Local Weather

Mostly cloudy
real feel: 6°C
wind speed: 3 m/s SE
sunrise: 7:12 am
sunset: 8:01 pm


Thurles Musical Society – All Shook Up

Thurles Musical Society all ready to rock with “All Shook Up.”

Thurles Musical Societies PRO Mr Noel Dundon reports:-

“Thurles Musical Society will stage their hit show “All Shook Up – the music of Elvis Presley” starting next Tuesday evening, April 4th, until Saturday April 8th inc. in The Premier Hall, Thurles from 8:00pm nightly.

Music and Cast
This is a non-stop collection of music made famous by ‘The King’, and there is a great comedy element to the show, to ensure that audiences will really enjoy a most wonderful experience. Thurles will have almost sixty performers on stage and another forty or so working around the hall to bring this musical extravaganza to the audience. The show has been a big hit throughout the country and it is anticipated that the production in Thurles will be no different.

With hits such as ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘Love Me Tender’, ‘Hound Dog’, ‘All Shook Up’, ‘Can’t Help falling in Love’, and many more; the show will take you on a nostalgic musical journey having been directed by Shannon man Aodán Fox, with Mary Rose McNally as Musical Director, Debbie Kieran as Choreographer, and Michelle O’Connell as Dance Captain.

The Cast and Chorus have been in rehearsals since early January and now that the Booking Office has opened in Hickey’s Pharmacy, Liberty Square, Thurles, real excitement has begun to build amongst the entire company.

Tickets can be booked on (085) 2868726 at a cost of €20 for adults and €10 for children. There are also group concessions available and a family ticket will cost €50. Tickets will also be available at the door, on each night of the performance, although booking in advance is strongly advisable.”

Don’t miss this chance to see a truly great show locally.


‘The Jockser Cooke’ Regains His Memory

Well known Thurles local ‘The Jockser Cooke’  hadn’t seen the inside of a church since the day of his confirmation.

Imagine then, the pleasant surprise, even mild shock, that greeted the Rev. Peter Wheatfield, when he looked down into his congregation to find ‘Our Jockser’, standing completely cold sober, at the back of the parish church, for the first time in well over 30 years.

After the service, Rev. Peter took up his long established Sunday custom of greeting each of his worshippers as they exited his chapel.

Jockser’s Cotton Hat

Stretching out his hand to Jockser, he pulled him aside, to wait until all the other parishioners had left.  This achieved, Rev. Peter said, “I am so glad you decided to come to our Sunday Holy Communion service this morning Mr Cooke. What, may I dare to ask, changed your mind after all these years?”

“Well to be totally honest with ya Reverend, sure a while back, didn’t I misplaced me cotton hat and sure God knows I really and truly loved that ould hat.  Now didn’t I became aware that one of your other parishioners, Willie Hall, has a hat just like mine. I then learned that every man who enters the church every Sunday has to remove his hat during the Service. So I tell you no lie Reverend, I figured when he would go up for Communion sure I would steal the hat from his pew and leave without anyone even becoming aware it was missing,” said Jockser.

Rev. Peter smiled, “Well Jockser I am happy to note that you didn’t steal Mr Hall’s hat after all. What changed your mind?”

Jockser lowered his voice, “Well, after I heard yar sermon on them 10 Commandments, I decided that I didn’t need to steal Willie Hall’s hat after all.”

With a tear in his eye Rev. Peter gave Jockser a big smile, “Yes I did talk in detail about the 8th commandment handed down by Moses and that moral imperative so often nowadays forgotten ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’.  So am I to understand that based on my simple sermon you decided you would rather do without Mr Hall’s hat, thus saving yourself from being eternally tortured in Hell Fire?”  Rev. Peter asked.

Jockser slowly shook his head. “Ah no, no, it wasn’t like that Reverend, after ya talked about the 9th commandment, Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery’, sure then didn’t I remembered where I had left me hat.”


Minister Mary M. O’Connor To Send Op-Eds To Regional Papers Again

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor will most certainly want articles and pictures taken of her at last years ploughing championships to be most definitely sent once again to all Tipperary rural newspapers, after the announcement yesterday of over 200 job losses in Nenagh, Co Tipperary. Here once again she is being slammed over her complete failure to create even one job in rural Tipperary.

