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Borrisoleigh Festival Begins This Weekend

Borrisoleigh Festival July 4th to 7th 2019

The annual Borrisoleigh Festival returns again this weekend; bigger and better than ever before.
The festival is being run in tandem with “The Arty Rooster Arts Festival”, which runs for the entire week from 1st July.

Overall Winner of the 2018 Wheelbarrow Competition with her entry ‘The Dogbox’ is Kathleen Ryan (left) with her sister Margaret and mother Effie (RIP)

The growing “International Wheelbarrow Extravaganza”, promises some wonderful creations. The competition is open to everyone to submit their modified wheelbarrows to be in with a chance to win some great prizes. Your imagination is the only limiting factor in this unique competition.

The Arty Rooster‘ will feature shop-front exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, talks and performances, including an oil painting demonstration by artist Jim Donnelly on Saturday morning and a short play written by Ciarnad Ryan. The play is based on events which took place during the War of Independence and will be performed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the function room in Finn’s Bar. Follow ‘The Arty Rooster’ on Facebook for full schedule updates.

The annual walk with the Bush and Briar Ramblers takes place on Saturday July 6th, walking part of the Beara Breifne Way from Greenane to Latteragh. Registration is at 8.30am in the Community Centre.

Award winning photographer Tom Doherty will be hosting a photo walk, giving tips on how to take great photos on a walk around Borrisoleigh starting at 11:00am in The Square. This should prove useful to anyone planning on entering the festivals Instagram Competition. Be sure to use the hashtag #BorrisFest19 when posting festival photos on Instagram to be in with a chance to win some great prizes. After the Official Opening with Lord Mayor Paddy Dolan and special guest on Saturday, there will be a Jiving Competition and Social Dancing with ‘Phil Maher’s Band’. The band ‘Ebony’ will finish off the night; from 10:00pm to 12:00 midnight.

A fire performer will be thrilling spectators throughout Saturday night with a number of performances from 8:00pm and Hot Chocolate and Wraps will be available from ‘The Hungry Horse’.

Sunday 7th July has a packed schedule from 2:00pm with the ‘Wheelbarrow Extravaganza’, live music, kid’s entertainment and lots more. The individual wheelbarrow categories are: Best Environmental; Best Miniature Garden; and Most Imaginative.

Entries open on Sunday 7th July 2.00 – 4.30 p.m. No entry fees. This year there is a new ‘Commercial’ Category. Local businesses can showcase their business in a wheelbarrow in the centre of Borrisoleigh for the duration of the Festival. €10 advance entry fee. Wheelbarrows can be displayed from 1st July – 7th July. There will be a public vote for the best overall wheelbarrow on Sunday afternoon. Votes cost €1.00 each. So, take another glance at that old wheelbarrow in the corner of the garden, and imagine what an amazing spectacle it would make with a little bit of ingenuity and TLC. And don’t forget to use #BorrisFest19 when uploading your photos to Instagram!

At 2.30pm in the Community Centre there is a Make Up Demonstration with MUA Kayley Moylan, admission is €8. Kids entertainment will feature Bouncy Castles, Disco Dome, Gladiators, Gaming Van and Hawkeye Powershot Competition. There will be a BBQ in the village square also on Sunday evening and a Hobby horse competition from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

Live music starts at 2:00pm on Sunday with DJ Matt Ryan and a host of wonderful performers throughout the day. Starting with Paudi Bourke at 4pm, Dufrane 4.30pm, The Mangled Badgers 6pm and finishing with Silver Dollar from 8pm until late.

All in all, it promises to be a terrific festival with something for everyone and all ages. Pick up a copy of the festival booklet in any local shops for full schedule of events and follow Borrisoleigh Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular updates.

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Bealtaine Festival – Thurles Library

The Source Library, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

Ms Suzanne Brosnan (Senior Library Assistant), Tipperary County Council Library Service, brings us all the news on the Thurles “Bealtaine Festival”, starting tomorrow, May 3rd.

Friday May 3rd – Exhibition Launch in ‘The Gallery’ – 11.00am

Our May exhibition is the art work of and by four local artists Alice Regan, Marian Maher, Patsy Hogan & Helen Campbell. The exhibition will be launched by branch manager Gerard Flannery. Why not drop into the library for a coffee and browse the beautiful art, presented by talented local artists.

Wednesday & Thursday May 8th & 9th – Thurles Men’s Shed Roadshow – 10.00am – 4.00pm.

Thurles Men’s Shed (TMS) provides the platform for a large number of gifted craftsmen to practice and exhibit their talents. Thurles library are delighted to welcome the members of the men’s shed to the library to display their work. If you are interested in finding out more about TMS why not call in and chat to one of the members to find out more details.

