Two Faces Of Tipperary County Council Revealed

The Library Service of Tipperary County Council is undertaking an exciting and important project that will see library staff digitise a wealth of historical documents currently held by the service.

These documents include Poor Law Union Minute Books, Rate Books, and Workhouse Registers. Since January 2021, staff have focused on digitising the 90 or so books in its collection that relate to the pre-famine and Great Famine era beginning in1846.

These books provide a fascinating and detailed insight into the harrowing life and workhouse conditions faced by our ancestors across the six Poor Law Unions of Thurles, Borrisokane, Cashel, Clogheen, Clonmel, Nenagh, Roscrea and Tipperary.

Once digitised, the records will be made available to view in full and for free via the Tipperary Studies digital website

The scope and significance of the project, the bulk of which will be undertaken in Thurles Library, deserves much praise and recognition. By digitising these records and making them freely accessible, people across Ireland and the world will be gifted with details and descriptions that will further enrich our understanding of the Great Famine era. The digitised records will also enable individuals, no matter where they are in the world, to research their ancestry. For more information on this welcomed and praiseworthy initiative visit

Double Ditch, Mass Path, Right of way

Another artifact from the Great Famine era of significant historical importance to the town of Thurles is the Double Ditch Mass path. Built by our starving Thurles ancestors during the Great Famine, this historical walkway now faces destruction as part of a planned development by the same Tipperary County Council.

Thus it would appear that as one branch of Tipperary County Council dedicates its efforts to the preservation of history from the Great Famine era, another branch seems determined to demolish it.
It is difficult to understand this contradiction in practice, between Tipperary County Council departments, led by Chief Executive Mr Joe MacGrath. The admirable actions of the Library Service are regrettably inconsistent with the actions of other services. One service sets out to preserve history, as another sets out to destroy it.

Although the future of the Double Ditch remains uncertain for the moment, its fascinating history and related primary sources have been documented on, together with aerial video and photography of the walkway as can be viewed today.

Maybe the digital records shown on will be all that remains of the Double Ditch for future generations, particularly if local TD’s, councillors and council officials get their way?

Let’s hope other historical treasures don’t succumb to the same fate and find that their only record is a digital one.

For more information on the Thurles Double Ditch click HERE and HERE.


1 comment to Two Faces Of Tipperary County Council Revealed

  • Michael


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