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wind speed: 6 m/s NNW
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sunset: 9:59 pm


Kids Under 12 Years To Gain Free Admission To OPW Heritage

The Swiss Cottage in Cahir, Co. Tipperary.

With effect from Saturday next, July 1st 2017, children under the age of 12 years are to be given free admission to all heritage sites managed and operated by the Office of Public Works (OPW).

This welcome initiative is expected to encourage children to further experience, in full, the many cultural and heritage sites available throughout Ireland, up until the end of the current year.

Children under six years had already gained free entry to OPW heritage sites, while the OPW also offers free access to schoolchildren under the Free Schools Visits scheme.

Also keep in mind that all OPW managed Heritage Sites in Tipperary will continue to offer free admission to individuals, on the first Wednesday of every month, for the duration of each sites particular opening season.

The list of participating sites in Tipperary include: Cahir Castle, Rock of Cashel, Roscrea Heritage (Castle and Damer House) and the Blackmills, and the Swiss Cottage.

So please, those who enjoy free travel, do take advantage and use this opportunity “To see old Ireland free.”


Borrisoleigh Festival July 1st and 2nd 2017

This weekend will see the return of the annual Borrisoleigh Festival with a packed programme of events including live music on the village Square on Saturday night and all day on Sunday.

The festival will be officially opened by the new village Mayor, Mr Paddy Dolan, followed by All Ireland Scor Sinsear winner Katie Shanahan and friends.

The 80’s Rock band ‘Sleeze n Cheeze’ will then take to the stage and have the whole town rocking to some of the greatest rock anthems known to man. The Tipperary Rose, Ms Sheila Ryan will be interviewed during the interval.

The inaugural International Wheelbarrow Extravaganza takes place on Sunday. This unique event provides a great opportunity for individuals, businesses and community groups to put their creativity on display. Prizes will be awarded in five categories, Best Floral Display, Best Homemade Wheelbarrow, Best Use of Recycled Materials, Best Use of Technology and Best Artistic Creation.

For the more active, local walking group, the Bush and Briar Ramblers, have organised a walk. Registration for this walk is at 9am in the Community Centre beside the Church. Bring boots!

Boots of a different kind will be required for the Line Dancing later on. This will be followed by the popular Platform/Social Dancing with Pat Costello. Live music continues all night with Dufrane, The Mangled Badgers and the always popular Ebony.
There will be a Food Fair and BBQ in the Square from 2pm and the kids will be kept busy with bouncy castles, a pet party and a kiddies disco.

Borrisoleigh Festival 2017 Programme of Events

Saturday July 1st
Official Opening of the Festival by Lord Mayor Paddy Dolan – 8.30pm.
Music with 2017 All Ireland Scór Sinsear Winner Katie Shanahan & Friends – 8.35pm.
Live Music with 80’s band ‘Sleeze n Cheeze’ – 9.30pm.
Interview with Tipperary Rose, Sheila Ryan, Toomevara, followed by Sleeze n Cheese – 10.30pm.

Sunday July 2nd
Walk: Bush and Briar Walk – 9.00am. (Registration at 9.00am in Community Centre (beside the Church). Moderate walk 3-3.5 hours, boots essential.)
International Wheelbarrow Extravaganza – 12.00pm – 6.30pm.
‘Ned Kelly Orchestra’ – 1.00pm -2.00pm.
Line Dancing – 2.00pm-4.00pm.
Platform / Social Dancing with Pat Costello – 4.00pm – 5.30pm.
Dufrane‘ – 5.30pm – 6.30pm.
Mangled Badgers‘ – 6.30pm – 8.00pm.
Ebony‘ – 8.00pm til late.

Sunday Children’s Entertainment

Bouncy Castles etc. – 2.00pm – 6.00pm.
Pet Party – 2.30pm – 4.30pm.
Disco (Primary school kids) – 6pm – 7pm.
BBQ & Food Fair from 2.00pm

This festival weekend will be a magnificent start to this Summer season, so see you there!


