Mr Jim O’Regan reports on today’s ‘Hidden Tipperary’ tourism meeting.
Farney Castle, Co Tipperary.
A meeting of the Hidden Tipperary Tourism group was held today (Tuesday February 4th, 2014), at Farney Castle, convening at 11:00am. The attendance included Tom Noone (Chairperson), George Willoughby (P.R.O.) St. Mary’s Famine Museum), Cyril and Margie Cullen (Farney Castle), Nuala Ryan (Upperchurch Development Assoc.), Pat Slattery (Cormackstown Heritage Centre), Liam Ó Donnchú (Acting Secretary) and Jim O’Regan (Lár na Páirce).
Apologies: Una Ryan (Marketing Eye), Councillor Evelyn Nevin (North Tipperary Tourism), Johnny Enright (Thurles Sarsfields), David Morgan (Semple Stadium), Michael Long (Cabragh Wetlands) and Adam Tozer (Holycross Abbey).
Hosts of this mornings meeting, Mr Cyril and Mrs Margie Cullen both took the group on a tour of Farney Castle, before the meeting commenced. (A visit to this venue is Highly Recommended, I might add.)
The Chairperson began by first asking for ideas on how the group might further advance the marketing of itself. The group agreed that a brochure should be printed, in addition to the web-based promotion currently being undertaken. All agreed to provide the Hidden Tipperary website administration with information, both for use on the website itself and for the preparation of a new brochure. It was agreed to only include information that is relatively permanent and to keep information of a more temporary character for website use, where it can be more easily updated.
Members spoke of encouraging the use of local media and in particular highlighted the recent coverage by the “Tipperary Star Newspaper” which had come on board since the beginning, providing coverage of recent meetings. The use of radio and its willingness to air programmes about the group was also discussed. There was general agreement that the latter should be further pursued once the contents of a brochure had been prepared.
The Chairperson then asked if anyone had further information relating to bus tour operators. It was pointed out that Farney Castle had recently been added to the Marathon Tours brochure. However other tour organisers saw Thurles as a problematic place to visit, because of traffic difficulties and parking.
Chairperson Tom Noone encouraged the group to continue to promote Thurles as a central location, both within Tipperary and in Ireland, particularly as North and South Tipperary are soon to be united, while strongly highlighting past and recent personal observances.
It was pointed out that there were no Hotel or B&B representatives as yet among the group, and attendees were encouraged to talk to the Hotel, Restaurant and B&B sectors locally and encourage them to send contact details and other relevant information.
P.R.O. George Willoughby updated the group on efforts to bring the Derrynaflan Hoard back to Thurles in 2015 on a visit, (Marking the 35th anniversary of it’s finding). He reported that through the continuous efforts of Alan Kelly (Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport), a meeting had been convened with the Director and Assistant director of the National Museum. With space for the meeting kindly afforded in Ministers Kelly’s private office in Kildare Street, presentations by the Minister and himself had examined policy ideas with both assembled senior Museum Officials for some 80 minutes. During these discussions Minister Kelly whittled down many of the major issues which arose, with main important start off points being identified; e.g. (A) Suitability of possible identified and named venues, (B) Insurance costs & required security issues. Further discussions in relation to the latter will now be further investigated with recommendations expected to be forwarded by the newly appointed County Tipperary CEO Mr Joe MacGrath, together with North Tipperary Councillors and their official staff to the Minister & National Museum Officials. Venues suggested were The Source, Lár na Páirce and St Patrick’s College with a preference for the latter, due to current town traffic congestion and delays.
Chairman Tom Noone proposed that the next ‘Hidden Tipperary Tourism Meeting’ be held four weeks from today. In keeping with the already agreed principal, that by the group meeting in each other’s facilities, they would better learn the range and variety of current visitor assets. Mr Pat Slattery invited the group to hold the next meeting at the Cormackstown Heritage Centre, thus setting a venue for Tuesday, March 4th, at 11:00 am.
