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Fennelly Commission: Secretary General’s Visit Caused Retirement

The awaited November 2014 Fennelly Commission’s report has just been published this evening. The Commission was charged with investigating matters of public concern which had been brought to the attention of the current Government.

These matters of public concern included:-
(A) Recording of non-999 telephone calls in certain Garda Stations over a 30 year period.
(B) Recordings to and from Bandon Garda Station which might indicate unlawful or improper conduct by Gardaí in investigations into the death of the dreadful murder of M/s Sophia Toscan Du Plantier in 1996.
(C) Investigate and report on the furnishing to the Minister for Justice of a letter dated March 10th 2013, sent by the then Garda Commissioner Mr Martin Callinan, to the Secretary General of the Dept. of Justice & Equality.
(D) Investigate and report on the sequence of events leading up to the sudden and unexpected retirement of Garda Commissioner Mr Martin Callinan on March 24th 2014.

However it is the investigation and report on the sequence of events which lead up to the sudden and unexpected retirement of Garda Commissioner Mr Martin Callinan on March 24th 2014, which has gained the most attention from our national press.

GardaFrom this published report we learn that Garda Commissioner Mr Martin Callinan told the Fennelly Commission that the “direct cause of his decision to retire, was the visit from Mr Purcell, (Latter Secretary General of the Department of Justice and who visited Commissioner’s Home at 11.00pm) and the message conveyed by the Taoiseach during that visit”.

The former commissioner had expressed a wish to retire in three months, however the Taoiseach had then considered the issue overnight and later informed the Garda Commissioner that his retirement would have to take place with “immediate effect”;  maintaining it was Garda Commissioner Callinan’s own personal decision.

The Commission has stated in this report “it must add” the decision to retire “cannot be seen in complete isolation from other contemporary events concerning An Garda Siochana and the Commissioner personally”.

However An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny has stated that the then charge made against him; that he sacked former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, now “doesn’t stand up”. “The report is clear and unambiguous in its findings that not only was there no dismissal or sacking of the Garda Commissioner, it was never even mentioned at the meeting,” Mr Kenny stated.

This newly published report has now concluded that the visit by the then Secretary General, Mr Brian Purcell, to the home of Garda Commissioner Mr Martin Callinan, was the immediate catalyst for his decision to retire.

Readers are invited to read sections 35.17 (Page 220) to 35.22 (Page 221) of this Fennelly Commission Report, which can be viewed in its entirety here at’s_Press_Releases/Interim_report_of_the_Fennelly_Commission.pdf.

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Upperchurch Celebrate Ten Years Of Scenic Walking

Upperchurch, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, this year celebrate ten years of successful walking weekends.


Pictured Above:  A select group of walkers leaving Upperchurch village, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on the ‘Knockalough Walk’.

Details of this years Upperchurch Walking Weekend 2015 to be held on November 6th, 7th and 8th have been announced, as this attractive, world class ‘walking hub’ now celebrates its tenth annual event. This year there will be a much expanded programme of events which will include emigration and reconnecting with the local Diaspora as an associated theme.

New chairman M/s Eileen Ryan has taken over from the long serving Mr Billy Clancy and has brought with her a new energy to the fifty strong team of volunteers, latter who have nourished the Upperchurch Walking Weekend to its present position as one of the most popular such events in the country, with over one thousand participants expected to descend on the rural village for this upcoming event.

There will be ten walks to celebrate each one of the ten years of the festival, along with several associated events such as traditional set dancing and music, a race night, organised cycles and displays on the “Upper Limits”, climbing wall.

The weekend also provides a great opportunity to renew old acquaintances and in keeping with the focus of welcoming home our emigrants there will be a lecture and discussion on the history of emigration from around the area. The much sought after 2015 Upperchurch-Drombane Historical Journal will also be launched during this most enjoyable of walking event.

It is evident that walkers in general have become fitter in recent years and that demand for longer and more challenging walks has therefore increased. While the usual eight to ten kilometre walks on the three local National Loop Walks and the popular night-time walks on the roads, will again be featured, it is the new, specially organised, one off longer walks that appear to catch the interest of the more experienced walkers and those looking for that real challenge.