Tuesday 14th May 14th – Talk on ‘Bee Keeping’, by Jerry Ryan – 6.30pm

Interested in starting up your own hive, wish to hear how you can improve your own or simply interested in learning more about these intriguing insects. Jerry Ryan will offer plenty of knowledge about these fascinating, necessary and endangered species. Booking essential – Tel: 0761-06-6131

Friday 17th May 17th – Coffee Morning in the Library with ‘The Monk’s Musicians’ from 11.00am – 12.00 noon.

One of the annual highlights here in Thurles Library. We are delighted to welcome back the musicians of the Monk’s Pub. Enjoy a cup of tea, and a chat, whilst they raise the gallery roof with their music and song. All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday May 21st – ‘Tin Whistle Class’ – Anthony Condron at 6.30pm

Ever wanted to take-up a traditional Irish instrument but didn’t know how or where to start? Now is your chance with this introduction to tin whistle with accomplished musician Anthony Condron. Booking here is essential – Tel: 0761-06-6131.

Thursday 23rd May – “Greyhound on a Train” by Carnation Theatre – 11.00am

Join the Carnation Theatre as they present the drama “Greyhound on a Train”, formed on the testimonies and real life stories of women who took part in the War of Independence, Josephine Stallard, Bridget Fitzpatrick & Elizabeth Bloxham among others. Once again, for this event booking is essential – Tel: 0761-06-6131

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Gráinne Ryan Wins ‘Wedding Singer of the Year’ Award

Tipperary female vocalist Ms Grainne Ryan has been named “Wedding Singer of the Year” at an awards ceremony, latter hosted by WeddingsOnline.

Grainne, a native of Templederry, is one half of the duo ‘Grainne & John – Harpist & Wedding Singers.’

Grainne and John are both professionally trained vocalists who joined together some four years ago, bringing their vocal talents to the fore performing at wedding, corporate and social events. Grainne has also been playing the harp professionally for some ten years, while John also plays guitar.

They perform at churches across Munster and further afield and in a wide range of hotel venues including Bunratty Castle, Adare Manor and Kinnitty Castle.

In receiving her prize, same was accepted by Grainne on behalf of both herself and John. In 2016 the singing duo, who were also finalists in WeddingOnline, received a ‘commendation’ from adjudicators.

Contact Details: ‘Grainne & John – Harpist & Wedding Singers.’ Tel: +353 861577293, or Email: info@grainneandjohnsing.com

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Thurles Musical Society – History Brought To Life – The Local Connections

P.R.O. & Vice Chairman of Thurles Musical Society, Mr Noel Dundon, reports:-

Thurles Muscial Society – Just some of the experienced Cast & Crew performing in the musical drama “Michael Collins”, all anxious to meet their audience for the first time on stage tonight, Tuesday 26/3/2019.

Even within the comparatively small community of Thurles Musical Society, the story of Michael Collins; the Treaty; the War of Independence and Eamon de Valera still resonates.

We could hardly have chosen a better year to stage a musical about his life and times given that the centenary of the Sologheadbeg incident, which kick- started the Irish War of Independence, commemorated just a few weeks ago just a few miles from our Cathedral Town.

The spotlight has certainly been cast upon the exigencies of those days, the fallout, the follow-up, the human tragedy and the loss of life, in a civil war which could be described as anything but civil.

The bandaged body of Michael Collins with bloodied army jacket and Crucifix clasped in his fingers, before being prepared for final burial.

Michael Collins was out of the country at the time of the Sologheadbeg, Co. Tipperary incident, however his connections with Dan Breen, Sean Treacy, Seamus Robinson, Sean Hogan and the flying columns remained close. Many Tipperary freedom fighters were assigned duties in the capital when the heat was on back at home. A number took part in the killing of British intelligence agents in Dublin on November 21st 1920. Thirty-two people were killed or fatally wounded on that ‘Bloody Sunday’: thirteen British soldiers and police, sixteen Irish civilians, and three Irish republican prisoners.

The day began with an IRA operation, organised by Collins, to assassinate the ‘Cairo Gang’ – a team of undercover British intelligence agents working and living in Dublin. IRA members went to a number of addresses and killed or fatally wounded fifteen people: nine British Army Officers; a Royal Irish Constabulary Officer; two members of the Auxiliary Division; two civilians; and another man who is believed to have been an intelligence agent.

Later that afternoon, members of the Auxiliary Division, the Black and Tans, and RIC opened fire on the crowd at a Gaelic football match in Croke Park, Dublin, killing or fatally wounding fourteen civilians and wounding at least sixty others. That evening, three Irish republican suspects, latter being held in Dublin Castle were beaten and killed by their captors, who claimed they were trying to escape. Overall Bloody Sunday was considered a victory for the IRA, as the Collins operation severely damaged British intelligence, while the later reprisals did no real harm to the guerrillas; instead increasing support for the IRA both at home and abroad.

