Here on Thurles.Info we would like to wish all our readers, both at home and abroad, a very happy St. Patrick’s Day in 2017.
Our very good friends Patrick and his wife Regina Hayes who reside in Fremont, California, attended the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in San Francisco; held on last Saturday. (Quite early, but as Patrick says “California is always miles ahead of any crowd.”)
Patrick, who successfully traced his ancestors back to Loughmore, Thurles, Co. Tipperary some years ago, now visits Tipperary on a regular basis with other family members. Today he sent us some photo’s (shown in short slide show above) of last Saturday’s parade. He described the day as being “full of activity with lots of green on a glorious spring day”.
Patrick and Regina and their family would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone living in Loughmore and Thurles a very enjoyable St. Patrick’s Day.
From us to you Patrick, and your family, go an old Irish Blessing, “May you always have…Walls for the winds; A roof for the rain; Tea beside the fire; Laughter to cheer you; Those you love near you, and All your heart might desire.”
Statue of Archbishop Dr. P. Leahy, in Thurles Cathedral yard.
Destined to become one of the most prominent Roman Catholic churchmen in Ireland, Patrick Leahy (1806–1875) was born at Fennor, in the parish of Gortnahoe, Co. Tipperary, on May 31st 1806, the son of Patrick Leahy, a moderately successful Civil Engineer and Surveyor in Co Tipperary and Co. Cork, and Mary Margaret (née Cormack), a native of Gortnahoe.
Following his ordination he became the Roman Catholic curate of a small parish in the diocese of Cashel and was later appointed professor of Theology and Scripture here in St. Patrick’s College in Thurles, and a short time later President of that same Institution.
By August 22nd 1850 he was one of the Secretaries of the Synod of Thurles, and was afterwards appointed parish priest of Thurles and vicar-general of the Diocese of Cashel.
When the Catholic University was first opened in Dublin in 1854, he was selected for the office of Vice-Rector under then Rector Dr. John Henry Newman, (afterwards Cardinal Newman), thus filling a Professor’s chair.
He was elected Archbishop of Cashel on April 27th 1857 and consecrated on June 29th of that same year. In 1866 and 1867 he was deputed, with John Derry Bishop of Clonfert, to conduct the negotiations with Lord Mayo (Richard Bourke), the Chief Secretary for Ireland, with respect to the proposed endowment of the Roman Catholic university.
 Five years later, on February 8th 1872, the same Lord Mayo (Richard Bourke), stopped off at Ross Island near the entrance to the harbour at Port Blair in the South Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, then a British penal colony. Here Lord Mayo was stabbed to death by Sher Alia a convict from the North West Frontier, who was on a sick leave. His death caused great disturbance in diplomatic circles but the decision was made to play down the incident; quietly hang the murderer and appoint a new Viceroy.
A strong advocate of the cause of temperance, Archbishop Leahy enforced the Sunday closing of all public-houses in his Diocese. Owing to his energy the Cathedral of The Assumption at Thurles was built, at a cost of £45,000 pounds.
He died on January 26th 1875, and was buried in Thurles Cathedral on February 3rd of that year.
Hereunder find the following extract, relating to the erection of the statue to Archbishop Leahy in the yard of the Cathedral of The Assumption Thurles, taken from the journal of Fr. Michael Maher C.C., Thurles, and dated 1911.
“At the end of the year, the Archbishop (Thomas Fennelly 1901-1913) got a statue of Dr. Patrick Leahy erected in the Cathedral enclosure. It was sculptured at Carrara  by Professor Pietro Lazzerini and it is made of Sicilian or Bastard Statuary Marble. 
It was ready for shipment when the strike occurred on the railways in Great Britain and Ireland in August 1911.  We wrote to the sculptor not to send it until matters would be settled. It was sent from Leghorn  when the strike ceased, but arrived in Liverpool when the Irish strike was at its height in October. It was delayed some time on that account, but arrived safely in Thurles from Liverpool and Dublin in November. It weighs two tons and cost £120. I sent the cheque to Lazzerini.”
 Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564), the Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance period, who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art, worked here at the Carrara marble quarries.
 Statuary Second or Bastard blue-grey Marble was used since the time of Ancient Rome.
 This strike arose after widespread dissatisfaction with the activities of conciliation boards set up to negotiate between workers and their employers the Rail Companies. Local disputes led to unofficial strike action in July and early August of 1911, with a meeting of all the main rail unions arranged in Liverpool to coordinate action nationally. These Unions issued an ultimatum to the Rail Companies to accept direct negotiation with their representatives within 24 hours or suffer a national strike. Keen to ensure that the railways would not be shut down. The Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, son of a Yorkshire clothing manufacturer, told the rail companies that police and troops would be deployed to help keep the trains running, resulting with soldiers being brought into London and 32 other towns in England and Wales. The then Home Secretary, Winston Churchill supported the police and troops against the striking union employees.
 Traditionally known in English as Leghorn, Livorno is a port city on the Ligurian Sea on the western coast of Tuscany, in Italy.
“The pedestal was fashioned by Mr P. Best of Cashel from stones got in the quarry at Camas, (Cashel). It cost £70. The Archbishop composed the inscription which is simplicity itself and a Galway man named Laurence Clane cut the letters.
Messr Leahy Brothers of Thurles had charge of the erection. It was no small work to get the statue in position without cranes or other powerful leverage. It was done this way. They constructed a large framework of wood around the base of the pedestal, then they hauled up the great box (2 tons 5 cwt.) containing the statue with pulleys attached to a horizontal iron bar above and let it rest on planks. They next built the pedestal and when that was finished they opened the box and got the statue into position by means of the pulleys. They finished the work a few days before Christmas.”
Overall Cost of Monument £214-10-0
[Statue £120-0-0; Pedestal £70-0-0; Leahy erection £12-0-0; Carriage from Leghorn (Livorno) to Thurles £12-10-0.]
A complete planning application will now be lodged with Tipperary Co. Council, for the redevelopment of the Cashel Palace Hotel, latter a historic landmark since its erection in the early 1700’s.
Historic Cashel Palace Hotel.
Guinness porter of course was first accidentally conceived in the early to mid 1700’s at the now Cashel Palace Hotel, then the palace of Archbishop Arthur Price (1678 – 1752) Church of Ireland Archbishop of Cashel from 1744 until his death. Estate manager and father to Arthur Guinness Richard Guinness, was in charge of supervising the brewing of beer for the estates employees on the Price estate.
Supplying beer to employees at that time was considered part of their weekly wage entitlement. A servant was dispatched from the estate to purchase and convey the necessary beer making materials from Ryan’s brewery stores here in Main Street, Thurles, (today Kickham Street Thurles). During the later brewing process back in Cashel, some of these ingredients, barley possibly, was accidentally over heated in error, in fact roasted until virtually black, thus giving a unique burnt flavour to the beer and known to us today as Porters Ale or Guinness Porter and described then by the Archbishop himself as being “a brew of a very palatable nature.”
The historic Cashel Palace Hotel situated at Main Street, Cashel on some 28 acres of ground, closed its doors without warning with the loss of some 30 permanent jobs in December 2014 last. A resale of the building was concluded in late 2015 and announced in February 2016 by purchasers Trevester Ltd; a joint venture between the Magnier family of Coolmore Stud and other International investors.
A recognised workforce has been put in place to undertake the redevelopment under the leadership of project manager Trish Conroy, including award-winning and internationally respected architects Reardon Smith and heritage experts from Consarc Design Group Ltd, one of the largest architectural practices in Ireland.
It is widely speculated that some 40 new bedrooms, two new restaurants, a new spa together with a function room to hold some 175 people, will now be included in this completed planning application. The initial construction phase is expected to involve some 100 people working on the project, taking up to between 18 to 24 months to fully complete the required work. On its completion the hotel is expected to employ a minimum of 40 full-time professional staff, together with some 100 part time casual employees on a regular basis, by late 2019.
