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Anner Hotel Is Venue For Launch Of “Cuppa Sugar Days” By Author Tom Ryan.

To mark the launch of his fourth book “The Cuppa Sugar Days – Warm-hearted tales of a Newspaperman”, well-known Thurles journalist, Tom Ryan, will hold a celebration night in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on May 14th next, at 8:00pm.

Dr Labhrás Ó Murchú, (Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann)

Dr Labhrás Ó Murchú, (Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann), will launch this fourth book by Tom Ryan, latter who has worked in regional, national and international media for some 50 years.
The 560 page ‘tome’ (book) which has been most favourably received already by Tipperary book-lovers, is a tribute to numerous Tipperary folks from all strata of life in the Premier County, or “A slice of Tipp”, as one newspaper recently described it.

Tom’s daughter, Brid Ryan has once again shown her artistry with her wonderful photos of Tipperary people.
There is a somewhat poignant aspect attached to the launch of the book, being as it is, dedicated to Tom’s late wife, Ina, latter who sadly passed away in November 2020 and who was Tom’s best friend and writing partner for over 42 years.

In a statement author Tom Ryan said “This occasion is unique for a number of reasons. It is a night of celebration of all the wonderful Tipperary people featured in his work, a number of whom, including my wife, Ina, have gone “ar shlí na fírinne” (translated from the Irish “the way/path of truth”).
These are the people whose lives we will celebrate in this unique way”

Entertainment will be led by Kenny Ryder and other musicians, plus comedians, storytellers poets, singers etc.

Amongst the many offerings on the night, there will be a special brief poetry reading by celebrated poet, Cathy Conlon from Celbridge, Co. Kildare, latter a long-time friend of the author.
To honour the memory of Thurles-born author and poet, Ms Geraldine Cummins, (daughter of the late Martin and Mary Cummins, Mitchel Street, Thurles), who died in March of this year. Ms Conlon, originally from The Commons, Thurles, will read the poem “Light”, written by Geraldine, latter who had promised, shortly before her death that she would read her own work, including one poem on Thurles, at this launch to coincide with her birthday celebration on May 11th. Her family and Tom have now agreed to honour her memory on the night, in this poetic manner.

Following the official launch a night of comedy, music, song, storytelling, and dance will follow. The popular Rathdowney poet, humourist, scriptwriter, actor, musician, singer, musician, Tour Guide at Donaghmore Workhouse and Agricultural Museum and farmer, Michael Creagh, will once again be ‘Master of Ceremony’s for what is expected to be one of the highlights of this year’s social calendar here in Thurles.

The entertainers will include the ever popular and successful showband man Kenny Ryder who had a charts hit with “Slowdown” in the ‘Seventies’. Other entertainers will include Dermot Freeman of the famous Freeman Folk, featured in the book. Dermot’s brother, John, died just before publication (RIP). The Bohernanave brothers were renowned for songs such as “The Ballad of Bobby Kennedy”, which they played in person in Washington for members of the famous Kennedy dynasty.
Harpist, Mary Kelly, the former Co. Kilkenny Fleadh Cheoil Queen in Johnstown, will be there with the harp with which she entertained Queen Elizabeth II of England, on the Rock of Cashel.
Aggie Moloney playing her tin whistle will be there. Aggie entertained Tipperary people every day of the Covid-19 pandemic on the internet.
Global busker, Pat Cawley native of the Horse and Jockey, who worked with superstar Barbra Streisand, will sing “The Isle of Innisfree”, for his wife, Michelle and Tom Ryan, both of whom love this song.
Tim Curran from ‘The Willows’, Thurles, will bring us into the world of the modern stand-up comedian.
Multi-talented author musician and ballad singer, John Lawlor, Rahealty, formerly of the brilliant Three Counties Ceili Band, a Tom’s neighbour, will also entertain.
Master of ceremonies, Michael Creagh will have a few funny tales to tell to get the laughter going. He has written, directed and acted in pantomime for the last 30 years. He was a drummer and founder of “The Last Of The Summer Winos” who had many a great night in The Anner Hotel. He is a past recipient of the “Laois Person Of The Year Award”.
He has also written three pageants about the Donaghmore Workhouse, where he remains a Tour Guide.
Michael Creagh has published two books of poetry, “The Rhymes of a Rustic Boy” and “The Return of The Rustic Boy”.
He is one of the organisers of “The Slievebloom Storytelling Festival“. He has the dubious distinction of having portrayed one of Catherine Nevin’s lovers on RTÉ, as well as spending time propping up the bar in McCoys on “Fair City”. One of his proudest moments was getting to play drums with his friends for a ceili in the film, “Stella Days” starring Martin Sheen, who was quoted as saying how excited he was to work with Michael. Before covid he had his own one-man show on the road, entitled “Come ‘ere till I tell ya a good one”. He has become a great friend of Tom Ryan, due to press coverage of Rathdowney’s Pantomime, by Tom. [He also says he has silage for sale!].

The attendance is expected to include poets, novelists, actors, singers and musicians from various parts of Ireland and wishes of goodwill for the night have come from people around the world, including P.J. Gleeson in the United States; Denise Lanphier in Liverpool, the Ryan families in Katy, Texas. The renowned Charlotte Devenish of Virgin Limited Edition in Surrey England, (latter featured in the book with husband, Gavin), and numerous others.

In his wide ranging work, Tom Ryan has featured seven original short stories and numerous nostalgic pieces about a wide range of interesting people, including a Yukon gold prospector with Co. Tipperary links; an International tombstone tourist who is at home in graveyards; Wren boys; Scouts; Newspaper folks; Postmen; Railway personalities; a Militaria collector; a Records collector; an Inter Milan soccer player in Thurles; hurling heroes like Jimmy Doyle, John Doyle and Tony Wall, the Munster Final excitement in Thurles long ago.
Limited copies of “Cuppa Sugar Days” are now on sale in Bookworm, Thurles; Holycross Abbey Gift Shop; Eason in Thurles and Nenagh; Nenagh Bookshop; Maynooth Bookshop and online.

Entry to this community event in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, on May 14th next at 8:00pm, is totally free and all are welcome to attend what promises to be a most enjoyable evening of quality entertainment.

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