Irish Phrase Of The Day

"Cad atá ar súil agat ?" - What are you doing?



October 2014
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Thurles – I Have Been To Hell & Back

A Warm Coal FireI woke up just as the flickering red flames began to gently lick at my scalding toes. Perspiration was flooding from every sweat pore in my body, brought on by the intense heat.

On awakening, it took me several minutes to fully realise that I had only been the subject of an involuntarily sensation associated with sleep; a nightmare to use the common term. But this frightening event wasn’t my usual strong emotional response emanating from the mind and typically experienced after a late night’s over indulgence on goats cheese.   No sir, this dream contained situations of great danger, discomfort, psychological and physical terror, to which today my weekly visit to local practising and counselling psychologist, failed us both to identify.

Let me further elaborate on the situation in which I found myself in the very early hours of this morning.

The Nightmare

Myself, Phil Hogan TD (Him of Property Tax and Irish Water Fame), Bashar Assad, (President of Syria) and Vladimir Putin (President of Russia) had all died the same day and gone straight to that place of eternal torment in the afterlife, known plainly to everyone, (with the exception of used car sales persons), as “Hell.”

On arrival and while beginning to experience the intense and increasing temperature, not to mention having to listen to the screams of the multitude who had arrived earlier; all four of us were attracted to a single bright red phone; same the only piece of office equipment to be seen. It lay sitting on the reception desk occupied by that supernatural entity that is the personification of evil, namely the Devil himself, “Lucifer.”

Having been fully processed by Lucifer and now lined up bound in heavy chains arraigned according to our time of arrival, all four of us began to speculate on the need for this red phone. The Devil, overhearing our whispered conversation quickly informed us that same was for telephoning the planet Earth.

Putin immediately asked permission to call Russia and his conversation concerning matters on the Crimea just lasted for five minutes. His call completed and phone receiver replaced; the Devil then informed him that the cost of his Roaming Call Forward was one million Russian Roubles. Without hesitation, as one does when in charge of taxpayers money, the stern-faced Putin immediately pulled out his cheque book and wrote Lucifer a cheque without question.

Next Bashar Assad calls Syria and his conversation on matters pertaining to ISIS lasted some 30 minutes. Call again complete, the Devil informed him that the cost is 6 million Syrian pounds and again Assad, perhaps more reluctantly in his case, pulled out his cheque book and wrote Lucifer a cheque.

Just as I was about to phone the wife, Phil Hogan brushes me roughly aside and rings Ireland. His dictatorial style discussion was mainly about some intended legal action against Independent Dublin MEP Nessa Childers and something else about not “being unable to make an omelette without cracking eggs”, which I am afraid I didn’t fully grasp. His boring, bullish droll continued for over 4 hours; however on finishing his call the Devil informs him that the total cost is a mere €5.00 Euro.

An understandably outraged President Putin, on hearing the low-cost, goes pure ballistic; demanding from his new host an explanation on why Phil Hogan got to call Ireland so cheaply.

The devil smiles and replies: “Since Fine Gael and Labour took office, the whole of Ireland has gone to Hell, so his call is categorised as being only a Local Call.”

My worry of course and that of my psychologist is more selfishly complex; despite this all being just a nightmare, what was I doing in Hell with these guys, to observe this scenario in the first place?

Is it a premonition or a forewarning of some kind maybe of things yet to come – I continue to wonder?

Global Warming First Realised In Ballynonty, Thurles, Co Tipperary


Scientists were first awakened to the theory of ‘Global Warming’ for the first time here in Ireland, following the destruction of Ballynonty Bridge, near Thurles, in August of 2008.

Well that is, with ‘Tongue in Cheek’  I might add, according to local Ballynonty poet and historian Gerry Cullen; latter who regularly records such significant district occurrences in rhyme.

In fact if you are looking for someone to write a poem about any topic, be it related to matters humorous or material required of a more serious nature, then look no further than this Ballynonty resident lyricist; Tipperary’s answer to the late great Lancashire born poet Robert Service, (1874 – 1958).

