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Heritage Week In Thurles

Trees
By Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918),
[Latter killed by sniper fire near Muercy Farm, beside the Ourcq River, near the village of Seringes-et-Nesles, in France during WW1]

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear a nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain; who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.”

One of the events taking place in Co. Tipperary during Heritage Week will be an illustrative and informative talk by Author and historian Mr George Cunningham, entitled “Trees at Home and Abroad”.

The event will take place on Monday next, August 21st, beginning 7:30pm9.00pm, courtesy of Tipperary County Council Library Service, in The Source building, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Mr Cunningham will take his audience to such places as the redwoods and protected Bristlecone Pines Forest area, latter high in the White Mountains in Inyo County in eastern California, as well to many other such places here at home, which remain a ‘tree treasury’.

Mr Cunningham has had, and continues to strongly retain, a lifelong interest in trees; building up a significant tree library and travelled to many world-famous places adorned by trees and rich forests.

He is a director of ‘Crann(Translated from the Irish – ‘Tree’), formed in 1986; latter an organisation which it attempting to re-leaf Ireland.  Crann is Ireland’s leading voluntary tree organisation dedicated to the promotion, protection and awareness of the importance of our trees, hedgerows and woodlands. It is a membership-based, non-profit registered charity, uniting people with a love of trees.

Admission to this Heritage Week event is free of charge.

You can find other events taking place throughout Co. Tipperary, during Heritage Week, by simply clicking HERE.

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International Miss Macra Festival – Girl From A Country Place.

With the International Miss Macra Festival, taking place here in Thurles this coming August Bank Holiday weekend, it is not surprising that Mr Tom Ryan (Tipperary Journalist, award winning poet, playwright and short story writer), should take this opportunity to reflect on the 46 years of this festival; producing a poem of serious reflection; nay an appreciative accolade, to all the elegant country lasses / contestants, who have in the past, and will into the future, take part in this most prestigious of rural events.

Pictured L – R: Miss Josephine O’Dwyer, Miss Sinead Guiney (International Miss Macra 2016) and Miss Aileen Sheehan, all judged winners at the 45th International Miss Macra 2016 Festival’s Gala Banquet, held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, last year.

Girl From A Country Place. 
By Tom Ryan. ©

Girl from a country place,
Loveliest in the isle,
Enchanting in your grace,
Elegant in your style.

How shall I call you beautiful?
How describe your art?
Breath of heaven about you,
Proud courage in your heart.

Loving the fields that bore you,
Faithful to home and hearth,
Always gentle for others
Struggling here on earth.

Never afraid to smile
Whatever the time or place,
Dignified all the while,
Resolution in your face.

Nature your guide and friend,
Its beauty like your own,
Something never to end,
Till Heaven call you home.

Girl from a country place,
Loveliest of all,
Everything you touch is grace,
And even magical.

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One Summer Evening in Thurles Town Park

Liberty Square, Thurles.

Journalist, award winning poet, playwright and short story writer, Mr Tom Ryan, (formerly of No. 11 Fianna Road, Thurles and No. 30 Kennedy Park, Thurles), now residing at “Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, has decided to share with us his most recent piece of poetry.

The poem reflects on the present beauty of the area, known locally as the “Watery Mall”; its past historical influence, reminding us that time passes quickly, and with life, perhaps there are a collection of moments that are not necessarily ours to keep.

[ Note, those of our readers who are not familiar with the authors work, can find his three hugely popular books, depicting Thurles and Co. Tipperary, on sale in Bookworm, Liberty Square, Thurles and Easons in Thurles Shopping Centre, Thurles. This Thurles Town Trilogy comprises :-  Cherry Blossoms; Light-hearted Tales from the Watery Mall“,  and A Fair in the Square“. ]

In Thurles Town Park By The SuirBy Author & Poet Tom Ryan (June 2017).

As a prayer, quiet and restful,
Summer evening in the Park,
Near the ancient castle of the Normans and the Ursuline bridge,
Down the Mall,
Cathedral carillon, soft, tranquil and melodious, fills the air.

In life’s defining moments,
By generations heard,
At all our beginnings and our end.
In harmony with the murmuring waters
Of the Suir of Maritana
By Wallace in beauty, love and moments such as this conceived.
To lovers lying languid on the grass this time’s young forever,
As joyously they whisper the sweet mysterious love of being that sings,
Oblivious as the gliding silent swans of the river
Of what the future brings.

But mindful of the moment magical as Heaven hails,
The vast mysterious splendour of their youthful age,
Old folks ponder the western sky and the declining sun.
By the bridge, beside the ducks near Thomond Road.
Sit and smile the while,
Remembering times, kin and friends
That never shall return.

Memories of a perfect yesteryear in times simple, poor, but good and
happy all the same.
In the playground children skyward swing to the stars and brave impossibilities.
Between old St. Patrick’s College and where townsfolk play or stroll,
Brave boys and girls skateboard, wheel and whirl
To life’s exciting adventure,
And water hens and birds from out the rushes
Steal the twilight.
Voices of distant nations, many miles from Dempsey’s Square, I hear
Peace and gentleness is everywhere.

So, hearing the silence of my soul
And listening in this mysterious world of Nature, blessed by Beauty in
this Heaven- scented place, I am so happy,
And know in times of trouble and of strife,
This blessed place is in my heart for life.
Beautiful beyond all worldly word
As always I remember
What now I’ve seen and felt and heard.

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A Dedication To The Late Lamented Phil Cooney

The postman had been and gone this morning, so I assumed that the loud clatter raised by the lid of my letterbox closing, was yet just another piece of classified daily advertising material. The communication turned out to be in fact no piece of unwelcome junk mail, rather an anonymous hurried note, stating that an enclosed poem was a dedication to the late lamented passing of Mr Phil Cooney, and asking if we might like to publish same.

Due to my slowness in reacting to the noise posed by my letterbox lid, I am now unaware of the person who delivered this communication or indeed the author of this thoughtful and most solicitous elegy.

Phil Cooney (R.I.P.)

The Piper.

The days and nights
Blur into one.
The heart and soul
Are brought to ruin.
A part of us forever changed.
The Piper plays no tune.

The sombre feet
Don’t beat in time.
The hands don’t clap,
But clasp in prayer.
Nothing fills the sudden space.
No Piper music stirs the air.

Gone the Piper.
Gone to rest
All is changed
From that before,
And yet I hear his music still,
Though his music plays no more.

To those involved in communicating this poem to us; should he/she (the author), update us as to their identity, we remain happy to update our social media accordingly.

Our sincere thanks.

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Human Rights Are About Ensuring Human Dignity

handsWe saw the despicable decision, made earlier this week, in the case of an elderly couple in their mid to late 80’s, who had applied as a couple for the Fair Deal Scheme. It was decided that the couple should be separated for the first time, after 63 years of marriage together.

This decision was taken by one or more over paid bureaucrats in the employment of the Health Service Executive (HSE), devoid of Christianity and ignorant of the very notion of human rights.  It would appear that the press together with TV and Radio coverage, are now essential in order to gain some small modicum of social justice in this country.

Living, as I once believed, in a mainly Christian country; this couple’s particular plight, brought about by these thoughtless individuals, reminded me of the following poem:-

“An Old Lady’s Poem”

(The original author of this poem is unknown.)

What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice, “I do wish you’d try!”
Who seems not to notice the things that you do,
And forever is losing a stocking or shoe.

Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.
Is that what you’re thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse; you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still,
As I do your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of ten, with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet.
A bride soon at twenty, my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now, I have young of my own,
Who need me to guide them in a secure happy home.
A woman of thirty; my young now growing fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my man is beside me to see I don’t mourn.
At fifty once more, babies play round my knee,
Again, we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead;
I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own,
And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old woman, and nature is cruel;
It is jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigour depart,
There is now a stone, where once was a heart.

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living life over again.

I think of the years, all too few, gone so fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So, open your eyes people, open and see
Not a crabby old woman; look closer, see me.

Human rights are, after all, about safeguarding human dignity, as opposed to just catering for human need, and therefore must embody Christian standards, when decisions regarding old people are to be determined.

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