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Thurles Film Premier – “The Minnitts of Anabeg”

MinnittsThe new Tipperary film “The Minnitts of Anabeg,” will receive a screening at the Source Arts Centre, Thurles, this day week, on Thursday, March 13th beginning at 8.00pm sharp.

(Click on image left for larger image of poster.)

This excellent film production (Writer/Director Alan Brown, UK/Ireland, 2013, 105 mins) was made on a micro budget and filmed around Nenagh and Thurles, here in Co Tipperary, using localised and very talented actors from amateur drama groups representing Nenagh Players and our own much enjoyed award winning Thurles Drama Group.

The film “The Minnitts of Anabeg,” tells the true and factual story of the Minnitt family and the generations who lived in Anabeg house near Nenagh, from the 1600’s to the early 1900’s.   The Film focuses in particular on one Joshua Minnitt, latter a prominent landowner living around the period of the Great Famine era (1845 -1849) and his assistance in helping the local impoverished community through that tragic, black period in our Irish history.

While managing to greatly assist and save a community, Joshua Minnitt failed however to save his own family.  His only son against his wishes married a local Catholic girl resulting in the former being disinherited.

The film’s factual storyline however is not just a tale dominated by religious bigotry, but is also an account of a family torn apart by politics and power.

The soundtrack for this film was written by Roscrea music composer Thersa Larkin, while the original Anabeg House building was used as the film’s main location. Other scenes were filmed at locations here in Thurles, at St Mary’s Famine Museum and at Nenagh Convent, latter which still has a laundry room from the days of the old workhouse regime.

Tickets: Tickets for this Thurles screening of a Tipperary based production cost just €10/€8 conc. available from The Source – Tel: (0504) 90204.

This is a must see event for lovers of real romance, drama, history and in particular Tipperary history, not to mention real local Tipperary talent performing on screen.

DVD: A limited edition DVD will also be available to purchase on the night.

Thurles Heritage Centre At Cormackstown To Open

The Cormackstown Heritage Centre, Holycross, Thurles, Co Tipperary is without doubt one of the largest single private collections of rural memorabilia to be found anywhere in today’s Ireland. Spanning some three centuries, these rare and now almost forgotten “tools of our once rural trade,” used to develop rural Ireland down the years, will go on display officially from Wednesday next, just a five minute drive on the outskirts of Thurles town.

“A Passage Through Time.”

So if you are out and about this coming weekend, why not spend an hour or two at the Cormackstown Heritage Centre and see for yourself this extensive array of  historical artefacts, just a few of which are depicted in our video hereunder.

In the Cormackstown Heritage Centre expect to find:-

  • A unique large dairy collection including an old style Creamery Laboratory.
  • Experience at first hand the history of the Traveller and the tools of the Tinsmith.
  • Experience the old retail shop and meet Margaret the Shop Keeper.
  • Visit the old Pub complete with Barmaid.
  • Take a trip back in time to view the tools of the Carpenter, the Cobbler, the Wheelwright and of course the Blacksmith’s Forge.
  • Call into the Old School Room complete with its Teacher and her School Text Books from the past.
  • Enter that old style, warm and welcoming Farmhouse Kitchen of the last century.

MapAll of this and much, much more will make your visit to the Cormackstown Heritage Centre both enjoyable and educational and to the elderly visitor, will bring back fond and emotional memories of the good and bad experiences of times past.

(Click on directional Map Image left to enlarge picture.)

Note: The centre is available to all individuals / groups; including Educational, Pensioner and Retired persons and all are welcome.

This welcoming Venue will remain open, both for Daytime and Evening visits, with a Guide on hand to talk visitors through the myriad of artefacts currently on display.

Group Tours are advised to contact the Cormackstown Heritage Centre, Tel: 085 7131584 to book their visit in advance.

You can follow ‘Cormackstown Heritage Centre’ on Facebook simply by clicking HERE.

The Exhibition is highly recommended by the Tipperary tourism group Hidden Tipperary, latter who will visit the centre on Tuesday next March 4th, for their monthly meeting, beginning at 11.00am sharp.

Tipperary Walking In The Footsteps Of Brian Ború


Brian Boru, King of Munster.

Historical sites in County Clare relating to the life and times of Brian Ború are promoted in a newly developed guide marking the 1000th anniversary of the death of the Last High King of Ireland.

In the 10th century Brian Ború, one of the most influential and colourful characters in Irish history, was born in Killaloe, close to the Tipperary border, in Co. Clare. A member of a powerful Dalcassian tribe he went on to become High King of Ireland and ruled from his palace at Kincora in Killaloe. He died in 1014 after an emphatic victory over the Vikings in the Battle of Clontarf. His descendants became the mighty O’Brien clan – one of the greatest Gaelic clans and whose influence extends to this very day.

The newly launched Brian Ború Trail features information on the important sites and buildings associated with Ború and the O’Briens, including Kincora, Bunratty Castle, Clare Abbey, Lough Derg and Dromoland Castle.

Other sites of interest include Magh Adhair, the place of inauguration of the O’Briens as Kings of Thomond; Scattery Island where Brian Ború attacked and killed the Viking King Ivar of Limerick in 975, Lemenagh Castle, the ancestral home of the O’Briens; Inis Cealtra (Holy Island), one of Ireland’s most famous monastic sites; and Doonbeg Castle, the site of a famous battle in 1595 between the Earl of Thomond and the McMahon Clan.

