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Bleeding Statues At Templemore Near Thurles Tipperary

A new forty minute programme entitled, “Deora Dé,” (God’s Tears,) is to get its first screening on TG4 tomorrow night (Wednesday,) at 9.30pm.

The story being told will relate to Templemore, Co Tipperary and a rather strange happening, which began in the late summer of 1920, when one Jimmy Walsh claimed he saw blood coming from the eyes of a statue of the Virgin Mary, at his home in Curraheen, Gortagarry, here in north Tipperary.

Bleeding statues in a yard beside Dwan’s shop in Templemore.
Picture courtesy St.Mary’s Famine & War Museum, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Amongst those interviewed for the making of this TV documentary were renowned local factual historian, Monsignor Dr. Maurice Dooley from Loughmore, Eamonn de Staffort (Silvermines based historian), Deuglán Breathnach (Templemore historian), and Nenagh resident Seamus Leahy, (Son of Jimmy Leahy, then local IRA commander in this North Tipperary area during the period of this event.)

Summer Of 1920 Templemore Tipperary.

For those not familiar with the happenings of this period in Templemore, first we need to understand the events of five days previously. The night was the 16th of August, the year, as already stated, was 1920. Ireland was then in the throes of its ‘War of Independence,’ against England. Some members of the 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, then barracked in Templemore, decided to carry out reprisals against the local population. Their decision followed the killing of a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC ) District Inspector, William Harding Wilson by the IRA.

(History Lovers Please Note: D.I. Wilson, was a member of the Methodist church and hailed originally from Ballycumber, Co Offaly.  Following his death he was buried at St. Mary’s Church of Ireland Cemetery, Templemore, Thurles, Co Tipperary.)

Crown forces broke from barracks and burnt the market house to the ground, after soaking it with petrol, which was stolen from a nearby garage. Town’s people fled in panic or peeped, in terror, from behind their shuttered windows as two shops were burned to the ground, while armed men fired off their rifles indiscriminately. The glass in every window for over 600 yds, which had not been already heavily shuttered, was smashed by this indiscriminate rifle fire.

The reprisals were reported as having begun around 10.30 pm, when most of the town’s residents had retired to bed. The noise, made by the studded boots of some thirty to forty soldiers, was heard coming up from the direction of the barracks. They broke into Morkin’s pub & grocery premises first, claiming to be Black and Tans. While there, they looted a quantity of whisky, which they drank in the main street. They then targeted Michael Kelly’s public house, taking more spirits, which they again consumed, before setting the same premises on fire.

Fogarty’s drapery premises were entered next, by breaking its plate-glass windows. Much of the stock was removed & thrown into the river. Some of the men dressed themselves in ladies’ blouses and other drapery goods and danced up and down the town’s street.

Now riotously intoxicated, a bicycle shop was set on fire, then a jewellery store was raided where, in particular, alarm clocks were taken and set off. One soldier proved himself to be an expert stage performer, demonstrating his ragtime musicianship on a stolen mandolin. Handkerchiefs, previously stolen from Fogarty’s drapery premises, were now worn as masks, as the drunken men turned their attention to intimidating residential houses in the immediate vicinity, including persons involved holding and attending a wake. (Traditionally in Ireland, a wake takes place in the house of a deceased person, when the body of that deceased person is still present.)

It was three hours later before the drunken Crown Forces grew weary of their attempts at intimidation and returned to barracks.

Supernatural Manifestations – Bleeding Statues – A Holy Well – Cures

James (Jimmy) Walsh

Five days later an unusual phenomena was reported in the Templemore area.  The strange episode started when a teenager James (Jimmy) Walsh claimed he saw blood coming from the eyes of a statue of the Virgin Mary at his home at Curraheen, near the village of Gortagarry.  Jimmy, a farm labourer, also reported that a Holy Well had appeared in the earthen floor of his bedroom at his home. Although thousands of pilgrims, including a Dublin publican took away quantities, water from this unknown source continued to flow unexplained. It was reported by the Tipperary Star newspaper that Walsh had experienced Marian apparitions that “After the outburst on Monday night some of the statues from which blood had been oozing were taken by Walsh to Templemore and it is believed that it was this that saved the town from destruction,” five days previous,

