June 2015
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Tom Semple – The Thurles Blues – Book Launch


Author Liam Ó Donnchú’s long-awaited biography of ‘Tom Semple and The Thurles Blues’  will, I am happy to relate, be launched at the Thurles Sarsfields Centre, (beside Semple Stadium, Thurles), on Saturday June 13th at 8:00 p.m.

Tom Semple, a GAA icon and whose name is immortalised in the name “Semple Stadium” here in Thurles, is synonymous worldwide with the game of hurling, having led the legendary ‘Thurles Blues’ to All-Ireland glory in 1906 and 1908.

The Book’s Contents:
This well researched publication will discuss in great detail these earlier heroes of the ‘camán’ (Irish: Hurl), together with Tom Semple’s training regime and tactics. Readers can follow ‘The Blues’ on their amazing tour in 1910 to Brussels in Belgium and historic Fontenoy in France. They can also learn the fascinating story of the early years of the Thurles Sports field; now Semple Stadium, and how same developed into today’s ‘Field of Legends’. They can observe the role played by Tomas Semple and others in the local War of Independence and which is also detailed in this hardback publication; containing more than 400 truly well researched and fascinating pages.

The book is beautifully illustrated throughout and offers new insights, in many cases erased through time, into the life and times of a yesteryear.

Note: All are welcome to attend this book-launch and books costing €30 will be available from bookshops in Tipperary or signed copies can be ordered by post (€35) from the author: Liam Ó Donnchú, Lár na Páirce, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The burial place of Tom Semple can be located in the grounds (north side) of St Mary’s Churchyard, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, close to St Mary’s Famine Museum.

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Death Of Mr John Ely Littleton, Thurles

deathIt is with sadness we learned today of the death, on Monday June 1st 2015, of Mr (Willie) John Ely, No 3, Kevin’s Park, Littleton, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

A former highly respected employee of Bord Na Móna, Mr Ely was predeceased by his sons Eamon and Joseph and is deeply regretted by his loving wife Mary, sons Martin and Seán, daughters Helen, Ann and Caroline, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sister Mary, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and a wide circle of close friends.

Funeral Arrangements
Mr Ely’s body will repose at Egan’s Funeral Home, Thurles, on Wednesday evening, June 3rd, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, arriving at St. Kevin’s Church, Littleton, at 8:30pm.

Requiem Mass will take place on Thursday, June 4th, at 11:30am, with burial immediately afterwards in Ballymoreen Cemetery, Littleton.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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1915 -1916 Secret Police Files Released Online

Untitled-1Secret pivotal period Irish history files recorded by the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) dating from 1915 and 1916 have been made available today, online, for the very first time. Those involved in the compilation of this series of historic reports state that the information provided gives a fascinating insight into the events leading up to the 1916 Rising.

(Click on image on left for larger magnification.)

These reports begin in June 1915, and continue on, up to April 1916, just four days before the beginning of the 1916 Rising. The reports include details of intelligence material and reports by then detectives, concerned in the movement of more than 230 pro-independence suspects.

The full documentation when uploaded is expected to give details of the surveillance of people like tobacconist and Proclamation signatory Thomas J.Clarke, latter the person most responsible for the 1916 Easter Rising, also Cornelius “Con” Colbert, latter Thomas Clarke’s bodyguard, shot by a firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, on the 8th May 1916. There are also references to the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, latter returned to the British House of Commons for the Tipperary constituency, in which he defeated the Liberal Catholic Denis Caulfield Heron by 1054 to 898 votes. The election was declared invalid because Rossa had been an imprisoned felon.

A report of 1st June 1915, the first in this weekly series online today, traces the movements and associations of a number of individuals, including Professor Eoin MacNeill and Thomas Clarke with Thomas Byrne, Thomas MacDonagh (Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary), Frank Fahy, George Irvine and Seán T.Ó Ceallaigh. It also notes the movements of Ernest Blythe, Bulmer Hobson and Darrell Figgis and the meeting of J. J. Walsh with Frank B.Dineen, L. J. O’Toole and Michael McCartan. A description is provided of the assembly of ‘about 34 Sinn Féin Volunteers without rifles’ in Rutland Square, under the leadership of Joseph McGuinness.

