Local Weather

Thurles
Cloudy
10°C
real feel: 7°C
wind speed: 5 m/s S
sunrise: 7:59 am
sunset: 6:34 pm
 

Archives

Archbishop Thomas William Croke – First G.A.A. Patron

Sunday last, July 22nd 2018 marked the 116 anniversary of the death of Archbishop Thomas William Croke (D.Div.) [28 May 1824 – 22 July 1902], the second Catholic Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand (1870–74) and later to become the Irish Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. A former patron of the Gaelic Athletic Association, with the largest GAA stadium situated in Dublin, Croke Park, named in his honour.

Dr Thomas William Croke (D.Div.) Archbishop of Cashel and Emly – Strong Supporter Of Irish Nationalism.

Archbishop Croke was born in Castlecor, Dromin in the parish of Kilbrin, Co. Cork, in 1824. His grandfather was a shopkeeper in the local square. His father, William was Land Agent/Manager for the 4,000 acres Freeman Estate, purchased from the Chinnerys in the early 18th century. (Freemans of Castle Cor, Co. Cork, their home now demolished.).

William his father married a Protestant girl, one Miss Isabella Plummer, daughter of an aristocratic family, latter descendants of the Knight of Glin, a hereditary title held by the FitzGerald families of Co. Limerick, since the early 14th century. Isabella’s parents would disown her following her Roman Catholic marriage to William in 1817.

Archbishop Croke was the third of eight children born of this couple, before his father died in 1834.  William’s brother, Reverend Thomas Croke, now took it upon himself to supervise the education and upbringing of the children.

Two of Archbishop Croke’s brothers would enter the priesthood, while two sisters would enter a convent and become nuns.  Archbishop Croke himself would go on to be educated in Charleville, Co. Cork and later at the Irish College in Paris and the Irish College in Rome, winning academic distinctions, including a Doctorate of Divinity, with honours.

Ordained a priest of the Cloyne diocese at the height of the ‘Great Famine’ (1845-1849) in May of 1847, he was appointed a Professor in Carlow College.  Irish nationalist Member of Parliament (MP) and leader of the Young Ireland movement, William Smith O’Brien claimed that Archbishop Croke fought on the barricades in Paris during the French Revolution in 1848.

In 1858 he became the first president of St. Colman’s College, Fermoy, Co. Cork and then served as both parish priest of Doneraile and Vicar General of Cloyne diocese from 1866 to 1870. Thomas Croke attended the First Vatican Council as theologian to the Bishop of Cloyne in 1870.

In 1870 Croke was appointed Bishop of Auckland in New Zealand, arriving in Auckland on 17th December 1870 on the Steamer “City of Melbourne”. During the next three years as Bishop of Auckland; Croke devoted some of his considerable personal wealth to rebuilding diocesan finances. However, in Auckland there was then little sign of the strongly Irish nationalist line Croke would later adopt following his return here to Ireland; transferred to become a member of the Irish hierarchy as Archbishop of Cashel, (One of the four Catholic Irish archbishoprics, i.e. Cashel & Emly; Dublin; Armagh and Tuam).

Archbishop Croke (His motto – “Mergimur Nunquam”. Literal translation from Latin “We are never sunk”.), would now become a strong supporter of Irish nationalism, aligning himself with the Irish National Land League; an Irish political organisation of the late 19th century which sought to help poor tenant farmers; and with the chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party, Charles Stewart Parnell, latter a wealthy and powerful Anglo-Irish Protestant landowner. Croke’s support of nationalism caused successive British governments and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland’s civil service in Dublin to be deeply suspicious of his known associations. He also associated himself with the Temperance Movement of Irish Catholic priest and teetotal reformer, Father Theobald Mathew, [latter born at Thomastown, near Golden, Co. Tipperary, on October 10th, 1790], and the Gaelic League from its foundation in 1893; its aim to restore the Irish language.

Later, somewhat embarrassed by Charles Stewart Parnell’s immorality, Archbishop Croke was forced to distance himself and withdrew from active participation in nationalist politics, following the scandal that erupted over Parnell’s relationship with Mrs Katherine (Kitty) O’Shea, (particularly during the period 1886-1890), latter the separated wife of Parnell’s fellow M.P., Captain William (Willie ) O’Shea.  Captain O’Shea would eventually file for divorce from his wife, citing Charles Stewart Parnell as co-respondent.  A two-day trial would reveal that Mr Parnell had been the long-term lover of Mrs O’Shea and had indeed fathered three of her children. This scandal back then would force the two dominant forces of Nationalism and Catholicism to split wide apart.