Following growing daily reports in the press, word began to spread quickly. Considerable crowds now began to gather in front of the big house with the shop sign ” T. Dwan, Builder, Contractor, Newsagent.” It was here that the miraculous bleeding images belonging to Jimmy Walsh were stored. At around 9.00am a ground-floor window of Dwan’s premises would open a few inches and pilgrims, kneeling on spread handkerchiefs on the muddy ground, could get just a glimpse of three, one foot high, statues on a flower covered table. Capped heads were quickly uncovered and rosaries and crucifixes instantly appeared.

Empty houses were now filled up as temporary hostels, as pilgrims by the hundreds and then thousands began arriving not only from all over the 32 counties of Ireland, but also from the United States, England, Scotland, France, South Africa, Bombay & India. Marvellous cures were being reported as trains rushing from Dublin, motor cars, lorries, charabancs (Latter derives from the French ‘char-à-bancs,’ – carriage with benches, or horse drawn or early motorised buses), bicyclists, jaunting cars, donkey carts, walkers as well as wheelbarrows carrying cripples flooded into the area. Came also the stretcher cases, the babes in arms, the invalids in wheelchairs, the mentally ill, the blind persons, the deformed and outside the cottage at Curraheen a pile of discarded crutches grew bigger. Such road traffic had never been observed previously here in Tipperary, even for the popular horse races held in Thurles some 14.8 km (Nine miles) away. At its height, some 15,000 pilgrims per day were now reported as descending on the town.

Continue reading Bleeding Statues At Templemore Near Thurles Tipperary


Thurles Sarsfields 0-14 Drom And Inch 0-5

Thurles Sarsfields         Pic courtesy John O'Loughlin

Thurles Sarsfields - Pic courtesy John O'Loughlin

Thurles Sarsfields netted their 30th Tipperary SHC title with a comprehensive 0-14 to 0-5 win over Drom & Inch before an attendance of almost 10,000 spectators at Semple Stadium.

Thurles Sarsfields blazed a trail in the opening quarter as two points each from Johnny Enright and Pa Bourke along with an Alan Kennedy score saw them race into a 0-5 to 0-0 lead by the 11th minute.

The Sars were hugely dominant in the opening stages  as Drom & Inch struggled to make an impression eventually opening their account in the 13th minute thanks to  Johnny Ryan.

The Sars kept up their momentum by scoring three of the next five points to hold a well deserved 0-9 to 0-3 at half-time.

Drom and Inch constantly struggled for possession throughout and Pa Bourke continued to be deadly accurate from open play while Enright and substitute ‘Redser’ O’Grady also made their presence felt.

Sarsfields showed a great  hunger throughout play and although Drom and Inch closed the gap to six points with five minutes remaining they were unable to find the necessary scores required.

Final Score: Thurles Sarsfields 0-14  Drom And Inch 0-5

Sarsfield Captain Johnny Enright accepted the Dan Breen Cup from Tipperary GAA Chairman Barry O’Brien, and full-back Padraic Maher was rightly confirmed as the Man-of-the-Match.

Thurles will now face Cork champions Newtownshandrum in the Munster Club SHC quarter-final on November 1.

Thurles Sarsfields Team: P McCormack; M Cahill, P Maher, K O’Gorman; B O’Dwyer, L Cahill, S Lillis; A Kennedy (0-2), M Gleeson; P Bourke (0-4, 0-2f), S Ryan, D Maher; R Ruth (0-1), L Corbett, J Enright (0-5, 0-1f).

Subs Involved: D Kennedy for Ryan (16 mins), R O’Grady (0-2) for Ruth (47), J Lawlor for L Cahill (60), D O’Dwyer for A Kennedy (62), M Collins for O’Gorman (63).

