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Teddy Bear Sleepover In Thurles Library

Ms Suzanne Brosnan (Senior Library Assistant), Tipperary County Council Library Service, reports: –

“Join us in Thurles Library on Tuesday November 26th, at 6.30pm, for our Teddy Bear Sleepover!

Simply bring your Teddy along to the Thurles Library for some bedtime stories, then tuck Teddy in and kiss him goodnight! When the library lights go out later, let’s see what mischief your Teddy gets into!

Each Teddy will receive a tag with their name and when you collect your Teddy the following day in the library, don’t forget to pick up his certificate!

As with all exciting and educational events at Thurles Library, parents are kindly requested to please reserve the expected attendance of your child, in advance, by telephoning 0761-06-6131.”

Note: This event is most suitable for children up to and including first class.

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“Up, Up and Away!” – Free Kite Workshop

Ms Suzanne Brosnan (Senior Library Assistant), Tipperary County Council Library Service, reports:-

Up, Up and Away!”

The “Up, Up and Away!” Kite Workshop will takes place on Friday next, November 15th in Thurles library, beginning sharp at 3.15pm.

Do come along and learn all about the science of flight and learn to design your own kite.

Note: This workshop is FREE and is suitable for all children aged between 7-12 years of age.

Remember: Ask Mum or Dad to reserve a place for you with Thurles Library, simply by Telephoning 0761-06-6131.

The Up, Up and Away Kite Workshop is presented by Tipperary Festival of Science.

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Novelist & Playwright Cónal Creedon To Visit Cashel Library.

Ms Maura Barrett, [Branch Librarian (Cashel Library), Tipperary Co. Council Library Service], Reports: –

Mr Cónal Creedon, the noted Corkonian playwright, short story writer, novelist and documentary film maker (Yes, the brother of RTE’s John Creedon), will visit Cashel Library situated at Friar Street, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, on Saturday November 9th, 2019 at 2:00pm sharp.

Mr Creedon has an enormous capacity to entertain and make you laugh, while all of the while being insightful and observant. He is an established wordsmith, recognised not just in his native county of Cork, but also on national and international stages.

Mr Creedon will read from his latest novel ‘Begotten not made’, which he describes as a 21st Century Fairy Tale. This book weaves a very poignant story of a cleric’s unrequited love for a nun – although they only met once, in 1970, on the night that Dana won the Eurovision.

His prose is frequently hilarious and never, ever dull. “Cónal Creedon’s new novel puts a magic-realist twist on the tale of a cleric’s unrequited love for a nun”, writes one critic.

The author looks forward to taking questions from the audience and signing copies of his book on that afternoon. This is a unique opportunity to meet a truly noted Irish author up close and personal and be assured he promises not to disappoint.

The Perfect Chrismas present.

Make a note of the date and do go along to this event, with the knowledge that you can’t beat owning a book signed by the author – makes for a welcome Chrismas present.

Booking is essential for this FREE event, so do please telephone (062) 63825. You can find further information on Mr Creedon’s work on his website ConalCreedon.com.

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Thurles – Double Ditch

The world outside your private home is not your personal dump.

Last week I had the privilege, for two days, to show a number of American & Canadian persons around the town of Thurles, all intent on combining together to write a Great Famine TV script. Not having recently visited the “Double Ditch”, on the Mill Road, once a Great Famine project initiated for those starving here in Thurles; imagine my embarrassment on discovering the state of this National Monument.

A National Monument in the Republic of Ireland is a structure or site, the preservation of which has been deemed to be of national importance and therefore worthy of state protection.

Proud people just don’t litter.

This 174 year-old-old famine project has had its Mill Road entrance firstly destroyed by the very contractors employed by Tipperary Co. Council to erect fencing and a short concrete footpath, but now someone has erected posts and barbed wire on this public-right-of-way and once pedestrian Mass Path. It has also been turned into a graveyard for unwanted supermarket trollies. Observe it yourself as I viewed it last week.

“Double Ditch” at Mill Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

A ditch is a narrow channel dug at the side of a road or in a field. Its purpose to either hold or carry away flood water.
In Anglo-Saxon, the word ‘dïc’ was pronounced ‘deek’ or ‘deetch’. In digging such a water trench the upcast soil will form into a bank alongside it. This banked soil thus means that the word ‘dïc’ included not just the excavation itself, but also the bank of soil derived from such effort. Later word would later evolve into the words we more commonly use today, e.g. ‘dyke’ and ‘ditch’.

The idea of this Thurles “Double Ditch” was firstly to provide work for those unemployed and starving, but was it also possibly erected to provide a dry shortcut for Dr. J.Knaggs himself, when he was wont to cross from his home, (today’s Ulster Bank premises, in Liberty Square, then known as Main Street); travelling via College Lane, The Pike, (today Kickham Street), to visit family relatives in Knaggs Mill, Brewery and Bakery at Archerstown watermill, same later to become Brady’s Mill?

The Double Ditch featured in our video was built in 1846 and remains a well-worn public right-of-way and also later became a Mass Path to the ‘Lady’s Well’ area. During the 19th and early 20th century same naturally became a short cut for all pupils attending schools in Thurles coming from outlying areas and villages e.g. Littleton.

With next year commemorating the 175th year of the Great Famine, [Same officially began on September 13th, 1845 – 1849], today this video must surely bring a blush of shame, not just to the faces of those we have elected locally to represent us, but also to Tipperary Co. Council officials, who have failed to provide a Recycling Depot in Thurles.
Same depots are readily available in the towns of Cashel, Nenagh, Clonmel, Donohill and Roscrea, but Thurles local councillors have once again failed us in every way, except on their social media pages.
For the few who hold a driving licence to tow a trailer, a rough costing for those who wish to clean up such litter can be found HERE.

