – Egan Martin, – Fitzpatrick Joseph, – Gouldsborough Patrick, – Griffin Thomas, – Hackett Martin, – Hanrahan Daniel, – Hayes Daniel, – Hayes Thomas, – Hennessey Thomas, – Horan Joseph, – Jordan Denis, – Kelly James, – Kelly William, – Kennedy Matthew, – Kiely Owen, – Knox Hubert Lt Col., – Knox William Lt Col., – Lawyer Joseph, – Maher Frank, – Maher James, – Maher James Bernard, – Maher John, – McCormack Francis, – McCormack Thomas, – McLoughlin James J, – Meany James, – Mockler Patrick, – Moyler George, – O’Brien Lawrence, – O’Grady Patrick, – O’Shea John, – Power Michael, – Purcell Philip, – Quinlan Joseph, – Ryan Andrew, – Ryan James, – Ryan John, – Ryan Martin, – Ryan Michael, – Ryan Patrick, – Scally Patrick, – Shields Matthew, – Stapleton John, – Sullivan Patrick, – Terry Timothy, – Walsh James.

In all at least 50,000 families in Ireland were affected by the loss of a loved one during the First World War.

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Tipperary (Thurles) Library To Host Discussion On 1916 Rising

Tipperary Library Service to host a panel discussion on the 1916 Rising.

Executive Librarian (Thurles Library), M/s Ann-Marie Brophy reports:

As 2016 draws to a close, Tipperary County Council Library Service will hold an author panel event; same entitled: – ‘1916: Remembering the Rising’.

The Source Arts Centre

The Source Library

Invitation.
Join our panel discussion to remember, reflect and re-imagine this pivotal period in Irish history. The panel will feature writers who have approached the subject in diverse and interesting ways. Chaired by Mr Fran Curry, broadcaster with Tipp FM and he will be joined in conversation by M/s Marita Conlon-McKenna, Dr Fearghal McGarry, and M/s Mary Morrissy. The event will take place on Thursday 24th November, at 7.00pm in the Source Library & Arts Centre, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Panel Discussion – Guest Members.
Marita Conlon-McKenna is a well known author of fiction for both children and adults. Her latest novel, ‘Rebel Sisters’, is set in Ireland during the 1916 Rising and is based on the real life Gifford sisters – Muriel, Grace, and Nellie – three young women at the very heart of the Rising. ‘Rebel Sisters’ has been shortlisted for the ‘Popular Fiction Book of the Year’ at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.

Dr Fearghal McGarry is based in Queen’s University, Belfast, and is the author of many books about Irish modern history, including ‘The Rising: Ireland, Easter 1916’. Much of his recent research on the Easter Rising of 1916 has focused on the role of memory and commemoration in Irish history.

Mary Morrissy is the author of ‘The Rising of Bella Casey’, which explores the life of Bella Casey, an ambitious young schoolteacher, and her relationship with her brother, the celebrated Irish playwright Sean O’Casey.

As stated, the panel will be chaired by Mr Fran Curry, well known broadcaster from Tipp FM. This free event is presented by Tipperary County Council Library Service and has received funding from the Tipperary 2016 Programme.

For further information:
Please contact M/s Ann-Marie Brophy, (Executive Librarian), Tipperary County Council Library Service at Telephone: 0761 06 6100.

Promises to be a ‘must attend’ event for lovers of Irish History.

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Dessie O’Hare To Fight Extradition From N. Ireland

Former INLA Commander and once prisoner at Portlaoise maximum security jail, Mr Dessie O’Hare, once known as the ‘Border Fox’, is to fight extradition from Northern Ireland over his alleged role as the leader of a gang accused of the imprisonment of a Dublin family, a Belfast court has heard today.

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Mr Dessie O’Hare

Mr O’Hare, now aged 60 and who was once the most wanted man in Ireland, (IR£100,000 reward was offered for information on his known whereabouts), is accused in the Irish Republic of six separate crimes, including violent disorder; an act of grievous bodily harm; threats to kill and three counts of false imprisonment.

Early this morning, Mr O’Hare was detained at his home in Newtownhamilton, Co Armagh, in connection with these charges. His alleged offences relate back to June of 2015 and an incident which occurred at Garters Lane, Saggart, in Co Dublin.

Today he appeared before Belfast Recorders’ Court, flanked by prison guards, to justify the first stage of a bid to have him transferred to the Irish Republic. Lawyers representing Dublin’s High Court were granted bail on the grounds that he could abscond; resulting in a decision to remand Mr O’Hare into custody, to appear before the court again next Friday. Mr Declan Duffy, aged 43, a co-accused, with an address at Hannover Street West in Co. Dublin, has already been remanded in custody here in the Republic and a full hearing has been listed for next month.

Mr O’Hare, was a former Irish republican paramilitary, who broke away from self styled ‘Irish National Liberation Army’ (INLA) leadership in Belfast, to set up his own group, the ‘Irish Revolutionary Brigade’.

Possibly he is best remembered for his kidnapping of the late Dr. John O’Grady, from his home in Cabinteely, Co. Dublin on October 13th, 1987.  Mr O’Grady, readers may recall, owned a dental surgery in Ballsbridge and was never the intended victim of this O’Hare led gang; who had mistaken his home for that of his father-in-law, the high-profile millionaire and medical entrepreneur Dr. Austin Darragh. (Alas Dr. John O’Grady died in September of this year).

