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.
We refer to our two previous posts discussing Tipperary and Thurles and their lack of real association with the 1798 rebellion. Our first post published June 19th, 2016 can be accessedHERE, while our second post published on July 2nd, 2016 is available by clickingHERE.
The point of our third and final post today on this 1798 rebellion period in Irish history is to help demonstrate that in truth, rebellion, mutiny, general unrest and civil disobedience is rarely aimed at actual people’s religious beliefs. Instead same should be perceived for what it really is; a re-action, taken usually by the underprivileged and weak, against those strong enough to hold control over Governments and rich Corporations and is carried out by singular individuals. These same individuals believe that by gaining immense wealth; often inherited, it is their sole privileged and prerogative to influence and ensure that their own continued power and that of their generations yet to come, are secured at the expense of all other life on our planet.
It will be noted from our first post, featuring the 1798 commemorative monument positioned in Liberty Square, Thurles, here in Co. Tipperary, that all 3 men remembered on this statue, affectionately known as ‘The Stone Man’ ; namely Theobald Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet and Lord Edward FitzGerald, came from a Protestant tradition. However from a book, the first edition of which was written shortly after the 1798 rebellion and entitled “A History of the Rebellion of 1798,”(by George Taylor, Ballywalter, Ireland) we learn of a totally different fate metered out to yet another member of the Protestant tradition. The Protestant to whom I refer was a Clergyman; his name, Rev. Francis Turner.
Rev. Turner formally owned property referred to as ‘Turners Holding’, here in Thurles, situated in an area known as South Main Street and which today is called Cathedral Street (On South side).
South Main Street, Thurles (Cathedral Street, South side), as it looked in the mid 19th century.
Drawing Shown Above: South Main Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary,as viewed in the mid 1840’s. (Left to Right – Cathedral Street South side as viewed today from Munster Hotel, and travelling west to end at start of today’s Source Library / Barry’s Bridge area.) The area, framed in red, between today’s Munster Hotel and where part of Thurles Presbytery currently stands, was once ‘Turners Holding’, purchased on July 2nd, 1784 by Rev. Francis Turner and later sold by Turner’s heirs, to Rev. Thomas O’Connor D.D., back then President of St Patrick’s College, Thurles, under an Indented Deed of Conveyance on March 25th, 1840, for the then free hold consideration of £200.00.
This South side of Cathedral Street (previously known as South Main Street, Thurles); its then house residents and their known occupations in 1846 (6 years after the purchase of ‘Turners Holding’, by Rev. Thomas O’Connor on behalf of St Patricks College) is shown hereunder:
No 56 – Catherine Toomy (Lodging House); No 55 – Margaret Dunn (Lodging Hse); No 54 – Mrs Ally Britton (Bakery); No 53 – Con Callanane (Bakery, Spirits, Grocery); No 52 – Margaret Cormack (Widow – home in disrepair); No 51 – John Tolphy (Windows partially built up. House from Dr O’Connor D.D. No 51 & 52 to be thrown down & plans for a grand gate to be built leading to St.Patrick’s College.); No 50 – Entrance to St.Patrick’s College; No 49 – Mrs Eliza Byrne; No 48 – Thomas Pew (Upper), Rev Pat Cahill (Lower); No 47 – Miss Ellen Ryan (Bonnet Maker); No 46 – Richard Molumby (Landlord of No 47 & 48); No 45 – Richard Hayes (Dyer & Wollen Manufacturer); No 44 – Edward Mathew (Bakery).
Cathedral Street South, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, pictured today during the late evening, (Previously known as South Main Street, Thurles), showing, immediately left of picture, the area once known as ‘Turners Holding’.
Extract hereunder taken from the publication, “A History of the Rebellion of 1798,” by George Taylor.
“Rebels proceeded to the house of the Rev. Francis Turner, of Ballingale,Rector of Edeermine,a gentleman of excellent character; he had but just baptised a child, when the rebels surrounded the house with their usual yells, and immediately set the out-offices on fire.
