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Nelson Mandela “Madiba” Now At Peace

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.

Loughmore Tipperary Celebrate Eight Generations Of Irish Hayes’s

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.”

Signature Of US President Ronald Reagan’s Tipperary Ancestry Uncovered

ReaganHistorians 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.

Borrisoleigh Historical Society Tracing Corporal Ryan

Now every April I sit on my porch and I watch the parade pass before me.
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march, renewing their dreams of past glories.
I see the old men all tired, stiff and worn, those weary old heroes of a forgotten war.
And the young people ask “What are they marching for?” and I ask myself the same question.
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda and the old men still answer the call
But year after year, their numbers get fewer, someday, no one will march there at all.”   –  
(Lyrics Eric Bogle.)

On Wednesday November 20th, the newly formed Borrisoleigh Historical Society will hold a lecture in the local Community Centre, beside the Church, in Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary. Borrisoleigh Historical Society was formed, for the first time, back in May of this year and already boasts a local membership of over 20 lovers of Irish history. The Annual Membership fee to join this society is just €10 and the Society extend a “Céad Mile Fáilte” to everyone or anyone interested in history and researching not just local history, of which there is an enormous legacy, but Irish history in general.


Corporal Lewis Ryan – Meuse-Argonne Offensive in the Argonne Forest region of France.

The Societies next meeting, on November 20th and commencing at 8.30pm sharp, promises to be  interesting, and will take a close look at the life and times of Corporal Lewis Ryan, who was born in Coarsepark, Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary in 1890, under the heading; ” Corporal Lewis Ryan, US Army – Forgotten Soldier of WWI.”

This lecture will attempt to trace Corporal Ryan’s family links and his early life in Borrisoleigh, prior to emigrating to America in 1912, and also his life as an emigrant serving with the 77th Division of the American Army. Corporal Ryan lost his life in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in the Argonne forest, latter a long strip of rocky mountain and wild woodland in north-eastern France, whilst leading a reconnaissance against German machine gun posts, on the 7th Oct 1918. Corporal Ryan’s body today lies buried in the Meuse-Argonne US Military Cemetery, France.

The lecture will be delivered by Mr John Flannery, latter President of Ormond Historical Society, Nenagh. Entry to this lecture is just €5 and so if you are free on the night the Society, under the Chairmanship of Michael Delaney, would love if you could attend.

Note: In another very important lecture, planned for December 10th, it is hoped to feature Mr Sean Hogan, author of the recently published “The Black and Tans in North Tipperary.”   Further details of this latter event are expected to be announced later.

So make those long winter night’s shorter in the company of Borrisoleigh Historical Society, beginning on Wednesday November 20th.

Templemore Lady Knew Kitty Kiernan

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” – Banksy

St Mary’s Famine Museum were honoured to receive a visit by Ms Mary Bergin recently. Now in her 90th year and educated at the Presentation Convent here in Thurles, Ms Bergin was accompanied on her visit by a comrade, Ms Eileen Forbes.

It is seldom that Museum staff have the opportunity and great honour to discuss history with a lady who has such a vivid and clear recollection of the early 20th century, but to meet someone who personally knew Kitty Kiernan, the one-time fiancée of the great Michael Collins, was something truly inimitable.

Ms Bergin regularly met Kitty Kiernan as she walked along Dublin’s Harrington Street, the former going to her place of employment, the latter on her way to meet her later husband Felix Cronin.


Pictured above (L-R) Ms Mary Bergin, Main Street, Templemore, Co Tipperary, her comrade Ms Eileen Forbes (Corcoran), and the late Ms Kitty Kiernan and Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins.

Of course, Catherine Brigid Kiernan, better known as Kitty Kiernan (1892 – 1945) was a Co Longford woman widely recognised as the fiancée of assassinated Irish revolutionary leader, Michael Collins.

Kitty was born in Granard, County Longford and later educated in the Loreto Convent, in County Wicklow.  She was the daughter of wealthy parents, Bridget and Peter Kiernan, and one of a family of seven children including twins, having five sisters and one brother. The Kiernan family were proprietors of the Greville Arms Hotel, a bakery, hardware store, timber yard, an undertakers business, together with a grocery shop and a public house.

In 1907 one of Kitty’s twin sisters died in her late teens, followed the following year (1908) by the deaths of both parents, both within a couple of months of each other. The family would be later devastated the following year (1909) by the death of the remaining twin sister.

Michael Collins, one of the principal founders of Irish State independence, and later Chairman of the Irish Provisional Government, was introduced to the bubbly and cheerful Kiernan sisters by his cousin Gearóid O’Sullivan. Gearóid was already courting Kitty’s sister Maud.

Collins in the first instance appears to have thrown an eye on another of the sisters, namely Helen, but she turned out to be already engaged. Seeing no future here he then turned his interests on the attractive Kitty. Kitty had already captured the interest of one Harry Boland, latter a friend of Collins. This interest would be however short lived and Collins and Kitty soon became engaged. They planned to marry in Dublin on November 22nd 1922, in a double ceremony to include her sister Maud and Gearóid O’Sullivan. The death of Collins four months earlier would result in only one wedding taking place with Kitty attending dressed in black.

Three years later, in 1925, Kitty would instead marry Felix Cronin, latter a Quartermaster General in the Irish Army. They would have two sons; the eldest was named Felix (Rex) Cronin the second named Michael Collins Cronin, obviously both named after her two great loves.

Kitty died of Bright’s disease (Kidney disease) as did all of her siblings, on July 24th 1945, and was laid to rest in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, not far from where Collins lies. Husband Felix and their son Rex were to join her there some 19 years later.

Kitty Kiernan and Michael Collins had both kept up lengthy correspondence with each other even while Collins was still in London during the Treaty negotiations and he had written to her every day. These letters are now the subject of a published book written by Leon O’Broin entitled “In Great Haste“.

Kitty Kiernan and indeed Ireland’s worst fears would be realized when Collins was assassinated by Denis ‘Sonny’ O’Neill at the age of just 31 years, near Béal na Bláth, County Cork, on August 22nd, 1922.