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wind speed: 3 m/s NNE
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sunset: 9:08 pm


A Picture Is Worth Ten Thousand Words

The game of hurling; considered to be the world’s fastest field sport, is a well known outdoor team sport of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin, today administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association (G.A.A.). The game has prehistoric origins and has been played for over 3,000 years.


Gaile National School Hurling Team (Circa 1927-1930).   Back Row: (L. to R.) John O’Meara, John Flanagan, (Galbertstown), Jim Sause, (Gaile), Teacher Mr. Matthew Kennedy, (Ballytarsna), Timmy Maher, (Killough), Willie Keogh, (Glenbane), Bill Dunne, (Gaile). Middle Row: Paddy Dunne, (Galbertstown), Jack Dunne, (Gaile), Pat O’Meara, (Killough), Dick Murphy, (Regaile), Mick Volkes, (Galbertstown). Front Row: Tommy Ryan, (Gaile) and Philly Ryan, (Peake).

The Hurling team, (picture shown above), was taken at Gaile National School, situated close to the village of Holycross, Thurles, Co. Tipperary and possibly dates back to the end of the 1920’s. In or around this same time period the Victorian English illustrator, Fred R. Barnard was quoting the idiom “A picture is worth ten thousand words.”  Barnard of course was referring to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still photographic image, or that a photograph / sketched / painted image of any subject can often convey its meaning much more effectively than any description written in the form of text.

Look at the picture above. Back then these children wore no protective padding, after all the plastic protective helmet, complete with facial safeguard; today mandatory, did not come in to being for all age groups, until 2010. Note and compare the assortment of Hurley sticks and their evolutionary process compared to what players use today. Note also the bare footed then pupil, seen on right of the back row.

Had this picture been used by outgoing Labour Party candidates in recent Irish General Election posters; it would have conveyed effectively, that Rural Ireland in 2016 is most definitely experiencing “Recovery.”


Thurles Bridge Drops Perfectly Into Place

Sittin’ on the Bridge Below the Town
The nations are rearmin’ and preparin’ for to fight, but a settlement could easily be found
If, instead of at Geneva, they were meetin’ here tonight, sittin’ on the (Thurles) bridge below the town.

[Extract from lyrics by Song Writer Frank O’Donovan, (With apologies.) ]

Thurles Bridge

The new Thurles pedestrian foot bridge was successfully lowered into place at midday today (Friday June 5th 2015).  This spectacle took place in full view of some 50 onlookers of all ages; many whom had gathered from bridge9:00am this morning, to witness this most historic event unfold.

The new bridge’s metal structure, estimated at 40 tons in weight, arrived into the Cathedral town of Thurles at approximately 1.00am this morning, on two separate transport vehicles, which were then manoeuvred into place, side by side, before both on board structures were then bolted together.

The completed single structure was then expertly lifted by crane; to be lowered across the river onto two already pre-prepared mass concrete anchored positions.

Congratulations to all those involved.


Cherry Blossom & A Rose Bloom In Thurles

Alison Brolan

Miss Alison Brolan, Thurles, Co Tipperary, chosen as the 2015 Tipperary Rose of Tralee.

A crowd of some 200 patrons witnessed Miss Alison Brolan from Clongour, Thurles, Co Tipperary, being chosen recently as the 2015 Tipperary Rose of Tralee. The event took place in the luxurious Anner Hotel, latter situated on the Dublin Road, east of the town.

The very beautiful and home loving Alison, is daughter to parents Mrs Colette and Mr Jody Brolan, both natives of the town.  Alison formally a pupil of both the local primary and secondary Ursuline Convent School is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and currently works as a primary school teacher at the Sacred Heart NS, Tallaght, Co Dublin.

Alison, who was selected from amongst nineteen other young ladies, each representing other towns and villages in Co. Tipperary, will now go forward to represent her county in the Irish Regional Rose of Tralee Finals, to be held at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel from May 28th – 31st, (June bank holiday weekend).

Some six young ladies will now be chosen from some 29 Irish county lovelies taking part; to appear at the International Rose of Tralee finals. This will equate to one lady from each Irish province being selected, together with two ‘wild cards’.

County Tipperary has not reached an International Rose of Tralee Festival since 2011, however Alison, displaying both brains and beauty, offers Tipperary high hopes for 2015.

Our congratulations to Alison and on behalf of the town, we wish her every success for the future.

