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Pres. M.D. Higgins Warmly Welcomed To Cabragh Wetlands

A large crowd turned out on Saturday evening last, May 19th 2018, in Cabragh Wetlands Thurles, to welcome two visiting guests; the President of Ireland, Mr Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Ireland’s First Lady, Mrs Sabina Higgins. President Higgins was visiting to officially open the Trust’s new and recently erected Visitor Centre, situated on the property.

The President and his wife was formally welcomed by Mr Tom Grace (Wetlands Trust Chairperson); Mr Michael Long; Independent TD Deputy Mr Michael Lowry, and Fianna Fáil TD Deputy Mr Jackie Cahill.

The building was officially blessed by the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, His Grace Kieran O’Reilly, [(SMA) Society of African Missions].

Addressing the assembled gathering President Higgins spoke of global changes seeming overwhelming. “We are now witnessing the most negative manifestations of human influence: the catastrophic effects of climate change produced by the emission of greenhouse gases and changes in land-use, such as the drainage of bogs and wetlands; the alteration of the phosphorus, sulphur, and as we know so well in Ireland, the nitrogen cycles, each one an ecological process vital to life on our planet; disruptions to the terrestrial water cycle, so vital to rain-fed agriculture in a pastoral economy such as our own; and of course, most tragically, the onset of the sixth great mass extinction event in the history of our planet, in which so much biodiversity has already been lost.”

Yet, despite global changes he pointed out that the Wetlands Trust project here in Thurles, was born at a challenging time for the then workforce in Thurles and the beet farming producers of Tipperary when, in 1989, Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann decided to close the sugar factory, which had been “such a fixture of the economic life of the area since 1934”.

Praising the challenges faced and dealt with by the organisation, the President concluded, “This Visitor Centre is a fitting testament to your efforts over the many years. It comes in the midst of our planetary emergency, and is more urgently required than ever before, for it provides us with hope for a better, more socially just and ecologically sustainable future.

May I then pay tribute once again to all those who brought this vision into being, in particular the Chairman of the Trust, Tom Grace, and wish you all the very best in the future”.

The President and his wife were later taken on an educational tour of this very fine local facility.

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Summer Evening At Holycross Bridge

HolyCross Abbey, Thurles, Co Tipperary  on Vimeo  [Courtesy G. Willoughby.]

Summer Evening At Holycross Bridge

© Author & Poet Tom Ryan.

The Abbey of the Cross stands sentinel
In the evening summer stillness,
Dumb, splendid witness to a thousand years of time
To such as now in the ease of a May-bush summer.
The cuckoo calling,
Take time lightly
In the midst of summer scents and cherry blossom pink,
As the waters surge by the old stone bridge to the sea.
Laughing summer children tease the fish and wish,
And old men through a purple haze from pipe tobacco
Dream and dream
Of summers close to heaven.
From a quiet place beyond the weir
The river softly sings tranquillity
With its centuries old hymns to creation,
And languid by the old mill wheel – silent and still
Young lovers lose their hearts
To the spell of the evening.
The swallows of the mid summer early
Chatter circle in symphonic joy.
In the sweet, balmy air by the bridge
A girl in a long, wine summer dress,
Whispers to the waters
Words magical.
Fishermen toast their catch
And old ones in the riverbank hostelry,
In the twilight lit by yellow lanterns,
Speak of hurling, horses, hounds and fickle fortune.
On the upland past the walnut grove of the priests,
Engoldened by the evening sun,
Dumb cattle in the lush, green grass lie,
Eyes lost to a far horizon.
White washed cottages of thatch,
By lime and blossom now half hid,
Give out the light of welcome,
And a couple in a boat in a secret cove
Quietly steal the moment.
Enthralled, I bask
In a quiet warm intimacy with all,
For, as in the loveliness
Of a distant summer youth,
I am so happy here.

Ends

[Tom Ryan,”Iona”, Rahealty, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.]

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Ireland’s Music Ambassador Phil Coulter To Visit Thurles

Thurles will play host to numerous musical entertainment acts in the coming months; each and everyone a household name in the entertainment business.

Cut Loose
One of this year’s largest Irish Country Music Festivals, “Cut Loose”, will take place on Sunday, 15th July, at Holycross GAA Pitch, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, from 1.00pm to 7.00pm. The festival will see a host of artists perform and amongst those headlining the event will be:- ‘Michael English’, ‘Louise Morrissey’, ‘Derek Ryan’, ‘Jimmy Buckley’, ‘Cliona Hagan’ and ‘Nathan Carter’.