Drom & Inch Team: D Young; Martin Butler; E Costello, M Costello; D Kennedy, P Stapleton, Michael Butler; J Woodlock, S Butler; E Woodlock, S Callanan (0-2, 0-1f), J Kennedy (0-1); D Butler, M Long, Johnny Ryan (0-2, 0-1f).

Subs Involved: E Buckley for Stapleton (27 mins), D Ryan for Long (31), M Ryan for E Woodlock (44), D Collins for D Ryan (53), James Ryan for J Woodlock (65).


First Meeting of Dáil Éireann 1919 – The Solohead Tipperary Connection

first-dail-assemblyThis day the 21st January, 90 years ago, in 1919 Sinn Féin candidates who had been elected in the Westminster elections of 1918 refused to recognise the Parliament of the United Kingdom and instead assembled as a revolutionary parliament called “Dáil Éireann”. This first meeting of Dáil Éireann on 21st January 1919 was held in the Round Room of the Mansion House. Unlike the normal picture which depicts the first Dáil this photo shows the true first assembly. Éamon de Valera and Arthur Griffith were both in jail on January 21st and Michael Collins, much sought by British Forces together with Harry Boland were busy preparing plans for the successful escape of Éamon de Valera from Lincoln Gaol.

Prior to 1919, Sinn Féin’s popularity had increased dramatically, following the execution by Englands Major General Sir John Maxwell, of most of some 90 leaders of the 1916 rebellion. Sinn Féin had won 73 out of the 105 Irish seats in the Westminster parliament and the party’s founder, Arthur Griffith, believed that Irish nationalists should emulate the means by which Hungarian nationalists, led by Ferenc Deák, had achieved partial independence from Austria.
However, on precisely the same day as the Dáil’s first meeting took place, two members of the Royal Irish Constabulary were ambushed and killed at Soloheadbeg, in Co. Tipperary, by members of the Irish Volunteers, later to be known as the 3rd. Tipperary Brigade of the IRA. This incident had not been ordered by the Dáil but the course of events soon drove the Dáil to recognise the Volunteers as the army of the Irish Republic and the ambush to be seen as an act of war against Great Britain.

The Tipperary Connection.

In relating this historical blog we will again unveil yet another secret of the true hidden Ireland that is Tipperary.
Soloheadbeg is a small townsland near Limerick Junction railway station. The place is steeped in Irish history, for it was here that King Mahon of Thomond together with his brother Brian Ború defeated the vikings at the Battle of Solohead in 968. It was here also that Dónal Cam O’Sullivan Bere stopped on his epic march from Dunboy Castle in west Cork to O’Rourke’s Castle in Leitrim in 1603.

On 21st January 1919, two Irish born catholic RIC constables, James Alec McDonnell and Patrick O’Connell, were escorting a horse drawn cart containing a load of gelignite taken from the Tipperary town Military Barracks. This gelignite, was destined for use for blasting purposes, at the daniel-breenlocal Soloheadbeg Quarry. The driver of the cart was James Godfrey, accompanied by Patrick Flynn, the latter a County Council employee.
Constable McDonnell, was a native of Belmullet, Co. Mayo and a widower with seven children. His comrade Constable O’Connell, was a native of Coachford, County Cork, and unmarried. Both men, according to local reports, were reasonably popular as policemen in the area.

Possibly up to eight armed and masked men, members of the then Irish Volunteers from the South Tipperary Brigade, which included their leader Séamus Robbinson, OC; Sean breen-mcdonnellTracy, Vice OC; Dan Breen, QM; Sean Hogan, Tadgh Crowe, Patrick Dwyer, Michael Ryan, and Patrick McCormack fired on the Constables, killing both men. Volunteer GHQ had not sanctioned this ambush. The driver and County Council worker were left unharmed. In the pocket of Constable McDonnell’s uniform were 30 electric detonators which remained undiscovered by their assailants. Hogan with Treacy and Breen drove the cart, together with the explosives, away from the scene, while the others involved scattered in the opposite direction. Eye witnesses later saw the cart been driven at high speed in the direction of Dundrum village, in Co. Tipperary, and indeed the horse and cart, minus its contents, were later found abandoned at Allen Creamery, near Dundrum, by District Inspector Poer O’Shee of Clonmel.
Condemnation for the killings was swift and from every quarter, even from some well known local republicans and local priests. Dan Breen claimed the constables attacked first, but a body of opinion says that this was unlikely given the odds against them. Dan Breen claims in his book “My fight for Irish Freedom” that the constables raised their rifles in preparation for a fight and that they were forced to kill the two constables.

