His eccentricities possibly made him stand out here in rural Tipperary and local people never really knew what to make of him. He himself wrote in one of his letters, “A lot of people know me, but I’m very much an enigma to most of them and regarded with suspicion, because I don’t fit into any category . . . I’m a trouble-maker. I ride the storm.”
He had travelled widely during his working life, including visits to Ireland, to Morocco and America, settling in 1930 for a period with his second wife Mary at an old farmhouse in the hills of Majorca. Eventually in 1946 he would decide to settle here in North Tipperary, in the village of Ballinderry, having purchased the once-grand but then somewhat ruined house known as ‘Gurthalougha,’ on the shore of Lough Derg, which he had quickly renamed ‘Illannanagh.’
In 1975, a group IRA men, two of which were escaped murderers and who possibly had confused his home with another address in their search for firearms, were not even slightly aware of his mysterious past. Although then aged in his 70′s, he had remained appearing unperturbed, cold, seated & continuing to read his newspaper, when they had surprised him by entering his home. He had insisted that no conversation was ever taking place until they had lowered their weapons. Chastened somewhat by this old man’s non negotiable firm attitude, his unwelcome IRA visitors had consented, later quietly leaving his home, carrying only a couple of shotguns.
Fact Is Often More Exciting Than Fiction
The man of whom I speak was actually born Hugh Evans in 1899, the son of a then prominent London surgeon and his wife. He had enrolled as a naval cadet just before the outbreak of the First World War. By February 1915, this same boy, at just 15 years old, was an acting midshipman aboard the cruiser Bacchante, sailing on its way to participate in the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign against Turkey. Once on shore with Anzac troops, Evans soon found himself in the thick of war & involved in hand to hand fighting. Narrowly escaping death, when a Turkish bullet grazed his scalp, the following year young Evans was invalided home having received even more serious wounds.
According to Tipp FM Radio & North Tipperary Co Councillor Mr John Carroll, some 30 temporary staff, presently employed by North County Council, have all been issued with Notices of Employment Termination, to come into effect from September next.
The staff affected are employed in the Roads section of the Council & their “lay off,” will have a direct impact on the future of the North Tipperary Roads programme. Speculation is that these cuts are the result of failure by Minister Phil Hogan to collect his unjustifiable & inequitable €100 Household Charge. Nationally 600,000 properties nationwide have yet to be registered by owners, a job that may go to Revenue, when it takes over collection of the levy next year.
Looks like yet another Fine Gael/Labour vote loosing exercise, here in the forgotten county, latter whose population appear happy to accept weekly, action-less political spin, while some of their Tipperary Senators & TD’s fail to turn up for work, and thus earn their exorbitant salaries.
Staff at the Local Government Management Agency, (LGMA), the group charged with collecting the household charge, have recently received unacceptable death threats & abuse, including a shotgun cartridge sent in the post, & that’s according to LGMA’s CEO Paul McSweeney.
While normal civilised people these days will totally frown on this type of behaviour, declaring is totally unacceptable, Phil Hogan is obviously no historian and is not aware of the happenings, when forced collection of a similar form of unjust taxation was attempted, in his own county of Kilkenny, in 1831.
The Tithe War
The Tithe War (Irish: Cogadh na nDeachúna) was a campaign which began with nonviolent civil disobedience, but later became punctuated by sporadic violent episodes here in Ireland between 1830 & 1836, in angry reaction to the enforcement of Tithes on subsistence farmers and others, for the upkeep of the established state church, the Church of Ireland. The idea of Tithe Taxes goes back a long way to the Reformation of 1517 & its idea sprang from the Christian Bible, possibly from Leviticus 27:30: “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy unto the Lord.”
The fourth Annual Famine Memorial Ecumenical Service takes place in St Mary’s Church, Thurles, on Sunday next July 8th at 8.00pm sharp.
St. Mary’s Church houses the Thurles Famine Museum containing one of the largest collections of original famine memorabilia in Ireland.
This years Famine Memorial Service is honoured to welcome the talented “Cullinane Band,” joined by multi-talented musician John O’Brien, who will all provide the music.This year the service will feature Gospel music made famous by such singers as Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, Stevie Wonder, Michael Card, Allison Krass and Ann Murray. Vocals will be provided by Noreen Cullinane, Shane Willoughby, Ned Cullinane, Rachel Willoughby, & John J Cullinane.