 [In Co. Wexford, situated in the Civil Parish of Ballcarney following the N80; Bunclody to Enniscorthy route.]  [Latter approx. 10 miles (18 km) Via N80 and N11 from Ballingale, Co. Wexford.]
Mr. Turner, looking out at the window, inquired what they wanted; on which they desired him to surrender his arms. He refused to comply, and desired them to depart from his house. Persisting in their demand, he again replied that he would never surrender his arms but with his life, on which they fired through all the windows. Six or seven Protestants, who had fled to Mr. Turner’s house for safety, now determined to defend themselves to the last, and for a considerable time they made a most gallant resistance by incessantly firing out upon the rebels, who, now exasperated to the most extravagant fury, roared like beasts of prey.
 [Rebels were regularly visiting courthouses and listening to gentry seeking gun licences for game hunting, thus identifying houses where guns could be easily obtained for rebellious purposes.]
We continue with the second of a three part promised discussion on Thurles during the 1798 Irish Rebellion period; asking the question: “Why was a memorial to the 1798 rebellion erected in Thurles; a town and indeed a county who took little or no part in this same Irish rebellion?”
[ Note: Part one of this same discussion (June 19th last), can be read by simply clicking HERE ]
Basically the failure of Thurles and County Tipperary to take a more active role in the 1798 rebellion was down to the excessive political zeal and barbarity of just one man, Sir Thomas Judkin Fitzgerald, High Sheriff of Tipperary, (better known as “Flogging Fitzgerald”). He resided at Goldenhills, in the Civil Parish of Relickmurry & Athassel, near the village of Golden, Co Tipperary.
Positioned as Judicial Representative of King George III here in Co. Tipperary during 1798; Fitzgerald’s obvious social importance, held not just a ceremonial role, but also an administrative function, e.g. executing High Court Writs etc. Later, on August 5th 1801, this same Sir Thomas Judkin Fitzgerald would receive the title Baronetcy of Lisheen, Golden, Co. Tipperary; as his reward for suppressing the United Irish Rebellion of 1798, here in Co Tipperary.
Sir Thomas Judkin Fitzgerald, High Sheriff of Co. Tipperary, better known as “Flogging Fitzgerald.”
Fluent in the spoken native Irish language of Gaelic, Fitzgerald was described by his peers as, “a parody of the more extreme kind of loyalist: brave and energetic, but arrogant and reckless to a degree, verging on insanity.” During 1798 Judkin Fitzgerald rode his horse, leading a column of 100 men through Tipperary, searching for stashes of arms. Historians described him as being, “like an avenging demon, haranguing the people [speaking] in Irish for hours at a time, making them kneel down and pray for the King.”
Court Case of Wright v Fitzgerald Clonmel Assizes
Some recorded examples of his reign of terror during 1798, which failed to endear him to the Tipperary populace, included his arrest of a French teacher / professor in Clonmel; “a respectable Protestant of unimpeachable loyalty”, named Mr. Wright. Unable to understand the French language, but finding a hand written note, penned in French, on Wright’s person; Fitzgerald assumed, wrongly, that he was engaged in treasonable activities. The previous activities of United Irishmen, e.g.Wolf Tone, and attempts to bring about a French invasion of Ireland were known; the French being already at war with England.
The 1798 monument today positioned in Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary, is affectionately referred too, most often, as simply ‘The Stone Man’.
In the hustle and bustle of everyday 21st century living here in Thurles and mindful of hefty parking charges and indeed a not insignificant fine for those found remiss in failing to visit a parking meter; very few local people today take the time to ‘stand and stare’, while contemplating the truth of its existence.
The ‘Stone Man’ was first unveiled in 1901 (See old photograph of the official unveiling above) to commemorate the first centenary of the ill fated attempt at a rebellion in 1798. Funding to pay for this very fine monument and indeed its eventual erection, was collected voluntarily from the nationalists of Thurles and surrounding districts. However full funding came some three years too late to actually commemorate this first centenary event.
Indeed many would have believed that the wording on this monument could hardly have been acceptable to local authorities, (See nationalist rhyming principles being propagated in above picture), then subject to strong British rule.
