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It’s International Miss Macra Festival Time Again

International Miss Macra press launch, which was held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, last weekend.

The 46th International Miss Macra Festival 2017

This year Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra na Feirme club will celebrate the 46th anniversary of the International Miss Macra festival, to be held over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this coming August Bank Holiday weekend 2017.

Once again, this year’s festival will see girls travelling from all over the country and beyond, here to Thurles in Co. Tipperary, to compete for the honour of being crowned International Miss Macra 2017; thus succeeding the much admired 2016 winner Miss Sinead Guiney from Co. Cork.

This year again the festival will be sticking with its initial roots; remaining in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, with one new added venue on Friday night, centred in the Clonoulty community. Such is the high calibre of available venues in Thurles, that the festival this year will take place in two separate establishments both offering the very best that Thurles and Co. Tipperary has to offer e.g. ‘Coffey’s of Stouke’ on the Friday night, ‘The Dome’, Semple Stadium on Saturday and the magnificent family-run ‘Anner Hotel’ on the Sunday night and over the weekend.

Once again we welcome the tremendous support by the Anner Hotel, (Conference and Leisure Centre), latter awarded a 4 Star venue by Fáilte Ireland, which will be our primary location for this year’s ‘welcoming reception’, ‘private interviews’ and gala banquet’.  The hotel, situated on private grounds with manicured gardens is without doubt a truly beautiful, pristine location for this event, with the added bonus that its owners, the Maher brothers, are lifelong supporters of Macra na Feirme and can be thanked for facilitating the return of this festival to Thurles.

This year again Thurles will see young ladies travelling from all over Ireland and from abroad, in the hope of following in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Miss Sinead Guiney (Avondhu, Co. Cork, Club).

The festival will kick-start on Friday August 4th with contestants meeting the festival committee in the Anner Hotel, Thurles.  Friday afternoon also offers contestants that rare chance to take a personal tour of the world famous Coolmore Stud Farm, followed by lunch in the Anner Hotel renowned restaurant.


Pictured L – R: Miss Josephine O’Dwyer, Miss Sinead Guiney (International Miss Macra 2016) and Miss Aileen Sheehan, all judged winners at the 45th International Miss Macra 2016 Festival’s Gala Banquet, held in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, last year.

Next the contestants will take part in a ‘Zumba Class’ in Clonoulty Community Hall, where contestants, host families and local people will get the chance to ‘meet and greet’ our guests; latter a long-standing tradition of this International festival.
The Friday night will be comprised of a Charity Traditional music night which allows the contestants and supporters to let their hair down and enjoy live music from the best musicians in the area, and in what will be the most enjoyable of events. Doors will open at 9:30pm sharp, with details regarding tickets available on our website.

Saturday morning heralds an intense morning for the contestants, as they must rise early and prepare for their private interviews in front of a three-person judging panel. This panel has been given the difficult task of selecting, just one young lady from the many contestants; the winner to be crowned “International Miss Macra 2017”.

The judges for the 2017 competition this year are Mrs Joan Pollard Carew, Mr Declan Ryan and a new judge, as yet to be named, joining us this year from Radio Spin South West.  Joan Pollard Carew is representing Michael Carew Jewellers, Friar Street, Thurles, the main sponsor of the festival. Not only is Joan’s husband the main sponsor of the festival but Joan is herself a published poet and is widely known nationally in Irish Art and Irish Dancing circles. Joan and her husband also contribute greatly to the festival in terms of invaluable support, time and advice. Declan Ryan, who has held every known post of responsibility on the International Miss Macra Festival committee and also currently holds the title of President of the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra club, completes the committee. We are delighted this year to be partnering with Spin South West Radio for the entire event with DJ’s and presenters filling the roles of adjudicator and MC for the weekend’s activities.

Saturday evening’s Cabaret will take place in the Dome, Semple Stadium, Thurles, where the contestants will be interviewed on stage (two at a time), by our interviewer from Spin SW Radio.  This year, the interviews will be followed by live music from ‘The Waxies’ to which the contestants, their supporters and all those attending, can dance the night away.

Sunday morning starts with the contestants attending Mass at Clonoulty Parish Church. The choir accompanying this ceremony is comprised annually of members of Clonoulty Rossmore Macra and members of the local community. Following Mass, the contestants then take part in a family fun field day, in the Clonoulty G.A.A grounds. This enjoyable event is a mixture between a Macra Field Day and a School Sports Day. Here the contestants will have to show their worth by participating in many country-inspired activities. All this will be followed by a barbecue, (weather permitting), which will be cooked by local butcher Mr Joe Hammersley.

