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Journal Of A Tour In Ireland, 1806.

The book entitled “Journal of A tour in Ireland” was written by Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart. F.R.S. F.A.S.*, and Published 215 years ago, in 1807.

* Baronet – Fellow Royal Society, – Fellow Antiquarian Society.

The book once graced the library owned by Captain Richard Carden, Esq, Fishmoyne, Drom, Kilfithmone, Thurles, Co. Tipperary; latter Captain of the Tipperary Militia and today remains part of a private Tipperary collection.

Captain Richard Carden:

Captain Richard Carden was the son of Minchin Carden and Lucy Lockwood, and as already stated was born at Fishmoye, Drom, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, c 1760.
He gained the rank of Officer in the 12th Regiment of Dragoons and on May 6th, 1787, he married Jane Blundell (daughter of Very Rev. Dixie Blundell and Elizabeth Ogle) in Co. Limerick.
The couple had one son also named Richard Minchin Carden (latter born July 1st 1799, and died May 11th 1873.)

Richard Carden, the former, passed away on February 7th, 1812, aged 53 years, and is interned in Saint Michan’s Church, Church Street, Dublin 7.
A plaque there bears the inscription:
Sacred to the memory of Richard Carden Esq of Fishmoyne in the County of Tipperary, who died at his house in Gardiner Street in this city .
Jane Carden relict of the above Richard Carden and daughter of the Very Revd Dr. Blundell Dean of Kildare. Departed this life 22nd of January 1837 in the 73rd year of her age. She was a true Christian a fondly attached wife, the best, the most beloved of parents and a sincere friend.
This tablet is placed here by their only son as a small tribute of his affection and respect. August 1837

Sir Richard Colt Hoare’s Tour.

The tour of parts of Ireland, by the above author, including some areas of Co. Tipperary; had taken place the year before, (1806) and the opening Preface of the book, bears the Latin headline; “Erranti, passimque oculos per cuenta tuenti”, (Translated: “Wandering, keeping his eyes here and there”.), gives us a certain insight into what life was like and how Ireland was viewed by the gentry, some 216 years ago.

Quote from the Preface; “To the traveller, who fond of novelty and information, seeks out those regions, which may either afford reflection for his mind, or employment for his pencil and especially to him, who may be induced to visit the neglected shores of Hibernia*, the following pages are dedicated“.

* In his book ‘Agricola’ or ‘Farmer’, (c.98 CE), Publius Cornelius Tacitus (c.AD 56 – c.120); a Roman historian and politician, latter widely regarded as one of the greatest of Roman historians, referred to Ireland using the name “Hibernia”.
The name “Hibernia” or “Land of Winter”, was used on Irish coins in the 1700s, and more recently on a €2:00 coin, minted in 2016.

Author Sir Richard Colt Hoare continues: “The island of Hibernia (Ireland) still remains unvisited and unknown. And why? Because from the want of books and living information we have been led to suppose the country rude, its inhabitants savage, its paths dangerous. Where we to take a view of the wretched conditions in which the history of Ireland stands, it would not be a matter of astonishment that we should be considered as a people, in a manner unknown to the world, accept what little knowledge of us is communicated by merchants, sea-faring men and a few travellers. While all other nations of Europe have their histories, to inform their own people, as well as foreigners, what they were and what they are.
The love of literature, however, seems to be gaining ground daily in Ireland, as well as in the remote districts of the sister Kingdom; and particularly that class of it which will tend and ultimately to make its provinces more frequent, and better known; which will not only excite the attention of the stranger, but point out natural beauties and curiosities unexplored even by the native.”

We will discuss more details on Sir Richard Colt Hoare’s tour of Tipperary in the coming days.


“The Man From Thurles”- By Irish Author Robert Lynd, 1879-1949.

Readers Notes: An interesting fact about the author Robert Wilson Lynd (Roibéard Ó Floinnlatter a socialist and Irish nationalist), the Irish novelist, short story writer, poet, and literary critic James Joyce and his wife Nora Barnacle, held their wedding lunch at the Lynd’s home, No 5 Keats Grove, Hampstead, north-west London, after getting married at Hampstead Town Hall on July 4th, 1931.

Robert Lynd, from a nationalist point of view, would famously write: “Then came August 1914 and England began a war for the freedom of small nations by postponing the freedom of the only small nation in Europe, which it was within her power to liberate, with the stroke of a pen.”

“The Man From Thurles”

[Extract from the scarce antiquarian book published in 1912, entitled “Rambles In Ireland”, by author Robert Lynd.]

I met the man from Thurles, in Kilkenny, as I was going up to the station from the Imperial Hotel.

