Yesterday temperatures here in Thurles rose to just about 11°C, with a cold sharp breeze blowing down Liberty Square, here in the town. Despite these temperatures, almost one thousand people wrapped up well, turning out to view this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade here in the town centre.
Fabulous traditional Irish Music for the event was provided by the ‘Jim O’The Mills’ Band and if you haven’t already visited Jim O’The Mills licensed hostility here in Upperchurch, Co Tipperary – well let’s face it you haven’t really been to Ireland.
Possibly the highlight of the staged events for most children (all aged from nought to ninety, I might add) was the “Reptile Village,” Ireland’s only Reptile Zoo, on a one day trip, visiting from Demesne Road, Gowran, Co Kilkenny latter just across the border from Tipperary. While St Patrick is supposed to have gotten rid of all the snakes here in Ireland, we now know that he missed one, in this case a 20 ft Boa constrictor, shown in our quick picture video hereunder.
The 2014 Thurles Parade was opened, as is customary, by His Grace Archbishop Dermot Clifford, who this year must be congratulated, as he celebrates the 50th year of his priestly mission. Master of Ceremonies for the overall event was former Ursuline Teacher and Town Councillor Mrs Mai Quinn who introduced each of the Floats, as they passed the reviewing stand. Councillor Evelyn Nevin led this years ‘Judging Panel’ from the Reviewing Stand.
Singer Imelda May, Giovanni Trapattoni and several well know pirates were amongst some of the celebrities quietly in evidence, together with numerous schools and business establishments from within the town and from villages on the outer perimeters – to name but a few.
As our video shows Gardaí did arrest two Boru Stoves for loitering, otherwise the afternoon, crime-wise, was uneventful.
Thurles Camera Club members as usual were also out in force capturing images of this truly enjoyable and very colourful of local event.
All in all, despite the low temperatures, again a fantastic display this year and congrats must go to the organising committee and the weeks of hard work by all those who took part.
Ireland knew exactly what was needed this evening following England’s defeat of Italy by 52-11 in Rome in the RBS 6 Nations title this morning, forcing Ireland to either beat France or miss out on their 2014 Grand Slam title.
This evening however Ireland held on with gritted determination in a truly nail-biting finish, to narrowly beat France 22-20. This was Ireland’s first Six Nations Cup win since 2009, granting retiring player Brian O’Driscoll the perfect send off, in this his final test wearing an Irish green jersey. Their victory today was only Ireland’s second in the French Capital in 42 years.
France, despite their somewhat indifferent campaign this year to-date, came into the game with true determination. Early tough momentum and Maxime Machenaud landing two penalties, following infringements by Chris Henry and Dave Kearney, gave the French an early six-point lead.
France’s lead was to be short lived however as Ireland’s superior disciplined attacking organisation opened up just enough room for Sexton to make Ireland’s first contribution, brushing past Bastareaud to cross the line for the first Irish try of the game, but failing to convert his own score. France now stood 6-5 on the scoreboard.
Next Conor Murray manages to feed Andrew Trimble, who raced in for Ireland’s second try with Sexton making no mistake with the conversion and raising Ireland’s score to 12 against France’s 6. A cross-field kick by Tales, just five metres from the Irish line saw Yohan Huget rise above Dave Kearney, knocking the ball inward towards Brice Dulin, latter who made no mistake collecting and scoring, thus leading France into the interval with 13-12 ahead of Ireland, Machenaud having landed the conversion.
After withstanding early pressure from France in the second half, Dave Kearney grabbed a spilled ball which in time reached Sexton who found the gap to cross the French line untouched for his second try of the match and again making the conversion.
A further penalty from a ruck allowed Sexton to add 3 points making it 22-13; however Ireland was soon to lose Sexton with a little more than 10 minutes to play, when he was injured by the right elbow of a Bastareaud, as he attempted a break.
Dimitri Szarzewsi would now reward France’s continued tough momentum with a controversial try, latter which referee Steve Walsh declined to ask the TMO for an opinion. Scoreboard read Ireland 22 – France 20.
With just over one minute remaining, Ireland’s heart sank when the French No. 8 Damien Chouly scored in the right hand corner. But this try was checked by the TMO and found to be ‘clear and obvious,’ identifying a forward pass from the hands of French Captain Pascal Pape and was quickly disallowed.
Final score Ireland 22 – France 20, thus securing only Irelands second title in 29 years, but nevertheless a truly outstanding performance and completing a perfect finale to Brian O’Driscoll’s truly marvellous career in Irish Rugby.
My mate Paddy will never forget that St Patrick’s day, back in 1975. He was just aged 26 and I suppose if you asked me as a friend to describe his character, I would have to say; he is smart, reasonably good looking, a bit fond of the drink, but very good humoured; the sort of a guy any girl could bring home to meet the mother.
His then girlfriend Mary and himself had been dating at this time for well over a year, and indeed it was while on one of his famous drinking sessions that she had somehow cajoled him into a marriage proposal.
To be fair, it was while slightly intoxicated that Paddy had agreed in principal to this suggestion, however, on later more sober reflection he had admitted to me, privately that she might not be exactly his woman of final choice.
Now Paddy’s prospective little sister-in-law Ann was a totally different matter and he had often traded in the idea that she might be more suited to his, shall we say, active attentions.
