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Irish Ambassador To UK Has Close Tipperary Roots

Mr Adrian O’Neill, whose mother, the late Breda O’Neill (née Bourke), originated from the area of Milestone, some 22km or 13mls from Thurles, has recently been officially appointed the 17th Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Ambassador O’Neill’s, mother left Co. Tipperary for Dublin back in the 1940’s, before meeting and marrying Tom O’Neill, latter a native of Co. Longford.  Ambassador O’Neill, himself, is married to wife Aisling and they have two children, Tomás and Aoife.

Born November 6th 1957; Ambassador O’Neill’s grandparents (namely Dan Bourke, latter who hailed from Clareen, Ballycahill and Mary his wife), are both buried in the cemetery situated in the picturesque hamlet of Ballycahill, Thurles.  The Ambassador indeed can recall vividly as a young boy, spending enjoyable holiday periods with his late uncle in law; former Garda and later Revenue Official Mr John Haverty, Castlemeadows, Thurles, and thus becoming well acquainted with his numerous rural relatives residing in Co. Tipperary.

Curriculum Vitae
Ambassador O’Neill was educated at Trinity College Dublin, (B.A. Mod. Honours), before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs, in October of 1983 and appointed Third Secretary at HQ (Economic and Political Divisions), holding the post from 1983-1986.

From 1986 through to 1989 he held the post of Third Secretary, at the Irish Embassy in Madrid, before being appointed Third Secretary at HQ (Anglo-Irish Division), from 1989 to 1992.

Appointed Vice Consul, Boston, 1992-1993, he became First Secretary at HQ (Anglo-Irish Division), from 1993 to 1996 and First Secretary, Embassy Washington, from 1996 to 2000.

Posts held, since the start of the 21st century, include Counsellor at HQ, 2000 to 2005 (Anglo-Irish Division); Counsellor in Corporate Services Division (Head of Finance and Management Services) 2005 to  2006; Assistant Secretary (Head of Corporate Services) 2006 to 2009; Director General (Anglo-Irish Division) 2009 to 2010; Secretary General to former President Mrs Mary McAleese, and current President Mr Michael D. Higgins, from 2010 to 2014; and finally, Second Secretary General, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Ireland, UK and Americas Division), June 2014 to August 2017; before being appointed Ambassador of Ireland to the United Kingdom, in September 2017.

Ambassador O’Neill replaces the outgoing ambassador to Britain Mr Dan Mulhall; the latter who has been appointed Ireland’s new Ambassador to the United States, in turn replacing Anne Anderson who now has retired.

While Brexit presently dominates serious dialogue between Ireland, as a member European Union, and Britain, Ambassador O’Neill takes on his diplomatic duties during a crucial period in both countries future, and we wish him every success in his new placement.


Death Of Mary Byrne, Glenbane, Holycross, Thurles

It was with great sadness we learned of the death today, Wednesday 4th October 2017, of Mrs Mary Byrne (née Donnelly), Glenbane, Holycross, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Predeceased by her husband Paddy, sons Patrick and Joseph;  Mrs Byrne passed away peacefully at home, in her 97th year, while surrounded by her loving family and friends.

Her Passing is most deeply regretted by her daughters Eilish, Anne, Bernadette, Siobhan, Carmel and Shuneen; sons Michael, Liam and Donncha; all her grandchildren; great grandchildren; sons-in-law; daughters-in-law; sisters Johanna, Julia, Rita and Statia; brothers Jim and Dan; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nieces; nephews; extended relatives and friends.

Funeral Arrangements
The earthly remains of Mrs Byrne will repose at Hugh Ryan’s Funeral Home, Slievenamon Road, Thurles, on tomorrow, Thursday, 5th October, from 5.00pm to 8.00pm, to arrive at Holycross Abbey, Holycross, Thurles, at 9.00pm.

Requiem Mass will be held on Friday, 6th October at 11.30am, followed by interment immediately afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a h-anam dílis.


Death Of Paddy Finnegan, Upperchurch, Thurles

It was with great sadness we learned of the death yesterday, Tuesday 3rd October 2017, of Mr Paddy Finnegan, Knockalough, Upperchurch, Thurles, Co. Tipperary; Rathangan, Co. Kildare and Ballybunion, Co. Kerry.

