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Thurles
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wind speed: 1 m/s NNW
sunrise: 6:09 am
sunset: 9:02 pm
 

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Thurles Hospital Of The Assumption Graveyard Remembered 2010

May I first ask our readers to again refresh your memory in relation to the case of Mary Ellen Morris, Thurles, Co. Tipperary; the story of which can be located HERE.

Back in June 8th 2020 last, we asked if any of our readers could shed further light on those named in that story or indeed were any of you in anyway possibly related to either of these families named?

We still would love to hear from you, as indeed would family relatives living currently today, and who are actively tracing their Irish roots.

Back 10 years ago, in early September, the somewhat forgotten burial ground, which can be found to the rear of the Community Hospital of the Assumption, (once the Thurles Workhouse); had sad memories rekindled with the erection of a memorial headstone placed in this cemetery.

I recently unearthed my photographs of that same event, having been contacted by Morris family relatives, which I have now refreshed as a slide show to possibly aid further recollection. Alas, some of the congregation which can be seen back then have since passed on, but thankfully many others are still with us.

This monument was kindly erected by the local Sisters of Mercy Order of Nuns at a special Mass and blessing ten years ago in September 2010.

Sr. Mary Barry back then stated: “On behalf of the Sisters of Mercy, and the Staff of the Community Hospital of the Assumption, I extend a warm welcome to you all. Today, as we gather in the graveyard, we remember and pray for all those who are laid to rest here, down through the years. We trust that this headstone will now become a focal point where we can visit, pray and remember.”

The original old Thurles Union Workhouse, which many Thurles residents will well remember, had been originally built in 1840 under plans designed by British Architect, George Wilkinson. The building, designed to accommodate 700 paupers, like all such workhouses then erected, had the appearance of being a grim institution, with conditions inside and out, designed to discourage all but the destitute from attempting to seek refuge within. Nevertheless, it did made some contribution down through the years, especially to the saving of lives from starvation during that period of Irish history known as the Great Famine years, (1845-1849).

Over 15,000 persons were assisted with Indian meal (Ground Maize) in just one week, in 1848 and as many as 3,732 were housed here and in other associated rented buildings in the area back in 1850.

To give us some understanding as to the hardship then being experienced, we must look at primary sources still available. In the minutes of the Thurles and Rahealty Famine Food Committee book, 1846-1847; we can read a report dated 11th February 1847, sent to the British Association for the Relief of Extreme Distress in Ireland and Scotland, shown here as follows:

“Of the population of the united parishes of Thurles and Rahealty 8,000 are on the relief list. The majority obtain very inadequate relief by employment on Public Works. There are about 300 destitute families having no person to work, to whom gratuitous relief must be given; there are other families varying from 10 to 12 having only one member able to work, whose wages 10 pence a day, would not be adequate to the support of two persons at the present famine prices of food. The poor house (Hospital of The Assumption) built to accommodate 700 has now stowed within 940 and there cannot be any more admissions and groups, who cannot be admitted, are to be seen shivering in the cold and wet, anxiously expecting the fragments of cold stirabout, that remains after the inmate pauper meal. We have lived to see the poor sitting at the pauper’s gate, among the crumbs that fall from the paupers table. We have not had any deaths from actual starvation but numerous deaths have occurred from severe and long continual privation. The weekly average of deaths has increased fivefold.”

It was not until November 5th 1877, however, that four nuns from the Sisters of Mercy, set out from Doon, Co Limerick for Thurles town Co. Tipperary, to begin what was to become a long and beneficial association with this once workhouse. They came not to take charge, but to work under the Master and Matron of the Workhouse, Mr and Mrs Pat Russell until 1922, when the Order’s Sister Ita became the first nun to be appointed Matron. These newly arrived Doon Nuns were soon to raise hygiene standards by cleanliness through the scrubbing of floors etc. and bringing about other major change for good through leadership by example and through their rolls as both workers and carers.

Under the management of Sister Ita, the name of the workhouse was changed to “The County Home” and came under the jurisdiction of Tipperary Co. Council. In 1954 the name was again changed, this time to the ‘Hospital of the Assumption‘. Flower beds were introduced to enhance its still grim, grey looking facade, by Sister Baptist and her ‘men’, as she referred to them, latter her resident patients. Occupational Therapy for patients was also undertaken by Sister Bonaventure.

In 1960 the Health board under Mr P.J. Flynn, took on the responsible for the removal of the very high walls, which were in being, simply to keep inmates within the grounds. These were then replaced with railings possibly showing the true building facade to many outsiders for the first time.

Mr Larry Moloney Clerical officer, latter who died in 1970, was remembered at this event, 10 years ago, as being of tremendous help to the Mercy order. Mrs Betty Moore would be the first secular matron to be later appointed.

In February 2006 the old hospital building was replaced with the new present state of the art Community Hospital, which contains accommodation space for up to 72 patient beds.

The celebration Mass for the memorial ceremony 10 years ago was conducted by celebrant Rev. Fr. Jimmy Donnelly, ably assisted by Rev. Fr. Gerard Hennessey, then both in charge of Bohernanave Parish Church.

