Billy Mulcahy, a local middle aged Thurles doctor, had just finished examining his old friend and patient Tom MacCarthy and had concluded that the latter was in remarkably good physical health for a man of his age.
Tom, an eighty nine year old sheep farmer, residing in the hills above the very scenic, rural village of Upperchurch, near Thurles, had lost his eighty year old wife some eighteen months previously; she had run off with the newly retired village postman.
Now, as you no doubt are aware, doctors are not the kind of people who get involved in village gossip, but from an overheard conversation, circulating in his local pub, it was being whispered that perhaps this same Tom MacCarthy was about to purchase her replacement, in no less a form than a Russian ‘Mail Order’ bride.
Being a good friend and wondering if this was indeed the true reason for Tom seeking this sudden physical examination of his overall health, the doctor asked Tom if there was any truth in this now rapidly circulating rumour.
Taking the time to adjust his trouser braces before pulling on his wellington boots, Tom assured the doctor that the rumour was in fact true and that plans were already at an advanced stage, with his new Russian mail order bride arriving at Thurles railway station on the following Friday afternoon.
Aware of other well founded rumours which stated that Tom hadn’t ever spent a penny of his Ewe Premium grant aided cheques from Brussels over the past ten years, Doctor Mulcahy, fearing Tom had acquired a ‘female gold digger,’ inquired as to the age of this new mail order Russian bride. With a knowing nod and a wink, Tom stated, ‘Doctor don’t worry, I’ve checked her out; the one I bought, she’ll be twenty-one this coming November’.
There was silence in the surgery for a few moments as the good doctor caught future flashes on his inner eye of the inevitable age problems which lay ahead for his elderly patient. Being a wise general practitioner, Dr. Mulcahy could see that the future sexual appetite, alone, of such a very young woman, could never be easily satisfied by this eighty nine year old hill dweller.
Now, anxious to ensure that his old friend’s remaining years continued to remain happy, Dr Mulcahy tactfully suggested that Tom should perhaps consider getting in a ‘hired hand’ to help him out on his remote sheep farm, fully realising that nature was bound to take its inevitable course some cold winters night, in this remote picturesque location in the hills.
Tom also agreed that this was a good idea and gave an undertaking that he would insert an advert in the local Tipperary Star newspaper that very same afternoon, in the hope of obtaining someone who would be happy to work on a low-hour contract basis.
Tom returned to the hills and it was some four months later before Dr Mulcahy would again encounter his patient, walking in front of his two sheep dogs, down Liberty Square, here in Thurles.
‘How’s the new partner settling in?,’ the doctor couldn’t wait to ask.
‘Begod doctor she’s feeling good – she’s pregnant,’ Tom chirped back in reply.
The doctor smiled inwardly, happy in the thought that his former sage advice had most likely worked out according to ‘expectations’.
‘And how’s your hired hand getting on?’ Dr Mulcahy continued.
‘Great doctor,’ replied a smiling Tom. Then lowering his voice he declared, ‘Between you and me doctor, all the signs at the moment indicate that she’s pregnant too.’
It may have something to do with the pure air in those hills above Upperchurch Dr Mulcahy now believes, but scientists from the Harvard Medical School are continuing to investigate.
It is with great personal sadness I learned today of the death, which took place yesterday (Saturday 16th May 2015), of Mr William Gaynor, Monadreen, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Mr Gaynor’s passing is deeply regretted by his loving wife Kathleen, son Joseph, daughters Miriam, Dervill and Teresa, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, brothers Noel and John Joe, sister Noreen, sisters-in-law, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and many close friends.
Mr Gaynor’s body will repose at the residence of his daughter, Mrs Miriam O’Sullivan, Knockeen, The Heath, Thurles, on Monday May 18th from 3.00pm to 6.45pm, arriving at the Cathedral of the Assumption [Map Ref.] at 7.30pm.
Requiem Mass will take place on Tuesday morning at 11.00am, with burial immediately afterwards in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Moyne Road, Thurles.
Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.
His Grace, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly.
A series of opinion polls published today indicate that while the ‘Yes’ side appear to be leading in the ‘Marriage Referendum” campaign, these polls also suggest a narrowing of the gap on the ‘No’ side within recent weeks; with more and more voters indicating that they are either truly undecided or are fully committed to voting ‘No’.
Eligibility for Election to the Office of President of Ireland Referendum
With regard to the Referendum on the eligibility for election to the office of President from 35 years to 21 years, recent polls taken appear to indicate an expected ‘No’ result.
Note: Both Referenda will take place on Friday 22nd May 2015.
Today, across a number of Roman Catholic Dioceses and Archdiocese (Archdiocese – Cashel & Emly, Dublin together with Dioceses – Galway, Killala, and Elphin), letters were being read out at Masses in which bishops are arguing against the proposed change to the definition of marriage in the constitution.
Here in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emily, His Grace Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly has stated that while there is no desire on his part or that of other bishops to alienate or denigrate any one person or group within Irish society, many within the church believes that marriage between a male and female is an institution that is fundamental to human life and the overall well being of society.
In his letter His Grace, Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly states:-
“I write this letter – my first as bishop of the archdiocese of Cashel and Emly – at a moment of singular importance for our country. In a few days those eligible to vote will have the opportunity to express their preferences in two referendums on Marriage and the age for Presidential Candidates.