Featured Walks:
(A) The ‘flagship walk’ of course will again be the 18 km “Hills of Upperchurch Walk”, latter which is strictly for the very fit and experienced.

(B) The 15 km “Farney Castle to Upperchurch Walk” drew a large crowd last year and will be held again with an opportunity for a tour of “Farney Castle” beforehand.

(C) Likewise the “Hollyford – Red Hill” walks will be of similar length (15 km) with visits to the hiding place and grave of Eamon an Chnoic included.

(D) A completely new walk this year will be a 12 km “Drombane to Knockalough” walk; starting at Drombane GAA field and going over the top of Knockalough to finish in Upperchurch Village.

(E) Even if you are a completely unfit beginner, there is no need to be overawed at this required fitness level; a recently introduced gravelled 1 km “Bog Walk”, beside Upperchurch village can be also utilized. This facility is also very suitable for wheelchair users.

But forget the walking for a moment; mostly this weekend is about making and renewing friendships, observing nature and the countryside close up and at its best, forgetting your cares for a few hours and working up an appetite or maybe a thirst. In short it is about taking a mini holiday, without stress and major expense, so be sure to put Nov 6th, 7th and 8th straight into your diary.

Note: Brochures are now available from the Community Centre in Upperchurch and other local outlets or same can be downloaded from .

All phone enquiries to Mobile: 087 0518934.

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Thurles Social Dance Classes Begin On Tuesday

DANCE-CLASSESStill time to polish those dusty dancing shoes, with a six week’s course in social dancing about to commence in The Premier Ballroom, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on Tuesday next, September 1st, 2015 at 8.20pm sharp.

These classes are suitable for anyone over 18 years of age, who may wish to learn the very basic steps of social dancing, (i.e. waltz, foxtrot and quickstep etc.).

The classes are ideally suited to the requirements of newly engaged couples, bridesmaids and grooms-men who may be somewhat fearful of participating in that first Wedding Day dance, or indeed it may be for some other future public occasion or simply just for everyday basic enjoyment.

Of course it goes without saying, dancing, apart from obviously being enjoyable and a way of making friends socially, is one of the best forms of physical exercise for those who find themselves glued to a desk 5 days a week.

The total inclusive cost of all 6 classes remains a meagre €20, which covers all the costs associated with this overall six weeks course.

An enjoyable six week course is guaranteed and this event is, as usual being organised and subsidised by the very generous, successful and professional ‘Thurles Club for Dancing.’

Want further information?  Why not contact Tom Gleeson on Telephone 087-9732837.

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Thurles To Nenagh Road Closure Expected Tomorrow

R498A reminder to those intending to use the Thurles to Nenagh road tomorrow (Monday August 31st); same will be closed from outside Borrisoleigh until possibly Friday (September 4th), at the earliest.

Motorists expecting to travel between Thurles and Nenagh will face detours, while a stretch of the R498, between Ballyroan bridge and Kearn’s Cross, outside Borrisoleigh, is being reconstructed.

Motorists are being advised to use the R501 Borrisoleigh to Templemore road and the N62 towards Roscrea and back along the M7 motorway.

This very necessary repair work involves the reconstruction of surfaces on the bends on the Nenagh side of Borrisoleigh, stretching for 3.5km to Kelly’s of Fantane, so do allow extra time for your journey and arrive safely.

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Death Of Queenie Moloney, Sarsfield Street, Thurles.

SymIt is with great sadness we learned of the death today, Saturday 29th August 2015, of M/s Queenie Moloney, Sarsfield Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The passing of M/s Moloney is deeply regretted by her sorrowing nieces, their families, relatives, neighbours and friends, especially Phil and Michael Ryan.

Funeral Arrangements

M/s Moloney’s earthly remains arriving at the Cathedral of the Assumption this evening (Saturday, August 29th) at 8:30pm.

Requiem Mass will take place tomorrow (Sunday) at 12:00 noon with burial immediately afterwards in Killinan Cemetery, Nenagh Road, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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