Miss Biddy O’Houlihan, the retired church organist, was now in her eightieth year and despite several offers of marriage, had never succumbed to the need of selecting a husband. Throughout the community of Thurles, down through the years, she was much revered for her genuine kindness and generosity. Indeed her excellent flower arrangements for weddings were most highly regarded for being either very reasonably priced or, in the majority of cases, not priced at all, thus further enhancing her popularity from a local perspective.
One afternoon a member of the local clergy came to pay her a courtesy visit and was shown into her quaint, tidy, sitting room. As was her normal courtesy shown to visitors, Biddy invited the Priest to ‘take a seat’, while she would leave him for a moment to ‘put on the kettle’.
As Biddy set about buttering a couple of her much sought after fresh ‘Sultana Scones’, the Priest sunk his rear end into the bright tapestry covered armchair to which he had been directed, sitting facing the old, well polished Hammond organ. His gaze was immediately drawn to a Waterford cut-glass bowl half filled with water, which sat top centre on this shiny musical instrument. Well, to be honest it was not the cut-glass bowl which first caught his attention; rather it was the object which floated on the water which this bowl contained.
The Priest, not surprisingly became immediately perplexed, after all what would a single lady her eightieth year be doing with a condom, (yes a real condom), in plain sight of the public’s view, floating in a bowl of water on Miss Biddy’s favoured musical contraption.
His thoughts were soon interrupted by the soft short steps of Miss Biddy returning; balancing a tray, laden with tea and steaming hot buttered scones. Miss Biddy began to chat, while the Priest struggled to stifle his curiosity regarding this bowl of water and its rather strange ‘floating object’.
He tried his very best to concentrate on the current conversation and to contain his bursting curiosity, but soon his inquisitive nature got the better of him and he could no longer resist the question; “Miss Biddy”, he said, “I wonder if you would tell me about this?”, he, pointing to the bowl and its as yet unexplained floating subject matter.
“Oh, yes,” Biddy replied smiling, “Isn’t it wonderful? I was walking my dog, ‘Horatio’, through the new Thurles Park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. From what I could decipher from the somewhat worn directions on the package; it stated I was to place the contents on the organ, keep it damp and it would prevent the spread of disease. Could you credit this Father, I haven’t had the flu so far this winter.”
Yoga Thurles Workshops.
Yoga Thurles will present two Yoga Workshops this coming weekend, especially for Tipperary’s youth.
Both these workshops will take place on this coming Saturday, August 22nd, 2015 at the popular venue; the Angel Shop, Baker Street, (Accessed off Friar Street, or via the Parnell Street Car park) here in Thurles.
The first Workshop will begin with ‘Yoga for Children’, ages 8-12 years old, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, and this will be followed by ‘Yoga for Teens’, latter whose ages range from 13-19 years old, beginning sharp at 2:00pm until 4:00pm
Children and Teen Yoga.
Children and teenage Yoga classes are both based on exploring and connecting to all around us and our inner selves. These workshops will explore why Yoga, in recent times, has become so popular; such as:-
(1) How does Yoga benefit the body and mind, helping us to find simple ways to rebalance in our busy everyday lives.
(2) What different postures do for us and how the body works better from a simple Yoga practice.
(3) How to breathe better and why we should.
(4) How to tell when we are stressed and what we can do to reduce this stress.
This Saturday, these workshops will be led by M/s Marie Mills, latter a ‘Stress Reduction Specialist’ and ‘Yoga Practitioner’ here in Thurles and the upcoming workshops will cover topics such as; mindfulness, meditation, relaxation, simple visualisations, mind mapping and creative bursts.
Reading will also comes alive with Yoga and is a highlight at these workshops, with those attending using and creating various postures to bring the story alive. Yoga Thurles always remind students, “if it’s not fun…it’s not Yoga”.
Note: The cost of these workshops is €20 for each workshop and Booking is Essential.
For further information contact Marie Mills on Tel: 086-1778369 or why not visit www.yogamariemills.com or the Yoga Thurles Facebook page.
Notice has been given, warning motor vehicles that a notice has been made by Tipperary County Council, closing the R498-0097 at Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, from Ballyroan Bridge to Kearns Cross on the Borrisoleigh / Nenagh road.
The period of road closure will be from Monday 31st August 2015 to Friday 4th September 2015 inclusive.