He was old and shuffling, a ragged creature that once was a man and now humped from town to town with a spotted red handkerchief in his hand, gathering the needs of his belly from among those things that we others do not require for our dogs.

The books cover shows the coloured drawing “The Hurler” by Painter & Journalistic Illustrator Jack B. Yeats, (1871-1957).

He was as hairy and weather-beaten as a sailor, but he was still like a squeezed and shrivelled sailor. His dark hair and beard were as limp as weed. His eyes, which looks like the eyes of a blind man, with the lids falling down on them as if in deadly weariness, might have belonged to one who had been captured by Algerian pirates in his youth and who had lived in dungeons. He was wearing a tattered ‘wideawake’ * a symbol of homelessness and as he walked, he seemed to put his feet down with uncertainty, like a drunken man.

* ‘Wideawake‘: A broad brimmed, felt, countryman’s hat with a low crown, similar to a slouch hat.

I stopped him to ask whether a church set high amongst gravestones by the side of the road was the Black Friary – I think that was the name of the place.

He made me repeat my question and then in a monotonous voice told me – that I could see for myself – that it was a graveyard in there, mumbling something about Protestants and Catholics both being buried in it – “side-by-side,” – he added for the sake of euphony.

Obviously, he had not heard any question or did not know the answer to it. But that did not matter. I really did not care twopence about the Black Friary.

He went on to say that he was a stranger in Kilkenny and (without ever raising his flyblown eyes) that he had only arrived there that day after a walk of 30 miles.
I asked him what part of the country he was from.
“Thurles,” he said, his voice seeming to come from a fuller chest, as he gave the name of the town in two syllables; “did you ever hear tell of Thurles?
I told him I had been there about a year before.
“It would surprise you” he commented “the difference you would find between the people of Thurles and the people belonging to Kilkenny”.
“How was that”, I asked him.
“Well” he replied, “in Thurles and indeed I might say in all parts of County Tipperary, everybody has a welcome for a stranger”. “For instance”, and he pointed a hand half hidden under a long sleeve at me, “you’re a stranger and”, touching his own coat, “I’m a stranger and if this had to be in the County Tipperary and one of us wanting a bed, we would have no trouble in the world, but to go up to the door of the first house and there would be as big welcome before us as if we had to come with a purse of gold”. “But here”, and his voice grew bitter, “they would prosecute you if you would ask them for as much as a sup of water”.

Suddenly his appearance changed; his bold Jekyll collapsed into a whining Hyde.
“Is that a pólisman I see coming”, he asked, laying his trembling fingers on my arm and steadying his eye to look down the road. “If it’s a pólisman he is, you won’t let him come interfering and ask me questions. You wouldn’t let him do that sir. But in the name of almighty God”, he demanded, battering himself into a kind of rhetorical courage, “what would a pólisman want cross-examining the likes of me? Did I ever steal anything, if it was only taking a turnip out of the field? Did I ever – tell him not to interfere with me!“, he quavered; “tell him not to interfere with me”.

I should not have been surprised if he had put his hand into mine for comfort like a frightened child. He held his breath as the policeman, a bold-boned figure in dark green, trod past. Then he let his breath out again. “They’re tyrants, them fellows”, he said “and the lies they would tell on a poor man might be the meaning of getting him a week or maybe a month in jail, and he after doing nothing at all, but only going quietly from place to place. And thieves and robbers running loose that would murder you on the roadside and no one to say a word”.
“Do you mean tinkers” I asked.
“I do not, then,” he said “I mean soldiers – milishymen”.

I asked him to come into a public house for a bottle of stout, but he said that a bottle of stout would make him light in the head. At length, however, he said he would come and have a glass of ale, if I was sure I could keep the police from annoying him. I gave him my promise and we went in.

“What do I mean?” he said, when I bought him back to the militiamen. “This is what I mean. I had a fine blackthorn stick one time”, he called it a “shtick”- “a shtick I had cut from the hedge with mine own hands and seasoned and polished, and varnished till it was the handsomest stick ever you seen. Well, I was walking along the road in this part of the country one day, when who should meet me but two of these milishymen. ‘Give us baccy’, said one of them – that’s what he called tobacco. ‘I have no tobacco’, said I. ‘You lie’, says he, rising his fist, to threaten me. ‘It’s the truth’, said I, putting up my arm to protect myself”.
He cowered behind his arm and shrank as from a blow at the recollection.
‘If you haven’t tobacco you have money’, said in the milishyman. ‘God knows ‘I have neither money nor tobacco’ says I. And with that he made a rush at me and took the stick off me, and threw me into a bed of nettles and began to beat me with it. ‘Would you have my murder on your souls’ said I; but they only laughed and began searching me to see if I had anything worth stealing. There was nothing but only a few crusts of bread I had tied up in a handkerchief and they took them out and pitch them over the hedge. They would have murdered me I tell you, if they hadn’t heard someone coming.
But that scared them, and they set off down the road.
‘Won’t you leave me my stick’, I called after them. ‘Don’t you see I told you the truth and what use could a rotten ould stick be to the likes of you. And one of them shouted back that I should go to hell for my stick, and he threatened me, if I was to say a word about it, he would find me out and beat me till there wouldn’t be a whole bone left in my body.”