Earlier this year the Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral statement titled “The Meaning of Marriage“. As in all modern societies there are varying and different opinions about every important issue. Ireland is no different. However, to change a fundamental article of our constitution is a serious and significant event. For that reason we have urged that all people reflect carefully on how they vote.
Marriage, as understood by the great religious traditions of the world, is that of the union between a man and a woman. This is enshrined I believe in the natural order. As Catholics our understanding of marriage is taken from human experience but also from the Word of God as revealed in the Bible and the tradition of the Church.
There is no desire, on my part or that of the bishops, to alienate or denigrate any person or group of persons in our society. We uphold the dignity of each person. And we also hold faithfully to what we have received. We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is an institution that is fundamental to human life and the well-being of society.
This referendum on marriage is an opportunity for every person to reflect and perhaps to rediscover the richness and uniqueness of marriage based on the union of a man and a woman created to complement each other. It is an opportunity for catholic married couples to strengthen their witness to a life based on the sacrament of marriage. In the first chapter of the Book of Genesis we read that from the beginning, God created human beings in His own image – ‘male and female’ – and commissioned them to ‘be fruitful’. Marriage is willed by God, and instituted and sanctified by God to be the way in which God’s work of creation continues in the world. The gift of life, which flows from the intimate union of a man and woman in marriage, is a gift from God Himself.
Pope Francis reminded us that marriage is a ‘noble vocation’ and he urged all of us to care for the ‘covenant’ of marriage between man and woman.
Should this amendment be passed it will be difficult to speak about marriage as it has been traditionally understood. This proposal, if it is incorporated into Art. 41 of the Constitution will introduce a profound change to our understanding of marriage, of the family and of parenthood. That is why it is important to reflect very carefully on what is the best response to the proposal of the referendum.
The referendum will be held just a few days before the Church celebrates the Feast of Pentecost. I ask those who are concerned about our country and the importance of her institutions to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the people discern how they will vote.
The second Referendum – to reduce the age at which candidates are eligible for election to the office of President from 35 to 21 also merits careful consideration.
Our young people are our future. They are the generation that we look to for energy, initiative and ideas for our country. Young people contribute much to our society many are particularly concerned for the less well-off and for the care of the created world. They are called on to make important decisions from early on in their lives and show themselves very capable in many areas. They are an invaluable part of our society.
On 22nd May, I urge all those with the right to vote to exercise it. Both Referenda are important and I urge you to participate fully in the democratic process. Our right to vote in a constitutional referendum is at the heart of democracy and a right that we should cherish, guard and exercise.
May the Holy Spirit guide each one of us as we come to a decision on what way to vote”.
Prayer for Married Couples
“We thank you, O God, for the love you have implanted in our hearts.
May it inspire us to be kind in our words and actions, considerate of feelings and concerned with each other’s feelings and wishes.
Help us to be understanding and forgiving of human weakness and failings.
Bless our marriage, O God, with peace and happiness and make our love fruitful for your glory and our joy both here and in eternity.” (The Family Prayer Book)
Signed: Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly, (May 2015).
Three men, named as Mr Seamus McGrane (aged 59), Mr Donal Ó Coisdealbha (aged 23) and Mr Dylan Cahill (aged 22), have been remanded in custody, having appeared before a Saturday sitting of the non-jury Special Criminal Court yesterday.
All three men, together with other serious charges, were accused of holding membership of an unlawful organisation.
One of the above named, Mr Dylan Cahill, with an address at 102 Lower Irishtown, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, was charged with the membership of an unlawful organisation, latter styling itself the Irish Republican Army (IRA), otherwise Oglaigh na hEireann.
Mr Cahill was also charged with possession of an .380 semi-automatic pistol, together with four rounds of ammunition and two improvised explosive devices, commonly referred to as ‘pipe bombs’, at Sradrine, Glenfarne, Co Leitrim, on May 15th last.
Mr Justice Paul Butler, Judge Alison Lindsay and Judge Flann Brennan, all presiding at the non-jury court, were informed by Detective Garda Mark Benson that he had arrested Mr Cahill at Cluneen, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim on Friday May 15th last and that the arrested man had made no reply to the charges.
Discussing bail arrangements for the three men before the court, arresting members of the Gardaí stated that they would not be available on Tuesday next, as they would be otherwise heavily engaged, due to the visit by Prince Charles and his second wife Camilla Parker Bowles (Duchess of Cornwall), to Ireland.
The Department of Justice has announced an expansion of Garda Youth Diversion Projects to ten new locations around Ireland and will include Nenagh, here in north Co. Tipperary. Half of the new locations named are in Co. Dublin, with two in Kildare and one each in Limerick, Cork and Tipperary .
Garda Youth Diversion Projects are all community based and are targeted to support youth development projects which seek to divert young people away from becoming either involved, or indeed further involved, in anti-social and criminal conduct.
Some €2.8m is to be now allocated from the existing ‘Dormant Accounts Disbursement Scheme’ and 16 additional workers nationally will now be appointed to expand on already existing projects.
The new funding announced today will further support An Garda Síochána in their continuing proactive efforts to work closely with young people; while the funding released will enhance a range of social inclusion measures available to support young people, latter coming to the attention of An Garda Síochána, particularly in areas of economic and social disadvantage, thus deterring young people from involving themselves in criminal activities.