A Christmas Card For You
At this season of Christmas, Thurles.Info would like to wish our growing readership, both at home and abroad, a very healthy, happy, prosperous and holy Christmas.
At this time each year the crib always reminds me of the actions of my now long deceased grandmother. Each year she would visit the local crib and having placed a six penny piece in the poor box, she would remove a piece of straw from the crib and place it in her purse, where it would remain until the following Christmas. This action she assured me would guarantee that regardless of prevailing economic conditions, God would supply all her needs. Strangely, I must admit that despite living in lowly impoverished circumstances all of her life, for her it always appeared to work.
Cathedral of The Assumption – (In Irish-Ard Eaglais na Deastógála.)
Our brief slide show features the interior of the very beautiful Italianate Romanesque, Thurles Cathedral of The Assumption, latter which stands on a site with ecclesiastical associations going back to the beginning of the 14th century, when a Carmelite Priory was then first established in Thurles.
Around 1730 a humble thatched chapel (Thatched- a roof covered in dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, or rushes, so as to shed water away from the inner roof) was erected in the vicinity of this former priory, courtesy of the then ruling local Mathew family. For the next eighty years this simple structure alone would serve the needs of an impoverished Thurles Catholic peasant community.
During the years 1804 -1807, Archbishop Thomas Bray replaced this thatched chapel with a more impressive building costing over £10,000.00, and which became known locally as “The Big Chapel.” This new building would serve as the mother church to the archdiocese of Cashel & Emly until Dr Patrick Leahy, Archbishop of the diocese made a decision to renovate and upgrade the building to almost a wholly new edifice.
This new building today known as the Cathedral of The Assumption is an imposing combination of local limestone, latter quarried at Leugh, Turtulla and the Green, Holycross here in Co Tipperary, with Cork and Galway marble, Aberdeen granite and Portland stone also incorporated. Pope Pius IX also donated some ancient marble to the building. The magnificent tabernacle was designed by Giacomo Della Porta (1537-1603), latter a pupil of Michelangelo and was purchased from the Gesu church in Rome. A matching altar was erected to accommodate the tabernacle. A statue of Archbishop Leahy was later appropriately erected in the Cathedral’s front yard area, in 1911.
Thurles Cathedral has many other notable features which immediately capture the attention and admiration of both regular worshipper and curious visiting tourist. The partially detached baptistery, built in the Byzantine style, resembles that of Pisa. The campanile (bell tower,) standing at 120 feet high and 25 feet square, can be observed from all areas leading into Thurles, majestically guarding the surrounding hinterland. The Rose Window, designed and erected by Messrs Mayer & Co, of Munich, remains the outstanding stained glass feature in this beautiful cathedral. Two ornate and matching side altars with statues of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady, the work of noted Italian neoclassical sculptor, Giovanni Maria Benzoni, are also much admired. In the sanctuary ceiling there is a beautiful painting of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven.
Eight tower bells, three Roman arched doorways, an organ dating back to 1826, holy water fonts; latter fonts saved from the aforementioned Big Chapel, together with numerous impressive outdoor statues are all noteworthy feature of this cherished building.
Seán Hogan, a native of Puckane in North Tipperary and the author of best-selling book “The Black and Tans in North Tipperary, Policing, Revolution and War 1913 – 1922,” will be the guest speaker at the Borrisoleigh Historical Society’s second lecture of this season to be held on Tuesday night next, December 10th, 2013, in the Community Centre at 8:00pm.sharp.
Seán Hogan’s book looks at the years 1913 to 1922 and examines in detail how County Tipperary went from being one of the least crime hit police districts, to being one of the bloodiest and most terrifying areas in which to reside.
Hogan’s lecture is expected to recount the events surrounding local ambushes and armed engagements, the struggle for political power at council level and indeed within the IRA membership itself, as well as giving detailed background on those in the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and Crown Forces who were murdered.
Seán will also attempt to examine the murders and other atrocities carried out against civilians during this period – carried out by both the IRA and the Black and Tans.
Admission to this event costs €5.00 and is a must for students of Irish history and lovers of factual Tipperary History in particular.
“I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.“ Nelson Mandela.