Mr Finnegan passed away while in the loving care of the Matron and Staff of Padre Pio Nursing Home, Holycross, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Pre-deceased by his wife Maisie and his daughter Mary Horgan; his passing is most deeply regretted by his loving daughter Catriona Quinn; sons Patrick and John; grandchildren Natasha, Michelle, Gerard, Sarah, Michael, Shannon and Rebecca; great-grandchild Jake; son-in-law Paddy; daughter-in law Annette; nephews; nieces; extended relatives and friends.

Funeral Arrangements
The earthly remains of Mr Finnegan will repose at O’Dwyer’s Funeral Home, Upperchurch, Thurles, this evening, Wednesday from 6.00pm until 7.00pm.

Removal will take place on Thursday morning to Rathdaire Church, Ballybrittas, Co Laois, for funeral Mass at 12.30pm, followed by interment immediately afterwards in Emo Cemetery.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.


Tipperary Road Death On M8 Motorway

A male, aged 44 years, the driver of a motor vehicle, has been killed when he accidentally collided with a concrete column here in South Co Tipperary.

The only occupant of the motor vehicle, who has as yet has not been named, collided with the concrete structure just after 3.00pm yesterday afternoon, as he was travelling southbound, past Junction 7, on the M8 motorway, in the town-land of Ballyknock, Cashel, Co. Tipperary.

The driver was later pronounced dead at the scene and his body was taken to Waterford Regional Hospital, where a post-mortem will take place today.

The roadway which later reopened, was closed for a time yesterday, as Garda Forensic Collision Investigators carried out a thorough investigation.

However, Gardaí are still appealing for anyone who may have knowledge regarding the incident, to contact them at Cashel Garda Station, Tel: (062) 75840, or the Garda Confidential Telephone Line Tel: 1800 666 111, or indeed any Garda station.


Believe It Or Not, Today Was International Day Of Non-Violence

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”
“Violence is the weapon of the weak, non-violence that of the strong.”
“A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty”.

[Quotes made during the life of Mahatma Gandhi.]

Looking at the behaviour our planet on just today alone, it is difficult to contemplate that, yes, today Monday, October 2nd, is the International Day of Non-violence, in honour of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi in 1942 (Picture Dinodia Photos/Getty Images)

The once leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule, Gandhi was born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on October 2nd, 1869 and was assassinated on January 30th 1948, in his 79th year, by a Hindu nationalist, one Nathuram Godse, latter who had links with the extremist right-wing Hindu Mahasabha political party. Gandhi, alas, died when his assassin fired three bullets from a 9mm Beretta pistol into his chest at point-blank range.

The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, on today Oct. 2nd 2017, is commemorated as Gandhi Jayanti, (meaning Gandhi Jubilee or festival) an official national holiday celebrated in India, usually by prayer meetings, commemorative ceremonies in different cities, in colleges, local government institutions and socio-political institutions. Painting and essay competitions are conducted as projects in schools and communities, encouraging discussion on a non-violent way of life.

On June 7, 1893, while travelling from Durban to Pretoria, Gandhi was asked to leave the first-class compartment on a train and move to the van compartment, despite having purchased a first-class ticket. When he refused, he was physically thrown from the carriage. This incident transformed Gandhi from the extremely shy, struggling barrister into a political activist, who would from that time go on to oppose all racial discrimination.

Likewise, while working in South Africa, Gandhi again faced discrimination, because of the colour of his skin. He was not allowed to sit with European passengers in a stagecoach and was told he had to sit on the floor next to the driver. He was then beaten when he refused. Indians during that time were not allowed to walk on public footpaths in South Africa, which led to him being kicked into a gutter by a police officer, for daring to walk near a house.

In yet another occasion, he was thrown off a train at Pietermaritzburg, having refusing to leave the first-class compartment. Here in protest he remained sitting in the train station, shivering all night, seriously considering whether he should return to India, or protest in support of his human rights. Thankfully he chose the latter and was allowed to board the train next day.

Known with the great respect as the “Father of the Nation” in India, Gandhi went on to play a pioneering role in India’s struggle for independence, emerging as a global icon of non-violent protest.

In the words of Dr Martin Luther King; “Gandhi was inevitable. If humanity is to progress, he is inescapable. We may ignore him at our own risk.”

Surely today these prophetic words, by Dr King, regarding Gandhi, must reverberate across the world, in light of today and other more recent happenings.