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Death Of Mr Tomás Ó Baróid (Mr Tommy Barrett)

deathIt is with great sadness we report the death, last night (Monday 12th January 2015), of Mr Tomás Ó Baróid (Mr Thomas Barrett), late of Clongour, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Mr Ó Baróid’s passing  is deeply regretted by his daughter Roseanne, sons Joe, Tommy and Billy, brother Oliver, sisters Anna, Bridget and Noreen, brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, daughters-in-law Marie, Anne Marie and Dolores, grandchildren Aidan, Laura, Eoghan, Tommy, Róisín, Séan and Daniel, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and a wide circle of friends including the GAA Community.

Mr Ó Baróid was a much respected former Runaí of the Tipperary GAA County Board and was predeceased by his loving wife Rose.

Funeral Arrangements

Mr Ó Baróid body will repose at the Sarsfields Social Centre, Bohernanave,  Thurles, Tipperary, on Wednesday evening next, (January14th) from 4.00pm to 8.00pm, arriving at the Cathedral of The Assumption, Cathedral Street, Thurles, at 8.30pm.

Requiem Mass will be held on Thursday, January 15th at 11.00am with burial afterwards in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Moyne Road, Thurles.

Family flowers only, but donations, if desired, to the Community Hospital of the Assumption here in Thurles.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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Tipperary Employment – Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is a phrase commonly used to describe the persuasive power of numbers and in particular the use of statistics to bolster the spin of powerless government representatives; in their efforts to support even weaker arguments regarding local employment policies.

The CEO’s Tipperary Live Register series gives a monthly breakdown of the number of people claiming Job-seekers Benefit, Job-seekers Allowance and other Registrants as registered with the Department of Social Protection. Figures like those shown hereunder, are published from each local social welfare office in Tipperary. This same Live Register, for some unknown reason, however is not designed to measure true unemployment figures. It includes part-time workers (those who work up to three days a week), seasonal and casual workers entitled to Job-seekers Benefit. It also does not appear to include Registrant figures for those leaving the Unemployment Register to seek work overseas or Registrants leaving only to re register again at another Social Welfare office as part of their efforts to find employment in our major cities.

North Tipperary Unemployment – Both Sexes – All Ages = 6,271

Nenagh – Both Sexes – All Ages = 2,542, Roscrea – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,193, Thurles – Both Sexes – All ages = 2,536.

South Tipperary Unemployment – Both Sexes – All Ages = 7,864

Cahir – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,135, Carrick-On-Suir – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,699, Cashel – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,031, Clonmel - Both Sexes – All Ages = 2,478, Tipperary Town – Both Sexes – All Ages = 1,521.

Total Current Unemployed Persons in Co. Tipperary up to and including December 2014 = 14,135

For those of our readers who have been somewhat dubious as to the accuracy of unemployment figures posted here on Thurles.Info and our criticism of local newspapers and websites, who continuously insist on publishing TD’s inaccurate spin, please Click Here and browse the combinations and permutations for yourself.

In the words of award winning columnist Gene Kerrigan (Sunday Independent) “I’m not sure why the media co-operates in this charade – Why do for free, work for which ‘consultants’ are paid enormous amounts?” Journalistic comment in all its forms certainly hit a new low in 2014. Of course the use of the internet and the need to be “first with the news” to generate traffic, has led to a “copy / paste, check and update later” mentality within almost all media sectors.

Look at the recent ‘Press Releases’ posted out by elected North Tipperary TD’s, and published by local media and websites;
(1)“Fine Gael Tipperary TD, Noel Coonan, has congratulated the eight organisations across Tipperary which have been approved for National Lottery funding by the Fine Gael Minister for Children and Youth Affairs James Reilly under the 2014 funding programme.” All hail James Reilly.

(2)“Local TD and Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has welcomed the announcement by his colleague Kevin Humphreys of an allocation of €483,561 for five Tipperary projects.” All hail Kevin Humphreys.

National Lottery Funding of course comes from the everyday grocery store gambling habits of the tax payer. Proceeds are then collected and distributed at the whim of vote catching elected public representative, who in turn want you to believe this funding is their money, to approve and distribute in omnipotent fashion. Of course for some reason such doled out aid further attests to the belief that these same elected public representatives are the great “sustainers’ of your local universe.”

“We know you all, and will awhile uphold (Until Next Elections) the unyoked humour of your idleness.”

Apologies to William Shakespeare – (Henry IV [part 1])


Five powerless elected public representatives. (Four from Tipperary).

The above five senior politicians, Mr M. McGrath, Mr N. Coonan, Mr T. Hayes, Mr J. Deenan & Mr A. Kelly took a long self promotional weekend away from Dail Éireann on Friday April 25th 2014, to appear at the Horse & Jockey in Co Tipperary for the launch of the “Derrynaflan Trail Tourism Project,” but currently remain powerless to control National Museum policy, which could remove up to 300 people from our ever increasing Thurles & Tipperary Unemployment Registers.