The meeting concluded at 12:30pm with the Chairman, on behalf of the group, thanking both Margie & Cyril Cullen for their excellent hospitality & the Tipperary Star Newspaper for their solid local support in promoting Hidden Tipperary’s tourism activities.
Support Hidden Tipperary Tourism Group – Our very economic futures may greatly depend on it.
“We will be judged not by our plans and aspirations but by what we have performed and carried to fruition.”
An Anniversary Mass for the late Very Rev Canon John Hayes (1887–1957), founder of Muintir na Tíre, will be celebrated in Bansha Parish Church on Friday February 7th next at 7.30pm. Canon Hayes was Parish Priest of Bansha/Kilmoyler Co Tipperary from April 1946 until his death. This Mass will mark the 57th Anniversary of his death.
History of Rev Canon John Hayes
Muintir Na Tíre was founded by Canon Hayes in 1937.
From its conception the three main and ever abiding aims of this organisation were: (A) The spirit of self-help; (B) The cultivation of community spirit; (C) The basic ideal of a unit of thought and understanding for the life of each rural parish. Included in these basic principle or ideals for Muintir Na Tire was that it should be based on the acceptance that all sections of society were equal and display at all times a spirit of complete neighbourliness within each community.
Canon John Hayes was born in a land league hut at Murroe, Co Limerick on November 11th, 1887. Five of Canon Hayes’s brothers and sisters had died before he himself had reached the tender age of seven years, these deaths caused by squalid living conditions. Canon John, a practical joker with a great sense of humour, was initially educated at the Jesuit College in Limerick and at the age of seventeen he began his studies for the priesthood here in St. Patrick’s College, Cathedral Street, Thurles. In 1907 he attended the Irish College in Paris and was finally ordained in 1913. In 1915 he was sent to Liverpool,England to minister, later moving back to became Chaplain to the Mercy nuns in Templemore, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
In 1925 he was moved to Ballybricken, a rather remote parish in east Limerick where he set up a branch of the Pioneers Total Abstinence Association (PTAA) in the adjoining parish. His own parish refused to support his PTAA efforts. In 1927 he was moved to Castleiney, Thurles, Co Tipperary and here his PTAA efforts were again accepted.
These early community experiences taught Canon Hayes that an organisation was very much needed to demonstrate strong leadership, which would support rural country folk. Then British Rule had down through the years, particularly following the Great Famine (1845-49), been systematic in the destruction of organised rural community life through past centralised systems of administration, (Minister Phil Hogan take note lest history repeat itself.).
Father Hayes, ignoring centralised Dublin administration, now sought to mould rural people together and so began his attempts to construct and identify possible rural industry and pressurise these same controlling centralised systems of administration.
These now attempts by him at identifying rural industry initially were aimed at the Angora Rabbit Scheme, in particular providing fur for the lining of jackets used by aeroplane crews. During WW2 thousands of jobs were created providing turf. Tobacco and Rhubarb growing became small but profitable industries. To these same ends educational lectures and ‘Rural Weeks’ were organised. There were many successes and as in so many such ventures some failure also, however rural communities began once more to have a faith and confidence in themselves and Muintir na Tire came to be allied quickly with this growing progressiveness.
Parish meetings were often held in freezing school classrooms using only the light of a ‘spitting’ candle. Representatives were chosen and sent to Dublin to obtain telephone kiosks for remote rural parishes and to demand better rural water schemes. New ‘Community Halls’ began to spring up and necessary repairs to almost derelict local schoolhouses began to be implemented in every small village and hamlet.
The biggest achievement for Muintir na Tíre however was possibly the implementation of Ireland’s rural electrification scheme, began in the early 1950′s. Latter was the process of bringing electrical power to the rural, impoverished and remote areas of Ireland.
Note: All Muintir na Tíre units and members, together with the public are welcome & invited to attend this special Mass in Bansha Parish Church on Friday February 7th next at 7.30pm.