Music and song for the event was originally supplied by the wonderful Thurles Tenor, Mr Michael Molumby; Mrs Antonette Ruth; with the magical fingers of Mrs Mary Rose McNally on keyboard and violin.
Alas, no sound recording was taken on that day. However, thanks to the courtesy and generosity of The Cullinane Gospel Band, (Telephone 087 6729242), we have been permitted to use sound from a recent charity CD produced by them.

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Singer Dame Vera Lynn Passes Away Aged 103 Years

Memories of my grandmothers brown Bakelite ‘Wet & Dry Battery’ valve radio of the 1950’s, were vividly revived again today, on learning that singer Dame Vera Lynn had passes away this morning, aged 103 years.

Her family confirmed today that the inspirational and iconic singer Dame Vera Lynn had sadly passed away, surrounded by her close family.

Video shown above contains just one of Dame Vera Lynn’s most famous songs, “We’ll Meet Again” was released in 1939 and as war progressed it increasingly resonated with the British public. In Vera’s own words; “It’s a good song as it goes with anyone anywhere saying goodbye to someone.”

Fondly known as “the forces’ sweetheart” due to her down-to-earth style, quickly established her as the public’s favourite antidote to both the misery of the blackouts and her often morale-boosting visits to front line troops during World War II.

Born in London’s East Ham in 1917, daughter of plumber Bertram Samuel Welch (1883–1955) and dressmaker Annie Martin (1889–1975), who had married in 1913, she left school at age 11. She made her first solo recordings, which included “Up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire” and “The little boy that Santa Clause forgot” at the age of 19 years, and just some of her better known and much loved hits include; “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “There’ll Be Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs Of Dover”. By the age of 22 years she had sold more than one million records.

A huge part of her appeal during wartime came from her BBC radio programme “Sincerely Yours”, which ran during 1941 and 42 taking the form of “A letter to the men of the Forces, in words and music”.

In 1941, Dame Vera married Harry Lewis, a clarinettist and saxophonist whom she had had met two years previous. They had a child in March of 1946, Virginia Penelope Anne Lewis, (now Lewis-Jones). Her husband sadly passed away in 1998.

In 1976, Dame Vera received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She received the Freedom of the City of London in 1978 and in 2000, she received a “Spirit of the 20th Century” Award in a nationwide poll in which she won 21% of the vote.

Requiescat in Pace.

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Be Thou My Vision.

A collaborative effort between various Christian communities, to protect frontline workers battling Covid-19 here in Ireland and across the world.

“Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

A hymn of Irish origin, “Be Thou My Vision” (Irish: Rob tú mo bhoile), which can be traced back to a tradition of a prayer for protection known as ‘lorica’ (Latin for battle-shield & sword or breastplate) was launched yesterday; recorded by some 300 Christian groups to protect frontline workers battling Covid-19.

The organiser, Mr Philip McKinley, a Dublin-based Church of Ireland Ordinand, [latter a person who is training to be ordained as a priest or minister] stated that this hymn and the production of this YouTube video illustrates Ireland’s rich tapestry of Christianity through the ages.

“High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.”

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Ireland’s Answer To Elvis Presley Dies Aged 81 Years

Ireland’s answer to Elvis Presley, singer Brendan Bowyer, has died aged 81 years while residing in Las Vegas.

Showband legend and Waterford native Brendan Bowyer has passed away aged 81, while residing in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, surrounded by his family.

News of his passing was confirmed in a statement some five hours ago, [as we go to press] on his Facebook page, it reads:

“It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the passing of Brendan Bowyer.
Ireland’s most beloved International entertainer for 62 years.
Brendan passed away peacefully in Las Vegas on the late evening of May 28th, 2020. He was surrounded by the unending love of his wife of 53 years, Stella; his three children, Brendan Jr., Aisling, Clodagh, and his two grandchildren, Liam & Nora Stella.
Brendan was hoping to get back to his homeland, Ireland, one last time. He was 81 years old.”

Mr Bowyer first came to prominence in 1959 as a member of “The Royal Showband”.

A regular visitor to Thurles and Co. Tipperary; the band are probably best known for their International hit “The Hucklebuck” released back in 1964 and still today regarded as the greatest pop record ever produced by an Irish group.


Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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Quick Access To World Radio Stations

Have you ever wished to tune into every radio station from around the world?

Well you can with Radio Garden; allowing you to choose your favourite music being played in real time on the numerous radio stations worldwide, while you continue to either listen and/or use your PC or Laptop.

To tune in, simply visit HERE then highlight; drag and drop the link shown (i.e. http://radio.garden/listen/tipp-fm/34UE11wI ) into your Bookmarks, thus granting immediate and quick access, whenever you go online in the future.

On this Radio Garden world map, then simply click on any of the bright green lights indicated; each identifying one of a myriad of Radio Stations located right around our planet, from our own Radio TippFm here in Co. Tipperary, Ireland to Radio Garden Kiev (or Kyiv) in north-central Ukraine, Russia.

Enjoy

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