Féile Classical
On  Friday 21st & 22nd September 2018, “Féile Classical” will take in Semple Stadium, Thurles. Bands performing at both events will include ‘The Stunning’, ‘Hothouse Flowers’, ‘An Emotional Fish’, ‘Something Happens’, ‘The 4 of Us’, ‘The Frank & Walters’, with special guests and all will perform alongside the Irish Chamber Orchestra. This festival will be fully seated, complete with organised food stalls and bars facilities.

Phil Coulter – “Cathedral Echoes”
Last, but by no means least, on Friday September 28th, 2018 will be arriving to Thurles on tour, a man whom I regard as one of the truly great international performers of our age; the one and only Mr Phil Coulter.

Born 19th February 1942, and today one of the biggest record sellers in Ireland, the well known and much loved Irish musician, songwriter and record producer is the recipient  of a Gold Badge from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, (October 2009).

He has amassed 23 Platinum discs, 39 Gold discs, 52 Silver discs, two Grand Prix Eurovision awards; five Ivor Novello Awards; also include Songwriter of the Year; three American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awards; a Grammy Nomination; a Meteor Award, a National Entertainment Award and a Rose d’or d’Antibes, and if that wasn’t enough, he has received honorary doctorates from the University of Ulster and Dublin Institute of Technology.

By 1964, his final year at university, Coulter had already written a couple of hit songs here in Ireland. Having moved to London, he work as an arranger/songwriter with a music publisher in Denmark Street, graduating to work with acts including Billy Connolly, Van Morrison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Tom Jones.

Between 1967 and 1976; collaborating with Bill Martin, they had manufactured four No. 1 hits in the UK: “Puppet on a String”, “Congratulations”, “Back Home” and “Forever and Ever”. They also wrote numerous other Top 10 hits including the Bay City Rollers’ “Shang-A-Lang”; for the glam rock band Kenny “Fancy Pants”; for the Scottish pop group Slik “Requiem” and for Cilla Black “Surround Yourself with Sorrow”.  Both men were joint recipients of an Ivor Novello Award for ‘Songwriter of the Year’ in 1975.

Coulter went on to produced three albums with No. 1 hits in the US  namely “Thanks”, performed by Bill Anderson and “My Boy”, sung by Elvis Presley.

In 1995, the Irish Rugby Football Union commissioned Coulter to write a politically neutral anthem for the Ireland national rugby union team, to represents both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The result was “Ireland’s Call”. “Ireland’s Call” has since also been adopted by Ireland’s national hockey, cricket and rugby league teams.

Friday September 28th, 2018.
Tickets are now available for this internationally renowned composer and musician’s Thurles tour date on Friday September 28th. Same are readily available from the Parish Centre, situated in Cathedral Street, Thurles, across the road from the performance venue, the Cathedral of the Assumption, and from Bookworm, in Liberty Square.

This event will mark the beginning of fund-raising for the Cathedral’s re-roofing project.

Ticket Donation: €35. For tickets contact the parish office Tel. No. 0504 22229, 087 0519697, or 086 2048528.

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“Féile Classical” Tickets Go On Sale For Second Event

‘Féile Classical’, which sold out their September 22nd “Trip To Tipp” gig here at Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary in under five minutes; after tickets were offered for sale this morning, have now agreed to run a second date on Friday 21st September 2018, for disappointed nostalgic Féile music lovers.

Take Note: Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning.

Bands performing at both events will include ‘The Stunning’, ‘Hothouse Flowers’, ‘An Emotional Fish’, ‘Something Happens’, ‘The 4 of Us’, ‘The Frank & Walters’, with special guests and all will perform alongside the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
The festival will be fully seated, complete with organised food stalls and bars facilities.

Could this end up being a 3 day weekend event, like the events of the early 90’s?

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Féile “Trip To Tipp” Tickets Sold Out In 4.8 Minutes

Tickets for next September’s “Féile Classical – Trip To Tipp” went on sale briefly at 9.00am this morning. I use the word ‘briefly’, most deliberately, since the fully seated venue was completely sold out in 4.8 minutes precisely.

Previous visitors to the Féile of the 90’s, went into ‘nostalgia overload’ this morning, scrambling to get tickets, leaving thousands of people without admission to this most exciting event.

Organisers are now currently meeting as we speak, in an attempt to organise a second night for this music event, possibly the Friday before the sold out September 22nd, 2018 occasion, thus attempting to remove the feelings of disappointment suffered by thousands of people who failed to get tickets, this morning.

More news as same comes on stream.

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