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real feel: 0°C
wind speed: 3 m/s S
sunrise: 8:04 am
sunset: 4:29 pm


Death Of Singer & Musician Sonny Knowles


The Dublin-born talented singer and musician Mr Sonny Knowles, who rose to fame during Ireland’s show band era of the 50’s and 60’s, passed away peacefully at his home this morning, surrounded by his family, having reached the age of 86.

He survived oesophageal cancer twice. [Oesophageal cancer comes about when abnormal cells in the food pipe (oesophagus) grow in an uncontrolled way].

Mr Knowles was born on November 2nd, 1932 to parents Tommy and Mary Knowles and from the 1950’s; continued to remain one of Ireland’s most famous singers / performers for some six decades.

His career saw him perform as a member of the Johnny Butler Band, Earl Gill’s Band, the Pacific Show band and the Dermot O’Brien’s show band, before his decision to go solo.

He twice participated in the Irish National Song Contest, singing two songs in 1966; before returning again in 1971.

May he rest in peace.

Note: In the video shown above the piano player in the background is none other than the very talented, Thurles native Mr Frank McNamara, latter who married Ms Theresa Lowe. Ms Lowe, you will remember, presented the programme “Where in the World?” on RTE for some seven years, before being called to the Bar in 1987.


European Union May End Daylight Saving Time

On Sunday, 28 October 2018 last, at 2.00am, clocks were turned backward 1 hour, (called Fall Back or Winter Time) to ensure more light was enjoyed during these otherwise dark winter mornings.

A survey and an online consultation on Seasonal Clock Changes is now being currently undertaken, as shortly the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), may decide to end Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanently, resulting in next year, (2019), possibly being the last time that Europeans will be asked to set their clocks forward 1 hour, come Sunday, March 31st, 2019.

European Member States now have the chance to decide if they wish to stay on “Summer Time” (DST) year-round or to change their clocks once more on Sunday, October 27th, 2019, and for subsequent years.

Individuals here in Ireland are now being asked through this survey/online consultation to vote on such seasonal clock changes. See survey being currently undertaken HERE.

A majority 84% of people across Europe want the turning back of the clocks scrapped; that’s according to results of a EU Commission’s public consultation. This review, which is backed by a group of MEPs, will claim that daylight savings has a detrimental effect on people’s mental health, not to mention Europe’s energy use. While here in Ireland we see that extra 1 hour of daylight as a health and safety measure, aiding our motorised workforce and our young children who attend our centres of education.

The campaign in Britain, which initially led to the creation of Daylight Savings Time, was begun by William Willett in 1907 in a bid to stop people wasting valuable hours of light in the summer months.


Acumens Amassed May Pave Way For Cancer Cure.

A scientist, Mr Shane Cronin, himself  a native of Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, may has come up with a new way to assist in the tackling of cancer.

Research undertaken by Mr Cronin and others who works at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the latter one of the leading biomedical research institutes in Europe; indicates that by activating the immune system with the hormone Serotonin, (which sends signals between nerve cells), the human body can fight disease much more effectively.

Scientists at IMBA together with the Boston Children’s Hospital at Harvard, now suggest a completely new way of combating autoimmune diseases and cancer. Mr Cronin, PostDoc at IMBA and first author of the study, explains that activating the immune system means the body can defend itself against cancer cells and invading pathogens.

He states: “What we actually showed in the paper is that by increasing and turning up the amount of BH4, the t-cells were more aggressive and able to fight cancer much more aggressively”.

He continues, “So this has very important clinical implications because the way we can turn BH4 down, we actually developed a brand new novel drug to do this, and also by turning it up, there’s a drug already out there being used for completely different purposes.”


Death Of Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Tipperary

It was with profound sadness that we learned of the death on Wednesday last, November 7th 2018, of renowned musician, composer and academic, Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Dromore, Newport, Co. Tipperary.

Formerly a native of Clonmel, Co Tipperary; Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Limerick and the founder and director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance; Professor Ó Súilleabháin passed away peacefully, while in the care of Milford Hospice, [V94 H795].

His passing is most deeply regretted by his loving family; his wife Professor Helen Phelan and their son Luke; his sons Eoin and daughter-in-law Andrea, Mícheál ‘Moley’ and partner Namu; and Eoin and Mícheál’s mother Dr. Nóirín Ní Riain.
Professor Ó Súilleabháin will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his brother John O’Sullivan and his wife Patricia (Clonmel, Co. Tipperary); Pat, Ida, Trish, Liz, Kate and the extended Phelan family; his many nephews; nieces; extended relatives and large circle of friends both at home and abroad.

Funeral Arrangements
The earthly remains of Professor Ó Súilleabháin will lie in repose at his residence in Newport, Co. Tipperary, on Sunday next (November 11th 2018) from 2:00pm to 8:00pm. (Note Please: House private at all other times.).

His remains will arrive to St. Senan’s Church, Kilrush, Co. Clare for Funeral Mass at 12.30pm on Monday afternoon next (November 12th).

Private Cremation will take place afterwards in Shannon Crematorium, Illaunmanagh, Shannon, Co. Clare.

Note Please: No flowers by request. Donations, in lieu of flowers, if desired, should be apportioned equally between The Dialysis Unit – U.H.L.;   St. Brigid’s Ward, St. Vincent’s Hospital,  and Milford Hospice, all of whom provided great care and attention to Professor Ó Súilleabháin.

When entering Newport, please follow ‘Funeral Signs’ and the directions indicated by Stewards in attendance.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.


Duilleoga Deasa, Deasa – Thurles, Co. Tipperary

“Duilleoga deasa, deasa, duilleoga deasa, buí.
Duilleoga deasa, deasa, ar thalamh ina luí”.

[Irish language Translation:- “Nice, nice leaves, nice yellow leaves.  Nice, nice leaves on the ground, lying”.]

The town of Thurles is always extremely colourful at this time of year, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Here in the town, despite recent strong winds, the thickly matted autumn leaves, generated during last spring, are now only beginning to loosen their grip, to flutter down to earth. This same action now allows the numerous bright beams of yellow sunshine to penetrate through to the pavements and the rural mossy previous shaded grassy floors.

Here, in the coldish 12°C sunlight being experienced in Thurles in Co. Tipperary presently, a myriad of these Autumn leaves, today lie mainly underfoot, thus forming a rich carpet of yellows, golds, reds and browns. Some can be also observed performing their final dance, encouraged by a light south westerly breeze, before eventually loosing themselves in that river of earlier leaves that have fallen in love with the surface of the ground.

For all mankind, autumn is seen as that period for storing up our annual harvest, but for Mother Nature, it is that time for also undertaking the setting of seed, thus ensuring that after a brief sleep, next year’s plants are replenished.