Traffic diversions will be clearly sign-posted and directed via the following alternative routes:- From Borrisoleigh on the R501 towards Templemore, N62 towards Roscrea and on the M7 to Nenagh and vice versa.
The purpose of this road closure is to facilitate very necessary road reconstruction and Tipperary County Council sincerely regrets any inconvenience caused to road users.
Expected M8 Motorway Closures
Notice has also been given by Tipperary County Council of their intention to close eleven sections of the M8 Motorway during August and September 2015.
These Motorway sections and their closure dates are shown as follows;
(1) From the 31/08/15 – Junction 4 Urlingford to Junction 5 Two-Mile-Borris, Southbound.
(2) From the 01/09/15 – Junction 5 Two-Mile Borris to Junction 6 Horse and Jockey Southbound .
(3) From the 02/09/15 – Junction 6 Horse and Jockey to Junction 7 Cashel North Southbound.
(4) From the 03/09/15 – Junction 9 Cashel South to Junction 10 Cahir North Southbound.
(5) From the 14/09/15 – Junction 11 Cahir South to Junction 10 Cahir North Northbound.
(6) From the 15/09/15 – Junction 10 Cahir North to Junction 9 Cashel South Northbound.
(7) From the 16/09/15 – Junction 7 Cashel North to Junction 6 Horse and Jockey Northbound.
(8) From the 17/09/15 – Junction 9 Cashel South to Junction 7 Cashel North Northbound.
(9) From the 21/09/15 – Junction 7 Cashel North to Junction 9 Cashel South Southbound.
(10) From the 22/09/15 – Junction 6 Horse and Jockey to Junction 4 Urlingford Northbound.
(11) From the 23/09/15 – N24 from Junction 10 Cahir North to the Knockagh roundabout east and westbound
Reason for these eleven Motorway closures detailed above is to facilitate the replacement of existing road studs.
A project undertaken to reclaim / transform the old late 13th century St. Mary’s graveyard, begun last November (2014) here in Thurles, is progressing very satisfactory. The former part dump and weed infested “Gods Acre” is now 50% complete thanks to Tús operatives, Thurles Municipal District Council and the many local people who have undertaken to support this project.
With three car trailer loads of broken dishes, plastic and glass bottles, bicycle and electrical parts etc now removed, some interesting pieces of old Thurles history were also uncovered. These located surface artefacts included two badly decomposed 19th and 20th century hand guns, some interesting old bottles, a few 19th and 20th century coins and a hand-made, open fire, wire, fish griddle (Great Famine Period); this latter now fully restored by the ingenuity of Littleton resident Mr Michael Bannon.
The part proceeds of a local crime were also uncovered; hidden under a large stone, taking on the form of a 14 year old stolen purse, containing various credit type cards. (In all cases the appropriate authorities were notified.)
Click HERE to view progress to date in High Definition.
Thurles – Undertaking A Visitor Attraction Project For Themselves
Of course the spring crop of Cherry blossom, Blue Bells, Three Cornered Leeks, Snowdrops and Lent Lilies have all departed for yet another year. So too now fading are the summer crop of Solomon Seal, Lily of the Valley, Primroses, Yellow Loosestrife and Lungworth. However the Common Poppy, Chinese Black Mondo Grass, White Foxgloves, Fleece Flower, Buddleia Bushes, Elephant Ears, African daisy, Marigolds and Feverfew all continue to grant late summer /autumn colour to this most historic of Tipperary graveyards.
The first gravelled footpath, one of four planned to guide visitors around this historic oasis, is also in place, joining the existing Thurles Memorial Garden.
To date this project has cost a minuscule €800.00 in financial funding for the massive work undertaken and a huge ‘Thank You’ must now go to all the volunteer supporters / advisor’s to this project and in particular to the Tús operatives and Thurles Municipal District Council (Administrator Michael Ryan). A ‘Thank You’ also to Aileen O’Sullivan and family (U.S.A.) who handsomely contributed to the purchase of garden furniture, yet to be installed later this year in this area, (More details will appear regarding this installation later).
Of course if there are any Politicians out there who feel that funding should /can be made available to support / progress this ongoing project more speedily, perhaps they could let us know.
How can you the people of this community further assist in this new project?
(1) Do you have any “Overcrowded Perennials” in your garden drastically in need of thinning? Remember overcrowded perennials often have fewer and smaller flowers than their well-spaced and divided counterparts.