An issue of the Republican Irish newspaper ‘Ná Bac Leis’ (Never Mind Him) from 29th May 1915 is also included, with translations of the leading paragraphs, for the authorities in Dublin Castle.

Despite all this surveillance by the DMP, the 1916 Rising, when it eventually happened, was regarded as a massive failure of intelligence, with the long-serving Chief Secretary to Ireland, Mr Augustine Burrell (1907 to 1916) resigning shortly after the Rising, having been criticized for not having foreseen this unexpected rebellion.

“The Chief Secretary’s Office, Crime Branch: Movement of Extremists Collection”, is being made available online on a weekly basis in chronological order according to what happened on each day 100 years ago, as part of the National Archives 2016 centenary programme and can be accessed here on the National Archives website.

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Forgotten Real Magic From Thurles

Carefully follow our video hereunder to discover some forgotten ‘Real Magic’.  Of course Real Magic requires no ‘slight of hand’ when performed and allows for you, the Magician, to tell a story to the amazement of your attentive audience.

Click on ‘Vimeo’ (Bottom Right of this Video Clip) to view in HD.

I learned how to perform this piece of Magic many years ago, at the age of 10 years, from my local village postman, who incidentally also plied his trade as the local Barber. (For the record a haircut back then locally in 1959 cost – 1 shilling.)

The Story Told While Performing This Piece Of Real Magic.

A priest, aged 91 and a wealthy 40 year old politician were both lying on hospital trolleys in the corridor of Limerick Regional Hospital. Both men had been rushed from Thurles by ambulance. It had taken 1 hour and 15 minutes to cover the 78.9 km (49.02mls).

A brief examination of both men on arrival, (6 hours later), confirmed that both men were dying and on their very last legs.

The old priest looked across at the ashen faced, frightened politician; “You appear to be afraid to meet your maker, are you not”, he stated in a weak but caring voice.

“I am afraid that I am, Father”, said the politician, “I must confess to you that I wasn’t expecting to be called so soon. As a Tipperary politician I misappropriated my expenses, and spent most of my time swilling back brandy in the Dáil Bar. I lied, I cut the incomes of vulnerable constituents who voted for me and every promise I made before entering office, I failed to deliver on. Do you think God and St Peter will send me straight to Hell, Father”?

“God is usually very forgiving of sinners,” said the weak old priest, “but listen here I have here a ‘Ticket for Heaven’.  Now if you can get hold of a scissors, I will give you two thirds of my ticket, to assist your passage into God’s house of many mansions. I, myself, have always attempted to do God’s will in this life and sure I don’t think I am going to need the Ticket for myself “, he continued.

Attracting the attention of a busy nurse nearby, the feeble old priest passed her the ‘Ticket for Heaven’ instructing her to cut it into three pieces with her scissors. Having cut the ticket into 3 pieces, she gave 2 pieces to the politician and returned 1 piece to the Priest, as she was instructed.

Sure look here, the rest of the story you can work out for yourself, when you grab a scissors and make your ticket.

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Death of Catherine Dunne Ard Mhuire, Thurles

With Sincere SympathyIt is with sadness we learned today of the death of Catherine Dunne (née O’Dwyer) No 47 Ard Mhuire, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Late of Cloughmartin and in her 103rd year, M/s Dunne passed away peacefully, at No. 5 Sue Ryder House, Holycross, deeply regretted by her loving family, neighbours and friends.

Funeral Arrangements
M/s Dunne will repose at the Oratory, Sue Ryder House, Holycross on Monday June 1st from 4.00pm to 7.00pm, arriving at the Cathedral of the Assumption, [Map Ref.] Thurles, for 8.00pm.

Requiem Mass will take place on Tuesday next at 11.00am, with burial immediately afterwards in St. Patrick’s Cemetery [Map Ref], Loughtagalla, Moyne Road,  Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Go ndéana Dia trócaire ar a anam dílis.

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