The old man half lifted the glass with his withered arm to his lips and half stooped his withered face to the glass. Having drunk, he wiped his mouth on his sleeve.
“Now wouldn’t you feel lonesome”, he whimpered, his lips against his sleeve “after a stick that you would cut and polished yourself and that you had been used to having with you wherever you went? And many’s a good offer I had to sell that stick. But I would as soon have thought of selling an arrum or a leg. I wouldn’t”, – be paused and his imagination took a leap into great sums – “I wouldn’t have taken a shilling itself for it”.

To him a shilling was something considerable. It represented life for two days; he could exist, he told me on sixpence a day, in a place like Kilkenny. Twopence was the price of a bed in straw on the floor, where the rats ran across you, till you dreamed you had fallen in the middle of a fair and that all the beast were trampling over you. Then in the morning there was a penny for tea, a penny for a slice of bacon, a penny for bread, a halfpenny for sugar and a drop of milk, and a half penny for the loan of a can to make the tea in and a share of the fire. If he had bed and breakfast, he said he did not mind about the rest of the day. He never felt hungry as long as he had his cup of tea in the morning. Sunk to the hovels, though he was, he had the rags of a finer past about him.

He used to be the best slaner, he assured me, in the north of Tipperary.
Did I know what slaning was? It meant cutting turf, and he used to be so good a hand at it that he could earn enough by two or three days’ work to keep him the entire week.

“There’s a man I was at school with in Thurles living in this town”, he went on adding proof to proof of his original respectability, “a rich man, and, what’s more a giving man, and you’ll think it a queer thing, but I have only to walk up to the door and ask if he is in to get all I want to eat and drink and money, too, maybe sixpence into my hand and I going away, to put me a bit along the road. But I wouldn’t go near him”.
“Why was that?” I asked him. He made no sign of having heard me.
“If I was to walk up to his door and he is at his dinner,” he went on like a man describing a vision of Paradise, “he would bring me in and sit me down by his side at the table, and I tell you it would be a table for a feast. There would be roast beef or mutton or a shoulder of lamb or maybe a chicken. There would be ham and” – his imagination seemed to pause on the outer edge of its resources – “all a man could eat and he in a dream”.

“And why do you not go to him?” I asked again.
“I wouldn’t”, he said briefly; and then returned to his vision, “every sort of vegetable there would be on the table – potatoes, and turnips,” – he went over their names in a slow catalogue, dwelling on each as though the very words had magic juices for an empty stomach, “and carrots, and cabbage, and peas, and beans, and parsnips, and curlies * and – and all. I tell you none of the hotels in this city could do better.”

* Curlies – Kale.

“But why don’t you go and see him? I persisted.
He shook his head.
“I wouldn’t” he said helplessly.

There was something puzzling about the old man. It may have been merely his timid and indirect spirit. I doubt if he had the heart to beg – at least openly – either from a lifelong acquaintance or from a stranger.
He was going out of the public house without asking me for a penny.
I stopped him however and put a sixpence in his hand to see him over the night. He peered at it for a moment, and slowly took his hat from his head. Raising his sand-blind eyes, he let them dwell on me. He drew in a long breath as though about to deliver an oration. Then straightened himself into a kind of majesty, he said, with the air of a man uttering the supreme benediction: “You’re the best bloody man I’ve met since I left Thurles”. And having paid me the most magnificent compliment in his power, he put on his hat and wobbled in front of me out of the bar.



A Lovely Evening Among True Friends In Thurles

“A lovely evening among true friends”, was how Thurles journalist/author, Tom Ryan described the launch of his fourth book, “The Cuppa Sugar days – Warm-hearted Tales of a Newspaperman” by Dr. Labhras O’Murchu, (Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann); at a convivial and charming night of celebration in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, last Saturday.

