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Visit To Thurles Co. Tipperary By Asenath Nicholson. [Part 3]

In a rare book, [edited with an introduction by Alfred Tresidder Sheppard, (London 1871-1947)], entitled “The Bible in Ireland” (Ireland’s welcome to the stranger or excursions through Ireland in 1844 and 1845 for the purpose of personally investigating the conditions of the poor), written by Asenath Nicholson; we learn of her visit to Thurles, Co. Tipperary and other nearby villages, including Gortnahoe, Urlingford, Cashel, Holycross and Mount Melleray, Co. Waterford.

To follow the story of this remarkable womanView Part 1 HERE; – View Part 2 HERE, before continuing on this page.

Pamphlet printed by White Quakers following the auctioning of property under the direction of the Court of Chancery.

Asenath writes. “I took a car the next morning for Mount Melleray*, a distance of more than 50 English miles.

[Note: * Mount Melleray Abbey is a community of Cistercian (Trappist) monks. The monastery is situated on the slopes of the Knockmealdown mountains, latter a mountain range located on the border of counties Tipperary and Waterford.]

I had hoped to stop at the Rock of Cashel, but was obliged for the present to content myself by seeing its lofty pinnacle. Perched upon the top of a rock, it has stood the ravages of centuries, looking out upon the world, and the City beneath its feet, now going fast to decay.
Cashel looked more deserted this day than usual, as a rich brewer in the city, a brother of Fr. (Theobald) Mathew, (latter teetotalist reformer), had died, and the shops were closed in honour of his funeral.

When travelling by coaches and cars, I have been so much annoyed by the disgusting effluvia of tobacco, that I dread a ‘next stage’, the changing of horses being the signal for a fresh lighting up.

At Cashel I sat behind a rustic* who had reloaded his pipe, and he began puffing till my unlucky head was enveloped in a dense fog, a favourable wind wafting it in that direction.

[* Note: Word ‘rustic’ means a rural dwelling man].

Knowing that the consumers of this commodity are not fastidiously civil, I forbore to complain, until I became sick. At length I venture to say ‘Kind Sir, would you do me the favour to turn your face a little? Your tobacco has made me sick.’ Instantly he took the filthy machine from his mouth and archly looking at me, ‘Maybe yer ladyship would take a blast or two at the pipe,’ resumed his puffing without changing his position. I was cured of asking favours.

I blush for my country when, on every car, and at every party and lodging house, this everlasting blot on America’s boasted history is presented to my eyes. Even the illiterate labourer, who is leaning over his spade, and tells me of his 8 pence a day, when I in pity explain, ‘How can you live? You could be better fed and paid in America,’ often remarks, ‘Aw you have slaves in America, and are they better fed and clothed?

A few hours carried us to Clonmel, a town neat in its appearance, containing about twenty thousand inhabitants, amongst whom are many Quakers.

Here some of the ‘White Quakers’*, a small body of ‘Come-outers’ from the Quakers, formerly resided, but they have removed to Dublin. These people bitterly denounce others, but take liberties themselves, under pretence of walking in the Spirit, which by many would be considered quite indecorous. The men wear white hats, coats and pantaloons of white woollen cloth, and shoes of undressed leather; the women likewise dress in white, to denote purity of life.

Note: * Joshua Jacob (1802–1877), founder of the ‘White Quakers’, was born in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Educated at Newtown school, Waterford; Joseph Tatham’s school in Leeds and later in Ballitore, Co. Kildare; in 1829, he married Ms Sarah Fayle who bore him three sons.
Mr Jacob established himself as a grocer in Dublin. His shop, known as the “Golden Teapot”, specialised in the sale of different varieties of tea.

By 1838 having publicly criticized the comforts of Quaker life, he was disowned by the Quaker community, and decided to form a society of his own, calling its members ‘White Friends’, ‘Shining Ones’, or, officially, ‘The Universal Community’, latter which gained considerable adherents, briefly in Clonmel, before spreading to other areas on Ireland’s south east.
In 1842, he and his followers began to practise communal holding of all earthly goods, while appearing clothed in loose, unbleached loose-fitting clothes made in calico and linen, and frequently going barefoot; hence their name ‘White Quakers.’