Intensive Garda detective work traced the kidnappers to a location in Cabra, Co. Dublin and a shoot out ensued. One Garda detective was later seriously wounded, however Mr O’Grady was rescued, minus two little fingers which had been chopped off using a hammer and chisel, before same were sent to Carlow Cathedral. In a follow up telephone call to Gardaí, informing them of what was to be found in the Cathedral, Mr O’Hare stated: “It’s just cost John two of his fingers. Now I’m going to chop him into bits and pieces and send fresh lumps of him every fucking day if I don’t get my money fast.”  The O’Hare gang themselves escaped from the Cabra location in a hijacked car, which was later found in Dundalk.

Mr O’Hare later resurfaced again in Dunleer, Co. Louth, where he allegedly fired shots into a chip shop during an altercation with his wife; while two members of his notorious gang were arrested near the town of Cahir, here in Co. Tipperary. Some three weeks later, on November 27th 1987, Mr O’Hare was himself arrested after a car, in which he was a passenger, attempted to drive through an Irish Defence Forces check point near Urlingford, on the Tipperary / Kilkenny border. Following a fire-fight, in which his car driver; named as Mr Martin Bryan, was killed. Mr O’Hare was shot eight times as he resisted arrest and one Irish Army soldier was wounded during this same incident.

At a subsequent trial at the Special Criminal Court, Mr O’Hare was convicted of possession of firearms with intent; unlawful imprisonment and wounding with intent, before receiving a 40-year jail sentence. He staged a ‘dirty protest’ in a wing of the prison in 1998, following the Good Friday Agreement, before being transferred to Castlerea Prison on  December 8th 2002, in preparation for his release under the same agreement.

He was first granted temporary release from prison in November 2003, following his attendance at a weekend long course on ‘Conflict Resolution’, in Glencree, situated in the Wicklow Mountains; latter an Irish Peace and Reconciliation Centre dedicated to transforming violent conflict.  He was later granted periods of temporary release in November 2004 and in March 2005.

However in November 2005 he was returned to Portlaoise prison after he was caught with a mobile phone and a bag of pills, while returning to Castlerea prison from temporary release, thus jeopardising his chances of release under licence. Following a new High Court bid in April 2006 he was granted extended temporary release, and later the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) issued a statement that Mr O’Hare would no longer be arrested on suspicion of his involvement in up to 30 unsolved killings, since these alleged offences pre-dated the Good Friday Agreement.

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Memorial Ceremony For General Richard Mulcahy, Littleton, Co. Tipp

In April of this year we (Thurles.Info), expressed the view that, as a community, we should rightfully commemorate those who took part in the 1916 Easter Rising here in Ireland.

With all of the well funded 1916 commemorative activities targeted at Dublin’s O’Connell Street and its immediate economic environment; we also expressed the view that perhaps the name General Richard James Mulcahy could easily, shall we say, ‘be sidelined’.

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Pic (1) Michael Collins (Center) with Richard Mulcahy (Right); Pic (2) General Richard Mulcahy TD; Pic (3) General Mulcahy with his wife Mary (Affectionately known as ‘Min’), taken in 1922.

We were of the then opinion that a man responsible for the only successful military action taken in 1916; (that of the defeat of the RIC at Ashbourne, County Meath), could be totally forgotten in rural Ireland, amidst the advertising aimed at O’Connell Street’s national mêlée.

We were correct. Here we are, almost into the last 9 weeks of 2016; with Dublin’s jingling tourism coinage beginning to sound less musical; when suddenly, imagine my irrepressible delight on hearing the glad tidings today that on Sunday next, October 23rd, a Memorial Ceremony for that once great Tipperary patriot General Richard Mulcahy will after all take place in the ground which today marks his last resting place. That resting place of course is Ballymoreen Graveyard, Littleton, Co. Tipperary (Take the N8 Old Cork to Dublin road), with the event starting at 2.00pm.

This event I am happy to relate is the most welcome initiative of a local Littleton committee (Well done), assisted by the membership of the ‘Collins 22 Committee’. I am also given to understand that an invitation has been sent to Mr Sean Kelly (MEP) and Mr Paul Keogh (F/Gael Chief Whip) both of whom could well be in attendance.

Now if we could attract RTÉ, (Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster), then just maybe the leader of the present government (what’s his name), or the ninth and current President of Ireland could well be encouraged to show up in an effort to further enhance their rural profiles.

Still, after all one must realise that the village of Littleton is not Dublin’s O’Connell Street; here is ‘Potholed Rural Ireland’, the ‘Forgotten Place of the Unemployed’, inhabited by the ‘Forgotten Few without Broadband’. Here you will find a place where ‘Voices are not sufficiently heard’, because individual party politicians continue to bicker; ever in search of that elusive one-upmanship, while highlighting each other with constant criticism; never offering real alternative solutions.

Alas, in lonely, though truly peaceful, Ballymoreen Graveyard; without Ireland’s National Television cameras in attendance next Sunday, same will hardly gain much attraction for senior political celebrities. Yes here in Ballymoreen, Littleton, Co. Tipperary, expect to find no Glasnevin Cemetery State funding, no sunken rose gardens or memorialised manuscripts by the Irish artist Harry Clarke.

Still, I suppose in defence of our current political leadership, as the British music hall song (written by Jack Judge and co-credited to Henry James “Harry” Williams) states, “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”, even using the tax payers Ministerial car and driver.

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