Sunday night is the International Miss Macra Gala Banquet in the Anner Hotel; truly the highlight of this Festival. To begin, all the contestants plus their escorts are photographed, before the champagne reception at 6.00pm. The contestants, their handsome escorts, the invaluable host-families, various supporters and Macra and non-Macra members will all sit down to enjoy a delicious five course meal.

The meal will be followed by various speeches, live music by “Silver Dollar” and dancing. At the enchanting hour of 12.00 midnight, silence will descend on the Anner Ballroom as anticipation reaches climax point; when the winner of the 2017 International Miss Macra Festival will be crowned.

As the festival now draws to a close, the entire ballroom will dance the night away, well into the early hours of Monday morning.

This event is sure to be yet another International Miss Macra festival to remember for all who make the ‘Trip to Thurles’, Co. Tipperary for this upcoming August Bank Holiday weekend. The committee of International Miss Macra look forward to seeing you all here and are more than willing and ready to give you a true taste of Tipperary hospitality and a weekend you will truly never forget.

So if we have left you wanting to know more, find us on Facebook, on Twitter or check out the Miss Macra Website for all the latest up-to-date information. If you require any further details regarding what is guaranteed to be an unforgettable weekend or if you would like to book tickets; you can contact Mr Donnacha Ryan (Festival Chairperson), on Mobile 085-7771859.

So don’t delay, book your weekend ticket, pack your dancing shoes and hit the road to Thurles, in Co. Tipperary for this August Bank Holiday weekend – it’s not a long way.


Protect Children From Questionable Online Content

For those of our readers, parents, who have young children; latter who are beginning for the first time to access ‘Personal Computers’ (PC’s) or ‘Laptops’, you may wish to take note regarding the following.

In an effort to halt the viewing, by young minds, of shall we say certain questionable content online, there is an alternative; its name is KidRex.org; a Google powered, kid friendly, search engine and an alternative to the more widely used Mozilla Firefox.

This most certainly should become an alternative, particularly for students in schools which rightly encourage young people on how to correctly make use of the internet. Here they can learn how to locate online information, without the unremitting worry by teachers and parents, regarding what young minds may accidentally stumble upon.

KidRex combines Google’s Safe Search with their own database of questionable sites, locking everything into child appropriate searches, while maintaining its own database of inappropriate websites.

You are advised to check regularly to insure that KidRex remains up and running, thus ensuring that your children have the best web surfing experience possible.

Important Note: To ensure that the young people in your care are protected, it will be necessary to make KidRex.org your ‘default browser’ on all your PC’s and Laptops which you allow them to access. To do this, please follow the these 3 simple instructions:-

(1) Open your ‘Menu’ (See Image above  –  Find three parallel flat lines positioned top right of your Google search panel, shown here above in a red box), by clicking left with your Mouse.

(2) Find an icon marked ‘Options’ (Dead Centre) and activate same, also by left clicking with mouse.

(3) The page which now opens will be headlined ‘General’, (Again see image above). Next copy and paste the following link http://www.kidrex.org/ into the second text panel, clearly marked Home Page, thus removing link http://www.google.ie/.

Do nothing else; simply close the page and your default search engine should now remain KidRex.org on that particular appliance.  To change it back, simply reverse this simple procedure at any time.

Happy, Safe Surfing everyone.


Tipperary Book Place In All-Ireland Hurling Semi-Final

Final score Tipperary 0-28 (28 pts) – Clare 3-16 (22 pts)

Current Liam MacCarthy Cup holders Tipperary recorded a 6 points win over Clare yesterday with a superb exhibition of open play point scoring from John McGrath, rightly declared “Man-of-the-Match”.

Tipperary were ahead by six points up to midway in the first half, but Clare refused to concede; fighting back to draw level, scoring two goals (6 pts).

Nevertheless, Tipperary were leading 0-16 to 2-5 (11 pts) at half-time, after out-scoring Clare by 5 points in the closing ten minutes.

Tipperary started the second half showing both character and determination, but despite their efforts, saw their two-goal margin cut away to just one point within minutes of the finish.

Holding their determination however Tipperary responded with a further five points, before Clare substitute Cathal Mcinerney rifled home a further late goal.

During the match, superb marksman John McGrath was on target, a magnificent six times, operating from open play, while Seamus Callanan struck home 4 points from open play and a further 3 from frees.  Noel McGrath and John O’Dwyer each contributed 4 points, with Patrick Maher contributing 2 points, while M. Breen, S. Kennedy, B. Maher, S. O’Brien, and J. Forde all added one each.

