53 Year Old Borrowed Book Returned To Thurles Library

Fr. Theobald Mathew (1790-1856)

A belated library book has been returned to Thurles Library this week, overdue by 19,433 days or almost 53 years.

Tipperary County Council Library service at Thurles posted a message on Twitter highlighting and confirming the return of a book overdue since May 30, 1965.

The title of this overdue publication was “Father Theobald Mathew” by author Very Rev. Partick Rogers; originally published in 1943. Fr. Theobald Mathew (1790–1856) was an Irish Catholic priest and teetotalist reformer, popularly known as Father Mathew, born at Thomastown, near Golden, Co. Tipperary, on October 10th, 1790. From 1808 to 1814 he studied in Dublin, before being ordained to the priesthood, entering the Capuchin order.

Suffering constant ill health in his declining years, he suffered a stroke in 1852, latter greatly curtailing his activities. He died in Cobh four years later, on 8th December 1856, following a second stroke.

Statues of Fr. Mathew stand on St. Patrick’s Street, Cork (John Henry Foley 1864); on O’Connell Street, Dublin (Mary Redmond 1893) and in his native Golden, here in Co. Tipperary. There is a Fr. Mathew Bridge in Limerick City, same named after the temperance reformer, following its reconstructed in 1846. A Capuchin Holy Trinity church in Cork, commissioned by him, still stands on Father Mathew Quay.

The now outstanding fine incurred, (due to the book’s late return) should amount to €971.65, but Thurles library service have made the conscious decision to allow the fine go uncollected; joking that they would accept €950 in a quick settlement.

Librarian Mr John O’Gorman confirmed that the missing publication had avoided detection due to it having been taken out under an older but now updated indexing system. The book had been located during the clearing out of a house in the town; and once again returned to the new library, latter situated in The Source building at Cathedral Street, Thurles.

Twitter Message:
Rev. Roger’s “Theobald Mathew”.
Published in 1943.
Overdue since 30th May 1965.
Overdue by exactly 19,433 days.
The fine is €971.65.
But if they pay €950 we’ll say no more about it ‘coz we’re sound like that…
— TippCoCoLibraries (@TippLib) August 15, 2018

The old Tipperary County Library building, from whence the book was borrowed, coincidently was situated (yes you have guessed it) at Mathew Avenue, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.


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