Due to his support and known association with Parnell’s efforts, Archbishop Croke now found himself summoned to Rome by Pope Leo XIII and Cardinal Simeoni.  Following his meeting and prior to his return to Ireland, he stayed over at the Irish College in Rome and when questioned regarding the outcome of his meeting with both men, Archbishop Croke stated that he returned to Ireland “Unchanged and unchangeable.”

Archbishop Croke died at the Archbishop’s Palace in Thurles, Co. Tipperary on 22nd July 1902, aged 78 years and he is buried in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Today: From the western side and overlooking Liberty Square, in the centre of Thurles, Co. Tipperary, a very fine life sized statue of Archbishop Thomas William Croke (D.Div.) exists bearing the Irish inscription:-

Translation: The Athletic Association of Ireland erected this commemorative plaque as a tribute of honour to the Most Reverend Thomas Croke, D.D., Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, the first Patron of the Gaelic Athletic Association.
An example to everyone of the nobility and strength of the Irish People.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Marathon Recital Of Ancient Handbell Ringing For Borrisoleigh

Replica of St. Cualan’s Bell, Sacred Heart Church, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary.

The ancient art of Handbell Ringing is largely unheard of here in Southern Ireland; first Handbells having being developed by brothers Robert and William Cor in Aldbourne, Wiltshire, England, between 1696 and 1724.

Now on Friday next two simultaneous Hand Bell Ringing Marathon Recital events will take place in the area of the village of Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on Friday next, July 27th, 2018.   The bell ringing recitals will be conducted by the London-based guild of St. Cualan, under the direction of Mr Thomas Hinks.

This St. Cualan Guild take their name from the Bearnan Cualan, a 12th century Irish bell shrine, which originally belonged to the monastery of St Cualan at Glenkeen, Borrisoleigh, in Co. Tipperary.

St. Cualan’s Bell, (also known as the Glankeen Bell or An Béarnan Cuileáin) is a late 7th to early 8th century [Anno Domini], iron hand bell, latter encased in a richly ornamented early 12th century brass shrine; its height being about 30 centimetres, inclusive.

It had been located hidden in a tree trunk in the townsland of Kilcuilawn, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, in the late 18th century and the original now resides in the British Museum in London, (Reference Record No. 1854,0714.6.B.)

The bell shrine is decorated in what is possibly an Irish version of the Viking Ringerike style, (Ringerike style receives its name from the Ringerike district north of Oslo, in Norway who produced similar designs), with an inlaid Silver and Niello strip, (latter manufactured by fusing together copper, silver and lead before mixing the molten alloy with sulfur).

The work is similar to that found on the Clonmacnoise Crozier and the Lough Derg Sword and indeed it is quite likely that all three pieces may have originated from the same metal workshop. It is also possible that all three pieces were made either for use at or in commemoration of the Synod of Ráith Bressail, which met near Borrisoleigh in the year 1111. Latter was the most important of all the synods associated with the twelfth-century Church Reform movement in Ireland, organising for the first time an administrative structure and a territory based system of dioceses under the control of individual bishops.

Interesting: For many years St. Cualan’s Bell was used to detect false oaths; liars swearing by St. Cualan’s Bell, risked having their ‘heads reversed’. [Perhaps same should be moved for regular use in Dáil Éireann. No on second thoughts Dublin has already stolen, Viking style, most of Tipperary’s heritage and tourist attractions.]

The original bell is partially incomplete, missing its internal ‘clapper’ and a handle; however, an accurate replica of the shrine is kept on open display in the Roman Catholic parish Church of The Sacred Heart in the picturesque village of Borrisoleigh, just 14km or 16 mins drive from Thurles, Co. Tipperary, via route R498.

The bell somehow came into the possession of Birr attorney and historian Thomas Lawlor Cooke from Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, who wrote important histories on the town of Birr and district [`Picture of Parsonstown’ (1826)]. Cooke went on to sell the bell shrine, along with other artefacts, to the British Museum, where it has remained as part of religious displays ever since.

When this visiting guild of bell ringers were first formed, they were not fully aware of the ancient story behind the famous Bearnan Cualan and its association with Borrisoleigh village.

Now, at about 1.00pm on Friday next, July 27th the welcome Bearnan Cualan Chapter will divide into two groups. One half will remain in the Church of The Sacred Heart, Borrisoleigh; while the other half will attend near the ivy-covered medieval ruins of Glenkeen church, before both commence a three hour long ‘Marathon Peal’.

