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sunrise: 8:28 am
sunset: 4:58 pm


Ray Sawyer Of “Dr Hook & The Medicine Show” Dies

The eye-patch wearing and super entertainer Ray Sawyer, vocalist with 1970’s band Dr Hook & the Medicine Show, alas, has died aged 81. Ray passed away in Daytona Beach, Florida, on December 31st, 2018, following a brief illness.

The band are best known for their refrains from the pen of songwriter Shel Silverstein; “Cover of the Rolling Stone”, “Sylvia’s Mother” and Even Stevens lyric, “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman”, latter which was a number one hit in the UK in 1979.

His death was confirmed by his wife Linda, who stated her husband had died “peacefully in his sleep”, adding further that her “heart is broken”.

Born in Chickasaw, Alabama, on February 1st 1937, Ray Sawyer joined Dr Hook in 1969, two years after he had lost the sight in his right eye, following an auto-mobile accident. While not the appointed lead singer in the band, playing occasional percussionist on maracas; it was Ray’s cowboy hat, fun stage antics and idiosyncratic eye patch that distinguished him long into the memory of his multitude of adoring 1970’s fans.

Oh, and a point of information; the band’s dream of getting their picture on the cover of the ‘Rolling Stone’ did eventually come true, but in caricature only.

[Lest we forget, why not click HERE to give “Only Sixteen” a twirl and remember there is always “A Little Bit More” – God be with those days.]

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.


Phoenix Productions – Coffee, Mulled Wine and Mince Pie Fundraiser

M/s Miriam Callanan [Denis Kinane Motors (Honda Centre)] Reports:-

For many years here in Thurles town, the youth musical theatre group, better known as and a much loved ‘Phoenix Productions’, have been bringing to the stage, annually, performances par excellence.

As the years have progressed, many of these young performers have continued on in their great love of musical theatre and are regularly invited to join other well known musical theatre groups and societies both around Ireland and abroad, because of their undoubted talent and their knowledge base of professional stage craft.

To ensure and encourage that such talents are continued on by young performers into the future here in Thurles and elsewhere, this Saturday, December 22nd. 2018,  the Society supporting Phoenix Productions are holding a “Mulled Wine and Mince Pie morning” (or Coffee for those driving), at the former old School House, on Slievenamon Road, Thurles, (Opposite Ely’s Centra Store & Petrol Station.), latter now home to the Societies Director / Producer Mr Gerard O’Brien.

This event will commence sharp at 10.00am in the morning, and run until 3.00pm in the afternoon, with full proceeds from this event going to support Phoenix Production’s next exciting musical extravaganza.

So please do take a well deserved break from your busy Christmas shopping and pop into the old School House for a relaxing cup of Coffee, a glass of Mulled Wine and Mince Pies.

All support as usual will be greatly appreciated.


“Carols By Candlelight”, St. Kieran’s Church, Johnstown

Thurles Town to join again this year, with the rural nearby villages of Johnstown, Crosspatrick and Galmoy, for ‘Carols by Candlelight’.

The traditional ecumenical service of Christmas Carols, entitled “Carols by Candlelight”, will be hosted in St. Kieran’s Church, Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny on tomorrow night, Saturday 15th December, beginning at 8.00pm sharp; the venue and programme both being facilitated through the kindness of Fr. Frank Maher P.P. and Johnstown local parishioners.

In the ambience of candlelight only, this ecumenical service is being hosted by the Johnstown, Crosspatrick and Galmoy Community First Responders team.

Community First Responders (CFR) are volunteers who are trained to attend certain types of emergency calls, in the area where they live or work. Their aim is to reach a potential life-threatening emergency in the first vital minutes, before any ambulance crew from outer areas arrives.

This voluntary group are linked to the National Ambulance Service and aside from this, they also provide training on CPR, Defibrillator Use, Stroke Awareness and information on how to combat Choking (Heimlich Manoeuvre), to members of the public. They further ensure that all publicly accessible defibrillators are well maintained.

Performing the vocals at this seasonal seated event will be “Cephas,” (Featuring Noreen Cullinane (Ryan), brothers Edward (Ned) and John J. Cullinane), joined by the band “Sweet Freedom”, together with Meadhbh Ryan, Maria Cullinane (Johnstown) and Rachel and Shane Willoughby (Thurles); all under the superb musical direction of Leanne O’Grady (Violin), Michael O’Grady (Violin), and Killian Cullinane (Keyboards).

