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Oratory Medal Of Mr Justice D. F. Gleeson Goes On View In Thurles

Miss Jane Bulfin, (Research Librarian with the Tipperary Studies Section of Thurles Library), pictured here with the Dermot F. Gleeson gold medal.

A gold medal for ‘Oratory’, awarded in 1917-1918, by the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland to historian, author and Co. Clare District Justice for some 20 years, Mr Dermot F. Gleeson, has now been returned on long term loan to his beloved county of Tipperary.

Born in 1896 in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary into the family of Michael Gleeson, Mr Dermot F. Gleeson was a pioneer of Tipperary local history. His publications include “The Last Lords of Ormond” (1938) and “A History of the Diocese of Killaloe” (1962).

Mr Gleeson also contributed dozens of articles to learned journals and indeed the popular press, discussing a wide variety of aspects relating to local history. He was also a hard-working District Justice and was the youngest of a batch of twenty-seven District Justices to be appointed to the new Irish Free State of 1922. Mr Gleeson, would sufferer a heart attack and pass away, while attending a recreated Medieval Banquet as a guest in Bunratty Castle, on September 23rd, 1962, aged 66 years. (R.I.P.)

The one hundred-year-old unique gold medal now takes pride of place in the Tipperary Studies section of Thurles County Library, this week at The Source, Cathedral Street, Thurles, and can be viewed during their normal hours of opening.

This unique piece of Tipperary history was kindly presented to the Tipperary County Council Library Service on long-term loan by Mr Donough Gleeson, latter son of Mr Dermot F. Gleeson. The Gleeson family recently travelled here to Thurles from their home in England, to make the presentation, happy in the knowledge that this Gold Medal, has been returned to Mr Gleeson’s native homeland on this, the centenary of his first receiving this prestigious award.

The Tipperary Studies section of Thurles Library is also the home to many of Mr Dermot F. Gleeson literary and historic publications.

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