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Thurles Actress Kerry Condon Appears In ‘Better Call Saul’

Those of you who subscribe to ‘Netflix’ are possibly currently enjoying the spin-off from the American crime drama television series ‘Breaking Bad,’  entitled ‘Better Call Saul,’ which now features (Season 1 Episode 6) the very lovely Thurles, Co Tipperary native and actress M/s Kerry Condon.
(See hereunder a brief video clip of M/s Condon, who plays Stacey Ehrmantraut, opposite Jonathan Ray Banks who plays Mike Ehrmantraut, latter her fictional father-in-law.)

In this episode we finally find out what has brought Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Ray Banks) to New Mexico. We also find out what is keeping him there and a little more information about his vague, even hidden past life. In this series Mike’s daughter-in-law (Kerry Condon) has relocated from Philadelphia with her daughter, following the tragic death of Mike’s son, Matt.  Matt’s tragic death it appears is more complicated than even his wife Stacey is aware.

Stacey (Kerry Condon), in the clip shown above plays superbly the character of a somewhat confused recent widow, now past mourning, who really doesn’t know how to handle her husband Matt’s recent death. Mike will go on to admit to Stacey that he feels responsible for his son death and that he has already executed Matt’s murderers.

To tell you any more of the story line would spoil it, particularly for former lovers of ‘Breaking Bad,’ so do watch ‘Better Call Saul’ and with Bob Odenkirk returned in the title role of the character Saul Goodman, I promise that this series is ‘everything and more’ that you could possibly expect from this very clever spin-off television crime series.

Can’t wait for the eventual Box Set.

Thurles Can View Partial Sun Eclipse Friday Morning Next

At least 90% of our earth’s Sun will be covered by the Moon on Friday next, (March 20th, 2015), thus creating something of an unusual spectacle for Thurles viewers, weather permitting of course. Indeed Met Éireann claim that the south of Ireland could be the best region from which to view this partial solar eclipse.

Since Ireland resides in that zone where the Sun is not totally obscured by the moon, we will therefore only experience a partial eclipse, rather than, as in some areas of the globe, a total eclipse. An area running north through the middle of the Atlantic and up over the Arctic will in fact only experience a full solar eclipse.

Here in Thurles this phenomenon should starts around 8.23am and run until 10.36am, with the peak of the eclipse reached at around 9.27am. If our skies are very cloudy, it will not be possible to observe same, although its effect will be felt as it will get somewhat darker and it will also feel much colder. If our sky’s are clear however it will be possible to see the very distinct outline of the moon passing slowly across the shape of the Sun, from right to left.

The last time an eclipse was visible from Ireland was in 1999 and it will be 2026 before yet another partial one is seen here in Thurles again. Indeed it will be 2090 before a total solar eclipse is next visible from this part of our globe.

Warning: Do not personally look directly at this upcoming Friday spectacle and in particular impress upon your children that direct eye contact can severely damage eyes and even lead to blindness. You may be lucky enough to own a pair of special Solar Glasses or welding goggles or welding shield, all of which have sufficient filtration to fully protect your eyes from any such harmful effects of the Sun’s rays.

Of course for those of you anxious to view and who own none of the above, best to line a bucket with a black plastic bin liner before filling the bucket to the top with water. This done; view in safety the eclipse reflected on the surface of the water only. Latter is a safe and an ideal method of viewing this spectacle by groups of children, especially in a supervised educational setting, while using several such bucket apparatuses spread out.

National Pilgrim Paths Day Sat April 4th 2015

Thousands of Irish people and overseas visitors are expected to retrace their heritage on National Pilgrim Paths Day April 4th, 2015.

 

Kilcommon Mass Rock

Kilcommon Mass Rock, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Ireland’s National Pilgrim Paths Day, on April 4th next, is aimed at raising awareness of our country’s wide network of pilgrim routes, while also providing a more general appreciation of our medieval Christian heritage.

To this end on Saturday, April 4th, 2015, large numbers of Irish people and overseas visitors are expected to retrace their ancestral heritage this coming Easter Weekend, as they take to this countries ancient pilgrim paths, to celebrate Ireland’s second ‘National Pilgrim Paths Day’.

This new Easter Festival will see a nationwide series of non-denominational, pilgrim walks taking place on Ireland’s medieval penitential trails. Last year, there were over 1,800 participants for Ireland’s inaugural Pilgrim Paths Day and this year it is expected that the numbers will be even higher.

On Pilgrim Paths Day, events will take place on each of Ireland’s 12 Medieval Pilgrim Paths including 3 pilgrim paths in County Tipperary. They are Kilcommon Pilgrim Loop, (Information, 062 78103), St Declan’s Way (Information, 086 354 1700) and Holycross Pilgrim Path (Information, 087 7962177).

Heritage guides from these communities will lead each event while outlining the story of the route and explaining how medieval penitents coped with their arduous journeys.

There will also be a reflection and thanksgiving at the end of each walk.