Tourism Statistics
Figures released recently, via the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, indicate that overseas tourists spent just over €3.5 billion in Ireland this year and 7.3 million overseas visitors to Ireland in 2014 represented the highest number in the sector in the past six years. The Confederation also claim that tourism businesses employed in excess of 200,000 people, with 5,000 employees having been added in the past year, and the prospect for a further 8,000 jobs to be generated in our current starting year.

With Tipperary’s recent growing unemployment figures published by the CSO this month and the closure of several well known hotels in this county, it is quite obvious that Tipperary tourism businesses failed to contribute to aiding our counties unemployment during 2014; consequently we have failed as a county to attract and have lost control of our tourism industry due to our failure to demand our fair share of tourism funding.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Ms Heather Humphreys has recently announced the provision of an extra €2m in Arts funding, to be expended on Museums in Dublin and in Castlebar, Co Mayo, (latter only six minutes normal drive time via the N84 from Derrywash, Islandeady, the renowned birth place of  Taoiseach Enda Kenny). The purpose of this funding has little to do with supporting Arts or Culture, instead it was granted to support yet again the Dublin Tourism Sector.

Continue reading Tipperary Employment – Lies, Damn Lies And Statistics

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Tipperary Native Appointed Chief Executive Of ICI


Mr Brian Killoran ICI

Mr Brian Killoran a native of Roscrea, Co Tipperary, has been appointed as Chief Executive of The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) to succeed former CE Ms Denise Charlton in that role from next March. Mr Killoran has worked with this same organisation for the past 10 years.

ICI was originally founded by Co Kerry native, social innovator and Sisters of Charity member Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, who recently was listed in the nominations for this years Tipperary International Peace Award.

ICI publicly campaign for the rights and protections which benefits not just Irish citizens, but also migrants and their families. To this latter end the ICI supported 19 women and teenagers this year who had been trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

The former CE Ms Denise Charlton, who has been the council’s Chief Executive for the past 13 years, is now leaving to start a new business, but will continue to work alongside ICI on matters of policy.

Previously employed as Information and Referral Coordinator at ICI, Mr Killoran studied at NUI Galway and Dublin City University, where he attained a Masters in Globalisation. In his first post-studies employment, Mr Killoran was a facilitator on a programme for educators from the Middle East and North Africa at the Irish Institute in Boston College, Massachusetts. Mr Killoran began work in the area of migration in 2003 when he worked as a volunteer information worker with a community development NGO, working to address health inequalities among ethnic minorities in Dublin’s north inner city, before joining the ICI in 2004.

We wish Mr Killoran every success in his new upcoming post.

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Death Of Actor Rod Taylor


Late Actor Rod Taylor who visited Thurles in 1978.

It is with a great personal sadness I learned of the death, last Wednesday (7th January 2014), of Australian born actor Mr Rodney Sturt “Rod” Taylor.  Mr Taylor reportedly died aged 84, at his home in Los Angeles, surrounded by loved ones, including his wife Carol Kikumura and his daughter Felicia.

Mr Taylor had appeared in over 50 films and TV series throughout his long career, but was most famous for his role as Mitch Brenner, the love interest of Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock’s famous film ‘The Birds’.

His first leading role in a feature film was in the 1960’s adaptation of H. G. Well’s novel ‘The Time Machine’ and much later he went on to star as Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglorious Basterds’, for which he won a ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ in 2010.  In between he starred alongside Jane Fonda in ‘Sunday in New York,’ John Wayne in ‘The Train Robbers’ and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in ‘The V.I.P.s’. He was also the voice of ‘Pongo’ in Walt Disney’s animated ‘101 Dalmations’, as well as appearing on TV dramas such ‘The Oregan Trail’, ‘Falcon Crest’, ‘Murder, She Wrote’ and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’.

Rod Taylor Visits Thurles

I first met Mr Taylor when I was cast as his “Stand-In” for the making of the Irish based film Cry of the Innocent, whose cast also included Ms Joanna Pettet, Nigel Davenport, the late great Cyril Cusack, Walter Gotell, Alexander Knox and Dublin born Tony, Olivier and Jacob’s awards winner Jim Norton, latter who played the roles of ‘Bishop Brennan’ in the sitcom ‘Father Ted,’ and earlier as Chris Cawsey in ‘Straw Dogs’ with Dustin Hoffman, together with ‘Herr Lizst’ in the 2008 popular holocaust film ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’.