Tipperary Team: D. Mooney; D Maher; T. Hamill; J. Barry; S. Kennedy; R. Maher; Padraig Maher; B. Maher; M. Breen; N. McGrath; Patrick Maher; D. McCormack; J. O’Dwyer; S. Callanan, and J. McGrath.

Substitutions: S. O’Brien for J. Barry; J. Forde for M. Breen; N. O’Meara for J. O’Dwyer, and S. O’Brien for S. Callanan.


Death Of John Hayde, late of Ballinure, Co. Tipperary

It was with great sadness we learned of the death yesterday, Friday 21st July 2017, of Mr John Hayde, Teadies, Enniskeane, Co. Cork and late of Ballinure, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Mr Hayde passed away peacefully at his home, in Teadies, Enniskeane, Co. Cork.

Pre-deceased by his brother Tommy; the passing of Mr Hayde will be most deeply regretted by his beloved wife Lena (née Lordan); his devoted children, Sean, Debra, Deirdre and Denise; grandchildren Stephen, Cian, Lauryn, Rachel and Jack; sons-in-law Jerry and Michael and Mairead; sisters-in-law; brothers-in-law; nieces; nephews; extended relatives; neighbours and his many friends.

Funeral Arrangements
The earthly remains of Mr Hayde will repose at his home in Teadies on this evening Saturday (22nd) from 5.00pm until Rosary at 8.30pm. Reception Prayers on Sunday in the Church of The Immaculate Conception, Enniskeane at 6.30pm and reposing until 8.00pm.

Requiem Mass on Monday at 12.00 noon, followed by interment immediately afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.


Death Of Tipperary Born Trade Unionist Mary Turner MBE. CBE.

It is regret we report the passing of Mrs Mary Turner, the long-standing president of the General, Municipal, Boilermakers and Allied Trade Union [GMB Union] and British Labour Party executive member, who died on Wednesday last, July 19th 2017 at the age of 79 years.

Regarded as a giant within union circles, the former dinner lady from London had been ill since 2010, but still remained active at her post as President, chairing the GMB’s annual conference in Plymouth just last month.

Born in Co. Tipperary, Ms Turner was educated here in Thurles. At the age of twelve years, her family made the move to northern England, and later to the Kilburn area of north west London, where she continued her education at Carlton Vale Secondary Modern in Kilburn.

She began work when she was just sixteen, at Jackson’s Tailors on Oxford Street as a trainee bookkeeper, also joining the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers. She married her husband Denny, just six weeks after they first met, spending 59 years together before his eventual death in 2015. During their marriage she took time out from work to bring up her two children, Denise and John, reverting back into employment as a dinner lady in Brent in 1970.

She recruited many of her colleagues into the General and Municipal Workers’ Union, hoping to improve their pay and conditions, while campaigning for free school meals for all pupils, having watched the stigma of some less well off students forced to queue separately for free meals.

Turner a renowned anti-fascist campaigner was active in the Labour Party, and engaged in a wide variety of political activities from the 1970’s onwards, including opposition to the National Front and in orchestrating and organising the catering for the People’s March for Jobs in 1983. In 1989, when some party members in Brent East tried to deselect Ken Livingstone, Turner was one of two candidates to stand against him, although ultimately Livingstone was comfortably reselected.  She was a candidate for the Labour nomination for the seat again in 2000, after Livingstone was expelled from the party, but on that occasion lost out to Paul Daisley.

She was elected to the National Executive Committee of the party in 1996, and was the Chair of the Labour Party in 2004. Turner was elected to the executive of the union, which eventually became the GMB, in 1983; initially being the only woman on the 40 person executive. In 1997, she was elected as the union’s President, and was re-elected every year thereafter.

1983 Elected to the CEC.
1988 Vice President of the GMB: elected by Congress.
1993 President of the GMB Public Services Section.
1995 Elected to NEC of Labour Party.
1997 President of the GMB Elected by Congress and re-elected in 1999, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017.
2002 Elected to Public Services International Executive.
2002 Elected as Vice Chair Labour Party (National Executive Committee).
2003 Elected as Chair of Labour Party (National Executive Committee).
2010 Received the MBE.
2010 Honorary President of British Dietetic Association (BDA).
2012 Received TUC Women’s Gold Badge.
2016 Received Special GMB Eleanor Marx Award.
2017 Received the CBE for political service.

Turner whose love was gardening and listening to the radio, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2010, and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire early in 2017.

Our thoughts here in Thurles are with Mary’s family at this time.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a h-anam dílis.