However Breen also later recalled:”…we took the action deliberately, having thought over the matter and talked it over between us. Treacy had stated to me that the only way of starting a war was to kill someone, and we wanted to start a war, so we intended to kill some of the police whom we looked upon as the foremost and most important branch of the enemy forces … The only regret that we had following the ambush was that there were only two policemen in it, instead of the six we had expected.

The real facts of this incident are possibly forever lost in history.

The following day Martial Law was imposed in Co.Tipperary. A reward of £1,000 was offered for information, shown on wanted posters displaying photographs of Dan Breen ,which were immediately posted outside every police barracks in the country.
The Soloheadbeg incident is still regarded as the first opening act of the Irish War of Independence, though the Dáil did not formally declare war on Britain until 1921.
Sean Treacy was later killed by British forces and was buried at Kilfeacle in October, 1920. Breen went on to serve as a politician and member of Dáil Éireann (anti-Treaty) from 1923 -1927 and 1932-1965. He died in Dublin in 1969 and was buried in Donohill.


Irish TD’s Set To Become Christian Missionaries

“And they’re off “.  No, I’m not preparing a commentary for the next National Hunt race meeting at Thurles Racecourse. I’m referring to the number of politicians due to leave Ireland for countries abroad on St. Patrick’s Day next, March 17th 2019, apparently with the blessing of unconcerned, laid back, Irish tax payers.

As our readers will already be aware Ireland’s politicians are deeply religious and feel duty-bound to travel to foreign places, each year, on a religious pilgrimage, promoting their Christian beliefs, in the name of St. Patrick. Of course the real reason they go abroad is to promote Ireland’s dodgy economy and to get that ‘heroin high’ which comes from watching foreigners bow and scrape, in the mistaken belief that those now found intruding in their country are to be regarded as world class leaders.

Which or ever, alas this so called missionary work will be undertaken without the permission and backing of what a Galway author, (the Late Walter Macken), once referred to as ‘The Silent People’; more often referred to now, since 2008, as ‘The Feckin Rightly Screwed Irish taxpayer’.

So, Who’s Going and to Where

Washington DC – Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar (with one other government Minister).
France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Hague – Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Simon Coveney.
South Africa, Namibia and Botswana – Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms Katherine Zappone.
Argentina & Chile – Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr Eoghan Murphy.
Spain and Portugal – Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr Michael Creed.
United Kingdom – Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Mr Paschal Donohoe.
New York – Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Charlie Flanagan.
San Francisco, Los Angeles – Minister for Health, Mr Simon Harris.
Italy and Malta – Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Ms Regina Doherty.
Finland and China – Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Joe McHugh.
Cyprus, Lebanon and Jordan – Minister for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe.
Japan and South Korea – Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ms Josepha Madigan.
Australia, New Zealand and Singapore – Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Heather Humphreys.
Canada, Toronto and Ottawa – Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Mr Richard Bruton.
United Arab Emirates – Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.
Denmark and Sweden – Minister of State for European Affairs, Ms Helen McEntee.
Boston and Pennsylvania – Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Mr Seán Kyne.
Austin, Denver and Kansas – Minister for Higher Education Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor.
Savannah and Atlanta – Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration Mr David Stanton.
Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia – Minister of State for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Mr Patrick O’Donovan.
Vancouver, Calgary and Seattle – Minister of State for the Diaspora and Development, Mr Ciaran Cannon
India – Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mr Jim Daly.
Australia and Timor Leste – Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Damian English.
Mexico and Cuba – Minister of State for Disability Issues, Mr Finian McGrath.
Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay – Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Mr Pat Breen.
Chicago – Minister for Rural and Community Development, Mr Michael Ring.
Germany and the Netherlands – Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Mr Michael D’Arcy.
France and Luxembourg – Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, Mr John Halligan.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, Mr John Paul Phelan.
Slovakia, Austria and Hungary – Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Ms Catherine Byrne.
Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia – Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Mr Andrew Doyle.
Poland and Czech Republic – Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Mr Kevin Boxer Moran.
Scotland – Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Mr Brendan Griffin.
Russia – Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Senator Mr Denis O’Donovan.
Washington – Attorney General, Mr Seamus Woulfe SC, and last but by no means least;
Brazil – Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, Mr Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