This same group of investors also acquired the famous Cashel pub known as ‘Mikey Ryan’s,’ latter which is adjacent to the existing hotel gardens, and with refurbishment work here already under way, same should be all set to reopen this summer, employing a further 20 to 25 professional staff.
This completed planning proposal should also see the delivery of a 3-acre town park, as already set out in the Cashel Development Plan which would further enable the reinstatement of the famed Bishop’s walk, allowing connectivity between the Rock of Cashel and the historic town centre.
Locally this news will be warmly received by Cashel residents who look forward to this project making an enormous contribution to local tourism and the overall economic life of historic Cashel; a town where, in a fifth-century a Romeo-British Christian missionary and bishop named Saint Patrick once preached at the royal hill, converting king Aengus, latter a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann and probably a god of love, youth and poetic inspiration.
Lines hereunder extracted from a poem “The Deserted Village” by Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774) an essayist, poet, novelist, dramatist and eccentric.
“And, as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue, pants to the place from whence at first she flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexations passed, here to return-and die at home at last.”
Dr. Mark Turner, a proud member of the O’Brien Clan (on his mother Hanora’s side) reports here on Thurles.Info.
Armorial of the O’Brien’s
“Members of the O’Brien Clan family will meet here, in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on the weekend beginning Friday August 25th, 26th & 27th of 2017.
Quite a few of our gathering have already booked accommodation at the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Thurles, with family members arriving from England, Canada and South Carolina, USA. The Clan grouping are all cousins and last met up in the 70’s/80’s.
“There are lots of us, and we hope to partake of the food & drink available in the local eateries and licensed hostilities, while visiting the house where most of our parents were born,” stated Dr. Mark , who has confirmed that he last visited Tipperary in 2006 with his mums cousins Paddy and Hannah looking after him; while dishing up delicious obligatory ham, potatoes and cabbage. “Bloody gorgeous it was too, stated Dr. Mark.”
“As an extended family we are all very excited by this clan gathering in Thurles, Co. Tipperary,” Dr. Mark Turner concluded.
Of course the original O’Brien (Ua Briain or Ó Briain) dynasty, were a royal and noble house founded in the 10th century by Brian Boru leader of the Gaelic Irish tribe known as the Dál gCais or Dalcassians. After becoming King of Munster, through conquest, Brian Boru established himself as High King of Ireland (Ard Rí na hÉireann).
Brian Boru’s descendants carried the name Ó Briain, and continued to rule the Kingdom of Munster into the 12th century. It should also be noted that the current reigning British Monarch, namely Queen Elizabeth II, [Herself a direct descendant of Thomas and Elizabeth Butler (nee Elizabeth Poyntz – then hailed Lady Thurles)] through her eight maternal great-grand-mother, was indeed of the same O’Brien Clan.
Thurles.Info greatly look forward to further communicating and eventually meeting with the O’Brien Clan here in their ancestral home of Thurles, during August 2017.
Thurles, Your Looking Good.
Pursuant to requirements regarding the refurbishment of Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, notice is hereby given by Tipperary County Council of their intended proposals to carry out refurbishment of Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, (which is an Architectural Conservation Area) and the development of a Car Park off Liberty Square, in the town.
Liberty Square, Thurles. (Top of picture facing in an easterly direction).
Plans and particulars of this proposed development will be made available from the offices of the Templemore / Thurles Municipal District Offices, (Castle Avenue, Thurles, Co. Tipperary) and from Thurles Library, (Source Arts Centre, Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary) for inspection and indeed purchase, (latter can be copied at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making such a copy) during normal office hours from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday through to Friday, for the period from Thursday next (16th.February, 2017) to Friday (31st. March, 2017), excluding Public Holidays.
Private submissions or Observations with respect to these same new proposed developments, dealing with the proper planning and sustainable development of this area in which the proposed development would be situated, may be made in writing to M/s Deirdre O’Shea (Acting District Administrator), C/O Tipperary County Council, Templemore / Thurles Municipal District, Castle Avenue, Thurles, Co. Tipperary; to be received no later than 4.30pm on the 14th.April, 2017.