Despite Election Promises, No Real Support For Tipperary Tourism

Ireland’s favourite tourist attractions were announced yesterday with Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse emerging, not surprisingly, the No1 favourite. Figures supplied by Fáilte Ireland show visitors to the Dublin Brewery increased by some 10% over the previous 2015 holiday season, perhaps possibly because arrogance amongst its employees is not tolerated and non existent.

In no particular order the Top Five Irish fee-paying attractions during the 2016 Holiday Season were:-
The Guinness Storehouse, Dublin – 1,647,408 (Up 10%)
Dublin Zoo, Dublin – 1,143,908 (Up 3%).
The National Aquatic Centre Dublin – 1,037,992 (Up 4.5%).
Trinity College – Book of Kells, Dublin – 890,781 (Up 6%).
The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Co Clare – 1,427,166 (Up 14%).

In no particular order the Top Five Irish free-to-enter attractions during the 2016 Holiday Season were:-
The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin – 755,577 (Up 5%).
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin – 584,856 (Up 20%).
National Botanic Gardens – 583,539 (Up 5.5%).
National Museum of Ireland – 479,261 (Up 4.8%).
Doneraile Wildlife Park, Co. Cork – 480,000 (Up 11%).

And now for the trick question:- “What have 8 out of the 10 attractions, above named, all got in common?”

Think carefully – OK time Up – Answer “All 8 out of the 10 attractions, above named, are to be found in the heartland of Dublin’s city Centre, and most have or continue to received massive government funding.”

Looking at these attractions from a rapidly expiring ‘Rural Ireland’ perspective and working from memory:-

Dublin Zoo, Dublin – 2011 saw the expiry of a once-off €18m State Capital Investment Programme provided first in 2006 for its redevelopment.
National Aquatic Centre Dublin – Built at a capital cost of €62.5 million.
Book of Kells, Dublin – In 2011 Leo Varadkar announced an allocation of €2.7 million in funding for the exhibition of the Book of Kells, to improve public access to the precious manuscript and the overall visitor experience.
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin – In 2014 €32 million handed over for renovations.
National Museum of Ireland – The annual grant by Government is approximately €13m annually.

See other tourism funding for our States Capital City

Commenting on the list of Ireland’s top attractions, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, Mr Paul Kelly, stated: “Attractions are one of the key reasons why many overseas visitors choose Ireland as a destination, they create the variety of experiences that make for an enjoyable holiday and are the basis of visitor memories and moments to share that are critical to the growth of tourism in Ireland.”

But of course such attractions should ‘create that variety of experiences’ only in Dublin City and County; would you not agree Mr Kelly?

Surely issues here of of disparity, inequality, discrimination or imbalance; call it what you will.

Maybe, perhaps, perchance, or possibly our five county elected TD’s, namely Mr Jacki Cahill, Mr Mattie McGrath, Mr Michael Lowry, Mr Alan Kelly and Mr Seamus Healy, might like to raise this issue in Dáil Éireann. Maybe, perhaps, perchance, or possibly they could be reminded by their local supporting Co. Councillors, before they themselves go skiving off on holidays, having achieved absolutely nothing for their county since last election day, Friday 26th February, 2017.


Keep Your Focus On Ireland’s Ancient East

New York publican, Mr Aekerman Jensen, had arrived into Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport. He was on a trip to Upperchurch in Co. Tipperary, in an attempt to chase down his ancestors, latter whom he believed had emigrated from Tipperary bound for the US on board the coffin ship “Ellen Simpson” in 1847.

Arriving here in Thurles for the first time on the 1.00pm Dublin to Cork train, he dismounted with his luggage from the carriage and looked around. His gaze became immediately focused on Mickey Ryan standing behind a long folding table on which were displayed an assortment of what looked like bleached human skulls.
“What are these?” asked Aekerman.
“Oh, I be selling real human skulls”, replied Mickey, “Sure as Fáilte Ireland have already told you in their adverts, this be part of promoting rural Ireland and promotin Ireland’s Ancient East.”