Needless to say, everyone is invited to make an appearance to either or both venues and to remain for whatever length of time they can spare.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Thurles Administration – Their Fitness To Practise In Question

“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.” [From a quote attributed to Plato (Greek philosopher).]

A third assessment examining the administration failures in Thurles by Templemore / Thurles Municipal District and Tipperary County Council.

First See Link (A) http://www.thurles.info/2018/07/02/polution-of-river-suir-continues/
Secondly See Link (B)  http://www.thurles.info/2018/07/09/st-patricks-cemetery-gates-reflect-an-image-of-thurles/

“A Question Of Fitness To Practise”
The entrance into any town in Ireland will quickly relay to the average visitor, information not just on the towns prosperity, but more importantly will indicate that this locality is a great place to live; a place to find work, with quality educational facilities; a place to visit and holiday in safety.  All of these signals observed will automatically relay to any visitor the existence of a thriving commercial and business centre.

Current signs displayed on entrance roads leading into Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Spot the 10 year old neglect.

So, let us examine 4 signs currently on view today to visitors entering Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on July 10th 2018.

Picture (1): Welcome To Thurles – Home of Erin Foods
This “Welcome To Thurles – Home of Erin Foods” sign still greets all Tipperary TD’s; Co. Council Elected Representatives and Tipperary Co Council Management as they enter our town.
The Thurles Erin Foods factory closed over 10 years ago, back in June 2008, after 46 years in production; with the loss of 140 jobs. It would have closed earlier were it not for an existing contract that Erin Foods held with the company ‘Batchelors‘ to supply goods and stock for some eight months after the initial purchase. The range of products that was then manufactured in Thurles are, now for the most part I understand, manufactured in British.

No replacement industry was ever found or put in place here in Thurles.

Picture (2): www.thurles.ie
This current sign which remains on view for the website ‘www.thurles.ie’ tells a further tale of the neglect of the town.  Someone in the Templemore/Thurles Municipal District or in Tipperary Co. Council, forgot to pay the annual €9 charge for the host name ‘Thurles.ie’. Same financial reminder would have been sent to the responsible body at least one month in advance and for several weeks after the failure to make payment.

On the March 21st 2017 the unpaid host name was again offered for sale and purchased by a Swedish casino site, Mardukas Technologies Limited, latter who then cybersquatted on the host name informing Thurles visitors that they would “Vi guidar dig till de bästa casinobonusarna” which translated means, “We will guide you to the best casino bonuses.”

Tipperary Co. Council have now regained control of the host name, since the 8th August 2017, but almost one year on in 2018, nothing has been done to put same back on line. We are not aware of how much of tax payer’s money, was wasted in any repurchase arrangements with Mardukas Technologies Limited. We are aware however that the site, together with the build and administration, originally exceeded well over €10,000.

Picture (3): Disc Parking In Operation – (“Buy discs where you see the sign P”)
Today this sign also greets visitors, however if you go looking for to buy Parking Discs where you see the sign P, expect to find details of a hefty fine stuffed behind your front windscreen wiper, when you return.

Disk Parking was introduced here in Thurles some 10 years ago. Certainly, Disc parking was in vogue in 2009, while pay-and-display parking was later introduced possibly in 2010. The Road Traffic Act of 1994: gave local authorities the power to make bye-laws governing the type of paid parking controls to be introduced in their areas. These bye-laws included, disc parking or pay-and-display parking.

Today we operate eParking, a new and improved “Park by Phone” system, introduced across Tipperary including Thurles town. The new car park here in Thurles for example is being funded using tax payer’s money.  Same will then be the subject of eParking or Pay-and-Display parking metres, to be imposed on these same tax payers who paid for its very introduction and development. One wonders who will feature in the picture as the blue ribbon is cut?.

Picture (4): North Tipperary Co. Council – “Working with the Community”.
The biggest joke and final insult to Thurles people, however must be the remaining sign shown as Picture No.4 above.

The website shown here on this sign is www.north tipperary.ie to which Google asks “Did you mean: http://www.southtipperary.ie”, latter in turn which does not exist either and suggests the Homepage of South Tipperary Dementia Project. No HTTP 301 permanent redirect code was inserted here by Tipperary Co Co Web Designers and Administrators.

Gone also is “AERTEL page 622″, with the new RTE Aertel desktop completely revamped several years ago, and without page 622.