Tom Ryan (centre) pictured at the launch Of His Fourth Book, “The Cuppa Sugar Days”, in Anner Hotel, Thurles, with Dr. Labhras O’Murchu, (Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann, who launched the book) and his wife Una, (Director Of The Bru Boru Heritage Centre in Cashel)

Tom’s friends from Roscommon to Rathdowney and from Galway to Waterford and from many parts of County Tipperary, were there to either entertain guests or support the best-selling Thurles newspaperman and author.

The popular poet, the late Geraldine Cummins, Mitchel Street, Thurles, who
died in March this year was commemorated by the reading of her poem,
“Light”, by multi-awards winning Celbridge poet, short story writer and
dramatist, Cathy Conlon, originally from Coolquill, Killenaule, who grew up in The Commons, Thurles. She was accompanied by her husband, Tommy. Unasssuming Cathy, a friend of Tom Ryan, also read from her own works. Geraldine’s sisters, Aideen O’Sullivan and Norma Cummins, represented the Cummins family at the poetic tribute on the night. Also present for the unique tribute to Geraldine were the poet’s dear friends, Paddy Hanafin and Joe O’Connell.

Tom’s fourth book is dedicated to his late wife, Ina, his working partner for
42 years. Tom and Ina’s friends, Dylan Kennedy and Jenny Fennessy of the Red’n Blue Theatre Company, based in Waterford, came from Waterford as a gesture of solidarity with Tom and to pay tribute to Ina who, like Tom, hugely respected the talented and great-hearted thespians of the Deise.
Jenny is star of the hit BBC TV series, “Call the Midwife”.

There too, was former “Indians” showband drummer, Chris Mullahy and his charming wife, Kathleen, who now live in Kickham Street, Thurles. The duo enjoyed craic and chat with Eileen Finneran, Galway; Kathleen O’Mahony, Castleiney and Mary Finn, Rathdowney.

The Master of Ceremonies, multi- talented Mick Creagh from Rathdowney,
proved himself a top showman by taking on the additional role of entertainer in place of a number of acts unable to be present due to illness. Michael Lowry TD was unavoidably absent having to go abroad at short notice but sent a message congratulating Tom on another “beautiful production”. He commended Tom not only on his literary skills but also his courage and determination in completing such a challenging task.

Independent Councillor Jim Ryan was there and he is of course associated with many entertainment events in Thurles.

Top recording artiste, PJ Corcoran, (Loughmore) and his lovely wife, Sadie, were there. So, too was Hannah Costello, The Ragg, Bouladuff, Thurles, latter sister of former Tipperary Senior hurling goalkeeper of Thurles Sarsfields, Jimmy Duggan; and with Hannah was her sister, Esther Duggan, Holycross. Nurses present included Helena Ryan Athnid and Theresa Bannon, Cassestown, Thurles.

Now retired “Tipperary Star”, newspaper journalist, the amiable John Guiton, was there and barrister, Sean Deegan who entertained the Nenagh contingent with a wealth of fascinating stories. Sean, who supports almost all Thurles cultural functions, is a former Thurles Urban District Councillor, and is now residing in Rochfordbridge, County Westmeath. He is a former “Tipperary Star” Dublin press correspondent and wrote a weekly column about the Dublin / Tipperary people for years.

Blogger actor, photographer and multi-talented George Willoughby of “Thurles Information” renown, popped in to congratulate Tom.

Equestrian enthusiast, Vern Carroll of Borroway, Thurles was enjoying the scene with Thurles club for Dancing personality, Tom Gleeson and Seamus O’ Driscoll of the Mill Road Garden Centre, brother of the late great poet and friend of Tom, Dennis O’Driscoll.

Tom Healy, one of many people with Coolcroo links, and also well known in the entertainment industry and in athletics circles was there with his charming wife, Aileen.

Pat Ryan (Left), No. 30 Kennedy Park, Thurles pictured with his cousins from Nenagh & Portroe and author Tom Ryan, at the launch “The Cuppa Sugar Days” in the Anner Hotel, Thurles, recently.

From Nenagh came Tom Ryan’s first cousins, Noreen Horrigan, and her son, Martin, an ex-Irish Army soldier who served overseas. Martin was accompanied by his beautiful wife Margaret. There, too, was Nancy McCormack, Cloneybrien, Portroe, and Noreen Horrigan’s sister and a great entertainer also.

Dermot Freeman, whose brother, John died just before publication of Tom’s
book, was on stage in the best traditions of sowbiz and won rapturous
applause. He and John won admiration some years ago from members of the Kennedy Dynasty when the brothers entertained them in Washington with their “Ballad of Bobby Kennedy”.

The inimitable Aggie Moloney on tin whistle was greatly enjoyed and she was with her friend, the lovely Teresa Grant, a native of Urard, Gortnahoe, Thurles.

