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Downton Abbey Exhibition Returns To Thurles For One Week Only

Teachers, All Students, History Societies Take Note

To coincide with the University of Limerick’s launch of “The Armstrong Papers” in the East Room of Plassey House on Monday next October 21st, St Mary’s Famine Museum will feature, for one week only, (October 16th to October 23rd inc) the rare and exciting exhibition entitled; “Downton Abbey, A Tipperary Perspective.”

Larger than the exhibition shown just last year, this historic exposition also happily coincides with the popular Downton Abbey, Series 4, currently showing each Wednesday night on TV3 at 9:00pm.

The TV series Downton Abbey is set on the fictional estate of Downton Abbey in the North Riding of Yorkshire, England, home to the Earl and Countess of Grantham and which follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants during the reign of King George V.
The Thurles exhibition on the other hand, while showing major similarities in life at the big house, takes a look at and follows the family of the Armstrong Family of Moyaliffe, Co Tipperary, during this very same period in Irish history, which also covers the First World War and the later period referred to as the ‘Roaring Twenties,’ and later.

Some of the items on show in this exhibition can be seen in the video shown above.

The ‘Roaring Twenties,‘ is of course a term often used to refer to the 1920’s, characterizing the decade’s distinctive cultural edge. Normality had returned to politics in the wake of hyper-emotional patriotism during World War I, jazz music blossomed, the ‘flapper,’ redefined modern womanhood, and Art Deco peaked. (Flappers were the “new breed” of young Western women in the 1920s who wore skirts short, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior.)

Included in the exhibition this year are Dan Breen’s revolver, William Trant’s (Dovea) revolver together with original photographs by Heinrich Hoffmann (1885 – 1957) latter Adolf  Hitler’s official photographer together with Military costumes, some dating back before 1900 from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in Surrey, with rare memorabilia from the Gallipoli Campaign including original cigarettes purchased in Port Said (1915 -1916).

Total cost of admission to this unique Tipperary exhibition is a mere €2 per person, which also incorporates a chance to examine the Famine Museum, latter which boasts the largest amount of original memorabilia, pertaining to the Great Famine (1845 – 1849).  Tours will be also accommodated at night to  facilitate visiting historical societies.

Note: All Schools & Historical Societies are requested to book their tour, some hours in advance by phoning 0504-21133, thus ensuring the presence of a lecture tour guide.

The Armstrong Papers

The Armstrong Papers, soon to be launched in Limerick, contain some 50,000 items including over 13,000 photographs. These documents encompass some 350 years of family history and were donated to the University of Limerick by Mrs Susan and Mr Graham Armstrong, formally of Moyaliffe, but who presently reside in Natal, South Africa.

Thurles Town and St Mary’s Famine Museum are also grateful to Mrs Susan and Mr Graham Armstrong for their continued patronage in loaning the Armstrong Collection to this area, which continues to attract tourists each Summer season, to the town.

The Thurles exhibition opens tomorrow Wednesday and is truly a ‘must see’ for lovers and students of Irish History.


Budget 2014 – No Country For Old Men

Brendan-MichaelNo Country for Old Men” or Women and indeed youth for that matter, and I am not referring to the 2007 American neo-Western thriller based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name.

I am referring to the Coalition Government’s politically safe budget announced today, which purports to frame the future of Ireland for future Irish people.

Youth Unemployment

The first insults, for young adults attempting to seek employment, came from Labour Ministers for Education and Social Protection, Ruairí Quinn and Joan Burton. “No young person should be able to say at age 19, ‘I’m better off on the dole than going training‘,” Quinn stated. The Minister for Social Protection also defended her cutting of her departments ‘Jobseeker’s Allowance,’ for these same young adults stated “Signing on for Jobseeker’s Allowance on a person’s 18th birthday it’s not the start to adult life that any parent would want for their child. We really have to be more ambitious for our young people.”

Ruairí and Joan obviously believe it is the aim of every young person with a four year University Degree to want to live on €144 a week. If so why have so many emigrated?

Dole payments to young people are now to be slashed by nearly a third, with all those aged 25 years and under and who sign on from January next then to receive  just  €100 a week, down from €144, while the 25 year old unemployed can claim €144, reduced from €188. All hope of current employment for rural dwellers is Dublin based and the current cost of a rail ticket to attend an interview, averages €50 each return trip.