The hostility of the orthodox Quaker community towards this practise of the communal holding of all earthly goods, came to a head in late1842, when Mr Jacob’s breakaway community took ownership of an inheritance, valued at £9,000, donated by Mr Jacob’s recently widowed sister-in-law.
He was made the subject of an action, taken before Lord Chancellor, Edward Burtenshaw Sugden, by the executor of the property, and was confined to London’s Marshalsea debtors prison, from January 10th 1843 following his refusal to recognise the court.

Having sold his shop, he sent instructions to the ‘White Quaker’ community from his prison cell situated, just south of the River Thames; firing broadsides in the shape of printed pamphlets, at society as a whole, each composed with the assistance of Ms Abigail Beale, who took up residence with him in Marshalsea prison.
His rejection of the final judgment of the court, resulted in the community’s property being seized and put up for auction, hence his opposition to paying taxes supporting British police. [See image above.]


Mr Jacob was release from prison in 1846, on grounds of ill health. The ‘White Quakers’ remained active in early food distribution during the Great Famine period 1845-1848, before disintegrating as a society in the latter end of the same year.

From 1842 Mr Jacob had lived apart from his wife, who no longer shared his religious views. Later on her death, he married Ms Catherine Devine, adopting her Roman Catholic religion, before raising six children in that faith.

In 1849, Mr Jacob established a new community at Newlands, Clondalkin, Co. Dublin. Here also this newly formed community slowly disintegrated.
Mr Jacob passed away in Wales on February 15th, 1877; before being repatriated and interned in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, in a plot of ground, previously purchased for ‘White Quakers.’

A Roman Catholic priest soon seated himself upon the car, whom I found polite and intelligent. His first enquiries were concerning American slavery. Its principles and practices he abhorred, and he could not comprehend its existence in a Republican government.

Seeing a labourer digging a ditch under a wall, I asked him the price of his day’s work. ‘A shilling ma’am.’ ‘This is better than in Tipperary, sir.’ ‘But we don’t have this but a little part of the year; the Quakers are very hard upon us here, ma’am; giving us work but a little time, and if a poor Irish man is found to be a little comfortable, they say “he has been robbing us.” ‘The English, too, are expecting a war and they want us to enlist, but the divil of an Irishman will they get to fight their battles. O’Connell is not out of prison’ *, and stopping suddenly leaning on his spade, ‘How kind America has been to us; we ought to be friends to her, and the Irish do love her.’
He grew quite enthusiastic on America’s kindness and Britain’s tyranny, dropped his spade, climbed the wall, where I was standing, and expiated on Ireland’s woes and America’s kindness, till I was obliged to say ‘good-bye.’

[Note: * In 1844, the year Asenath had arrived in Ireland, Daniel O’Connell was arrested and prosecuted for conspiracy, following seditious speeches made by O’Connell and others; latter namely his son John O’Connell, Thomas Steele, Charles Gavan Duffy, Richard Barrett, John Gray, and T.M. Ray, during monster meetings in locations; e.g. Clontarf, Co. Dublin, Hill of Tara, Co. Meath and Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
O’Connell’s trial began in the Four Courts in Dublin on January 15th 1844. Roman Catholics were excluded from the jury, with the Crown also refusing to supply the accused, with a list of witnesses.
Then aged 69 and despite being in bad health, Daniel O’Connell and his fellow accused were found guilty, but were allowed to choose their own place of incarceration.
They chose the Richmond Bridewell, latter a prison mainly used to accommodate debtors, located on Dublin’s South Circular Road.