From Roskeen, Drombane came charming Mary O’Malley (who enjoyed
“Shirley Valentine” at The Source)
and Dominic Moore, who was assisting
Tom’s brother Pat at the “Box Office”.

A ‘Spurs’ fan, Pat is a former National Hidden Heroes award winner for 40 years of devotion to his brother the late Michael Ryan, No.30 Kennedy Park, Thurles, as was mentioned by Mick Creagh who gave a towering performance in his M.C. role.
Mrs Mary Farrell, sister of the late Thurles and Munster Rugby
legend, Bobby O’Brien came from Malahide, Dublin, and I met her with noted poet and historian, Una Crowe, Holycross, Thurles.

Thurles author and historian the popular Paddy Loughnane, is always present for Tom’s book launches. The popular Eamonn O’Dwyer was there recording for his “Down Your Way” programme on Tipp FM. Eamonn is currently celebrating 21years of presenting the popular programme which saw him interviewing Tipp folks in all parts of the county. Eamonn has ‘covered’ all Tom’s book launches. He features in the book “Cuppa Sugar Days” also.

Well known singer/musician and recording star, Kenny Ryder, accompanied
Mick Creagh singing the hilarious “Pearl from Errill” by Pat Vaughan of
County Kilkenny. Tom Ryan travelled all over Ireland for years in the
bandwagon with Kenny Ryder and the 7-piece Superband and wrote numerous articles, short stories, poems, and a three-act play, “Showband”, all about life on the bandwagon, always a great show is Kenny who was preparing to celebrate his birthday. [Mol an Oige (Irish – Praise the Young) Kenny!]

Others enjoying the evening included An Post person Deirdre McKenna from Two-Mile-Borris; ex Thurles Bank of Ireland official, genial Maura O’ Connell and friends, Frances Ryan, Knocka, Drom and Anne Ryder, Kenny’s charming wife, who is cousin of Kathleen Mullahy.

There also was Margaret Keogh, Thurles; Dr. Labhras O’Murchu, who was
accompanied by his wife, Una, (Director of Bru Boru in Cashel), recalled the
organisation dedicated to the tradition of music song and ceili dance in Thurles called Cumann Cheoil agus Rinnce, whose members included his great friend Eamonn De Stafort of the Silvermines and Tom Ryan.
Cumann Cheoil agus Rinnce in Thurles used to meet in the old Muintir na Tire Hall in Rossa Street,Thurles and its members in Arran sweaters used to travel to fleadhanna cheoil around the country. Labhras spoke of the importance of community and keeping a sense of community intact and of being aware of place and of tradition and of keeping our songs and music alive in a fast moving world. He noted the contrast between the fireside singing of the early years of Comhaltas and the 750,000 people attending the last All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Drogheda. Today there are 1,500 music classes in Comhaltas. Lauding Tom’s four books which captured our past, he suggested that people should get together to discuss the stories of emigration and traditions such as Tom Ryan frequently wrote about in his books to better understand our Irish DNA and identity and roots and also to do this through the schools.

Labhras learned that night that the ‘fear an ti’ (Irish – Man of the House or MC), Michael Creagh, is grandnephew of the legendary historian/ musician Andy Dowling of Errill whom he recalled playing the hammer dulcimer on the streets at fleadhanna cheoil, accompanied by his great friend the renowned fiddle player Ned Looby, Templetuohy, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

All in all, a night totally enjoyed by all.


“Waterfall of Intentions”- Launch In Cashel Library.

You are cordially invited to the “Waterfall of Intentions” poetry collection launch, in Cashel Library, Friar Street, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, on Tuesday evening next, May 17th, 2022, from 6:00pm till 7:30 pm.

Poetry Readings.
Music by Marie and Jane with Tea & Cake.

I do hope you are free to attend. – Theresa Jones.

Please R.S.V.P. to tbj.46pw@gmail.com


Cashel Library To Feature Music Of Breege Phelan & Will McLellan – Fri. May 13th.

The singer / song writing Tipperary duo, “The Wood of O”; (Breege Phelan and Will McLellan), will perform original innovate music and classic folk songs from the era of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, in concert on Friday evening next, May 13th, at Cashel Library, Friar Street, St. Francisabbey, Cashel, Co. Tipperary.

For those of you anxious to get a taste of this upcoming, exiting event, Click HERE

Note Well: While this event is Free as part of the “Cashel Library 2022 Bealtaine Festival programme”, Booking is Essential, so please do Telephone (062) 63225, during normal business hours (9:00am – 5:00pm) to be assured of a seat.