‘But, Bloody Sunday has many connections to this locality – not just for the fact that Tipperary were playing Dublin in a football tournament game at the time. Michael Hogan, a Tipperary player, was killed on the field – his name forever remembered these days through ‘The Hogan Stand’ in Croke Park. Also, Jim Ryan and Bill Ryan ‘Laha’ from just out the road in Loughmore / Castleiney were on that Tipperary team and TMS has many connections with the parish of Loughmore Castleiney.

Furthermore, one of the umpires on Bloody Sunday was Thurles man John Joe Callanan, who would go on to captain Tipperary to win the 1930 All-Ireland hurling final (He was the only Tipperary man to win senior All-Ireland’s with two different counties at the time, having won an All-Ireland in 1920 with Dublin. Many of John Joe’s relatives are involved in Thurles Musical Society today, including Mary and Rita Callanan, and Gary Dempsey. John Joe hurled in Dublin with the Faughs club – Harry Boland played full forward for that club and was also chairman of the Dublin County Board from 1911-1916. Throughout this time too, the famous Bob Mockler of Horse and Jockey was a major influence for Faughs in what was their most successful era.

Back to John Joe; the story goes that he held a revolver in his pocket as he umpired the game for the Galway referee Joe Sammon. As people, particularly men of his age at the time, were being searched as they raced from Jones Road in a panic, which followed the shootings, John Joe disposed of the revolver, throwing it over a wall, and therefore getting away to tell the tale.

Further links to Michael Collins and our Society – Thurles man Denis Byrne was one of those who fired the gun salute at his funeral and also flanked the cortège, in uniform, as thousands lined the street to pay their final respects. Denis Byrne, father of legendary Tipperary hurler Mickey ‘Rattler’ Byrne, is great grandfather of John Hayes, who, ironically, plays the part of Harry Boland in our production.

There are many, many more local connections to Michael Collins, De Valera and the events which have framed our history – far too many to get into in this brief account. The happenings have left a real mark on our psyche and even within our on-stage company, it has been very interesting to see the dynamic of Collins people having to play anti-treaty roles and vice versa. As one quipped – “If my father was alive today he’d die of the shame.”

Perhaps though, what this show highlights more than anything else, is the sense of lost opportunity for our country. Had Collins and De Valera gotten back on track and together, where would we be today? It’s a question to which there are so many answers – the answers raising possibly even more and more questions.

History might all be in the past, but each expiring day is shaping our future more and more.

Yes, as Thomas Davis once stated, “Where Tipperary Leads, Ireland follows”.

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Dónal Ó Céilleachair To Visit Cabragh Wetlands

“The Camino Voyage”; a film, described by the Dingle Film Festival as “Enchanting, Inspiring and ultimately very deeply moving”, will be shown in its entirety to an assembled audience at Cabragh Wetlands on Thursday next, March 28th, at 7.30pm.

A large crowd is expected to be in attendance with an opportunity to meet film directer Mr Dónal Ó Céilleachair, latter who will answer questions regarding all aspects of the making of this unhurried, epic and soulful film.

This truly heart warming, spirited documentary film tells the true story of a Writer, two Musicians, an Artist and a Stonemason, who embark on an inspiring, yet dangerous 2,500 km (some 1554 miles), journeying by sea, in a traditional boat (a currach / naomhóg) that they built themselves; rowing all the way from Ireland to Northern Spain.

Four men; poet Danny Sheehy, artist Liam Holden, musician Brendan Begley and stonemason Breandán Moriarty, set out on this journey, in three yearly stages, beginning in 2014. Musician and Academy Award winner Glen Hansard replaced Breandán Moriarty on the final leg, introducing new acquaintances to Irish song and merriment.

The very real dangers that attend such voyages were confirmed when last year, poet Danny Sheehy died when the currach / naomhóg capsized off the coast of Portugal; the film now remaining as his memorial.

Released to selected Cinemas across Ireland for just 9 weeks, this film has won numerous awards; including two “Audience Awards” from the Dingle International Film Festival and the Luxembourg British & Irish Film Season, and two “Documentary Awards” from Irish Screen America Film Festival NYC and An tOireachtas Media Awards, 2018.

Thurles resident Mr Michael Walsh [Latter who undertook the same journey on foot in 2013] and his son Ben, are both acquainted with the boats crew members and the film makers, and both confirm that this event is a major coup for Cabragh Wetlands. They are encouraging as many people as possible to attend on Thursday night. Note: A suggested contribution for this major event is just €5, with full proceeds donated, going directly to the Cabragh Wetland Development Trust.

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