[Remember this is the same “Minister for Jobs Lady” who suggested that tax incentives be given to Irish people who ran out of this country to find employment; in an effort to encourage them to return home. If you are from Tipperary and are reasonably happy abroad, stay where you are folks, there is certainly nothing on the employment front for you in rural Tipperary. Watch ‘Leaders Questions’; sure even our TD’s are failing to turn up for work in Dáil Éireann at present.]

As Independent.ie made us aware, the Jobs Minister instructed her advisers, on September 22nd 2016 last, by email at 5.39am, sending them the first paragraph of a story that appeared in our own Tipperary Star newspaper.

Photo Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor, courtesy Independent.ie

To quote Independent.ie “It stated that Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill slammed the minister for continuing to allow a two-tier Ireland take hold.

He quoted jobs figures from the previous government, saying almost half of IDA-supported jobs were in the greater Dublin area.

Four minutes after sending her first email, Ms Mitchell O’Connor wrote to her advisers: “I want Op-Eds [comment articles] going into local papers all over country.” She added: “Get a pic of me at ploughing and with Kerrygold. Agri food, artisan food and farming will need to be referenced.”
A spokeswoman for the minister last night said that “following further discussion” it was decided that all communications with regional newspapers “would be done around the regional action plan for jobs”.

On a previous occasion, Ms Mitchell O’Connor sent her advisers a link to an RTÉ story headlined “Minister criticised over Roche job losses”. The job losses were in Clare, Fine Gael TD Joe Carey’s constituency, and he called on the minister to travel to the company’s HQ in Switzerland to try to save the jobs. Ms Mitchell O’Connor asked her advisers to get her contact details for the pharmaceutical firm’s boss in Co Clare and to get an update from the IDA on replacing the facility.

She also asked: “What about a trip to Swiss HQ?”

A spokeswoman confirmed that the minister didn’t travel to Switzerland as it became clear that Roche’s decision was final and such a trip “would not have changed the outcome”.  She said last night that: “All regions have seen an increase in employment.”

No Minister O’Connor, “All regions have not seen an increase in employment.”

Where are the jobs promised prior to the last General Election, held on 26th February 2016?

We can confirm that the 1,432 jobs announced, highlighted and published in mid to late 2015, by former Tipperary Labour Minister Mr Alan Kelly, (700 for Nth Tipp. & 692 for Sth Tipp.), same promised employment prospects have not as yet materialised in 2017.


Tipperary Wind Farm – V – EU Court Of Justice

Tipperary Wind Farm Planning Decision Referred To Europe By Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, having considered a challenge against An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for an electricity generating wind farm in Co Tipperary, have ruled that this case does raise issues of public importance.

The initial challenge refers to a ten year permission, granted by An Bord Pleanála, to ESB Wind Development and Coillte; to construct a wind farm in the area of Keeper Hill in the Silvermines Mountains in Co Tipperary.

Hen Harrier (Picture courtesy Mr Shay Connolly, Bird Watch Ireland)

The Supreme Court applicants had claimed that the permission granted breached EU Habitats and Environment Impact Assessment Directives and would contribute to the loss of some 400 acres of foraging for Hen Harrier, if and when this same wind farm was progressed.

Previously the High Court had dismissed the case of M/s Edel Grace of Grousehall Milestone, Thurles, Co Tipperary and Environmental Consultant Mr Peter Sweetman of Bunnahowen, Cashel, Co Galway, in their action.

The Supreme Court however now want the EU (CJEU) Court of Justice to determine European law issues, before ruling whether An Bord Pleanála properly assessed the impact of this Co. Tipperary wind farm on the habitat of these hen harriers, latter a protected species under EU law.

The important joint Supreme Court judgement on Friday last, before a seven-judge Supreme Court which included Mr Justice Frank Clarke and Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley, concluded that M/s Grace did have standing in her appeal. The fact that she had not participated in the planning process and resided less than one kilometre from the special protection area (SPA), did not deprive her of standing.  The Supreme Court therefore agreed to refer certain issues to the CJEU concerning the procedure adopted by An Bord Pleanála. These precise issues have as yet not been described, but same are expected to be set out later.

“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals”. [George Orwell, Animal Farm.]

What now makes the European Court challenge by M/s Edel Grace, Grousehall, Milestone, Thurles, Co Tipperary so important?

Should a wind turbine be installed on the ‘Stiletto in the Ghetto’, in O’Connell Street, Dublin, to further improve renewable energy sources?

Some 32 farmers in Co. Tipperary availed of payments last year for their involvement in taking the necessary measures to protect the endangered Hen Harrier bird species; known romantically as “Sky Dancers” because of their skilled and elaborate aerial displays. 