Noonan and Howlin Set To Risk ‘Grey Brigade Revolt’

Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) on all savings is to rise to 41%, up 7% from 33%, which is estimated to bring in about €95m. (Forget the elderly here,  what about those saving in an attempt to get a step on the property ladder.)
The death grant of €850 to help families with funeral costs is to be abolished.
Over 30,000 pensioners over 70 may lose full medical cards and be placed on GP only cards.
Telephone allowance to Pensioners in the household benefit package to be discontinued from January 1st 2014.
Income threshold for medical cards for over-70s are to be lowered.
Excise duty on beer, spirits and tobacco be increased by a 10 cents rise, with wine up 50 cents.
This move is directly targeting older people sitting on cash savings at a time when this Government wants more spending.

Free GP Care To All Under Five Years To Benefit Wealthy

This same Government look now as if they are about to deliver health care reform by extending medical cards to every child under five years, regardless of family income, while at the same time it is rationing discretionary medical cards for many of this country’s deserving patients. In last year’s budget, free GP care was promised to those on long-term illness which then failed to materialise. It is also unbelievable that this Government should again announce extension to free Doctor Care, without any discussion with the same medical personnel expected to deliver on this service.

Not mentioned in “Budget 2014,” was the proposal that the House of the Oireachtas should develop its own house wine with its own “House of the Oireachtas” wine label and that bottles of same could be used for personal use and gifts by politicians. Perhaps this is also why there was  no mention of  reducing expenses paid to politicians, latter who were paid more than €500,000 during the month of August 2013, a month during which the Dáil did not sit, even once.

TV 3 can now cancel “The Great Irish Bake Off “; sure who will be able to afford French Chocolate Roulade, (a crumble and a bread-based dessert), those Sweet and Savoury Tarts or those Irish tea breads, our elderly have become so used to digesting on a daily basis.


Enhanced Redundancy For Dawn Fresh Food Workers

dawn-ffThe Labour Court has recommended that over 100 workers, who were set to lose their jobs at Dawn Fresh Foods Ltd in Fethard, Co Tipperary on October 25th next, will now be paid aggregate lump sums totalling €52,000, as part of an enhanced redundancy deal.

The Parent Company had opted to shut down the food processing plant in late July last.  Previously it had  produced chilled and frozen ready-made meals for the Irish and UK markets, but claimed that due to increasing costs of raw materials, energy, and unfavourable currency exchange rates etc., their market had declined.

The food giant has been in dispute with SIPTU over redundancy terms for the workers which in turn led to a hearing by the Labour Court.

Now as part of an enhanced redundancy deal for these workers, the Labour Court is also recommending that same be paid an additional one week’s service for each year on top of their statutory redundancy. The €52,000 in ex-gratia payments is made up of €500 to each employee.


The Lash @ D’Glash To Launch Charity Album

Premier-SoundFollowing on from their huge successes over the last two years the organisers of the charity event “The Lash @ D’ Glash,” are back again and are all set to launch a Charity Music Album featuring original sounds from top artist’s and bands from all around the county of Tipperary.

On its completion this album will then be made available to the public with full sale proceeds being donated to two very worthy Tipperary causes:-

(1) The Irish Pilgrimage Trust; latter who have for over the last 40 years been travelling on pilgrimages to Lourdes with young people with special needs from all over Ireland.

(2) Pieta House; latter a centre for the prevention of self harm and suicide. The funds received by pieta house help them to insure that if someone needs help and support, same will be provided.

Bands and Artists already on the album include Life-Line, Jester, Minus 1, James McGrath, Acoustra, Seskin lane, The Rebel Hearts and Stevie Spratt, with lots more to come.

Lash @ D’ Glash Premier Sounds Vol: 1 is set for full release in January 2014.
For more information about the album and other associated events check out the Lash @ D’ Glash Facebook Page or for pre-orders do please visit their website by clicking HERE.

Two great causes and one great Tipperary album guaranteed, so keep the organisation checked out.


Firearm Seized And Male Arrested In Fethard

garda crestA male, believed to be in his 30’s, has been arrested by Gardaí and a loaded firearm seized, following a search operation in South Co Tipperary.

The man is understood to have been arrested after Gardaí responded to a report of suspicious activity in the area of Fethard village.

During the course of the operation a vehicle was searched by Gardaí who had responded to the report, resulting in a loaded shotgun and a knife being located.

The male, as yet unnamed, is currently being detained under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act, and is being held at Clonmel Garda station.