For full details of all pilgrim walks nationwide take the time to visit; www. pilgrimpath.ie

Upperchurch Scientist Awarded €2m Research Grant

A Tipperary scientist based at University College Dublin (UCD) has been awarded a €2 million research grant by the European Union (EU) (under EU/Horizon 2020) to explore the relationship between diet and health.

Dr. Lorraine Brennan (BA, PhD), a Conway Fellow and a PI in the UCD Institute of Food and Health is the daughter of parents and Kilkenny natives Mrs Breda and Mr Joe Brennan, both of whom reside at Rossoulty, Upperchurch, Thurles, here in Co Tipperary.

Dr Brennan’s areas currently under development include (1) the use of a metabolomic approach to identify novel biomarkers of dietary intake and (2) the use of metabolomic signatures (“metabotypes”) to identify responder’s to dietary interventions in a move towards personalised nutrition.

Dr. Brennan’s research interests revolve around metabolism and altered metabolic pathways in health and disease and to this end she leads a metabolomics research group in UCD and is instrumental in the development of metabolomics for nutritional research.

Dr. Brennan is a partner in the FP7 projects NutriTech and Food4me. She is a PI in The National Nutrition Phenotype Database where she was responsible for the metabolomics data. She represents the Irish Nutrigenomics Organisation (JINGO) in the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) ENPADASI.

She has published over 80 peer-reviewed publications including publications in leading journals such as Nature, Diabetes and Diabetalogia. She regularly serves as a reviewer for international journals and since 2010 she is serving as an academic editor in PLoS One. Since 2009, she has delivered 16 invited lectures at International Conferences. Dr Brennan is actively involved in undergraduate teaching and delivers a range of lectures to Human Nutrition and Medical students.

She is also a member of the Irish Nutrition Society Executive. In September 2014, she was appointed as co-director of the European Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGO).

Dr. Brennan has stated that this funding will now greatly assist in establishing what type of diet is best for human development.

Thurles congratulates Dr. Lorraine Brennan on all her achievements.

Poitín Stil Discovered In North Tipperary

Humors of Whiskey
“What’ll make the lame walk, what will make the dumb talk, the elixir of life and philospher’s stone,
And what helped Mr. Brunel to build the Thames Tunnel; wasn’t it poteen from ould Inishowen
So stick to the cratur’ the best thing in nature for sinking your sorrows and raising your joys.
Oh Lord, it’s no wonder, if lightning and thunder weren’t made from the plunder of poteen me boys.”

An active Poitín Stil was discovered by Revenue Customs officials in North Tipperary on Monday last.

It is understood that the illicit still was uncovered at an as yet unnamed rural location, close to the town of Nenagh, during a joint intelligence led operation undertaken by the Revenue Customs Service and an Garda Síochána.

The distillation process is understood to have been in full operation at the time of the raid and a quantity of distilled Poitín was also seized. All related distilling equipment was seized during the operation and a file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Traditional illegal Irish distilled Poitín can vary anywhere between 40%–90% alcohol by volume (ABV) and is fondly know by many other names e.g. ‘Mountain Dew’, ‘Holy Water’, ‘Drop of the Cratur’, ‘Moonshine’, ‘Red Biddy’ and ‘White Lightening’.  Irish monastic settlements were originally the birthplace of distilling here in Ireland, with earliest records going back to 584AD. Here Irish monks were the Master Distillers of their time, strictly retaining their distilling knowledge within the walls of their respective monasteries.

The word Poitín comes from the Gaelic word “pota” meaning a pot, which refers to the small copper pot still used by Poitín distillers. Illegal Poitín, also called Poteen or Potcheen is still traditionally produced in remote rural areas of Ireland today, distilled from malted barley, grain, treacle, sugar beet, or potatoes.

It is interesting to note that Poitín distilled legally is one of a small number of Irish food and Drink products which have been granted ‘Geographical Indicative Status’ by the European Union Council (EU). This means that similar to Champagne, which originates from the Champagne region of France and Parmesan Cheese, which originates from Parma, Italy, Poitín’s ‘Indicative Status’ is akin only to Ireland.

There are presently several legal Craft Distillery companies in Ireland now producing Poitín, which can be bought in pubs and off-licences.  These Craft Distillers today produce Poitín in various flavours, achieved through the use of wild berries and fruit, thus carrying on the original tradition, which years ago would have been also often flavoured using hedgerow berries, so as to soften and sweeten this products natural rather harsh taste.

Of course traditional illegally Poitín was distilled over a turf fire prior to the introduction of bottled gas. Illegal stills could be easily detected by police, identifying the rising smoke, despite the illegal distillers choice of windy and broken weather conditions which assisted in dispersing this tell-tale smoke. Certain wooded areas also assisted in the cover-up, with dense foliage often assisting in the wider spreading of this curling smoke trail.

Irish myth and legend state that St Patrick, our Irish patron Saint, brewed up the first ever batch when wine ran short for Mass; which possibly accounts for one of Poitín’s other names, that of “Holy Water”.

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