As for a commitment to “Working with the Community”, for God’s sake give us a break. Right from the very top level of management, we need sackings here, to ensure that this situation of sheer neglect is no longer allowed to continue; after all we pay the wages.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Going – Going – Gone, Griffins News Agency, Thurles

Over the past number of weeks a building on the south side of Liberty Square, last known as Griffin’s News-agency and previously, during the 1920’s, Hickey’s pub, has now been demolished to make way for a new car-park entrance,  in an effort to make Thurles town centre more pedestrianised.

The now demolished building did have some small, yet not insignificant history attached, which can be found when reading a statement from the Bureau of Military History, 1913-21 (Document No. W.S. 1454, File No. S.790), by witness James Leahy, Commandant, No. 2 (Mid) Tipperary Brigade, latter born in 1896 in the townsland of Tubberadora, Boherlahan, Cashel, Co. Tipperary.

James Leahy Writes: [Signed 3rd July 1956]

“I returned to business in Thurles early in 1917, and then went to work for Michael (‘Mixey’) O’Connell, as he was popularly called. O’Connell was a prominent Sinn Feiner and Irish Volunteer and his house in later days became the headquarters of the Mid-Tipperary Brigade.

Five masked and armed policemen raided the house of Larry Hickey, publican, Main St., Thurles, when they found the owner in bed. Re was ordered out in his night attire and when he reached the head of the stairs, he was tripped and thrown downstairs by an R.I.C. man named Jackson.

In the fall, Hickey’s neck was broken and he was in great pain at the foot of the stairs, when Sergeant Enright, who was in charge of the raiders, shot him dead, to put an end to his agony. Hickey was a well known republican in Thurles, and a detailed account of his shooting was given to me during the truce period, by Sergeant Enright himself.

While the raid in Hickey’s was in progress, (Night of March 9th 1921) another party of masked policemen visited the home of the Loughnane family in Mitchell St., Thurles, and shot dead in bed William Loughnane. This man along with his father and three brothers were active members of the local I.R.A. company.

On the same night, the Barry homestead in Turtulla (Today Thurles Golf Club), a short distance from Thurles, was entered by R.I.C. men in disguise. They were looking for Denis Regan, a workman and a prominent I.R.A. man. He had hidden in a ‘couchette’ (Latter a box type bed usually found in a house close to an open fireplace, with a lid which closed during the day to become a useful bench or large seat), in the house and when the police could not find him, they ordered Michael Barry to come with them, as they were going to shoot him, instead of Regan.

Barry had no connection with the republican movement and Regan overheard remarks made by the raiders. Rather than see his employer suffer on his account, Regan left his hiding place and gave himself up. Barry was then released while Regan was led into the yard, where the police fired six or eight shots at him. Though very seriously wounded, he survived and is still hale and hearty. (In later years Denis Regan became the hearse driver for the undertaking firm of W. H. Ryan). He (Regan) was treated by his employer’s brother, Dr. Barry, who was then in practice in Thurles and was always ready to answer a call when needed by the I.R.A.

I got a dispatch from the brigade adjutant (1921) requesting me to meet him that night at Larry Hickey’s (Latter later to become Griffin’s Newsagents), in Thurles, as he had some urgent communications to send to G.H.Q. which he wished me to see and sign.

I went on to Thurles, armed with a revolver.  My going off to meet the brigade adjutant very nearly led to my capture and death. I made my way into Larry Hickey’s as arranged and was waiting upstairs for my colleague to put in an appearance, when a scout, who was posted to watch out for enemy raiders, shouted through the letter box of the door that a force of R.I.C. were searching “Mixey” O’Connell’s house next door. I waited for a while, thinking that if they found nobody in O’Connell’s, the police might move off.

Word came after awhile that they had gone. Concluding that O’Connell’s place (next door) might now be safer than Hickey’s, I went out by the back door to get into O’Connell’s back yard. The wall separating the two yards was about 8-feet high and I had my breast just on the top of it when I heard the order “Hands up”.  In the light which was shining on me I could see a figure sitting on top of the wall a few yards away from me. He was a guard whom they had left on the place. As I was leaving Hickey’s the scout, again reporting through the letter box, shouted that the main raiding party was returning. Apparently the man by whom I was now confronted was left to keep an eye on developments at the back. On being challenged I dropped back into Hickey’s and crouching as low as I could, I ran down under the shelter of the wall to the lower end of the yard.