Meanwhile, those of our starving ancestors, must surely be turning in their graves due to the disrespect shown in their efforts to feed their children / families.

The gift to the town of fruit bearing crab-apple trees, once secretly sowed by these people bounding on this double ditch, are now set on fire; the existing young shutes of Japanese knotweed, which featured in many a “Spring rhubarb tart” during two world wars, are now forced to emerge through filth and grime. [Yes, we should be controlling Japanese knotweed by eating it, instead of Tipperary Co. Council inviting specialist companies to destroy is using poisonous chemicals and at considerable cost to rate payers.]

The “Double Ditch” featured in the above video gets mentioned for the first time in the “Minutes of the Thurles Famine Food Committee”, on Monday, April 20th, 1846.

Those attending that 1846 meeting included Venerable Archdeacon Rev. Henry Cotton [Chairperson [(C. of I.)]. Present also were Dr. O’Connor, Very Rev. Fr. Barron, [(R.C.) St. Patrick’s College, Thurles], Rev. Mr Baker, Rev. Mr Lanigan, Mr O’Brien [Treasurer], Dr. Joshua Knaggs [Medical Doctor] and Mr James B. Kennedy [Secretary].

From these same minutes we learn that the Famine Relief Committee have already begun creating work for those unemployed, ensuring that money in the form of wages, will enable those starving to purchase food. Dr. Knaggs reports his having inspected the works to be undertaken at College Lane and the proposed “Double Ditch”; calculating the expense for the works at College Lane at £20, latter sum today the equivalent of £20,000.

It was agreed that barrows should be purchased from Mr Patrick McGrath [½doz @ 9 shillings]; Mr Daniel Carroll [½doz @ 9/6] and also Mr Dan Dwyer; latter if he wishes to make them. It was further agreed that, when necessary, the Committee have the power to hire asses’ carts at 15 pence per day.

The previous day, April 19th 1846, Mr J. B. Kennedy Esq had informed relief commissioners of the state of Thurles: –
243 families containing 739 men, women and children unable to work and almost totally destitute; and 525 families containing 2625 individuals totally depending on the heads and sons to the number of 790 who cannot procure employment; thus, making in the town, 3364 persons to be relieved”. With regards to the immediate environs [referred to as ‘country parts’] of the town he states: – “The country parts of our District are divided into wards and similar enquiries are in progress, the result of which I have reason to believe will be painful in the extreme”.

On the same day we learn from further written communication sent to the Trustees appointed for the distribution of Indian Meal, quote: – “In the town of Thurles alone there are at this moment 768 families containing 3364 inhabitants in actual want; of these 739 are old men, women and children, unable to work and who have no one to labour for them; and the remaining 2625 are depending on the daily hire of the sons and heads of the families to the number of 790 able to work and now out of employment”.

The following rules for labourers employed to work on this ‘Double Ditch were adopted: –
(1) Hours of labour to be from 7.00am to 7.00pm with 2 hours for meals.
(2) Any labourer found to shirk from reasonable and fair work or refusing to follow the directions of his overseer shall forthwith be discharged and not admitted to the works again.
(3) That the persons employed shall be paid every evening.
(4) That in case a greater number of labourers shall offer themselves than the funds will enable the committee to pay, a preference shall be given to those who have the largest and most necessitous families”.

Work was ordered to commence on the following Tuesday and quote; “Iron is to be purchased to make 20 crow bars, and 6 picks are also to be purchased”.

It was further agreed that, quote: – “Henceforth there be two rates of payment; 8 pence and 5 pence, and that no boy under 12 years old be employed. That tickets of the form now agreed on, should be printed to admit labourers to work – those for men in black ink and those for boys in red ink; Ordered that 500 red and 500 black tickets be printed. Families containing 7 members and over and having 2 men over 17 shall at the discretion of Committee be entitled to 2 black tickets; Families having a less number shall, if the Committee wish, get 2 tickets, one red and one black”.

Yes, expect tourists and visiting footfall to flood Liberty Square soon, but in what century I do not know.

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Halloween Ghosts Specific To Ériu

No, our H1 heading does not denote a spelling mistake to which we admit to being often prone. Our modern Irish ‘Éire’ initially evolved from an old Irish word ‘Ériu’. Ériu was the name of a Gaelic goddess, same believed to have been the matron goddess of a sovereign Ireland, or possibly a goddess of the land.

Have you ever observed a ghost?

Which brings me to news emanating from our sister town of Cashel, Co. Tipperary, (latter just a 20 minute drive from Thurles via the M8 or the R639 [22.3 km] ). We travel next to Cashel Library, situated at St. Francis Abbey, Friar St, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, which will host a number of events over Halloween for both adults and children, thus celebrating this age-old tradition.

Adult Event

It is here that a resident historian and well known designated “Witch”, (latter in day light possibly better known as Ms Maura Barrett), will give a lecture on ‘Halloween Traditions’ and discuss in detail “ghosts” that are specific to Ériu (Ireland).

This event takes will take place on Tuesday 29th of October at 7:00pm and is for adults only. Patrons and other interested parties are invited to come by for a “spell”, and dressing up is both optional and acceptable. This event promises to be a fun but a scary occasion and refreshments will be served.

Children’s Events

Mum and Dad please note: Children will not be forgotten in the same venue with “Halloween Storytime”, all thanks to Children Services Manager Ms Aoife Moore. This latter event will take place on Thursday 31st of October, beginning at 3.30pm sharp. Dressing up as your favourite ghost is suggested.

In addition, they are showing the film “Casper” on Tuesday 29th of October, at 2:30pm and fancy dress is also optional for this most enjoyable of events.

Bookings are essential for all events and can be made by simply calling Cashel Library on Tel: 062 63825, during official opening hours.

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