(2) Do you have relatives buried in St Mary’s Graveyard? Perhaps, finance permitting of course, you would like to take this opportunity to have the headstone cleaned, lettering repainted or a grave kerb added, replaced or repaired. Unable to undertake this work yourself, then talk to James Slattery, Tel 0504 – 22219, who specialises in dealing with ancient limestone headstones.
(3) Are you feeling generous? Why not make a small financial contribution to this worthwhile Thurles history / environmental conservation project. Your donation and full details of how your money was spent will be publicly acknowledged here on Thurles.Info in future regular news updates.
Note: Extreme care has been taken to ensure that this historic burial ground is respected in full, firstly, with regards to the rights of the living family members of those deceased, and secondly, in regard to the rules already put in place by the Heritage Council with regard to the Guidance for the Care, Conservation and Recording of Historic Graveyards.
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin and yet I say unto you,
that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
St. Luke – Chapter 12, Verses 28 & 29.
The Common Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris) plant is just one of many wild flowers recently introduced into St. Mary’s Graveyard here in Thurles Co. Tipperary, as part of restoration work being carried out to convert the latter into a garden and urban wild flower reserve.
Observed by many as just a species of weed, the Common Teasel (Teazel) plant is well worth growing in well managed gardens, if only for use in dried flower arrangements. Teasel is a biennial plant which germinates in its first year; while flowering in its second. In the first year it appears as a rosette of spine-coated leaves, which die in the second year, as it diverts its energy into growing its tall, often up to 2 meter high stems.
Common Teasel is a real nature lover’s plants, protected by thorns the full length of its stem. Its cone shaped flower heads, the seeds of which begin turning brown in winter; gives to the observer the impression of being a giant cotton bud. Prior to seeding, it displays tiny lavender / purple coloured flowers to be found clustered together in the form of separated rings appearing up and down its flower head. These flowers quickly attract bumblebees, butterflies and other flying creatures and the later seeds produced, entice many wild birds, particularly Goldfinches, who arrive in vast numbers to feast.
The many uses attributed to the Common Teasel plant.
The first references to the huge important uses of the Teasel plant began before the 12th century. The Romans called the plant ‘Lavacrum Veneris’, meaning the ‘Basin (or Bath-house) of Venus’. This name refers to the fact that the plant collects little pools of water at the base of its lower stem leaves (See picture no.2 above) providing drinking water for insects. However this water collected also insures that it keeps its own roots watered, when, aided by the wind, it sways to spill this collected water supply unto the soil at its base. Irish Water (Uisce Eireann) activists who today correctly (to my mind) argue that water is more than just a human need; that it is in fact a God given human right, would do well to observe this plant. Such observation will surely prove that access to safe drinking water should never depend on affordability; but rather that the provision of future clean water to the less well-off, be no longer perceived as charity, but rather as a legal entitlement to be shared by all God’s creatures equally.
During the eighteenth century, the water collected by the leaves of Teasel plants was believed to remove freckles and was also used to soothe sore eyes. The roots have also been used to treat warts, sores and other skin problems, as a stomach aid, as an analgesic for pain relief, as an anti-inflammatory and as a stimulant for the nervous system. Teasel Root is widely used in conjunction with antibiotics to treat Lyme Disease. It has the ability to pull bacteria from muscle tissue into the blood stream, thus enabling the human immune system to do its work naturally.
Whereas most modern textile processes have been mechanised, the barbs of Teasel plants continue to be used today in the woollen trade, since the spiny heads of this plant are gentler on wool and cloth materials; where stubborn tangles are encountered. In this process some 2,000 to 4,000 dried teasel heads are hand-picked and mounted on rotating drums known as a ‘Gigs’. The Gig then spins rapidly over the stretched surface of woollen cloth, thus separating the surface fibres, “raising the nap”.
Today modern snooker-table cloth surfaces, guardsmen’s tunics and the roof linings of Rolls-Royce cars are all still finished with Teasel heads and no machine has ever been devised that can do the job on cloth better than the Teasel. Indeed the Coat of Arms of the Cloth Workers’ Company, granted first in 1530, still proudly displays a golden Teasel head.
Teasel with its thorny spiked stems, when used in dried flower arranging, soon teaches the florist to wear gloves when cutting or handling the plant. In drying, remember to leave the stems to fully shed their seeds naturally, before cutting and hanging upside down. Properly handled and correctly dried these flowers will last for many years, making a bold statement in any future designed floral display.