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Arrests Following Murder Of Musical Director John Donnelly

John-Donnelly-(2)Two brothers have been detained in custody in Turkey; accused of the murder of Irish theatre Director Mr John Donnelly.

Well known to members of Thurles Musical Society and indeed older members of Vincé Productions and Phoenix Productions, based in Thurles; the lifeless body of Mr Donnelly, aged 64, was found dead in an apartment he was renting on June 3rd 2016, after police were alerted to a bloodied knife, found outside the building.

Two brothers, named as Mehmet Irmak aged 28 and Sinan Irmak aged 20, have both been charged in connection with the fatal stabbing. A date for their court appearance has yet to be announced.

Mr Donnelly had travelled to Turkey on holidays shortly after his production of the hit Wexford Light Opera’s musical ‘Evita’. Turkish police confirmed that Mr Donnelly’s apartment had been ransacked and robbery was believed to have been the possible motive for his death. The victim’s body was reportedly found lying naked on the floor of his apartment on the morning following the vicious attack; his death attributed to a single stab wound.

It is believed that both men arrested were identified following the release of CCTV images which showed two men leaving his apartment building on the night Mr Donnelly died.

One of Mr Donnelly’s most recent connections with Thurles was his Direction of Spring Awakening, which contained cast members from Thurles and which walked off stage taking multiple awards; including; ‘Best Lighting’, ‘Best Costumes’, ‘Best Set’, ‘Special Adjudicators Award’, ‘Best Musical Direction’ and the much coveted ‘Best Overall Show Award’, for the 50th anniversary of the Waterford’s International Festival of Light Opera.

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Bealtaine Festival Thurles May 2016

Bealtaine Festival Thurles May 25th 2016.

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In conjunction with the Tipperary Bealtaine Festival, ‘The Club for Dancing‘ are holding a free mid morning dance for those who want to learn a few basic steps of social dancing (and for those who can dance and would like to help out) e.g. The Slosh, Military Two Step, Waltz, Quickstep etc.

Anyone over the age of 18 years is invited.

The dance will be in ‘The Gallery Space’ of The Source/Library in Thurles on Wednesday the 25th of May from 11.15am to 1.00pm.

Admission is free. Dancing to the CDs of Peter Bourke, Dermot Lyons, Patrick O’Sullivan, Dave Rae, Johnny Barrett, Finbarr Dennehy etc. etc. etc.

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Borrisoleigh Drama Group Present ‘The Chastitute’

Borrisoleigh

Borrisoleigh Drama Group present ‘The Chastitute’ for one extra night only, by popular demand.

Borrisoleigh Drama Group will stage ‘The Chastitute’; a play by John B. Keane; that much loved Irish playwright, novelist and essayist, in The Marian Hall, Borrisoleigh, Thurles Co. Tipperary on tomorrow evening, Monday May 2nd, beginning at 7.45pm sharp.

Define a ‘Chastitute’, I hear you say?  He, according to the late, great John B. Keane, is a person, without holy orders, who has never lain down with a woman, or a rustic celibate abandoned by the forces of his own circumstances.

The play itself centres around a character, one John Bosco, (The Chastitute); a man who ‘hasn’t the makings of a decent sin in him’. He is a bachelor farmer and all he is searching for is a ‘plain, dacent woman to share his life’. He nearly found her a thousand times, but to use the well known rural phrase, “nearly never bulled a cow”.

Without giving too much of the script away to those not familiar with this wonderful tale and current stage production, the play goes on to tell of this Chastitute’s many endeavours to find a suitable mate and the tragic end results. (Perhaps some viewer may even recognise privately a little hint of their own character and circumstances, as staged events progress.)

The production, tomorrow evening, by Borrisoleigh Drama Group comes highly recommended.

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New Comedy Play Premiers In Upperchurch, Tipperary

A new comedy stage play, “When Are You Going Back”, will get it’s first public showing in Upperchurch next weekend, with performances on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th at 8.00 pm each night. The play was written by American Gerry Britt, whose ancestors came from Drombane, and will be performed by the local ‘Upland Players’.

