TG4 Boosts Support For Return Of Derrynaflan Hoard

The arrival in Thurles on Thursday afternoon of RTÉ -TG4 television journalist Tomás Ó Mainnín to St.Mary’s Famine Museum, has given a huge boost to the campaign by the Thurles tourist group ‘Hidden Tipperary,’ latter who are calling for the repatriation of the Derrynaflan Hoard back to The Source Exhibition Centre in central Thurles.

The programme went out on Sunday evening 28th April last on Nuacht TG4.

Hidden Tipperary wish to thank Flan Quigney, Tom Noone, Stewart Willoughby, Brian Corbett & Michael Bannon for their assistance during the filming of this event.

Thurles Town Bell

Hidden Tipperary are also now requesting the return of Thurles Town Bell which was once suspended from a wooden tower above the Thurles Market House in Liberty Square, latter which was demolished in 1901 by Thurles Urban Council, following the erection of the “Stone Man,” more accurately referred to as the 1798 Memorial.

This Thurles Bell is understood to be currently stored somewhere in the possession of North Tipperary Co. Council.

The Thurles Market House

Thurles Market House was originally erected in 1743, in the centre of Main Street, now named Liberty Square. It was an oblong structure with stone stepped balconies at both ends, giving access to the top storey of this structure. The upper storey was used as a courthouse and assembly room, until the erection of the present Courthouse now in Rossa St.  For a short time this upper floor was also used as a protestant Church.

Under the balconies arched-gateways, made of cut-stone, were the doors which led to the ground floor chamber, the entrance to which, on either side, contained small cells used for the detention of prisoners awaiting transportation to larger jails. The centre part of the under chamber, to which side gates also granted admission, were occupied & rented by butchers’ stalls selling fresh meat. This meat market or “Shambles,” sometimes referred also contained tables on which on occasion other traders displayed their goods for sale.

The greater part of the building fell as a result of a fire about the year 1870. It’s aforementioned Town Bell escaped injury and was given to the local workhouse (Hospital of The Assumption) or county home, where it remained in use, with the title of ‘Famine Bell,’ until resent years & prior to the revitalisation of the buildings in this area.

It is on record that Ger Grant, the highwayman, spent a period of incarceration in Thurles Market House. He once attempted to escape from there, however a blow on the head from an iron implement, by a woman, one Jenny Crowe the jailer’s assistant, rendered him unconscious and he was thrown back into his cell. Near this Market House, on this public street, up to about the year 1800, were also to be found the “Stocks,” for the detention of disorderly individuals, deemed in need of physical punishment involving public humiliation.


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