(Pictured left Gerry’s serious poetic reflection on Tipperary road traffic accidents, first published and cut in stone at the wonderful Ballynonty Garden of Remembrance back in 2012.)

Anyway back to the topic of Global Warming; hereunder recorded for future generations, the demise of the bridge in Ballynonty, with a veiled environmental warning to each and every resident of this our planet.

 Global Warming
(From the pencil of Gerry Cullen.)

The weather is gone wallop and the seasons out of whack,
We’re heading for disaster and down a one way track,
We’ll have to face the music or wise up and be smart,
Or the bridge in Ballynonty will only be the start.

Twas like a big tsunami or the floods in New Orleans,
Or back when Noah built the ark to save the human beings,
But nothing ever read or seen has caused the jaw to drop,
Like the bridge in Ballynonty near Alice Perry’s shop.

The clouds grew dark; the deluge came; the rain was strong and fast,
The stream became a torrent and the bridge just couldn’t last.
The flood flowed down Slieveardagh’s slopes and the dark night turned to day,
And then at dawn, in turmoil, the battered road gave way.

For weeks we’ve taken detours and the moods have struck us all,
And we suffer from depression tryin’ to get to Killenaule,
The “Powers that Be” are out in force; no opening day as yet,
(A week, a month, a year or two, I wouldn’t hold my breath.)

And years into the future the people will recall,
How the curse of “Global Warming” damn nearly took us all.
Don’t prod and poke at nature; we have to stop and think,
For living life the way we do, has brought us to the brink.

Sure you never know Gerry might share some more of his poetry with us into the future. There is, I hasten to add, talks of a limited edition book of poetry shortly to be published, which is eagerly awaited by the many lovers of his localised thought-provoking verse.

Thurles Negativity, Garth Brooks & Women

“It breeds dissatisfaction by perpetuating itself everywhere, cluttering up the minds of individuals, particularly here in Thurles,” said Micky, breaking the silence, as he continued sucking on the remains of his pig’s crubeen, elbows resting on the kitchen table. (Latter ‘Crubeen,’ for those of you less well educated of course is a boiled pig’s foot. Today they are called sausages, if no horse meat has been added.)

“What are you talking about Mickey,” said I, anxiously awaiting the promised afters of a plate of stewed rhubarb and custard, whose mouth-watering aroma was now being carried; wafting on the breeze created by the partially open window in the small scullery.

“Negativity,” said Mickey, Negativity, sure Thurles is full of it and it’s all coming down from Dublin. Take that Garth Brooks singer fellow,” he continued, “Sure if Dublin don’t want him, couldn’t Aiken and the GAA have sent him down here to forgotten Thurles and slap him into Semple Stadium for the week. Sure doesn’t he sing country music anyway.”

“Look it here,” said I, “This is all politics, people playing financial chess to get their own greedy little ways. Sure only a few weeks ago wasn’t the Minister of Finance down kissing Donald Trump’s arse in the west, in the hope of duping these Americans into progressing the sale of a bankrupt golf club. “Remember Mickey,” said I,” The money paid for those 400,000 tickets to listen to this Brooks fellow will end up in America, taken out of our bankrupt Irish economy in his private jet plane, tax and VAT free.

“I suppose you’re right there,” said Mickey, “I suppose the female clothing shops here in Thurles wouldn’t have sold so much as a plastic G-String, had those damned concerts gone ahead. Yeah you’re probably right;  negativity, women and politics are what has this Ireland ruined, sure women shouldn’t be allowed into politics anyway,” continued Micky.

“What’s your problem with women politicians,” said I.

“Well,” said Mickey, “Take a look at that Joan Burton one, since she became leader of the Labour Party. Sure only a woman would take four days moving an auld second-hand press from room to room in Dáil Éireann.”

“How do you mean,” said I.

