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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.


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”.


Tipp Drama Festival Director Pays Tribute To late Biddy White Lennon

Journalist and Author Tom Ryan, Rahealty, Thurles, Reports:-

The Festival Director of the Co. Tipperary Open Drama Festival, Mr Donal Duggan, has yesterday paid tribute to the memory of actress/author, Ms Biddy White Lennon, who passed away just last weekend.

The popular actress who played Maggie in the popular RTE soap, “The Riordans”, adjudicated at the Tipperary Drama Festival in Holycross twice, once in 1984 and again in 2013.  Mr Duggan, then (as now) Festival Director and Mr Tom Molony (then Chairman of Holycross/Ballycahill Drama Group) and highly regarded seasoned Thespian, Mr Pat McGrath, were even incorporated into Biddy’s script for the Radio 1 version of the popular soap, “Glenroe”.

Pictured above, in better times, are (L to R) Mr Donal Duggan (Festival Director), the late Biddy White Lennon and Mr Michael Lowry, TD.

Biddy stayed locally in Holycross during her festival sojourns as adjudicator, including with Mr & Mrs Tom and Elizabeth Molony, The Green, Holycross. Indeed in the radio script for “Glenroe” it was mentioned that the Glenroe Players were on the festival circuit and met Tipperary Festival Director, Mr Donal Duggan and Committee Chairman, Mr Tom Molony, and the inimitable Mr Pat McGrath in Holycross at the festival, thus ensuring a modicum of fame for this Abbey-side trio.

Biddy reminded Mr Donal Duggan of this when they next met in 2013. “She was pleased with her stay here in Holycross”, said Mr Duggan, who brought her on a site-seeing tour of the Rock of Cashel and other historic places in the county; a traditional courtesy he affords all festival adjudicators.

Mr Duggan said he was saddened to hear of the passing of the popular actress/author; stating
“Biddy was a very competent adjudicator and very easy to work with. Her popularity from her years as ‘Maggie’ in “The Riordans” helped to attract huge audiences to the festival in 1984.  She went on to write the radio script for “Glenroe” having adjudicated at the Festival in 1984.  Ar dheis De a hanam”

Yet one other Thurles resident was well acquainted with Ms Biddy White Lennon. George Willoughby got to know Biddy through numerous appearances in “The Riordans”, during the years 1975/76, while working as a featured extra. “Being involved with the “The Riordans”, was like being a member of a close-knit family. The word ‘celebrity’ back then did not exist; featured actors and lowly extras like myself taking part, all used the same canteen facilities, on location”, said George.

“Filming “The Riordans” was quite radical for that time, with Outside Broadcast Units being used rather than the more usual TV studio setting”, said George. “Even if scenery and prop space had been available to build a studio farm, it would have been nigh impossible to rid audio tape of the sounds of then Dublin city life, with its constant drone of Ambulance/Fire/Garda sirens; overhead aeroplanes and endless traffic noise pollution”.

“To speed up the process of getting film back to the studio for editing”, continued George, “it was instead decided to film on a rural farm near Dunboyne in County Meath, although the series would have us believe it was set in a fictional townsland called Leestown, in Co. Kilkenny.”

“The Riordans” radically changed the rules of broadcasting” stated George.  “The rural characters portrayed by cast members like Ms Biddy White Lennon, inspired the creation of Yorkshire Television equivalents “Emmerdale”, which we so enjoy today. Even production crew from what was to be “Emmerdale Farm” visited “The Riordans” rural set to observe how RTE were managing this somewhat new phenomenon of Outside Broadcast Units”.

“Alas, for “The Riordans”, the music originally used to introduce each episode, Seoirse Bodley’s orchestral arrangement of the Irish traditional tune, “The Palatine’s Daughter” (Iníon An Phailitínigh), no longer plays on Irish TV, since the series was regrettably chopped back in 1979″, concluded George.

The Independent North Tipperary Dail Deputy, Michael Lowry, took centre stage on Ms Biddy White Lennon’s last visit to Holycross, Thurles in 2013, when he officially opened the 31st annual Co. Tipperary Open Drama Festival in a packed Holycross Community Centre, where Biddy White Lennon, was the professional adjudicator.

Mr Lowry, who received a warm reception from the audience in the packed theatre in his home village, sponsored the local awards-winning Holycross / Ballycahill Drama Group production of the comedy, “The God Of Carnage”, by French playwright, Yasmina Reza, which opened the
festival on that particular night.

Mr Lowry has supported the festival for many years and is a popular figure with audiences. The attendance at the opening night also included his son, Councillor Micheal Lowry; members of drama groups from various parts of Co. Tipperary; the then “Rose of Thurles” Ms Emma Moore; Littleton’s Jim Ryan (MCC) and the now late Fr. Tom Breen, (PP), latter then also the Festival Committee President.