Upperchurch

Cast and crew of the comedy “When Are You Going Back” which will be staged next weekend in Upperchurch. Back Row: (L. to R.)  Jim Ryan, Willie Shanahan, Joanne Ryan, Paddy Bourke, Eileen Ryan, Joe O’Dwyer, Paraic Fahey. Middle Row: Teresa Corbett, Jodie Kennedy, Sinead O’Dwyer. Front Row: Billy Clancy, Mary Harrington.

The story describes the adventures of a naive American tourist who arrives in Upperchurch to trace his roots. The main local centre of activity, Fogarty’s pub, is run by two sisters. The husband of one of them is somewhat under pressure running the business and things get very difficult following visits from the ‘Tax Man’ and a ‘Smoking Inspector’ who are both trying to close the pub. The American is unwittingly caught up in the crisis. An array of local characters and customers with locally familiar traits contribute to the whole confusion.

While the play is primarily a comedy it is interesting to see the whole local pub culture and aspects of rural life through the eyes of a visitor. The problems facing country pubs at present are also adequately demonstrated.

Production Crew
Directors – Mary Harrington and Kae Ryan (The Mill); Producer – Mairead Clancy; Set design – Joe Clancy and P.J. Harrington; Lights – Jack Looby and Thomas Fogarty.

Cast
Bobby Ryan (the American tourist)Jim Ryan (Glown); Brian Maher (the local man)Billy Clancy; Paul Shanahan (horse trainer)Ged Kelleher; Nora (his girlfriend)Jodie Kennedy; Seanie Fogarty (the publican)Willie Shanahan; Maureen (his wife)Joanne Ryan; Kathleen Shanahan (her sister)Teresa Hyland Corbett; Eamon Kenny (Revenue Sheriff )Joe O’Dwyer; Joan Clancy (the smoking inspector)Eileen Ryan, (Glown); Paudie Dooley (local genealogist)Richard Ryan, (Ballyboy); Peg (his wife)Nonie Clancy; Second American tourist – Gerry Britt; Pub customers – Pakie Purcell, Brian Harty, Nora Ryan, Sinead O’Dwyer, Paddy Bourke, together with local musicians.

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Tipperary – Echoes of 1916

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Shown Above: A rare image believed to include Sean Hogan (Right), a native of Stockaun, Greenane, north of Tipperary town, and the Officer Commanding (O/C) the 2nd Tipperary Flying Column, which became active during the Irish War of Independence in January 1921. An usher in Dáil Éireann for many years, Sean died, in poor circumstances, aged sixty-seven on Christmas Eve 1968 in Dublin. He was buried with full military honours in the family grave at St. Michael’s Cemetery, in Tipperary town.

A Tipperary Commemoration of Easter 1916

The “Horse and Jockey Singers” will present “Tipperary Echoes of 1916″ on stage at the Derrynaflan Theatre, Horse and Jockey Hotel on Friday, 18th March. This event is a Tipperary commemoration of the historic events of Easter 1916, remembered in music, verse, song and story.

The content of the show is compiled by Kilkenny historian, Jim Maher and will feature many of the songs of the period including:- ‘A Nation Once Again’, ‘A Soldier’s Song’, ‘Banna Strand’, ‘Grace’, ‘Tri-Coloured Ribbon’, ‘James Connelly’, to name but a few.

The poetry of William Butler Yeats also gets notable inclusion as does the poetry of 1916 Proclamation signatories; Pádraig Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh and Joseph Mary Plunkett.

The “Horse and Jockey Singers”, who come mostly from the mid Tipperary area, have been together now for some years and are under the music direction of Patrick Conlon. Included among the many musicians performing at this event will be; John Gorman, Liam O’Neill, John Harnett and Uilleann Piper Michael Cooney.

Muriel McAuley and her husband Dermot will be guests at the show. Muriel is grand-daughter of Thomas MacDonagh, (Latter born in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary), one of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation, who was executed at Kilmainham Gaol, following the Rising.

Early booking at the hotel is encouraged (Tickets €15, Tel: 0504-44192) and patrons may wear period costume, should they wish.

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