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Thurles – A Tour Through Time

Pictures illustrated in this video show the town of Thurles as it existed circa 1900 to 1955.

Note: Liberty Square was then known as ‘Main Street’. None of the pictures show the market house which was removed in 1901 following the erection of the 1798 monument (Locally referred to as the ‘Stone Man’).

Thurles – A Tour Through Time from George Willoughby on Vimeo.

Music is from Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony.
Update 3/8/2010: Video has been updated to high definition


23 comments to Thurles – A Tour Through Time

  • Joe O'Regan

    Loved the photo tour, music accompanies well, more of the same. Do keep up the good work the town needs some publicising (good that is). Well done

  • Thanks Joe. Much more to come so stay tuned.

  • Well done on the site looking forward to watching develop! Keep up the good work

    Declan Gleeson

  • Good to hear from you Declan.

  • The site looks great, well done George,


    Michael O’Dwyer

  • Thanks & nice to hear from you Michael. We missed you on Friday night last. We were over with a few friends & as always our meal was delicious.
    My wife is anxious to know where you buy your beef, so be prepared to be interrogated on our next visit.
    Keep in touch.

  • isnt it an awful pity that the weighing bridge was removed in the 70s- the square looked more cohesive then than it does now- thanks for the photo tour

  • louise m

    What a pleasure to see these pictures,i am trying to trace my family history and have become a little stuck. it was intresting to see pictures of how they lived and looked back then. do you have any pictures of the workhouse around the 1930’s 40’s or any of bansha rd? would you know any other helpful places to continue my search or how i could gain access to school records between 1933 and 1941. any thing at all would be helpful

  • Hi Louise,
    There were several Workhouses in Tipperary County. Do you have an address for your family home? Best place to start tracing lost relatives is possibly to identify their local parish Church. Here you may find death records or baptism records. Birth records were not kept but baptism usually took place within 3 days of birth with the mother not necessarily present. Perhaps you could let us have more info. For privacy use ‘Contact Us’ at top of page and enclose your mailing address.

  • Tom Ryan

    Loved the pictures, brought back memories, some happy some sad. Remember walking through cow dung on market day on my way to school. I left Thurles in 1959 and now live in Kent.

  • James Dwan

    Loved the video! It brought back memories of our visit on St. Patrick’s Day this year. It’s interesting to see how Liberty Square evolved. Living in a city like Dallas, you appreciate a bit of history. None of our buildings are more than 80 years old. Wish Thurles wasn’t so far away.

  • Eileen Leen

    THE WALL , The Shiny part ,we all know it ,right James ,Love MY THURLES and THE SQUARE ,,,Thank you guys ,Eileen L

  • Michael

    Beautifull photos George.


  • Caroline

    What lovely old photos of Thurles, thank you for sharing. My name is Caroline and my great grandad and grandmother Lawence and Sarah Dunne had a shop at 60 Main Street Thurles in 1901 and I was looking to see if I can find any photos of the shop and I haven’t found any as yet. Would you have any or know were I might be able to see some. Thank you.

  • Hi Caroline,
    Thanks for your nice comment. We will take a look at the archives and see what we can do for you, some day next week.

  • John

    Beautiful journey down memory lane, time is different but the structures are the same …..left Thurles as a 10 year old in 1956.

  • Charlie Hickey

    The photo of Liberty Square with the two children on the right and the woman in a hurry on the left is post 1950. I know because I am the little boy looking at Dwan’s motor trike that used to deliver minerals around town. I remember the photo being taken by a man with a tripod at the junction to the Watery Mall at the Bridge. The bridge then had only one footpath on the Ursuline Convent side, so he was standing in the road. I would think this photo was taken circa 1955. The photographer asked me to look away from the camera and my sister Mary was waiting for me, asking me why I was not moving. She’s at the cannon (set into the corner of the footpath at the corner of Flynn’s Drapery shop). My father’s car is the Volkswagen on the left near where Woolworth’s used to be.
    Thanks for the memory. Where can I get a copy of this photo please?
    Thanks and well done.

  • Andrea Cooney

    Hey George,
    My name is Andrea Cooney, and I am currently doing a photostory on liberty square Thurles as an assignment, I am currently doing a postgrad in Primary Teaching and would be grateful if you could send me some info/pictures that could help me with the photostory on my locality. Thank you for your help.


  • George Willoughby

    Hi Andrea, I am sure I can assist you with your project. However I need more info, e.g.Through what medium are you working?; What size pics and what dimensions?; That is theme of project (History/Modern day/Mix etc.)

  • Chris

    There was some great photos of Thurles on the internet a couple of months ago. 1950s-80s. The person who uploaded them deleted their account.

  • Kitty Kirwan-Muffett

    My great great grandfather William Kirwan had a tailor shop in Thurles – I believe it was later owned by the Semple family.
    He lived at the Mall 1838 – 1907 and then my great grandfather John Kirwan continued in the trade. He lived at the Mall and later Stradover.
    I was wondering if I could purchase copies of the pictures of the Mall from you and wondered if you had any pictures of the tailor shop.

  • Anne Collins

    I was reading an article about the Civil War and it referred to an RIC officer Michael Hunt being shot dead in “Markey Square (now Liberty Square)”. When was it known by that name? I thought it was formerly called Main St.

  • George Willoughby

    Hi Anne,
    The article you read obviously had a misprint, which is very common. It should have read “Market Square”, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. It was “Main Street”, until renamed, following the erection of the Stone Man in 1901, [ http://www.thurles.info/2016/06/19/1798-rebellion-thurles-co-tipperary/ ]. Main street stretched from Westgate, travelling east, across the bridge to the junction of Mitchel Street (then Quarry Street) and Kickham Street (then Pike Street).
    The west end of Main Street was frequently referred to as Market Square, since a market house existed there until 1901. Same market house had fallen into disrepair, due to a fire, and was viewed as an ‘eyesore’, when the 1798 statue (Stone Man) was first erected. Alas, it was demolished and replaced with a galvanised roofed shed (weigh house). Inspector Hunt was shot dead at the junction of today’s Liberty Square (Market Square) & Parnell Street, (latter New Street). [ http://www.thurles.info/2015/12/03/next-borrisoleigh-historical-society-lecture-7th-dec-2015/ ] Read also [ http://www.thurles.info/2014/04/02/thurles-history-decays-in-favour-of-dubline/#more-24655 ]

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