Local Weather

Mostly cloudy
real feel: 6°C
wind speed: 3 m/s SE
sunrise: 7:12 am
sunset: 8:01 pm


Thurles Sarsfields International Hurling Festival 2013

The Thurles Sarsfields Third International Hurling Festival 2013, held this weekend here in Thurles, is over for another year but not before being acclaimed a ‘rip roaring success,’ by the organising committee, under the chairmanship of John Enright. Hotels, B/B’s & other tourist services providers in the area are reporting a massive surge in tourism business over the past number of days.

The organising committee wish to thanks their sponsors, namely IBP Insurance, The Gathering Ireland 2013, Thurles Sarsfields and Thurles Town Council for their generous sponsorship of this ever growing annual Thurles festival event.

The now coveted Semple Cup this year went to the team of ‘Causeway,’ in Co Kerry and was presented by Ann Gunning, latter daughter of the late great Tom Semple.

Setanta,’ in Donegal were winners of the Culhane Cup presented by Paddy Kenny, while Dublin won the Carew Cup, latter presented by Michael Maher, Chairman of Thurles Sarsfield.

In the ‘Caman Abu,’ competition action, winners of the Plate were Thurles Post Office; with the Thurles branch of Tesco deserving winners of the Cup. Runners up of ‘Caman Abu,’ were Noal Ryan’s, Parnell Street, Thurles & ‘Larry’s,’ Dempsey Square, Thurles both licensed premises.

All in all this was a most successful and enjoyable sporting weekend for all in attendance and a welcome boost for a Thurles ailing economy.

Imitation; The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

That said, of course I would not like to be an employee of Aer Lingus or ETIHAD Airways respective PR teams going to work tomorrow. It will be disappointing for them to discover that they have been ‘Taken in,’ (as we say in Tipperary,) by the Galway International Hurling Festival, latter which claims to be “the first hurling competition of its kind, ” taking place in September.

As Lady Marguerite Blessington, Countess of Blessington is reported to have once stated: “Borrowed thoughts, like borrowed money, only shows the poverty of the borrower.”

A little comment also for GAA President Liam O’Neill; Pablo Picasso once stated “To copy others is necessary, but to copy oneself is pathetic.”

To the Galway organisers;  Galway Supporters Club, Terry O’Flaherty (Mayor of Galway City,) and Terry Welby (Mayor of Galway County,) we wish you the best of luck with your weekend, but visitors do remember that Thurles is the real home of the GAA and any other hurling festival is just a cheap imitation, plagiarised from Thurles Sarsfields.

Seriously, what intrigues me is how two people over 141km or two hours driving time apart, can come up with almost the same catch phrase; “Camán Home for the Hurling,” & “Camán for the Craic.” Now if that is not proof of extrasensory perception (ESP) at work, tell me what is?

Next year Thurles will be running the first ever Tour de France & later in the year the first ever Glastonbury Festival, so do stay tuned for more details.

Talking of airlines, be jasus, I’m just wondering would RYANAIR’s CEO, Mr  Michael O’Leary throw Thurles a little sponsorship for The Ryan Gathering in August next?


Holycross Wedding Of Noreen & James

In bright sunshine with temperatures reaching 28°C, the wedding took place today of the very lovely Miss Noreen Dwan, daughter of Mrs Margaret & Mr Rody Dwan, Holycross, Co Tipperary, to Mr James Fitzpatrick, son of Mrs Elizabeth & Mr Jim Fitzpatrick, Holycross, Co.Tipperary.

Their ceremony took place in the beautiful setting of Holycross Abbey (a wedding venue favoured by celebrities including Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries, and Colette Fitzpatrick, TV3 News Anchor)  with the ceremony conducted by close family friend, Rev Fr. Tomas Breen, Parish Priest at the Abbey.

Newly weds Noreen & James Fitzpatrick

Newly Weds Noreen & James Fitzpatrick

Escorted down the aisle by her brother Thomas, the bride looked stunningly beautiful in a full length white lace strapless afternoon wedding gown, with sweetheart neckline and lace veil.  A delicately embellished diamonte waist band with bouquet to match, designed by the bride herself, greatly added to her elegant ensemble.

The Groom, James, looked dashing in a grey suit, with wing collared shirt, elegantly highlighted by a white cravat. Also adding to the splendour of this occasion was Flower Girl Miss Aoife Fitzpatrick.

The couple proclaimed their love for each other in front of family members and close friends, with a video recording of the event undertaken by top videographer Mr Pat Corbett.

Music and vocals were performed by Mr John Hosey, with passages from scripture read by Evelyn Dwan & Kevin Fitzpatrick, while Prayers of the Faithful were read by Lucy O’Meara, Michelle Ryan, Gary Dwan, Jamie Lee Dwan, Roisín Dwan and Jessica Fitzpatrick.

Offertory gifts of Bread and Wine were carried by Margaret Dwan & Elizabeth Graydon, while Catherine Brown recited beautifully the customary Communion Reflection.

Following the marriage ceremony, the new Mr and Mrs Fitzpatrick retired to that very popular wedding venue, the 1730 Queen Anne style mansion, better known as the Cashel Palace Hotel, situated under the shadow of the Rock of Cashel here in Co Tipperary.  Here guests were entertained, in the beautiful shaded and walled garden, to a champagne reception together with a host of other light refreshments.

Following family photographs in the magnificent hotel gardens, the newly married couple joined their guests in the venue’s main Drawing Room for dinner, which was immediately followed by dancing very late into the evening.