Included in the programme will be, “Little Drummer Boy”, “Silent Night”, “O Holy Night”, “Immanuel”, “In a Silent Town” and “Christmas Hallelujah”, all which will be amongst the many other beautiful and much loved Christmas Carols performed on tomorrow  night.

Christmas scripture readings and poetry, foretelling the birth of Christ, will feature the voices of Marie Wilson, Breda Campion, Nancy Fogarty, Mary Anne Browne, Jerry Drennan and George Willoughby.  Local primary school children, will also be participating in this most joyous of seasonal events.

While the tomorrow evenings event itself is completely free to attend, Ms Cathy Dermody [latter Chairperson Johnstown, Crosspatrick & Galmoy Community First Responders, (CFR)], confirms that any / all voluntary donations, will go in full to assist in the funding and provision of a much needed ‘Defibrillator’, for this local area.

Defibrillation, as most people are aware, is a life saving treatment for life-threatening, non-perfusing cardiac dysrhythmias. Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electric current (often called a counter shock) to the heart using this device, by trained individuals. This depolarizes a critical mass of the heart muscle and allows normal sinus rhythm to be re-established, thus so often saving life.

Carols By Candlelight
As many of our readers will be aware, the original idea of ‘Carols by Candlelight’ first began in south-eastern Australia, sometime in the 19th century and was popularised in Melbourne in 1937. The tradition has since spread around the world and involves people gathering to sing carols by candlelight only, accompanied usually by a band. Indeed, one of the earliest forms of ‘Carols by Candlelight’ began when Cornish Miners in Moonta, South Australia, gathered on Christmas Eve to sing carols, lit by candles which were stuck to the brims of their safety helmets.

All persons, both adults and children, regardless of their religious persuasion, are most welcome to attend this truly most enjoyable of Christmas events, under the Direction of Mr Edward Cullinane.


Tipperary’s ‘Susie Q’ Launches New Single

The video, immediately hereunder, features the latest song “Hold On” from the very talented Susan Quirke or “Susie Q” as she is known in music circles.  Susan is a native of the village of Oola, situated on the Limerick-Tipperary border and formerly attended school at St. Anne’s Secondary School, Rosanna Rd, Carrownreddy, in Tipperary Town.

Susan’s début track which was launched earlier this year entitled “Home”; latter a song about the global refugee and migrant crisis, received extensive national radio airplay and saw her invited to perform at Electric Picnic.

Susan Quirke is a meditation teacher and has worked in the area of mental health for several years. Her work has given her huge and added insights into many of the major issues faced by individuals, which in turn has inspired her song writing.

All going well we can expect an 11 track début album; latter being presently being worked on, from Susan  Quirke in 2019, same entitled “Into the Sea”.  Can’t wait.


Féile Returns To Thurles, Co. Tipperary After 28 Years

Are You Ready To Rock?

Féile Classical will take place in Semple Stadium, Thurles this coming weekend. Bands performing will include ‘The Stunning’, ‘Hothouse Flowers’, ‘An Emotional Fish’, ‘Something Happens’, ‘The 4 of Us’, ‘The Frank & Walters’; all with special guests and all performing alongside the Irish Chamber Orchestra. This festival will be fully seated and complete with organised food stalls and bar facilities.

From tomorrow, this two day event [Friday and Saturday, 21st and 22nd September 2018], Semple Stadium and Thurles town here in Co. Tipperary, (after 28 years), are happy to make welcome once again 10,000 expected attending guests.

All traffic travelling to this event will be directed along designated routes thus ensuring that all persons arrive at a chosen car park designated for that particular route. Each route will be colour coded and will coincide with the car parks in that area.

Access Routes:
There will be 3 primary vehicle access routes to this event, which will be colour coded as follows:
Red – Vehicles approaching from East/South.
Blue – Vehicles approaching from North/West.
Purple – Local vehicular traffic via R660.

Emergency Routes:
Emergency routes will be maintained for all emergency services. They will be designated as a Yellow route.

All routes, both to and from the concert venue, together with car parks will be clearly signposted. The organisers in conjunction with An Garda Siochána will ensure adequate signage is put in place the day before this event; same to help ease traffic flow, thus providing full information to all patrons attending and leaving this event.

Patrons are please asked to park in supervised car parks and remember to secure and lock all vehicles, leaving no possessions or other valuables on display.

NB: Ploughing Championship Traffic:
All patrons should note that the newly extended National Ploughing Championships are also taking place in Tullamore on tomorrow Friday the 21st of September 2018 and therefore extra traffic can be expected, returning through Thurles town at the same time as concert goers are arriving. Therefore it is advisable to allow extra time for your journey to Féile Classical.