For many South Africans, he was simply Madiba, his traditional clan name. Others affectionately called him Tata, the Xhosa word for father, but yesterday on December 5th, 2013, the world revered South African anti-apartheid leader and recipients of the Tipperary International Peace Award, Rolihlahla (Nelson) Mandela, regrettably died at his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, aged 95.
Our Video Hereunder Follows His Life And Times.
A state funeral will now be held, and the South African President Jacob Zuma has called for mourners to conduct themselves with “the dignity and respect,” that the former President had personified.
“I would like to be remembered not as anyone unique or special, but as part of a great team in this country that has struggled for many years, for decades and even centuries. The greatest glory of living, lies not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall.” he once stated.
With Rolihlahla Mandela now at peace, South Africans and indeed all residents of our planet are left to try to embody his promise and his idealism.
Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.
Please welcome the newest descendant to arrive with a proud pedigree direct from her ancient roots in Loughmore, Thurles, Co Tipperary.
Baby Mia Rose Hayes arrived on Sunday last, November 17th, 2013 at 8:53am.
Her dad Brenden and his lovely wife and new mum Heather, from San Jose the third-largest city in California, could not be more proud of their healthy, little seven pound bundle of joy.
Thanks to incessant searching by her Grandfather, Patrick, newly arrived Miss Mia Rose Hayes can, in the years to come, happily explore her Loughmore, Co Tipperary lineage, going back for the last eight generations, way back to the January 23rd, 1811. For it was then that Pierce Hayes of the townsland of Glogherailymore married Margaret Maher of Killanigan.
Brendan’s dad Patrick, a daily reader of Thurles.Info and shown here above in our picture, (top right), is a regular visitor to Thurles and Loughmore and indeed his son Brendan and several other family members have also made the journey to Thurles and Loughmore, all renewing acquaintances and visiting the old ‘stamping ground’ of their ancestors.
“Céad míle fáilte romhat, (Irish Translation: “One Hundred Thousand Welcomes to you.”) Mia Rose and congratulations to Brenden, Heather and of course we are not forgetting Patrick, now a very justly proud grandpa for the very first time.”
Historians have revealed that US President Ronald Reagan’s great-great grandfather Thomas was among 250,000 signatories, on the Morpeth Roll of 1841. Thomas Reagan put pen to paper in honour of George Howard, known as Lord Morpeth, latter a supporter of the then repeal laws and who fought against religious discrimination and unfair taxes, while chief secretary for Ireland.
The Morpeth Roll had been stored on a mahogany spool and held privately by Lord Morpeth’s family in a basement in Castle Howard, Yorkshire for more than a century. The Morpeth Roll is one of the few now surviving primary resources containing detail of the people living at that time in Ireland and members of the Reagan family put their signatures to the roll while residing in the civil parish of Templetenny, which includes Ballyporeen Co Tipperary. Other Signatures from the nearby townlands of Doolis, Knocknagapple and Skeheenaranky are also represented on this roll.
As a labourer, Thomas Reagan signed the Morpeth Roll in 1841, somewhere in Co Tipperary and Ronald Reagan, his great-great grandson, who served two terms as US president between 1981 and 1989, visited the village in 1984 when he was in Ireland. It was on this visit, amid unprecedented security, that the Irish people came to see the most powerful man in the world for the first and only time, face to face. President Ronald Reagan passed to his heavenly reward in 2004.
Thomas Reagan’s son Michael and great grandfather of President Reagan, would take the family name eventually to the United States and this Morpeth Roll also appears to contain the signature of President Reagan great grand Uncle Thomas. This same great grandfather Michael would marry Catherine Mulcahey, also from Ballyporeen, in St Georges Catholic Church, Southwark, London, after they left Ireland for England in 1852. The wedding would be witnessed by Nicholas Reagan, possibly one of Michael’s older brothers; however their father Thomas was now deceased.
According to the 1860 census, on November 28th 1857, Michael and Catherine both arrived in New York on the “Joseph Gilchrist,” sailing from Liverpool with three children; Thomas, John and Margaret all who eventually settled in Carroll County, Illinois.
Among other names to turn up on the Morpeth Roll are the second Arthur Guinness of the famous stout dynasty, who lived from 1768-1855 and ran the brewery and the Bank of Ireland in the 1820s and 1830s.