Alison is pictured here supporting and promoting her favourite local charity ‘Suir Haven,’  latter under the umbrella of North Tipperary Hospice and one of two cancer support centres which promotes and supports the development of hospice and palliative care in North Tipperary.

This organisation supplies specialised equipment, psychological and social support for patients and their families, often regrettably towards the end stages of life and is one of the charities being supported by the “All Ireland Tractor Challenge” which will take place on Sunday May 3rd in Two-Mile-Borris, Thurles, Co Tipperary.  (More details on this latter ‘massive fund-raising event’ in the coming days.)


Tipperary Farmer Wins Selfie Contest

Mr P.J. Ryan, latter a native of Newport here in west Tipperary, has won the coveted “Selfies on the Farm” competition, run by the Irish Farmers Journal this week on Facebook.


Our County Tipperary border native the US President Barack Obama from Moneygall, has done it, as has Pope Francis and British PM David Cameron, so why not a good looking farmer from County Tipperary?

People from all over the country submitted images in a bid to win this coveted Irish Farmers Journal prize of a hamper. “What is in that hamper?” I hear you scream.  “Don’t know,” I answer, but knowing the Irish Farmers Journal it is unlikely to include cheap vegetables from leading Irish Supermarkets and even more unlikely to include frozen burgers from same establishments, containing imported horse meat.

A carefully chosen panel of judges selected some 10 of the best farm ‘Selfies,’ allowing the public to vote for their particular favourite on Facebook. The photo with the most ‘Likes,’ by 5.00pm on December 18th last, won the hamper.

This self-taken photograph by P.J. Ryan, above, was submitted by his daughter Aisling. “Dad was helping my younger sister with her agricultural science project, when he took the picture with his ‘salers’ in the background,” she stated.

P.J’s photo received almost 1700 likes to crown him undisputed winner of this competition.


Tipperary’s Drombane Village Renewal Scheme In Full Swing

“How often have I loitered o’er thy green, Where humble happiness endeared each scene.
How often have I paused on every charm, The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill, The decent church that topt the neighbouring hill,
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, For talking age and whispering lovers made!”

The Deserted Village” – By Oliver Goldsmith.

That world famous black-and-white photograph, featuring men having a lunch break atop a Skyscraper, (today known as the General Electric (GE) Building) taken by Charles Clyde Ebbets, during construction of part of the Rockefeller Center in New York City in 1932, has just been superseded.  This time however showing workers in the village of Drombane, Thurles Co Tipperary, during a 10:00am official tea break, courtesy of an idea by Drombane village native and Thurles resident, Mr Paddy Gleeson. (Latter named pictured here, wearing a white vest.)


Picture: Left – Right: Dog ‘Rusty; Mr Phil Lowry; Mr Michael O’Sullivan; Mr John Ryan (P); Mr Paddy Gleeson; Mr Thomas Ryan (P) and Mr Brien Phelan.  (Photo G.Willoughby.)

The original photograph was taken on September 20th, 1932 on the 69th floor of the RCA Building and depicts eleven men eating lunch, while seated on a girder with their feet dangling some 840 feet above the New York City streets.  Like our photo above, the 1932 photo was also prearranged; staged by the Rockefeller Center in New York City to promote its then latest skyscraper, appearing in the Sunday photo supplement of the New York Herald Tribune on October 2nd 1932.

Our 2013 picture here shown above is also to highlight latest developments in the picturesque rural village of Drombane, which itself is currently undergoing an upgrade under a village enhancement scheme’ initiative, currently being undertaken by Drombane Village Group, a committee under the Chairmanship of Mr Con Harrington and Treasurer Martin Donoghue, and funded mainly by North Tipperary Leader Group.  Works currently nearing completion include a river board-walk and seating, river railings, a water wheel, tree planting and quite pedestrian walk way areas.

Having had the privilege of viewing current agreed plans for the village, I have to agree with Mr Gleeson’s predictions; “Future expected tourists and natives returning to this small rural village will have difficulty in recognising it and may even now decide to remain and attempt to re-grow their earlier roots, reversing the prophesy of Oliver Goldsmith, Quote; Trade’s proud empire hastes to swift decay, as ocean sweeps the labour’d mole away’.

So if you are out and about on the road from Thurles to Upperchurch, over the coming days, do take a short detour and examine the magnificent work currently being undertaken in rural picturesque Drombane village.

Surely, with apologies to Oliver Goldsmith; “Contented toil, and hospitable care, and kind connubial tenderness, are HERE.