Well at least now we can all sit back and wave them off on their varying difficult missions, in the knowledge that Brexit, due to begin two weeks later, on April Fool’s Day (April 1st), has been properly sorted. So also, the Nurses and Midwives strike with latter having finally agreed to work for nothing. They can sleep soundly, knowing that some 10,000 homeless people back in ‘Paddy’s Land’ now have a roof over their head. Overcrowding at Limerick University Hospital, latter servicing North Tipperary, and other medical establishments, all overcrowding problems have been reconciled to the distant past. The €450,000 to find out why the construction cost of the national children’s hospital spiralled in one year to over €1.4 billion has turned out to be merely a simple multiplication problem and Tipperary town will no longer be disrupting traffic on the N24.

Oops, sorry I must have dozed off there for a wee minute.

Just a Couple of Minor Observations

Until the British finally jumps ship, there remains, falteringly, 28 EU member states – Ireland is only visiting 25 of these countries. It appears Bulgaria, Romania and Greece are not on their targeted list.

Greece: The parliamentary republic of Greece joined the EU in 1981 and Ireland in the past has been less than sympathetic to their then financial plight.  Bailout inspectors are now due back in Greece as of this month and Eurozone Ministers will decide in March whether to grant relief measures to Greece including the pay-out of some of the profits made by the European Central Bank on Greek bonds. This will be worth watching.

Bulgaria and Romania: Bulgaria and Romania were the only two countries that joined the EU in the 2007 enlargement.  Given that Poland, Hungry and some of the other former Yugoslav states (Croatia, Slovenia etc ) are all being visited – leaving Bulgaria and Romania out seems a bit random, especially since lots of Romanians have immigrated to Ireland in the last 20 years. In April 2016 there were 29,186 Romanian nationals resident in Ireland. The Romanian population increased by 69% between 2011 and 2016. With a population growth of 11,882 persons between 2011 and 2016, and the fourth largest non-Irish nationality in this country (according to the CSO); this was the greatest increase in population size seen among all ten non-Irish nationalities profiled. Therefore, to not visit there surely seems odd.

Turkey: While not a member of the EU, Turkey is not being visited. Turkey, with its recent attempted army coup; the murdering of a journalist; silenced media; human rights offences, etc has been trying desperately to get into the EU since 1987. One would have assumed that the peace making attributes of Mr Finian McGrath could surely have been used here, instead of sending him to Mexico and Cuba.

Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein: You have all heard of the European Economic Area that is separate to the EU. It’s an international agreement which allows for the extension of the EU’s single market to non-EU member parties. One would have assumed that a visit there would have benefited, what with Brexit looming.

Israel: Israel must also feel offended having been left out. Here would have been a place to send Senator Frances Black and Mary Lou McDonald, both seeking to halt the sale of oranges and tomatoes being purchased from Israel’s seized Palestinian territories; latter land formerly used to propel Palestinian rockets to terrorize the Israel people. (One now feels we should have rid ourselves of our so-called Upper House, known as Seanad Éireann, when we had the opportunity.)

Switzerland: Switzerland is neither an EU nor an European Economic Area member, but is part of the single market by way of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA). So Switzerland must also feel grossly offended.

Philippines: No one is travelling to the Philippines, which seems a gross oversight. Here we have a Catholic country, supplying an overwhelming number of nurses and medical professionals, to work in our hospitals.