“The cabinet re-shuffle,” said Mickey, “A man would have left that damned cabinet where they found it, but not a women, oh no; “push it over against the back wall,” – “no move it over to the window,” – “no try it in the bed room.” “Thank God the wife and myself only have two rooms, a scullery and an outside commode,” continued Mickey

I bit my tongue and remained silent.

“No its all negativity now-a-days here in Thurles,” continued Mickey, “Sure the wife was at her hairdresser’s there recently getting her perm fixed, before her trip to Rome and she just happened to mentioned this same junket to the hairdresser.

Continue reading Thurles Negativity, Garth Brooks & Women

Hidden Tipperary Aware Of Current Urban Tourism Greed

Minister Phil Hogan, what in the name of God have you started?

The deadline of September 30th 2014, given to County Councils by the Revenue Commissioners to vary property tax charges by 15%, at the behest of the Revenue Commissioners, has given the search for ‘Urban/Rural Funding Equalisation Debate’ a now much more added urgency.

Publicity shy Dublin Labour TD Kevin Humphreys; yes him who recently confronted that unfortunate rat, as it scurrying across the polished floors of Leinster House, warns he will become ‘rebellious’ (God forbid Kevin, control yourself, you will have us all protesting) if central funds for local authorities are diverted from councils in his thriving Capital City of Dublin, to be spent in “Hillbilly Country”, latter also referred to in EU dispatches, (strictly in the interest of political correctness you understand) as “Rural Ireland.”

Mr Humphreys is seriously losing sleep about critically important local issues in Dublin, now much in need of urgent funding. It appears from press reports that the government could redirect funds to rural, less well populated areas in our State; due to the excessive property tax yields in Dublin. This government decision could see Mr Humphreys turn savage, especially since these rural voters have been less than sympathetic to Labour Party policies, in recent local elections.

Dublin’s Moving Statues

I myself, a well known rural Co Tipperary blow-in, can partially understand where Humphreys ( Latter no relation to character in satirical British sitcom “Yes Minister”) is coming from, particularly in relation to the necessary funding of items like the “Moving Statues” of Dublin.  Please allow me to further elaborate.


Statues of Viscount Gough & Molly Malone

I believe it was Jury’s Hotel, Dublin that financed the statue of the fictional 17th century, third generation, double jobbing,  fishmonger (by day) and part-time prostitute (by night) “Molly Malone.”   Molly Malone, of that well-known ballad of the same name has become the most recent of Dublin’s moving statue; “shifted” (Please interpret latter word using a biblical understanding) from the bottom of Grafton Street to be possibly relocated temporarily on Andrew Street.

The statue affectionately known by Dublin natives as “The Tart with the Cart”, “The Dish with the Fish”, “The Trollop with the Scallops” and “The Dolly with the Trolley”, has just cost the Irish tax payer €50,000 for its recent removal, it’s cleaning, repairs etc.. Happily the €50,000 spent should see visitors not noticing  any change in her newly welded appearance when she once again appears back ‘on the town’ at her new temporary location outside the tourist office now established in the former St Andrew’s Church on nearby Suffolk Street.

This statue will of course incur further costs later,  pending the end of Luas works in 2017, when she will be again relocated to her former ‘beat’ on Grafton Street, slightly north of her more recent location.

The repairs to the Molly Malone statue were necessary, because of cracks brought about by tourists sitting on her.  How do I know this?  Take a look at the tourism facts & figures for the Top Ten free attractions in Ireland for 2013.

Tourism Facts

Note that No 1. on the list of Tourism attractions was The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (641,572), followed by No 2. The National Botanic Gardens, Dublin (550,000), No 3. Farmleigh House, Dublin (435,476), No 4. National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin (404,230), No 5. Newbridge Silverware, Kildare (350,000), No 6. Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin (339,264), No 7. National Museum of Ireland, Natural History, Dublin (284,323), No 8. The National Library of Ireland, Dublin (260,152), No 9. National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin (251,226) and finally No 10. Chester Beatty Library Dublin (250,659) and all but one have got the same thing in common.

