Littleton Village – Times They Are A-Changin’.

Local correspondent Mr Gerry Bowe, (Two-Mile-Borris; Moycarkey; Littleton) reports on the recent closure of Fitzpatrick’s Butcher’s shop in Littleton Village, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The times they are a-changin’.

“The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast, the slow one now, will later be fast,
As the present now, will later be past, the order is rapidly fadin’.

And the first one now, will later be last, for the times they are a-changin”

Above Lyrics Extract: From ‘The times they are a-changin’, written by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.

Mr Bowe writes “The 1992 Moycarkey-Borris Newsletter informed the public that in December 1990, quote, “Paudie Fitzpatrick, who already operates a butchering business in Croke St. Thurles, has opened a butchering business in Littleton. He has purchased Liam Callahan’s premises on Main St. Littleton. We wish him every luck in his new venture.”

Note: Parish clergy at the time were the Rev. Richard Ryan, Rev. Tom Hogan and the Rev. Richard Kelly.

L-R: Paudie & Karen Fitzpatrick.
Pic. G. Bowe.

Paudie’s father Christy had worked with his brothers Paddy and Sean, latter who ran butcher shops at Mitchell Street, Thurles and at Croke Street, Thurles.
In 1950, their mother had purchased a table/cutting block, from Holland, on the western coast of the Netherlands.

[Interesting to note, Paudie’s son Shane recently built an award winning maple-wood butchers block, as part of his Leaving Certificate carpentry project here in Thurles].

Paudie, himself a native of Cloughmartin, Thurles, son of Christy & Pauline; with a passion for all things involving G.A.A, shooting, bog walking and a noted Liverpool soccer fan, has been closely supported in his work by his wife Karen. The couple have two daughters Kyleigh and Cara and one son Shane.

In rural Ireland, as new patterns, challenges and in some cases, declinations emerge, we renew our thanks to Paudie and Karen and treasure the most positive of memories.
Pride of place in their shop has been a photograph of Barack Obama’s, “All the President’s Men”, which recalls their prize winning entry in the 2011 local St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Across the road from the shop, is the Bog Oak sculpture and garden that, with help from John Darmody, Thomas Ryan and Dan Fitzpatrick, Paudie donated to Littleton village back in 2018.

Similar to our Newsletter welcome back in 1990, today we wish Paudie, Karen and family the best of luck, with many years of health and happiness, in whatever new venture they may undertake.

Change has begun an ever quickening pace in rural Tipperary.

There was a definite sadness expressed at the loss of yet another local business; amongst villagers, parishioners and customers from the wider Littleton area; same manifesed by the multitude of consumers that came to make their final purchases on Friday, January 13th last.
The expressions of heartfelt thanks received and conveyed; following the Fitzpatrick families’ many years of quality and friendly service, was undoubtedly a sign of the huge esteem in which this family were held by all.
While tea, coffee and a “parting glass” were served to all consumers, many memories of village life were also remembered; after all the local shop still remains a venue where you are referred to by your name and where you can immediatly keep in touch with both near neighbours and the wider community.

My thanks to local historian Mr Ger Moloughney, latter whom can recall other closures that has indicated local changing economic cycles and certain new patterns, which have emerged over a 50 year period, in Littleton village life.

In 1970 the Old Barracks closed; Tierney’s Shop in 1981; Sheila Maher’s shop 1989; followed by McCarthy’s in 1995; Fogarty’s 2002, Liam Fox, Vincent O’Brien, John Healy Lawnmowers and Remar Furniture in 2019; Benny Quinn’s pub purchased by John Darmody in 2007; the Old Creamery 2008; Purcell’s Shop 2008; Kearney’s Lawnmowers and Boats 2011; The Turf Club 2013; Moloughney’s Shop 2015; the Post Office 2019; Cllr. Harry Ryan (RIP) 2006; John and Kay Ryan’s restaurant in 2020.

The new Co-Op Stores came in 1996, the new Church in 1977, the new Garda Barracks in 1986, the new Motorway (M8) in 2008, the new Community Centre in 2014 and finally currently a new Olympic Standard Running Track is under completion, by Coolcroo Athletic Club, alongside the Community Centre.

Littleton Ukrainian Refugee Update:

As of Saturday, January 21st last, there were still 16 Ukrainian refugees resident at the Community and Sports Centre in Littleton.
They are anxiously awaiting more suitable and permanent accommodation, where they can become part of a local community and find either part or full-time employment.

‘Alona’, from the war torn city of Kherson, who in spite of having very little English, has left the Littleton Community the following message; using her mobile phone translation application.
“It’s scary out there right now. My husband’s parents are living there. Thanks for the hospitality the food, care, concern, the security, quietness and peace, no longer broken by the hiss of missiles, but by the bells of nearby St. Mary’s church, inviting them to Sunday morning thanksgiving.”

Go n-éirí an bóthar amach romhainn chun bualadh leo. [Irish meaning – May the road ahead rise up to meet them.]


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