During the last five years well over €10m in funding was paid out to farmers in the form of compensation payments. Indeed it was a farmer in Co. Tipperary who received the single largest payment (€14,594) for the granting of this special protection. But an even bigger scandal is recognised when the latest Hen Harrier population figures are released.

Same figures indicate that there reside only an average of about 125 breeding Hen Harrier pairs left in Ireland. This figure registers a decline of over 33% since 2000 or a decline of almost 9% in 2016, despite the birds having being offered paid special protection since 2010. (Imagine what Focus Ireland could have achieved with this €10m funding, equal to over €8,000.00 per breeding bird pair over this same 5 year period).

What also makes this European challenge by M/s Edel Grace therefore important is not necessarily the wanton destruction by An Bord Pleanála to beautiful rural Tipperary landscapes; but rather that wind farms in rural areas are now being granted planning permission in EU funded Hen Harrier breeding areas, supposedly set up and funded to offer protection.  This so called EU protection, together with the burning of moorland is recognised as being the root cause; seriously effecting the Irish Hen Harrier population through the removal of natural breeding habitats and naturally occurring mammal feeding grounds.


Gossip Poisons Small Rural Communities

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”  Exodus Chapter 20 – Verse 16.

Some nights ago the remnants of ‘Storm Doris’ hit the town of Thurles and the county of Tipperary. ‘Doris’ herself had indeed indicated her intentions earlier in the evening, by sending a series of scouts riding across the town and Shannon region in the form of short, sudden, gale gusts, each arriving some 15 minutes apart.

Having checked out the weaknesses in our small town’s battle defences, ‘Doris’ herself would later rage her ferocity, under the cover of early morning darkness; travelling at speeds of 80 to 100 miles per hour; her intention to reek mayhem on our ageing trees, loose roof tiles, telecommunications and power structures.

When the first severe gusts arrived, disengaging his electrical supply, Fr Tom Farrer had been busy writing his sermon for this Sunday’s Mass. In view of the recent false allegations of child sexual abuse revealed through the Sergeant Maurice McCabe scandal of last week; Fr Tom had come to a decision.  In his wisdom, he had decided to radiate some hard hitting remarks on the ever present sin associated with the whispering of unconfirmed rumours; identified as plain gossip which so often poisons small rural communities.

Electrical power had not been reconnected at 8.00am the following morning, nevertheless Fr. Tom slipped the bolt on his front door to allow uninhibited access to his soon to arrive housekeeper. Having removed his newspaper from the postbox, he admitted to himself that today would bring added suffering to an area already destroyed by a lack of job opportunities.

Some 15 minutes later his house keeper, Mrs Beatrice Clancy, arrived and in view of the absence of electricity; she began to set a fire in the old cast-iron grate. As Fr Tom watched her move Mrs Clancy began to extol the still sparse local info on last nights mini hurricane. “Oh” she rattled on, “and by the way I was in the Bingo last night and do you know what I heard about young Peter Ryan your Sacristan?”

“Hang on there now” Fr. Tom replied, “Before you tell me that story I’d like you to pass a little test. I call it the ‘Double Filter Test’. Before you talk to me about young Peter Ryan let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say. The first filter is that of ‘Truth’. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

Mrs Clancy thought hard for a brief moment “No,” the housekeeper admitted, “Actually I just heard about it in conversation.”  “All right now,” said Fr. Tom, “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me, Mrs Clancy, about Peter Ryan, something good?”

Again Mrs Clancy took a brief moment for hard reflection, before eventually stating “No, on the contrary.”  “So,” Fr. Tom continued, “You want to tell me something about young Peter Ryan that may be bad, even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

Mrs Clancy shrugged her shoulders, a little embarrassed. “Well,” concluded Fr. Tom, “If what you want to tell me is neither ‘True’ nor ‘Good’, why repeat it to me or anyone else in the first place?”

Feeling he had made his point most effectively; Fr. Tom sat down to await the arrival of his 2 x 2 min soft boiled eggs, due to relax shortly in a saucepan of boiling water on his now warming open fire.

Of course this story also explains the fact that Fr. Tom never truly found out that young Peter Ryan had skimmed an envelope containing a €50.00 note from the priest’s collection plate, to purchase a U2 concert ticket for the Joshua Tree Tour 2017, in Croke Park Dublin next July.