Ann was only twenty-two, and always wore very tight seductive mini-skirts, same more suggestive of a broad belt, normally worn around the waist. Her choice of tight low-cut blouses, too, always reminded him of a trip he had taken that previous summer, to view that most scenic of areas in Tipperary, The Glen of Aherlow. Ann, so he claimed, would regularly appear and often bend down when he was near her. Images of that aforementioned picturesque valley nestling between Slievenamuck on one side and the Galtee Mountains on the other, with those sixteen miles of unspoilt countryside affording some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable, would immediately flash upon his inner eye. Sure as Paddy stated often, with obvious regret after that forth pint on a Saturday night; “She never carried on like that when she was hanging around anyone else, only me.”
On that particular fateful St Patrick’s afternoon back in 1975, just after a feed of his mothers bacon and cabbage, Paddy got a call. Out of the blue the lovely Ann phoned him, asking would he come over to check out the new wedding invitations that Mary had purchased. Ann was alone when he arrived and he was barely in the front door when she cuddled up close to him on the sofa. Then she began whispering to him that she had been entertaining, for some time, certain feelings and uncontrolled desires, if you understand, latter which she could no longer restrain. She told him that she wanted him just once, before he got married and became more fully committed to her older sister Mary.
Well, Paddy as you could imagine was in total shock and completely tongue tied. In the now hanging, deafening silence that followed, Ann began trailing her long pointed finger nails under Paddy’s close shaven chin. She began whispering in a quiet, yet breezy voice, words to the effect; “I’m going upstairs to my bedroom to slip into something more comfortable Paddy. Now if you want one last, mad, wild and final fling, well just come up in five minutes and give me a call.”
A stunned and shocked Paddy remained frozen to the spot, as he watched her slowly and teasingly ascend the wooden staircase. He was held there for a moment, her perfume still in his nostrils. Then summing up strength he never knew he possessed, he turned and bolted, making a beeline straight for the front door. On opening the door, he headed straight towards his old Volkswagen car.
As he fumbled with his car keys, there from the corner of his eye he suddenly caught a glimpse of movements emerging from behind some evergreen Golden Privet. When he fully focused, to his surprise there stood his entire future family; the Mother and Father-in-law and his soon to be wife Mary, all standing outside, all smiling and clapping their hands.
Paddy tried to control his heavy breathing and his rosy complexion of previous seconds now began to drain to a whiter more paler colour.
With tears in his eyes, Paddy’s soon to be father-in-law came forward and hugged him stated; “We are very happy that you have passed our test of honour. Mary’s mother and I couldn’t ask for a more faithful man for our daughter. Welcome, welcome to our family Paddy.”
As Paddy said to me, over a pint in Skehan’s Pub last night, the moral of that story is: “Always store your condoms in your car.”
A very happy St Patrick’s weekend to all our readers.
New charges have been filed against seven men, latter accused of terrorising a family during an aggravated burglary at the home of Mr Mark and Mrs Emma Corcoran at Burnchurch, Killenaule, Co Tipperary, on November 21st of last year. The Corcoran’s three daughters were in the house at the time of the incident and were recorded screaming on a 999 call made from the family home.
The seven men accused all appeared at Cashel Courthouse here in Co Tipperary yesterday in front of Judge Terence Finn, in relation to the first original charges of aggravated burglary.
The accused, who are all from Dublin city, were also been charged with false imprisonment of Mr Mark Corcoran during the incident; the possession of a handgun and a shotgun for the purposes of committing aggravated burglary; stealing a Subaru car on the night of the burglary in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny and stealing the Corcoran’s Kia Sorrento family car.
During that incident Mr Corcoran was assaulted and suffered a fractured eye socket and a broken nose. The seven men accused were later arrested by Gardaí, after fleeing in two vehicles, including the car owned by the family.
All accused were in custody last night after those who had been granted bail last year; namely Patrick Joyce, Michael McDonagh and Donal O’Hara, were refused further bail in relation to the new charges.
The men charged with the offences were; John Joyce aged 19, The Donaghies, Donaghmede, Dublin; Patrick Joyce aged 21, Beaumont Hall, Beaumont Woods, Dublin 9; Michael McDonagh aged 22, Tara Lawns, Belcamp Lane, Coolock, Dublin 17; Thomas Flynn aged19, Moatview Avenue, Coolock, Dublin 17; Donal O’Hara aged 21, Glin Park, Coolock, Dublin 17; Dean Byrne aged 21 of Cabra Park, Dublin 7 and Patrick Gately aged 26 of Primrose Grove, Darndale, Dublin 17.
The case has now been adjourned to Cashel District Court for next Wednesday, March 19th.
Garda crackdown promised over the St Patricks Bank Holiday weekend
Warning: On other Garda matters, please be warned Tipperary Gardaí will be out and about clamping down on drunk and those driving dangerously over this Saint Patrick’s weekend. People planning to spend the coming weekend celebrating our Patron Saint are being reminded to leave the “wheels” behind and walk or organise a safe lift.
So in the words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus in the once great TV American serial police drama “Hill Street Blues”- “Hey let’s be careful out there.”
North Tipperary County Council wishes to advise Thurles water consumers regarding a shut down of their water supply.
This shut down is due to the essential water upgrade works being carried out and the supply will only be shut off in the Thurles Town area from midnight to night (Thursday the 13th of March), until 6.00am on tomorrow morning (Friday14th of March).
It is unlikely that most households will notice any loss to this service due to overhead attic or other domestic storage tanks installed.
Consumers on the other hand should be alert to the fact that if water supplies are discovered as non existant, to remember to close all taps again, thus avoiding wastage or flooding when the supply returns in the early hours of tomorrow.
North Tipperary County Council and Irish Water wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result.