Egypt, Nigeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon: Why are no TD’s travelling there? Generally speaking African countries are poorly represented. I appreciate the issues that come with the continent, but nothing for Egypt or Nigeria! But TD’s are going to the Arab Emirates. It’s about Geo-Politics and you my brothers and sisters are paying their first class travel and hotel expenses.


So Where Are You headed On St. Paddy’s Day?

So what country will you be visiting on the 17th. of March 2018, Patrick’s day?

While you are making your mind up; do be aware that just back yesterday from their 28-day Christmas holiday recess, government ministers are already planning for the ‘St. Patrick’s Day Weekend-Away’, courtesy of the ever-generous Irish taxpayer.

This year St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday and a total of 35 countries will be visited as part of our annual political junket celebrations. Alas only mostly common backbenchers, yet again, to be found in the ‘place d’honneur’, seated on our parade viewing stands.

Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar will travel to the US where he will visit the US President Mr Donald Trump at the White House, while Tánaiste Mr Simon Coveney will lead a large delegation to China and Hong Kong. The Cathaoirleach of The Seanad, Mr Denis O’Donovan is off for a little skiing in Slovenia.

Minister for State for Housing Mr Damien English is set to view the medieval architecture of Poland, while junior Minister Mr Pat Breen is off to Bonny Wee Scotland, soon to be the next breakaway colony of GB.

Our Finance Minister Mr Paschal Donohoe is expected to travel to Argentina this year. (Check his luggage for cash boys; remember the Nazi Ratlines) with Education Minister Mr Richard Bruton taking a linguistics course in German.

Flights are booked to the USA for Attorney General Mr Seamus Wolfe, Minister Ms Heather Humphreys, Mr Michael Ring, Mr David Staunton, Mr Ciaran Cannon, Mr Michael D’Arcy, Mr Brendan Griffin, latter who is also expected to visit President D. Trumps ‘great wall’, from the Mexican side.

Communications Minister Mr Denis Naughten and Minister of State Mr Patrick O’Donovan will say hello to the thousands forced to flee from Ireland seeking a life over the past 8-10 years and now residing in Canada, while Children’s Minister Ms Katherine Zappone and Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty will savour the juice of this years ‘Vitis vinifera’  and ‘Petit Verdot’  grape, in Italy and France, respectively.

Culture Minister Ms Josepha Madigan will drop off in Norway and Sweden, parachuting along the way Junior Minister Ms Catherine Byrne into Denmark and Finland.

Housing Minister Mr Eoghan Murphy will be checking housing prices and rents in South Korea and Japan and Chief Whip Mr Joe McHugh can’t wait to examine how opposition party members end up being shot in Brazil.

Mr John Halligan, widely tipped to travel to North Korea, has instead been forced to present a bowl of Shamrock to the Queen of England.

Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor will be tanning herself in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, and Minister Paul Kehoe will be checking out defences in Cyprus.

Minister of State for Disabilities is Mr Finian McGrath will be off to the Czech Republic, with Junior Minister for Agriculture Mr Andrew Doyle all set to examine the rice paddy field terraces of Vietnam.

Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Natural Resources Mr Sean Kyne is off to Switzerland to look at the profitability of manufacturing Cuckoo Clacks to boost rural job opportunities, with Minister of State for European Affairs Ms Helen McEntee being sent into nearby Austria and Slovakia, to dance the Vienna Waltz in the palaces of Schönbrunn and Hofburg.

Minister of State for the OPW Mr Kevin Boxer Moran, if he survives his visit to Tipperary next week, will study flooding and climate change in Kenya, and the Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform Mr JP Phelan will study electoral reform in Singapore.

Minister of State for Older People Mr Jim Daly will travel to Australia and New Zealand, and the Ceann Comhairle Sean O’Fhearghail will travel to Croatia.

Who’s Minding the Shop?
So, who will be left minding the shop I hear you say?  Fear not, yes once again our old stalwart Transport Minister Mr Shane Ross will remain on hand with the nuclear button on his desk, ready for use if necessary, should North Korea’s Mr Kim Jong-un get pissed off, with all this “greening of the world”.