Mr Lowry lauded the organising committee on its work for the festival over 31 years and in particular Festival Director, Donal Duggan, who has been in that role for all that time.

The Holycross/Ballycahill group got the Festival off to “a great start”, according to the popular adjudicator, Ms Biddy White Lennon, “who was no stranger to Holycross”, as Michael Lowry pointed out. He recalled that in 1983 when the late TJ Maher, MEP, opened the first Festival in Holycross, only fourteen people were to be counted in the audience on that night.

The Festival had grown and developed over the years since then. “We have a fantastic organisation here, in Holycross, and I congratulate them. It is a totally voluntary organisation who have given endless hours to the festival.  Groups come from all over Ireland to Holycross and almost every year, groups from Holycross Festival reach the All-Ireland Finals.  Holycross is now established as one of Ireland’s major Drama Festival Locations”, stated Lowry on the night.

“The God Of Carnage” on that night was directed by Pat McGrath and the cast comprised of Jacqui Lacey, Martin “Marty” O’ Neill, Derek Doherty and Salome Hennessy. Lighting was by Paddy Connolly and Set Construction was by Pat McGrath, Andy Slattery, Catherine Lowry. Set

Design/Dressing was by Catherine Lowry and Marian Gilmore. Sound was by Joanne O’Neill and make-up by Peg Ryan, whilst Sally O’Rourke was in charge of Continuity.

The Set Crew comprised: Elaine O’ Dwyer, Gerry O’ Dwyer, Jack Henchion, Diana Lacey, Geraldine Henchion, Claire Ryan, Kevin Darmody.


Cork Take Four Point Win Over Tipperary

The reigning Provincial and All-Ireland Hurling Champions Tipperary were dethroned by Cork this afternoon, with the latter gaining their first championship win in Thurles since 2006.

Cork began well, taking 3 points in the first 4 minutes, courtesy of Conor Lehane, Luke Meade and Seamus Harnedy, but Tipperary by the 7th minute were even, with points from Noel McGrath, Brendan Maher and and Sean Curran.

A point by Cork’s Alan Cadogan is answered by Tipperary’s Michael Breen and so for the first 35 minutes spectators witnessed a superb exhibition of point-taking, with both teams levelling the match for an incredible 12 times. Half-time score Tipperary 0-15pts –  Cork 0-15pts.

At the beginning of the second-half Conor Lehane put Cork back in front with his fifth point of the match, quickly answered by Tipperary’s Dan McCormack. Cork’s Pat Horgan gets a point, followed in the 43 minute by the first goal of the game from Cork’s Shane Kingston. Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer (Bubbles) grabed a point back following a foul. Score now stands Tipperary 0-17pts – Cork 1-17 (20pts)

Points continue to be traded, coming from Cork’s Mark Ellis, Conor Lehane, Pat Horgan and Shane Kingston; all being answered by Tipperary’s Noel McGrath, Michael Breen and Seamus Callanan.

Then in the 56 minute Tipperary take the lead, as Callanan switches play to target John McGrath, positioned on the edge of the square. The Loughmore / Casteliney man did not fail; rifling the sliotar into the top corner of Cork’s net. Score going into the 57th minute Tipperary 1-22 (25pts)Cork 1-21 (24pts).

Cork’s Conor Lehane now equalises and with just over 10 minutes to go fellow team mate Shane Kingston puts the Rebels once more in the lead.

Points follow from Tipperary’s Niall O’Meara and Brendan Maher, answered by Cork’s Conor Lehane leaving the score at the 67th minute, Tipperary 1-24 (27pts)Cork 1-24 (27pts).

A further point from Cork and then disaster; the sliotar bounces to a waiting Cork substitute, Michael Cahalane, and he buries it easily past the Tipperary goal keeper Darren Gleeson. Despite four minutes of additional playing time and an intrepid and audacious Tipperary team, the full-time final scoreboard read Tipperary 1-26 (29pts) –  Cork 2-27 (33pts).

Despite Corks 4 point win; surely today’s game must go down on record as one of the closest Munster championship ever contested in recent memory.

Tipperary Team: Darren Gleeson; Cathal Barrett; James Barry; John O’Keeffe; Seamus Kennedy; Ronan Maher; Padraic Maher (Capt); Brendan Maher; Michael Breen; Dan McCormack; Sean Curran; Noel McGrath; John O’Dwyer; Seamus Callanan, and John McGrath.

Tipperary Substitions: Niall O’Meara for Sean Curran; Joe O’Dwyer for Seamus Kennedy and Alan Flynn for injured Cathal Barrett.