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Common Teasel – A Manna From Heaven

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin and yet I say unto you,
that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
St. Luke – Chapter 12, Verses 28 & 29.

DSC_5849

The Common Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris) plant is just one of many wild flowers recently introduced into St. Mary’s Graveyard here in Thurles Co. Tipperary, as part of restoration work being carried out to convert the latter into a garden and urban wild flower reserve.

Observed by many as just a species of weed, the Common Teasel (Teazel) plant is well worth growing in well managed gardens, if only for use in dried flower arrangements. Teasel is a biennial plant which germinates in its first year; while flowering in its second. In the first year it appears as a rosette of spine-coated leaves, which die in the second year, as it diverts its energy into growing its tall, often up to 2 meter high stems.

Common Teasel is a real nature lover’s plants, protected by thorns the full length of its stem. Its cone shaped flower heads, the seeds of which begin turning brown in winter; gives to the observer the impression of being a giant cotton bud. Prior to seeding, it displays tiny lavender / purple coloured flowers to be found clustered together in the form of separated rings appearing up and down its flower head. These flowers quickly attract bumblebees, butterflies and other flying creatures and the later seeds produced, entice many wild birds, particularly Goldfinches, who arrive in vast numbers to feast.

The many uses attributed to the Common Teasel plant.

The first references to the huge important uses of the Teasel plant began before the 12th century. The Romans called the plant ‘Lavacrum Veneris’, meaning the ‘Basin (or Bath-house) of Venus’. This name refers to the fact that the plant collects little pools of water at the base of its lower stem leaves (See picture no.2 above) providing drinking water for insects. However this water collected also insures that it keeps its own roots watered, when, aided by the wind, it sways to spill this collected water supply unto the soil at its base. Irish Water (Uisce Eireann) activists who today correctly (to my mind) argue that water is more than just a human need; that it is in fact a God given human right, would do well to observe this plant.  Such observation will surely prove that access to safe drinking water should never depend on affordability; but rather that the provision of future clean water to the less well-off, be no longer perceived as charity, but rather as a legal entitlement to be shared by all God’s creatures equally.

During the eighteenth century, the water collected by the leaves of Teasel plants was believed to remove freckles and was also used to soothe sore eyes. The roots have also been used to treat warts, sores and other skin problems, as a stomach aid, as an analgesic for pain relief, as an anti-inflammatory and as a stimulant for the nervous system.  Teasel Root is widely used in conjunction with antibiotics to treat Lyme Disease. It has the ability to pull bacteria from muscle tissue into the blood stream, thus enabling the human immune system to do its work naturally.

Whereas most modern textile processes have been mechanised, the barbs of Teasel plants continue to be used today in the woollen trade, since the spiny heads of this plant are gentler on wool and cloth materials; where stubborn tangles are encountered. In this process some 2,000 to 4,000 dried teasel heads are hand-picked and mounted on rotating drums known as a ‘Gigs’. The Gig then spins rapidly over the stretched surface of woollen cloth, thus separating the surface fibres, “raising the nap”.

Today modern snooker-table cloth surfaces, guardsmen’s tunics and the roof linings of Rolls-Royce cars are all still finished with Teasel heads and no machine has ever been devised that can do the job on cloth better than the Teasel. Indeed the Coat of Arms of the Cloth Workers’ Company, granted first in 1530, still proudly displays a golden Teasel head.

Teasel with its thorny spiked stems, when used in dried flower arranging, soon teaches the florist to wear gloves when cutting or handling the plant. In drying, remember to leave the stems to fully shed their seeds naturally, before cutting and hanging upside down. Properly handled and correctly dried these flowers will last for many years, making a bold statement in any future designed floral display.

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Galway Narrowly Defeat Tipperary In SHC Semi-Final 2015

HurlingFull-time score: Tipperary 3-16 (25pts) – Galway 0-26

No doubt whatsoever, it was the hurling game of the summer of 2015; an epic game that will be talked about for many years into the future; it was of course Tipperary v Galway at Croke Park today August 16th 2015.

The game was spellbinding to watch; demonstrating courage and much resilience from Galway, with ‘Man of the Match’ deservedly going to Seamus Callanan on the losing Tipperary team, having personally scored 3-09 (18pts).

The lead between the rivals changed hands many times, drawing level on some 10 different occasions and one could argue that a replay would have been perhaps the fairest outcome on the day. However following the final result; the question now remains can Galway end a 27-year drought and take the Liam MacCarthy Cup west of the Shannon River, when they meet on Sunday September 6th next, in the final of the 2015 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship?

First Half  (38 min)
It took just 40 seconds, in the opening half, for Seamus Callanan to rifle the ball past Galway goalkeeper Colm Callanan for a goal (3pts) and six minutes for Galway to reply with a free taken by Joe Canning.  In the 16th minute Galway win a penalty, but to no avail, due to the brilliance of a save made by Tipperary goalkeeper Darren Gleeson and which would not be his last on the day.

From then on it was a first half game of points from Galway’s Jason Flynn, Joe Canning, Cathal Mannion, Andy Smyth, C. Whelan and David Burke  answered by Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan, Jason Forde, John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer, Seamus Callanan and Brendan Maher; all leading to a half-time scoreboard which read Tipperary 1-09 (12pts) – Galway 0-13.

Second Half
In the fortieth minute Seamus Callanan gets his second goal; and add a third just 13 minutes later, but same gets slowly whittled away by points from determined hungry Galway’s players namely; Canning, Whelan and Jason Flynn with an almost tit-for-tat thrilling tie thus ensuing.

As the sides went deep into injury-time without either taking the lead for long, it looked like parity might be the outright winner today. However right at the death, Galway’s Joe Canning found sub S. Maloney with a diagonal pass, leaving him to slip away and past Tipperary’s Cathal Barrett, to fire over the eventual winning single point.

Best of luck to Galway who now go forward against Kilkenny in the final.

Tipperary Team: D. Gleeson, C. Barrett, J. Barry, C. O’Brien, R. Maher, Padraic Maher, K. Bergin, J. Woodlock, S. McGrath, J. Forde (0-01), B. Maher (0-01), Patrick Maher (0-01), N. O’Meara, S. Callanan (3-09 [18pts]), J. O’Dwyer (0-02).

Subs: Shane Bourke for J.Forde; Lar Corbett for S. McGrath;, N. McGrath for S.Bourke, C. O’Mahony for J. Woodlock and M. Breen for R. Maher.

Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).

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Tipperary Twelfth In Favourite Domestic Holiday Destinations

TipperaryMapAccording to a survey taken by MyHome.ie, the kingdom of Co. Kerry is Ireland’s favourite domestic holiday destination. This is the third time in a row that Kerry has topped this particular poll with 24.5% of voters highlighting it as their favourite county for a break.

Co. Galway gallops home in second place, polling 17%, while Cork arrives in third place with 14% of the poll. While Wexford was the only other county to hit double digits; counties Clare, Donegal, Mayo, Dublin, Wicklow, Kilkenny and Waterford rounded off the remaining surveyed Top 10.

With more than 5,200 people taking part in this survey of Irish holidaymakers Co. Tipperary, which receives little or no tourism marketing budget share, received just 1% of the vote in this survey undertaken. While only a brief survey, nevertheless Tipperary did outrank counties Leitrim (0.8%), Louth (0.7%), Kildare & Meath (0.3%), Cavan & Offaly, Armagh, Laois, Fermanagh, Limerick and Westmeath (latter 7 counties all receiving 0.17%).

Dublin despite millions of Euro being spent from our national tourism budget annually, to attract attention, received just 3% of the vote in this same survey. Regrettably counties Carlow, Derry, Down, Longford, Roscommon, Monaghan and Tyrone failed to attract even one single vote.

While Tipperary is only in joint 12th position with Co Antrim, it is however easy to see why we fails to attract a better and indeed deserved percentage vote in this survey. We now invite our readers to view the website launched in September 2014, by the current Tipperary Minister for Environment, Community & Local Government Mr Alan Kelly.  Next click HERE to view “Top Sights within an hour of Lough Derg”. Do you see Thurles or any of its superb local attractions get a mention?  No, I regret to say, only attractions which have had large sums of government money pumped into them by the Bord of Works and National Monuments are highlighted and recommended, the nearest some 5 miles away.

Note also the Lough Derg website fails to shows Links. For those of you not familiar with website Link Building, same is the process of acquiring and sharing hyperlinks (Links) from other websites to your own, thus offering a way for all users to navigate between pages on the internet and in doing so grant surfers a greater overview of all that our Premier County has to offer the visitor. Latter linking failure appears to be part of present overall tourism policy, but to the detriment of our tourist economy nationally.

Hyperlinks (Links) are a number one essential on all tourism websites if we are to truly compete, network and sell online.

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Question: Which Irish County Grows The Best Spuds?

 Which Irish county grows the best potatoes?

potatoflowerSupposedly first discovered by the Spaniards back in the 16th Century, and understood to have been eaten by the Peruvians some 2,000 years previously, our humble potato is still, by far, the most popular of all consumed vegetables. This versatile tuber can be boiled, chipped, steamed, baked, roasted and sautéed.

However according to An Bord Bia which held its All Ireland Quality Potato Championships recently, not surprisingly the winning county was identified as; yes you have guessed correctly, Co. Tipperary.

Last weekend at the Tullamore Show in Co Offaly, latter which is attended by some 60,000 people annually, potato grower Mr David Curran from Fethard, Co. Tipperary was crowned All Ireland Champion and quality spud producer.

According to An Bord Bia, this annual competition is designed not just to increase the level of awareness among growers, but to highlight what actually constitutes a top quality potato.

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Three Thurles Obituaries

deathWright: It is with great sadness we learned of the death on Saturday last (8th August 2015) of Mr Michael (Mickey) Wright, Hazelwood Grove, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Mr Wright, formerly of Littleton and Manchester, passed away, deeply regretted by his sons, daughters, grandchildren, brothers, sisters and extended family.

Funeral Arrangements
Mr Wright’s earthly remains will repose at Egan’s Funeral’s Home, Thurles, today Tuesday (11th August 2015) from 5:00pm to 7:00pm with removal at 7.30pm to St. Kevin’s Church, Littleton. Requiem Mass will take place on Wednesday at 11.30am, followed by private cremation.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

 McGrath: It is also with great sadness we learned of the death yesterday (Monday 10th August 2015) of Mrs Peggy (Margaret) McGrath (née Ryan), Malahide, Dublin / Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Mrs McGrath, formerly of Thurles, Co. Tipperary, passed away peacefully in the wonderful care of the staff of Tara Winthrop Nursing Home. Loving wife of the late Edward and mother of the late Agnes (O`Leary)  Mrs McGrath will be very sadly missed by her son Denis, daughter Mary, sons-in-law Terence and P.J., grandchildren Alan, Cillian, Terryann, Catraoine, Amy and Andrew, great-grandchildren Neil, Chloe, Scott and Eve, her sister Kathleen, sister-in-law Breda, nieces and nephews, extended family and friends.

Funeral Arrangements
Mrs McGrath’s earthly remains will repose on Wednesday afternoon at Stafford`s Funeral Home, Strand Road, Portmarnock, from 4:00pm until 5:00pm before her removal that evening to St. Sylvester’s Church, Malahide, arriving for 5:30pm.

Funeral Mass will take place on Thursday morning at 10:00am, followed immediately thereafter by burial in Fingal Cemetery.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

Gilmartin: It is also with great sadness we learned of the death yesterday (Monday 10th August 2015) of Mrs Mary Gilmartin (née Quinlivan), Churchquarter, Kilcommon, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Mrs Gilmartin formerly of Annaholty, Birdhill passed away peacefully at University hospital Limerick. Sadly missed by her loving husband Patrick, daughter Nuala, son D.J., son in law Garrett, grandchildren Ciara, Connor and Donal, brothers, sisters, brothers in law, sisters in law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Funeral Arrangements
Mrs Gilmartin’s earthly remains will repose at Meehan’s Funeral Home, Newport, today (Tuesday 11th August) from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, with removal afterwards to Kilcommon Church. Requiem Mass on Wednesday 12th at 11.30am, with burial afterwards in the New Cemetery, Kilcommon.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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