US diplomat Dr Richard Nathan Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations since July 2003, is to receive the 2013 Tipperary International Peace Award. This award will be presented to Dr Haass by the Tipperary Peace Convention later this year.
Dr Haass recently chaired talks here in Northern Ireland on the issues of flags, parades and the legacy of northern Ireland troubles.
Although the talks broke down on New Year’s Eve without an agreement, it is acknowledged that considerable progress was achieved particularly on issues dealing with northern Ireland’s past.
In a statement, organisers of the award stated it had acknowledged “the great work undertaken by Dr Haass in the talks process, which has laid the foundations and created an environment for a more peaceful and prosperous future.”
Responding to news of his award, Dr Haass stated that he viewed the award as, quote; “a tribute to the many people across Northern Ireland who have done so much to promote genuine reconciliation.”
Dr Haass went on to say; “I have been fortunate to meet and work with numerous people dedicated to Northern Ireland’s future, and am gratified to be recognised alongside such individuals as Bill Clinton, George Mitchell, Mary and Martin McAleese, Robin Eames, and the others who have dedicated themselves to the cause of peace in Northern Ireland and beyond.”
Past recipients of this peace award include former South African president Nelson Mandela, Live Aid organiser Bob Geldof, wounded Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzai and Afghan human rights activist, Dr Sima Samar.
Save a life, don’t risk your own.
Tipperary Ógra Fianna Fáil are urging young people to save a life by donating a pint of blood, instead of risking their own safety by participating in the latest online craze known as ‘Neknomination.’
Chairman, Cllr. Gerard Fogarty, explained, “We are calling on young people to think twice before participating in this latest online craze and to donate a pint of blood instead of necking a pint of alcohol.”
“It has become clear that this game has spiralled out of control. More and more young people are risking their own safety to outdo each other with increasingly outrageous drinking scenarios. This game only serves to normalise binge drinking and reinforce the dangerous message that young people need to get drunk to enjoy themselves.
We are calling on people to drink responsibly and to consider spending the time donating a pint of blood to help save a life, rather than risk their own safety by downing a pint of alcohol simply to impress others. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service regularly call for more donations and visit Thurles and other sites across Tipperary every 3 months. It doesn’t take long, and can save someone’s life. This is an opportunity to turn something destructive into something more positive.”
If Facebook wants to turn this latest disaster into something more positive, it will work to spread the more positive message: “Don’t neck a pint, donate a pint,” concluded Thurles Town Cllr. Fogarty.
Enthusiastic Thurles fans of the American country music singer/songwriter Garth Brooks, queued all night at Thurles Shopping Centre, in the hope of acquiring those much prized tickets for his three Croke Park gigs this summer.
On January 20th, of this year, at a press conference in Croke Park, Dublin, details of two concerts for July 2014 were released. The singer flew into Dublin to make the announcement in person and that he would be returning in July 2014. These shows, two special performances before his worldwide tour due to start later this year, are called The Garth Brooks Comeback Special Event. Subsequently, a third date has now been added with 240,000 tickets sold out within 90 minutes after going on sale.
Our video hereunder is dedicated to all those Tipperary fans that due to unemployment and emigration, won’t be around to share in these gigs.
In excess of 10,000 people queued for days around the country at Ticketmaster outlets, marking the first time that an artist has sold out three dates at Croke Park in one just day. Aiken Promotions confirm that in 52 years of their staging business, this is the fastest selling concert they have ever been involved in.
Thurles was no exception, with star struck fans staying up all night to be guaranteed a ticket for this major music event beginning on Friday July 25th of this summer.
Some tout tickets for these concerts have already been put up for sale on auction site eBay at four times their original price. The website Done Deal state it is removing adverts on its site for all Garth Brooks tickets being sold over their true face value.
Amongst Brooks numerous music awards are 1 Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song, 2 Grammy Awards out of 14 nominations, 5 World Music Awards, 8 Academy of Country Music Awards and 7 American Music Awards including “Artist of the ’90s” which he won in 2000.