It is also interesting to note the tourism facts & figures for five of the top ten paid-for attractions in 2013, namely:- The Guinness, Storehouse, Dublin (1,157,090), National Aquatic Centre, Dublin (858,031), Book of Kells, Dublin, (588,723), St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin (410,000) and Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin (326,207)  have also all got one thing in common.

So have you spotted how Molly got cracked? Yes correct, fourteen out of the fifteen top Irish Tourist attractions hold a Dublin City address. These over abundant tourists now visiting Dublin are no better than street vandals; sitting as they do under Molly’s ample semi-bared blossoms, to have their photographs taken. These unprofitable tourists have being encouraged to visit Dublin, through the spending of millions of Euro by Fáilte Ireland, attracting them only to Dublin city over the last five years, to the detriment of unfunded rural Ireland and Co Tipperary in particular.

Continue reading Hidden Tipperary Aware Of Current Urban Tourism Greed

Incompetence Denies Tipperary Lottery Fund Application

Dept ChildrenTipperary community groups and voluntary organisations with an involvement in the provision of Children’s and Youth Services were invited recently to apply under the National Lottery Discretionary Fund for once-off grants. We here in forgotten Tipperary were informed that a fund had been puts in place in the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to this end.

The scope of the scheme was for the provision of services to children and young people, for once-off projects across a wide variety of areas such as the provision of equipment for youth clubs, youth cafes, scouts, summer camps, day trips for youth clubs/summer camps, play equipment for play schools / crèches and other once-off programs. In addition for 2014 the Department would also consider projects that focus on Children’s and Youth Health issues. Nice one!

Priority was be given to projects and activities that involve culture, play and recreation, healthy lifestyles for children and young people including innovative new projects aimed at emerging issues for children, and to provide marginalised groups with access to extra-curricular activity based projects. Nice one!

Completed applications were to be returned by post to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs no later than 12:30pm on Friday, 6th June, 2014.  All sounded great, however applications for this National Lottery funding would have to be made using a standard application form available / downloaded from the link shown HERE, and entitled National Lottery APP Form 2014 Final.doc.

Every effort by Tipperary community groups and voluntary organisations to download this application form since this announcement of funding however has failed, due to the incompetence of IT administrators at the Department of Children And Youth Affairs.

We at Thurles.Info realising the difficulty being experienced by community groups and voluntary organisations in downloading this ‘Application Form,’ advised the Department of Children and Youth Affairs on the morning of 29th May last as to their oversight. The following day, finding no IT correction to the download link, we emailed the responsible Minister, Mr Charles Flanagan TD about this on line basic “Error 404.0″ and while the minister promptly both telephoned on same day (30th May) and also emailed us (also on 30th May) promising immediate action, nothing has happened since.

I quote the Minister’s email “I have spoken directly with the Dept Secretary General. I expect matters will be rectified shortly. Thank you for bringing the matter to my attention.” signed Charlie Flanagan TD, Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Chairman, Laois/Offaly Constituency, Lismard Court, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

It would now appear that the Dept Secretary General referred to in this email is experiencing difficulty with his ‘Line Management’ or perhaps all this funding has been already distributed, “nod, nod, wink, wink,” as has so often has been the case particularly in recent Tipperary Tourism Funding.

Note: As stated completed applications were to be returned by post to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs no later than 12:30pm on Friday, 6th June, 2014. Same now allows only 2.5 working days for those wishing to make an application for such funding.

Those still interested, at this late stage, in receiving an ‘Application Form‘ can obtain same by emailing direct

Note: Also, as at time of going to press tonight, the site link inviting the ‘Application Form‘ download still remains showing a “HTTP Error 404.0 – Not Found” message. But then again this is a government administered website and government websites are by nature not supposed to work properly – or are they?

Maybe one of those persons who seek and exploit weaknesses in computer systems, could nip in and assist in correcting it for us.

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