The guard was firing after me. From the corner into which I had crouched I had a clear view of my opponent. I drew my revolver and fired four shots at him. He quickly disappeared from view. Without delaying, I seized my chance and from the yard, ran down the garden (Latter soon to become part of the new car park) and out into the Mall. I went on to Barry’s in Turtulla, where I stayed for the night.

On examining my overcoat, I found that it had been penetrated by shots several times during the brief encounter. Next day, I heard that the policeman involved was wounded by my return fire.”

Folks, do remember the prophesy in the lines from Eric Bogle’s song, “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” :-
“I see the old men all tired, stiff and sore
Those forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question.
But the band plays Waltzing Matilda,
And the old men still answer the call,
But year after year, the numbers get fewer
Someday, no one will march there at all. “

So perhaps, while this information is now fresh in our memories, our masters from the Templemore / Thurles Municipal District Council might now unveil a small plaque or stone tablet, to commemorate this piece of Thurles History.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Mac Donagh Pipe Band To Open Annual Killea “Field Day”

Make the village of  Killea, Templemore, Co. Tipperary you destination on Sunday, June 24th next.

Journalist Tom Ryan reports:

A rural Tipperary village will revive its traditional lifestyle of some 80 years ago, when it takes a step back in time for its 11th annual fun day; in the old -fashioned tradition, on Sunday, June 24th next. It will be officially opened by the Thomas Mac Donagh Pipe Band, from Templemore, starting at 1.30pm.

Children will be admitted free of charge on what should be a colourful day at Killea Sportsfield, latter a nice gesture, indeed, from the organising committee, who are hoping for yet another sunny day for this eagerly awaited annual event, which has gone from strength to strength; sheltering in the shade of the famous 480m high (1575 ft) Bearnan Eile (Translation from the Irish – “Devil’s Bit”) mountain.

Events Taking Place at Killea “Field Day” in Co. Tipperary.

Sean-nós Dancing will feature in this popular “Field Day”, same to be held in conjunction with the hugely popular Margaret O’Sullivan Feile. This old style dance, very popular in the Gaeltachtaí will have seen Tipperary persons; Katie Bourke, Sean Bourke and Tadhg Quinlan, very much to the fore in the GAA’s Scór na bPaisti competitions. Jim Hamill, (Field Day Secretary), stated “The dance requires intricate body movement, using head, hips and hands as well as feet.”

Face painting, Bouncy castles and music will all be “free of charge”, as will entry to a five-aside mini-soccer tournament. A competition will also be held to find the fastest sheep in County Tipperary. Killea will stage a mammoth 30 plus events, to stir nostalgia among older Tipperary people.

A local celebrity will be there to judge the “Elegant Lady”  Competition, to raise cash for local groups; including Killea National School, Killea GAA and the Tidy Villages and graveyard committees.

Other events will include set-dancing, figure-dancing, horseshoe-throwing, pillow fights, skittles, penalty taking, pony rides, stock-judging, sheaf pitching, a tug of war competition, a dog show, darts and a tractor run. Participants in the Co. Tipperary Fleadh Cheoil in Templemore are expected to feature among the many musicians who will entertain those in attendance.

Local GAA personalities, including Tipp Senior Hurling panellist, Tomas Hamill, son of Jim, will be present and perhaps others from outside the village who will be involved in hurling skills events.

There will be a five a side mini-Soccer Tournament for children from local schools in the under 10 and under-13 years age groups. [Maybe Martin O’ Neill might pop in in search of talent for the Republic of Ireland squad and find a future star like Shane Long].

There will be a canteen and shop in operation during the day, with locally baked confectionery, home-made Colcannon and sides of bacon at the barbecue provided.  A local ladies committee here are in charge, and they will have many home-cooked goodies for folks, including pancakes, which are always very popular in Killea.

All the fun of this event will get under way with a tractor run at 11.00am, which will return to Killea Sportsfield. There will be a set-dancing display from the top senior and junior dancers of Killea & district, together with a host of traditional musicians , singers and dancers from various parts of the county, many of whom have won awards, who will entertain from 1.00pm to 6.00pm. Local musicians will also grace the occasion, which should prove most entertaining.

There are a talented 200 member music class in Killea, which ‘Matt The Thresher’ himself would surely have approved, as would indeed Charles J. Kickham, author of “Sliabh na mBan”, latter the Co Tipperary ‘anthem’.

The officers of the organising committee are:-  Chairman – Michael Duff; Secretary – Jim Hamill, & Treasurer – John Fogarty.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail