Irish Phrase Of The Day

"Cad atá ar súil agat ?" - What are you doing?


August 2014
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Liberty Square, Thurles Moves Closer To A Revamp

Design consultants URS Ireland, updating the final plans for the proposed revamp of Liberty Square here in Thurles, were in attendance yesterday at the Thurles -Templemore Municipal District meeting, held in the ‘Old Library’ building, situated on Castle Avenue.


A number of final pre-submission draft drawings were on the table for final discussion at the meeting, latter which will now become part of the overall draft plan of the area, based on previous public consultation processes held earlier over the past year.

These Draft Thurles Design Plans costing some €3,000,000 will now provide for the removal of some parking facilities in the town’s central median, in favour of two off-street car parks recently acquired, providing for some one hundred extra parking spaces. However some enlarged on-street parallel parking is likely to remain with the provision of widened footpaths and the possible introduction of two extra courtesy pedestrian crossings.

From my own humble point of view this is welcome news; after all from a tourism prospective, for the past 14 years, world tourist publications have been less than complimentary with regard to our small local urban community.

Lonely Planet Ireland with Head Offices in America & Australia in a defamatory statement claim; “Thurles (Durlas) is a large market town 22km north of Cashel which was founded by the Butlers in the 13th Century.  Little of note has been built there since and the town square is little more than an ugly car park.”   This same publication, in 2007, stated; “The centre of Thurles town is the long and spacious Liberty Square. It is rather traffic bound, but has a lively air.”

Ireland : A Rough Guide published by Rough Guides Ltd, 62-70 Shorts Gardens, London and distributed by the Penguin Group state; ” Thurles is of very little interest in itself .” “Having seen the Rock of Cashel, most people head out of Tipperary for the west, and frankly this isn’t a bad idea – the north of the county has little to distract you.”  Also they offer this little added piece of  libel; “Templemore is even less interesting than Thurles.”

The final plans should be ready to go on display under Part 8 Planning Process later this year and once finally agreed same will then go to tender for construction.
Thurles – Templemore District Director Mr Matt Shortt, in highlighting this project, has stated that the overall aim of this new revamp will be to aid the currently restricted traffic flow, while also greatly improving conditions for shopping pedestrians.

Yes of course there will be many problems as plans are unveiled and as our Local Authority attempt to construct what can be reasonably described as a new exciting public face to Liberty Square. Such, after all, is inevitable when local residents and businesses people are invited to participate in a final decision-making process. We reside in an age where “Personal Greed and Me-ism” flourishes in abundance, so do let’s try to keep our thoughts positive, accepting safe democratic decisions and keeping in mind that it is impossible for everyone to fully agree on all finalised new proposals.

After all and in reality there is no such thing as a problem; if a problem occurs and there is a solution – there is no problem; if a problem occurs and there is no solution – this can be categorised as a ‘fact of life,’ so let’s continue with it until an alternative resolution can be calmly worked out.

One thought is common in the minds of all Thurles people presently; Liberty Square badly needs a face lift, so let’s speed up this positive chance for change, where possible.

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Window Smashed In Mitchel Street, Thurles

DSC_8961Residents on Mitchel Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary were awoken by the sounds of a noisy altercation and glass being smashed late last night.

One private residence had its front window badly shattered, at around 12.00 midnight, by a person or persons involved.

The house was occupied by at least two elderly people at the time.

Local Gardaí on patrol in the town were summoned and attended the scene within minutes of the incident happening.

Following their investigations, it is understood that at least one young man was immediately formally arrested and detained in relation to this occurrence.

Today the window remains boarded over, awaiting necessary repairs.

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Macra Festival Aug 1st – Aug 3rd 2014

International Miss Macra Festival 2014

Miss Eiblish Maher (International Miss Macra Festival PRO) Reports.

As the 2014 August bank holiday draws ever closer, we find ourselves glimpsing the last remnants of our Irish Summer.  That agreed, there now remains that impulse, found within all of us, to complete at least one great ‘last hurrah’ before our Summer season once again fades to Autumn.

So if you are looking for a fun and unique party event in which to participate, why not visit the 2014 International Miss Macra Festival, taking place in less than two weeks time from Aug 1st – Aug 3rd inclusive, at the luxury Dundrum House Hotel, Dundrum, Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Watch Video HERE in HD.

This year will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the International Miss Macra Festival, superbly organised as always by the Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra na Feirme club, here in Co Tipperary.

Calendar of forthcoming Macra Festival events for 2014.

Friday: The festival will kick-start on Friday August 1st when this year’s 21 contestants will meet the Festival Committee in the grounds of the luxury Dundrum House Hotel; beginning midday. Dundrum House Hotel, often described as an ‘Irish Oasis’ set in the heart of Tipperary’s Golden Vale, creates the perfect location for those intent on seeking relaxation and fun. The competitors will then be taken on a tour of the world renowned Coolmore Stud Farm, followed by a ‘Zumba Secession’ in Clonoulty Community Hall. Later that evening the girls will meet up with their host families. The tradition of the contestants staying with host families is very strong within the local community and Macra are extremely grateful for their generosity and commitment by our host families over the past 43 years. This year the Friday night will be a themed disco and what more fitting a theme this year than ‘Farmer Style,’ (Make sure you all have your peaked caps, dungarees and steel capped rubber boots at the ready.)

Saturday: The contestants will awaken early on Saturday morning for their interviews with this year’s competent judges. There are three judges; (1) Declan Ryan who has held every officership on our festival committee, including Chairman throughout the years and is currently the President of Clonoulty/Rossmore Macra club. Joining him will be; (2) Joan Pollard Carew, renowned poet and well known patron of Irish dancing. Joan is also the wife of Michael Carew, of Michael’s Jewellers fame who sponsors annually the second prize in our festival and who has contributed greatly to same in terms of resources, time and advice. This year we are proud to announce that there will be a new judge; (3) joining us will be Caroline Kinane from Tipp FM Radio and we wish her the very best of luck with the tough task of selecting International Miss Macra 2014.

After the interviews on Saturday, the contestants will again have a chance to relax at the annual South Tipperary Macra Raft Race, which will take place in the neighbouring village of Golden at 4.00pm sharp. This activity is mainly for assembled Macra supporters who don a life jacket and make their county proud as the person – made rafts battle the river currents. (Trust me the historic St.Brendan’s voyage wasn’t a patch on this major upcoming event.)

Saturday night will see the girls dressed in their finest; ascend the stage for the cabaret. Mike Egan, previous Macra member, will interview the girls two at the time in front of a marquee full of supporters, friends and family. Once the cabaret is finished the contestants can enjoy themselves, with their supporters, in the Venue to the band ‘Lebowski.’

Sunday: Sunday morning sees the girls attend Church in the local parish of Clonoulty. Afterwards, there will be a Macra family fun and sports day, followed by a barbecue. The contestants will proudly wear their county colours as they battle it out through a custom built Macra obstacle course, complete with parallel Tractor Parking (toy) and a demonstration on Friesian Cow milking (cardboard).

Immediately after these sports, the preparations for the Miss Macra Annual Ball will commence. There will be a hairdresser, Tara and others, on site for each contestants and female committee members. Photographs of the girls plus their escorts will be taken by the festival photographer, beginning at 6.00pm sharp. This will be then followed by a ‘Champagne Reception,’ and a Five Course Banquet which will takes place in the Dundrum House Banqueting Suite.

Following the Banquet and after dinner speeches the band ‘Memphis’ will take to the stage to begin the dancing, until the bewitching hour of 12.00 midnight when the judges will announce this year’s winner, together with those adjudged as taking second and third place. The crowned winner and runners up will then have their photographs taken with the main sponsors of the festival.

Now with the winner crowned; the festival now draws to a close, as the committee breathe a sigh of relief, proud of their many months spent planning, as the entire ballroom fills with Macra and non-Macra members who will continue to dance late into the night.

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Yvonne & Pat Tie Marital Knot

The wedding took place yesterday of the very lovely Miss Yvonne Ryan, daughter of Mrs Noreen and Mr Patrick Ryan, to Mr Patrick Ryan, latter son of M/s Marie Horrigan and Mr Daniel Ryan.

The Bride was chauffeured to her native Church of St. Patrick, latter situated in the picturesque village of Doon, Co Limerick, by Mr Michael F. Hogan, in a rare vintage 1963 Silver Cloud III, formally owned by William Waldorf Astor, 3rd Viscount Astor.


Shortly thereafter the happy couple were united in a wedding ceremony, beautifully conducted by Rev. Fr.Tony Ryan, latter a close friend of both families.

Escorted down the aisle by her father Pat, the bride looked stunningly beautiful; wearing an intricately beaded ivory afternoon wedding gown with sweetheart neckline, latter from the ‘Mori Lee’ collection by Madeline Gardner. Same was beautifully foiled by a two-tier chapel bridal veil attached to a tiara, delicately embellished with cubic zirconium.

Equally beautiful were her two accompanying bridesmaids; Niamh Hanley (Maid of Honour) and Aishling O’Mahony, both of whom who wore full-length, cadbury purple, V-necked evening gowns. Also adding to the splendour of this occasion were Flower Girl Miss Sophie Ryan and Pageboy Master Jake Ryan.

The groom, Pat, together with Thomas Ryan (Bestman) and Michael Collins (Groomsman) all looked dashing in dark grey evening suits, elegantly highlighted by white ‘Oxford Plain’ shirts with ivory waistcoats and matching cadbury purple silk cravats.

The couple proclaimed their love for each other in front of a large gathering of family members and close friends, with music and vocals provided for the ceremony by the well known and very popular ‘O’Connell Sisters,’ from Kilcommon, Co Tipperary.

Scripture readings were undertaken by Kathleen O’Mahony and Ann Lafferty, while prayers of the faithful were read by Mary Horrigan, Michelle Ryan, Mary Holohan, Karen Ryan, Eoin Ryan and  Mike O’Dowd. The Offertory Procession of bread and wine were carried to the Alter by Yvonne Clifford and Martina Rainsford.  The customary wedding day ‘Communion Reflection,’ was recited John O’Mahony.

Following a very beautiful and relaxed ceremony, the new Mr and Mrs Ryan retired to the ever popular Tipperary wedding venue, The Abbey Court Nenagh, Hotel, where guests were entertained to a Champagne and Wine reception, together with other light refreshments.

Following family photographs in the wonderful private gardens attached to the Hotel, the newly married couple joined their guests in the venues main Banqueting Suite for dinner, latter which was followed by dancing very late into the evening with music provided by popular band ‘News.’

The couple have chosen Lanzarote as their favoured honeymoon destination and so to Yvonne and Pat go all our best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous long life together.

From all your guests in attendance, thank you for a most wonderful and enjoyable evening.

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Have You Seen This Young Man?

ChristopherHarney Someone in Mid Tipperary may have observed this young man, possibly in the Templemore area, very early on Monday morning last.

Mr Chris Harney, understood to be a native of Athlone, has gone missing since he attended the Dream Gathering Festival in Coachford, County Cork, over the past weekend.

His family has issued an urgent heart-rending appeal for any help in trying to locate this young man, whose last known whereabouts were traced to a mobile phone call, latter made possibly from the Templemore area of Tipperary, in or about 5.00am on Monday morning last.

Click on image for larger picture size. 

The young man is described as 22 years old, with blonde hair and speckled complexion. He is approximately 5 foot 11 inches (180.34cm) in stature and of slim build.

It is understood that failing to make his present whereabouts fully known to friends or family is totally out of normal character at all times, for this young male.

Any information on Chris Harney’s whereabouts should be immediately made known to Templemore Gardaí on Tel: 0504 31011 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or indeed to any Garda Station.

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