However it would appear that those then in power felt more fear from banning this structure, than in allowing its erection. On the other hand this monument was erected to the memory of three Protestant 1798 wealthy nationalist leaders, in a town (Thurles), described in the British Parliamentary Gazetteer of 1846 as being “decidedly the most Roman Catholic town in Ireland, second only to the city of Galway.”
The Protestant Leaders Commemorated by the ‘Stone Man’ in Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
(1)Theobald Wolfe Tone, (20 June 1763 – 19 November 1798), today referred to by his sir-name Wolfe Tone, then a leading Irish revolutionary figure and one of the five founding members of the Society of United Irishmen, aimed at a political union between Catholics and Protestants, and is regarded today as the father of Irish Republicanism and the true leader of the 1798 Irish Rebellion.
Wolfe Tone was born in Dublin, the son of a Protestant coach-maker, who also owned a farm near Sallins, in Co. Kildare. His mother who came from a Catholic merchant family, chose to convert to Protestantism, following Theobald’s birth. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he qualified as a barrister in King’s Inns at the age of 26 and attended the Inns of Court in London.
(2)Robert Emmet(4 March 1778 – 20 September 1803) was a Protestant; an Irish nationalist; Republican; an orator and rebel leader, who led an abortive rebellion against British rule in 1803.
Emmet was born at No. 109, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin and was the youngest son of Dr Robert Emmet a wealthy court physician and his wife, Elizabeth Mason. Again educated at Trinity College, Dublin, before being expelled in 1798, and forced to flee to France.
Emmet was captured following his failed Dublin rebellion; was tried for treason and sentenced to be ‘hanged, drawn and quartered’, as was customary for any conviction of treason. He was hanged and once pronounced dead, was beheaded in Thomas Street near St. Catherine’s church in Dublin. Family members and friends failed to come forward to claim his final remains, out of fear of arrest, so alas today we cannot identify, in truth, his last resting place.
(3)Lord Edward FitzGerald(15 October 1763 – 4 June 1798), also a member of the Society of United Irishmen and was part of the Protestant Ascendancy; being the fifth son of Lieutenant-General James FitzGerald, 1st Duke of Leinster; an Irish aristocrat; revolutionary, who died of wounds received while resisting arrest on a charge of treason.
FitzGerald spent most of his early years at Frescati House, Blackrock, Co. Dublin and was privately educated here by a private tutor named William Ogilvie.
Details of these three Irish republican leaders and their involvement in the intervening years, up to their eventual deaths in 1798 and 1803, can be easily accessed online or from your local library.
So why then was a memorial to the 1798 rebellion erected in Thurles; a town and indeed a county who took real, little or no part in this same rebellion?
“On a clear day rise and look around you and you’ll see who you are.
On a clear day how it will astound you that the glow of your being, outshines every star.”
(Words by lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, from the musical “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”.)
This weekend, weather permitting or not, one could do worse than take a leisurely drive into the area of the Knockmealdown mountains known as The Vee, situated on the remote, wild picturesque borders of Co. Tipperary and Co Waterford.
The Vee, situated on the R668 between Lismore, Co. Waterford and Clogheen in Co. Tipperary gets its name from a V-shaped bend on the road leading to a gap in the Knockmealdown mountains. The roadway itself is situated on the slopes of Sugar Loaf, passing from Tipperary to Waterford; running between Knockaunabulloga and Bay Lough (a low lying picturesque lake) on the right and the Sugar Loaf itself, on the left.
The heavy rain showers during the last few days will possibly have removed a great deal of that sea of pink rhododendron blossoms, stretching for as far as the eyes can see; freely growing in groves in the area, at mother nature’s discretion. However their absence will take little from the rugged, untended, wild beauty of this outstanding landscape, nor indeed the breathtaking panoramic views afforded to travellers and sight-seers.
From this viewpoint almost 2,000 ft above sea level, same lends itself to views across the valley to the towns of Clonmel, Cahir, and the lesser hamlets of Ardfinnan, Clogheen and Ballyporeen, latter village ancestral home to former late United States President Ronald Reagan. You can also view the Galtee Mountains the Comeragh Mountains together with Slievenamon, quite clearly from this vantage point.