Filmed here in Ireland in counties Wicklow, Kildare, Dublin and Kerry, ‘Cry of the Innocent,’ (Originally entitled ‘An Eye for an Eye’) was written by Frederick Forsyth (Screenplay by Sidney Michaels) and was directed by the late Irish born Michael O’Herlihy, who also directed ‘Star Trek’ (1965), ‘Hawaii Five-O’ (1968), ‘M*A*S*H’ (1972) and ‘The A-Team’ (1983).  Incidentally, Michael O’Herlihy once confirmed to me that his wife was a member of the Ryan family, which same family once were the owners of the Brewery Stores here in Cathedral Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

In this film Rod Taylor played the character of an American insurance executive who finds himself on a grim mission to track down those responsible for the killing of his wife and two children, following a private plane which crashed and exploded into his holiday home. Also on board this plane was a scientist who was the initial target of the criminals who had engineered this accidental tragedy. The “maguffin” in this script is a secret formula worth untold millions, and aiding Mr Taylor (Playing the character of Steve Donegin) in bringing the murderers to eventual justice, is the investigative journalist Joanna Pettet, (Playing the character of Candia Leighton) who bears a close resemblance to Taylor’s ex-wife Cynthia Donegin; and no wonder, since Joanna Pettet plays both roles in the film. Produced by NBC Film, Tara Films & Tara Productions, this made-for-TV espionage saga premièred on June 19th, 1980.

Prior to the film’s launch Rod Taylor visited Thurles, where we met-up in Hayes Hotel. Mr Taylor’s visit to Thurles had been arranged by the now retired former Tipperary Fianna Fáil Senator Mr Des Hanafin. At this time Senator Hanafin was extremely conscious of the fact that Ireland badly needed to promote its national tourism industry and prospective visitors from abroad needed to be made more aware of Ireland’s picturesque natural landscapes in an era then devoid of today’s easy internet video access.  He, then as chairperson of  the Tara Production Team, latter which included RTE’s Morgan O’Sullivan, director Michael O’Herlihy and writer Frederick Forsyth, had invited Mr Taylor to visit Thurles; not just to promote Ireland through this new film, but also to attract attention in his support for a local Mentally Handicapped charity fund-raiser, to which the Senator was then offering a much needed supporting shoulder.

On arrival to Thurles we met privately in the Commercial Room of Hayes Hotel. It was here I was to discover that for several days Mr Taylor had been suffering from a severe and persistent toothache. Despite it being Sunday, I made a quick phone call to the home of then Thurles Dentist, the late Mr Noel Treacy. Some minutes later Mr Treacy arrived and twenty minutes later Mr Taylor’s tooth problem was solved with Mr Treacy refusing to accept any payment for his work. Mr Taylor later confirmed to me that he had spent several thousand dollars with an American dentist, prior to his trip to Ireland. He was later to leave Thurles admitting he was embarrassed that Noel had refused point blank to accept any payment for what the actor regarded as ‘magnificent dental surgery.

In both professional and social settings, Mr Taylor was always a most charming and humorous individual, displaying a truly rare and amazing acting ability.

Mr Taylor is survived by his wife Carol Kikumura and his daughter Felicia Taylor, latter a former CNN correspondent and only child of the actor.

From the many people of Thurles who chatted with him, in I believe 1978, go sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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Tipperary – A Pardon 74 Years Too Late For Harry Gleeson

GleesonA cold case review sanctioned by former Justice Minister Alan Shatter in September 2013 on a man hanged for murder almost 74 years ago, is to receive a pardon.

Mr Harry Gleeson was executed for the murder of Miss Mary (Foxy Moll) McCarthy, latter who was found shot dead in Tipperary on November 21st 1940, by the then British hangman Albert Pierrepoint (1905 – 1992) in Mountjoy jail in April 1941.  Pierrepoint executed at least 433 men and 17 women during his time as a hangman.

According to a fictional novel, The Dead Eight by Carlo Gebler, Moll McCarthy’s story truly begins with her mother, who was reportedly a woman of ‘ill repute,’ and who sold sex to improve her impoverished lifestyle during a sojourn in Dublin city. Moll, her daughter, lived in a children’s home here in Thurles Co Tipperary for the first sixteen years of life and was never acquainted with her actual father. Carlo Gebler paints Moll, like her mother, as somewhat of a promiscuous woman, even by the then standards of her time, having had numerous relationships with local men, both married and unmarried and also used these encounters to gain basic economic support, e.g. Unexplained Loads of Turf, Bags of Spuds, Groceries paid for at local shop etc..

Minister for Justice Mrs Frances Fitzgerald is due to bring a memo to Cabinet in the coming weeks recommending that Irish President Michael D Higgins now pardon Mr Gleeson.

Senior Counsel Shane Murphy has since reviewed the case on behalf of the Department of Justice; based on new submitted and compelling evidence from the Irish Innocence Project, based at Griffith College in Dublin. New evidence is understood to relate to withheld information by the prosecution which shows a discrepancy in their case in relation to a local gun and ammunition register. Evidence submitted is also understood to  show that the then police involved may have encouraged witnesses to submit less than true statements relating to these events.

Mr Harry Gleeson, a neighbour of Ms Mary McCarthy, latter a single mother of seven, had first reported the discovery of her body and some 5 months later was hanged for her murder.

Previously this story was documented by the late broadcaster and journalist Cathal O’Shannon (1928 – 2011) in a TV series entitled “Thou Shalt Not Kill, ” back in 1995. Perhaps it is time to dig into the archives and refresh our memories.

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