The couple have chosen to keep their honeymoon destination a closely guarded secret for the moment, so to Noreen & James go all our best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous life together and our thanks to you both for the most enjoyable of wedding day celebrations.


Tipperary Woman New Captain Of L.É Aoife

The first handover of a Naval Command between two female Captains of an Irish Naval Service vessel took place on the quayside in Waterford yesterday.

Lieutenant Commander Marie Gleeson.

Lieutenant Commander Marie Gleeson.

Lieutenant Commander Marie Gleeson, from Cashel in Co Tipperary, took over control of the L.É Aoife from the outgoing captain, Lieutenant Commander Erika Downing from Cork.

Waterford City is the adopted port of the L.É. AOIFE and all Naval Vessels are individually associated with an Irish Port.

Female personnel first joined the Irish Naval Service in 1995. Just eighteen years later female personnel are fully advancing their careers in line with male colleagues and making significant contributions to the Irish Naval Service. Indeed Ireland has proportionally more female ships’ captains, than any other Navy in Europe

Currently one in four of all serving Naval Officers are female and earlier this year the Navy promoted two female Non Commissioned Officers (NCO’s) to the senior enlisted rank of Petty Officer.

We wish Lieutenant Commander Gleeson every success in her new appointment.


Vacant Munster Hotel Thurles Offered For Sale

Munster Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Munster Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

The once popular & currently vacant Munster Hotel, Cathedral Street, Thurles, is presently being offered for sale, with an asking price of €500,000.

The site is situated on 1.89 acres of land, which comprises a 3 storey over basement property with rear garden and a surfaced car park.

Situated at the eastern end of Thurles town, yet centrally located, it connects to the N62 and N75 national roads and is in close proximity to the M8 Cork to Dublin Motorway.

The building has extensive road frontage together with a number of points of access, both from Cathedral Street and from the rear car park, including independent access to a fully fitted two storey public bar, with adjoining snooker rooms. There is also separate access to the main function room from the existing car park at the rear.

Accommodation includes: A large Function Room with two separate bars, large Multilevel Bar spanning three floors, Nightclub located on the upper floor, three floors of Self Contained Bedroom Accommodation, Snooker Room, Multiple meeting rooms, Lift access to each floor, a Basement (flood damaged at basement level,) with Commercial Access, large surfaced Car Park with separate access and a large old world Walled Private Garden to the rear.

Adjacent to this property is the Cathedral and Presbytery, a number of primary and secondary schools and St Patrick’s college a Third Level Institution. The property is zoned ‘Town Centre,’ in the Thurles and Environs Development Plan 2009 – 2015.

BER Rating: Number 800190712  with Rating C1.

Joint Agents acting for the sale of this property are Savills, 11 South Mall, Cork – Contact: Peter O’ Meara – Tel 021 / 4271371 and P.J. Broderick Auctioneers, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co Tipperary – Contact: Peter Broderick – Tel 0504 / 22811.


Phoenix Productions – Come Listen To “The Music Of The Night” In Thurles

Phoenix Productions are this year celebrating their 15th Birthday. Founded initially in 1998 to harness the unbelievable vocal & musical talent emerging amongst the youth of Thurles, this non-profit organization, through the use of professionals in choreography & musical direction, have succeeded in staging one musical production every year since its conception.

Funded only by the sale of tickets, an Arts Council Grant latter administered by Tipperary North County Council and local sponsorship, the Phoenix Productions company will this year undertake its most tasking production yet, the tragic love story that is the 1986 musical “The Phantom of the Opera,” with music by Tipperary resident Baron Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart. (Some lyrics influenced by Jim Steinman, Alan Jay Lerner & Richard Stilgoe.)

Just this year the rights to perform “The Phantom of the Opera” were released to non-professional groups for the very first time.

To give you just a taste of what is to come, listen to the gifted voices of Michael Ball and Sierra Boggess, as they perform possibly one of the best known and loved songs from this amazing musical, hereunder entitled “All I ask of  you.”  By the way, on Piano for this video performance is composer and impresario of musical theatre, himself, Baron Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Thurles Cast:

Sonny Dwyer (Phantom Erik,); Lucy Tobin (Christine Daaé,); Paul Browne (Raoul, Viscount de Chagny,); Róisín Heenan (Carlotta Giudicelli,); Andrew Whelan (Monsieur Firmin,); Ryan Grace (Monsieur André ), Stephanie Browne (Madame Giry ), Graham Maher (Ubaldo Piangi ), Emily Murphy (Meg Giry ) and Nathan Carroll (Joseph Buquet ).

Corps de Ballet:

Emily Murphy, Aoife Phelan, Irene Slattery, Ann Marie O’ Dwyer, Annie Blake and Billie Kelly.

Production Team:

Gerard O’ Brien (Producer,);  Aisling Doyle (Director/Choreographer,); David Wray (Musical Director,); John O’ Donoghue  (Set Design,) and Gerry Taylor (Lighting Design,).

Tickets: Cost €15, €20, Concession: €12 (Tickets will go on Sale on July 27th next at West Gate, Thurles, in the shop formally occupied by ‘Blake’s Butchers,’ and more recently ‘Rings and Things.’).

This is one show for music lovers which should not to be missed, so do make arrangements to view the splendour of a Paris Opera House here in the Premier Hall, Thurles and meet face to face a Phantom, shamed by his physical appearance and feared by all. But also experience the strong passion that this Phantom holds for his beautiful protégée Christine Daaé,  that despite this physical affliction, even her heart cannot resist.

So “No more talk of darkness,” folks and for at least one night, do come listen to “The music of the night,” here in Thurles, running from August 7th to August 10th 2013.