Speaking at the launch the 18th Baron Inchiquin, Conor O’Brien who is a direct descendent of Ború stated: “Brian Ború’s influence on Ireland’s political landscape is well known but his legacy is also evident throughout the physical landscape of County Clare with dozens of buildings linked to his fascinating story and that of his ancestors,” explained Lord O’Brien.

He added: “I am delighted with the production of this new guide which is the first of its kind produced for visitors in relation to an individual who is an indelible part of Clare /Tipperary and the island of Ireland’s history.”

The launch of the Brian Ború Trail coincides with a nationwide programme of commemorative festivals and events taking place during 2014. The programme features a series of commemorations in the four main locations with connections to the life and High Kingship of Ireland’s best known historical figure; namely Cashel, Co Tipperary, where Brian was crowned High King of Ireland, Killaloe/Ballina which was the seat of Brian’s High Kingship of Ireland (1001-1014 AD), Clontarf where Brian was killed following his victory over the Viking rulers of Dublin at the Battle of Clontarf, and the City of Armagh where Brian is buried.

Welcoming the new tourist guide, Mayor of Clare Councillor Joe Arkins stated: “From a Clare County Council perspective, significant effort has been undertaken to ensure that the Brian Ború millennial anniversary is established as an important cultural and tourism activity which lays the platform for further cultural and tourism development in future years. This Guide will serve as a useful tool for promoting Brian Ború’s close links with County Clare, and in doing so help to promote other sites of interest in Clontarf, Armagh and Cashel, latter in Tipperary.”

Produced by the Brian Ború 2014 Steering Group, the Brian Ború Trail guide is available at tourist offices, as well as at the County’s libraries and Council area offices. Thousands of copies of the new guide are also being distributed to visitor attractions and accommodation providers throughout Clare.

For more information visit

Thurles During Night Of The Big Wind 1839

The almost hurricane winds experienced on Wednesday last here in Tipperary were really nothing new when we examine the history of similar weather patterns experienced previously here in Thurles and indeed on the island of Ireland, down through the centuries.

Surely global warming was not the reason for the hurricane winds of 1839, which had developed similarly after a period of unusual weather and which saw heavy snow falling across Ireland on the night of January 5th of that year.  This unusual snowfall was replaced on the following morning, January 6th, by an Atlantic warm front which brought a period of complete calm. Temperatures rose well above the seasonal average and resulted in this previous night’s rare heavy snowfall, melting rapidly.


Main Street, Thurles, (Now renamed Cathedral Street, Thurles) as it looked in 1839 and as viewed from a similar angle today in 2014.
(Picture courtesy St Mary’s Famine Museum, Thurles.)

Like our recent weather conditions experienced, on January 6th 1839 a deep Atlantic depression had begun to move towards Ireland, forming a cold front.  When the cold and warm air collided, this resulted in strong winds and heavy rain. From mid-day the stormy weather began to move very slowly across Ireland, gathering immense strength as it wended its way. By midnight the winds had reached hurricane force. This “Night of the Big Wind” was to now to become the most severe of storms to affect Ireland in that century. Historic accounts indicate that as many as 300 people may have lost their lives, with untold damage done to property and personal possessions nationwide. This same afternoon and night of Saturday January 6th, 1839, is now resigned to our history books as Oiche na Gaoithe Moire (Translated from Irish: The Night of the Big Wind.)

Prior to the 1839 January storm, children had played with great enjoyment in the unusual heavy snow, while their parents went about their normal work eagerly preparing for the festivities of the feast of the Epiphany, possibly better known today as “Little Christmas Day.”  By dusk, wind speeds had greatly increased, with showers of rain and hail beginning to fall. By 9.00pm that night the wind had reached heavy gale force and continued to pick up speed. Over the next three hours it reached hurricane force, with winds gusts of over 185 km and remained at that level until after 5.00 am in the early morning of January 7th. (Note: regular meteorological observations as a science had begun in 1795.)

On Cathedral Street, Thurles, then known as Main Street, terror reigned as thatched roofs were quickly removed from a small row of houses, (See picture above.). Some of this dislodged thatch quickly caught fire possibly from one of the fireplaces and now fanned by this hurricane wind set fire to the surrounding buildings attached. The sites of these ruined buildings would later be purchased by the Presentation Convent, who in 1862 would replace them with their Secondary School Boarding House, now evident today.

Continue reading Thurles During Night Of The Big Wind 1839

Tipperary Heritage Sites May Undertake Civil Marriage Ceremonies

Rock-of-CashelThe Office of Public Works (OPW) are offering engaged couples, who are intending to get married in a future civil ceremony, the option of ‘tying the knot’ at some of Ireland’s well known heritage sites.

This move could now mean that some of Ireland’s most beautiful and atmospheric attractions could be made available for a couple’s big day.

Minister of State Brian Hayes said the OPW wants to open up key sites like the Rock of Cashel, latter situated here in Co Tipperary to more visitors, by offering a greater variety of uses.

To this end OPW staffs are currently understood to be consulting closely with the Health Service Executive (HSE) to identify the suitability of various visitor attractions.

All approved sites will only be the venue for the official civil ceremony itself, and not for any celebrations intended later on the day.

The mention of possible costs for holding such civil ceremonies in these romantic and historical venues has not, as yet, been fully discussed, if indeed approval is ever finally agreed. However the advent of such an agreement could see many celebrities worldwide, latter undertaking Civil Marriage Ceremonies, now deciding to visit Irish atmospheric heritage sites.

The current number one request to wedding photographers by couples living in Tipperary is to be photographed with the Rock of Cashel in the background.