Few people today refer to the 1975 British-American period drama film ‘Barry Lyndon’, directed by Stanley Kubrick, which chose this mountainous area ‘The Vee,’ as their period location. Based on the 1844 novel ‘The Luck of Barry Lyndon’, by William Makepeace Thackeray, this film won four Oscars in production categories and is today regarded as one of Kubrick’s finest films ever made.
This film starred Ryan O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger and, as shown in the clip above, Leonard Rossiter, the dancing Captain, (Remember “Rigsby” in Rising Damp & in the Title Role of “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin”). The film recounts the exploits of a fictional 18th-century Irish adventurer.
Samuel Richard Grubb, High Sheriff of Tipperary 1916.
It is here also at this scenic area that a rather curious pile of limestone rocks emerge, dome-shaped, from the hillside. This stone erection is the last resting place of Mr Samuel R. Grubb, appointed High Sheriff of Tipperary in 1916 and who requested that he be buried here to overlook a ‘picturesque and romantic view’ of his county.
Local tales that he believed he would be reincarnated into a bee in an after life situation (memorial shaped like a beehive) and that he insisted that he be buried with his horse standing upright are hardly believable, but facts we do know are recorded hereunder.
Picturesque Obsequies – Burial on Mountain.
Funeral of the late Mr S. R. Grubb. (As reported by the Clonmel Chronicle, 10th September 1921.)
“In accordance with his request, the remains of the late Mr Samuel R. Grubb were interred today on the Sugar Loaf Mountain, on his property. The place selected is a most picturesque and romantic one and commands an excellent view of the county for a considerable area.
The remains arrived in Castlegrace on Friday by motor hearse from Dublin, and the funeral started at 10.30 this morning. The coffin containing the remains was conveyed on a farm cart to the foot of the mountain and then carried on the shoulders of his tenants and employees to the place of internment on the mountainside.
On arrival at the grave the remains were received by Rev.J.Talbot, Clogheen, who conducted the Burial Service.
The scene on the wild mountain side was picturesque and impressive and will long remain implanted on the minds and hearts of those who had the privilege of witnessing it.
The chief mourners were – Major Raymond Grubb M.C. (Son), Mrs de Sales le Terriere (daughter), Mrs Grubb (daughter-in-law), Mr de Sales le Terriere (son-in-law), Mr Cecil Barrington, Mrs Taylor, and Mr James Binny.
There were a large number of beautiful floral tributes from, amongst others, Mrs Grubb (Widow), Major Grubb, Mrs Grubb (Suir Island), Mr and Mrs de Sales le Terriere, Mrs Denny, Mrs Gutherie, Lady Beatrice Pole-Carew and Mr D. Mahoney.
Those present in addition to the chief mourners included – Major Murdock, Major Hutchinson, Captain Seymour, Mr Gerard Denny, Mr Blakeney (Junr.), Dr W. Walsh, Mr Palmer, Mr Kennedy (Derrygrath), Mr Kennedy (Ballindoney), Mr E.Boyle, Mr J. Mulcahy (Corabella), Mr W.Byrne (Ballinamona), Mr Sutcliffe, Mr Geoffrey Prendegast, etc.
Acting in accordance with the directions of deceased, all the tenantry and employees who attended the funeral were subsequently sumptuously entertained at Castlegrace.”
Voluntas Ultima (Last Will) [The late Mr Samuel R. Grubb, of Castlegrace, requested that his remains should be interred in a beautiful and romantic spot on the side of the Sugar Loaf hills.]
————————————————— O place me in a silent grave upon the mountain crest, ‘Mid endless fields of golden gorse, the heather on my breast ‘Mid endless fields of golden gorse, O shape my narrow bed, Nor plant the cypress at my feet, the willow at my head.
O place me in a silent grave on storied Knockmealdown, The drowsy churchyard’s not for me, in country or in town; And when the final trumpet sounds and bids the world “Arise” ‘Twill find me nearer unto Thee, wherein salvation lies.