Aekerman suddenly recalled the Fáilte Ireland brochure he had picked up from the travel agents. It had read; “From ancient high kings to modern day poets, saints and scholars to ramblers and fishermen, Ireland’s Ancient East pulsates with legendary tales”.

“I never knew Thurles was in Ireland’s Ancient East” said Aekerman, inquiring further, “Do you have any skulls from ancient high kings, famous poets or saints?.”
Mickey raised his eyebrows “Sure don’t I have the skulls of the most famous of Irishmen that have ever lived.”
“That’s really great” said Aekerman, “Can you give me some names?.”
“Begod I can sir!” said Mickey, pointing to his varied collection, “That one there is St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, and that one there with the hole in it, is Mick Collins the man who won us our freedom back in 1922.”

Mickey continued “Sure the odd shaped one over there for example, is none other than James Joyce, a famous Dublin author and playwright, and that…..”
Aekerman interrupted, “Sorry but did you say St. Patrick?”
Begod that is correct sir” said Mickey with a knowing nod.
Aekerman again recalled the wisdom of Fáilte Ireland’s brochure promise, “Learn the stories of a place and you’ll come to understand the soul of its people”.
“I believe I will buy from you St. Patrick” said Aekerman, who immediately paid over the asking price of €3,000 in cash. But then as Mickey correctly explained later “If people want quality, they expect to pay for value.”

Aekerman flew back to New York a week later and proudly mounted the skull of St. Patrick’s on the wall in his Pub. People, especially from the ‘auld sod’, came from every America State to view this famous Skull, making him a small fortune and allowing him to retired early, a truly wealthy man.

It was during this retirement, some five years later, that Aekerman decided to come back to visit Ireland, Thurles, and Upperchurch, the source of his wealth, and to reconnect once more with his ancient ancestors.  Walking once again along the Thurles railway station platform, he spotted Mickey and his skull collection.
Anxious once more to get another bargain Aekerman asks “And what skulls do you have today?.”
“Sure begod, I have the skulls of the most famous Irishmen that ever lived” replied Mickey.
“Give me some names”, demanded Aekerman, beginning to tear some €50’s of a rather fat roll of paper currency.
“Well!” said the Irishman, pointing to various skulls. “That one there is Michael Collins, that one is James Joyce, and that one is St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, God bless his coming to Éire and the Rock of Cashel, and that one…

“Sorry” Aekerman interrupted, “But did you say St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland?”
“Begod, that’s correct!” said Mickey.
“Well”, said Aekerman, “I was here about five years ago and you sold me St. Patrick’s Skull.”
“Begod so I did” said Mickey beginning to place his wares quickly into the back of his van, “Sure don’t I remember you well … now … you see … ah … this scull here today actually is St. Patrick when he was just a boy.”


Michael Lowry Welcomes Clár Funding For Tipperary

Tipperary’s Deputy Michael Lowry TD has today welcomed funding announced by Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, Mr Michael Ring TD.

The total funding for Tipperary amounts in total to €59,456, allocated under Measure 4 of Clár under the 2017 Clár Programme. (Clár is funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs under the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development.)

This funding supports organisations that are involved in a voluntary capacity in responding to emergency situations, with some three Tipperary projects in total being successful.

These recognised projects are:-
(A) Community Rapid Response Tipperary – receiving €7,150.
(B) Tipperary Mountain Rescue – receiving €50,000.
(C) Newport Community First Responder – receiving €2,306.

Deputy Lowry stated, “Services being supported through this funding will help greatly to provide essential services in rural areas; while leaving those visiting our picturesque countryside for recreational purposes, with a feeling of confidence, knowing that specialist supports are in place, ready and available, should they ever find themselves in an unexpected emergency situation”

In total, some €1.21 million was approved for a range of organisations across Ireland, under the Emergency First Response measure of the CLÁR programme.