The ceremony, through song and story, will attempt to understand and compare the ‘Great Famine Period,’ with what the Ireland of today is experiencing and hopefully highlight the importance of ‘local community,’ in our daily lives.
Vocal will be provided by Noreen Cullinane, Shane Willoughby, Ned Cullinane, Rachel Willoughby, & John J Cullinane. Historical & poetry readings will be undertaken by Mr Tom Noone,(Community activist & former “Premier Short Story” winner) & Mr Bart Howard (An Garda Síochána (Retired) Holder Garda Merit Award for Community policing & Thurles Credit Union’s Person of the year Award 2011.)
St. Mary’s Church is honoured to be joined this year by Very Rev Fr. Joe Walsh CC (Drombane/ Upperchurch) who will preach the sermon. The ceremony will be conducted by the Rector of St.Mary’s, Very Rev. Peter Massey Cole-Baker.
St.Mary’s Church welcome all who wish to attend this event & the congregation are asked to remain seated during the ceremony, which begins at 8.00pm sharp with doors open at 7.30pm.
Those attending will have an opportunity to visit the Famine Museum and an informed guide will be on hand, after the ceremony, to hopefully answer all /any questions.
Entry to the event is free, however a collection will be taken up during the service in aid of famine relief.
I knew that headline would grab your attention for a moment and if you believe gang warfare & crime in this country has gotten out of control, then visit our sister website Hidden Tipperary and read about the ‘carry on,’ in the parish of HolyCross, Co.Tipperary, which began in 1826.
I bring this historical true tale to your attention and indeed the attention of the residents of Bohernacrusha & Holycross particularly, because next year we celebrate “The Gathering 2013,” (Tóstal Éireann 2013). The Gathering is our unique chance to join a countrywide, citizen-led initiative to reach out to Ireland’s global diaspora and bring them home, for an unprecedented year-long celebration of all that is great about our green land and her people. The Gathering is a chance for all of us here in Co Tipperary, to organise and participate in special community, family, club, or parish events that will be the foundation of a year of celebrations. Ireland’s global gathering starts with your local gathering. If we join in now, then the world will surely flock to enjoy not just our special hospitality but also our unique history, our ancient & modern way of life, our food & our laughter.
As I have often stated previously, County Tipperary has more history ‘in it’s little finger,’ to sell to native visitors and encourage tourism to our shores, than any other county in Ireland.
The new publication “Destination Cashel,” which we referred to in our last blog is indeed welcome & of huge benefit to visitors, but must also be observed in the context of reality. For the past few years North Tipperary County Council have been advertising the myth that a Tourism Information Point, is supposedly operating from the Source Library building here in Thurles. This mythical Tourism Information Point has not existed for the last 4 years, as over worked Thurles Library staff will attest. Despite having six County Councillors in place, all claiming to represent the interests of Thurles and its environs &, who according to the Tipperary Star Newspaper, two weeks ago were ‘calling,’ (To whom they were calling we just do not know) for the preservation of existing job in our area, same have failed to notice that this unsatisfactory situation now exists.
Those who are responsible for the distribution of Leader Funding, also must come in for some criticism. While some failed tourism orientated project last year received funding, to the reported tune of some €70,000, there were smaller & much more merited local development projects, seeking much smaller amounts of funding, (e.g €4,000) for which funding was made impossible to access.
So before you read the true history of Holycross / Bohernacrusha and it’s environs, I ask the question; Should we build a commemorative scaffold in Bohernacrusha? Would the many tourists visiting the beautiful village of Holycross, before heading too far South, be curious enough to stop off for lunch or a pint in Bohernacrusha, & enquire further as to the historical background to this spectacle of a past era?
The Office of Public Works (OPW) has announced that there will be free admission to all the heritage sites operated by the OPW in Ireland on the first Wednesday of every month during 2012. The OPW operated this scheme last year and it was so successful that it has decided it will be operated again this year.
The following is a list of the heritage sites that will be free in the Tipperary area during the offer;
Rock of Cashel
Roscrea Heritage and the Blackmills
Full details on all the available heritage sites around Ireland can be found on www.heritageireland.ie website.
A PDF file with complete info and details on the free access to heritage sites for 2012 is available here;