The Young Ireland leaders, William Smith O’Brien and Thomas Francis Meagher, were held there four years later, in 1848, following their arrest after the battle of ‘The Widow McCormack’s Cabbage Patch’ in 1848 in Ballingarry (SR), Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

However, same accused actually served out their sentences in the comfort of the private quarters of the prison’s Governor and Deputy-Governor, rather than in their chosen prison. They were allowed to employ servants and family members could stay with them also. A steady stream of gifts and guests flowed into the prison and according to Charles Gavan Duffy, the dinner-table was never set for less than thirty persons. Their incarceration would become known as ‘The Richmond picnic’. Indeed one of the O’Connell detainees wrote that their imprisonment proved as unpleasant as ‘a holiday in a country house.’]

O’Connell and the other prisoners incarcerated with him, were freed on September 6th of the same year, 1844, after the British House of Lords overturned their convictions. However, they returned to Richmond prison the next day, so that a ceremonial release could be stage managed. O’Connell would now leave the prison aboard a special triumphal chariot, latter drawn by six grey horses, with 200,000 people lining the streets to cheer.

Asenath continues to write: “A new car and driver were now provided. These drivers are a terrible annoyance, with their ‘Rent ma’am.’ ‘Rent! for what?’ For the driver ma’am.’ ‘I will give you an order on Bianconi, sir.’
I had been told that Bianconi paid his coach men well, and forbade they’re annoying the passengers, but afterwards found that they received from him but 10 pence or a shilling (12 pence) a day, out of which they must board themselves. I was sorry I spoke so to the driver, and hope to learn better manners in future.

Our route lay now through the files (‘Files’ in this context meaning ‘one behind another’) in the intricate windings of the Knockmealdown mountains, and had my faith been strong in giants, fairies, and hobgoblins; the dark recesses and caves in these mountains would have afforded ample food for imagination.

In the coming days read about Asenath Hatch-Nicholson’s visit to Mount Melleray Abbey [Part4] from Thurles.

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Harty Cup Final – FBD Semple Stadium.

FBD Semple Stadium today plays host to the first ever all Tipperary Harty Cup Final – Munster Schools Senior A Hurling Final between Thurles CBS and Cashel Community School.

Thurles CBS will be aiming to win their ninth Harty Cup final, whilst Cashel will aim to upset the odds and go for their first title.

Thurles CBS came through the Group Stages and following a narrow victory against St. Coleman’s College Fermoy; they again had a comfortable win against Midleton CBS in the semi final. Cashel successfully navigated the group stages and a 3 point victory against CBC Cork was followed by a sensational win against Ard Scoil Ris, Limerick, by the narrowest of margins in the Semi Final.

Apart from being the first all ‘Premier final’ in the competition’s 106 year history, today’s clash will see club mates square off, with Cashel King Cormac’s and Knockavilla Kickhams having representation on both panels. An interesting family battle is also expected, as Thurles CBS and Holycross Ballycahill star Robbie Ryan will, no doubt, aim to gain the upper hand over his uncle Brendan Ryan (Holycross Ballycahill GAA), who manages the Cashel CS team.

The presence of two Tipperary teams in the final is a testament to the dedication of the players, their mentors and Teachers and also their GAA clubs and mentors, from all over Mid and West Tipperary.

Throw in for todays historic fixture is at 1:00pm.

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Death Of Martin Ryan, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death, yesterday Friday 3rd February 2023, of Mr Martin Ryan Moynetemple, Moyne, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, and formerly The Hill, Cormackstown, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Pre-deceased by his wife Margaret (née Broderick), grandson Cathal, sisters Ann and Mary, brother Percy, twin brother Pat; Mr Ryan passed away peacefully in his 83rd year, surrounded by his family, while in the care of staff at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny.

His passing is most deeply regretted by his loving family; sons Pierce, P.J. and Paschal, daughters Mariann (Jones) and Mairead (Cosgrave), grandchildren, daughters-in-law Úna, Sheila and Ailís, sons-in-law Ger and Charlie, sister Peg (Dunne), brothers Tom, Bill, Bishop John (Mzuzu, Malawi) and Paschal, nephews, nieces, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, extended relatives, neighbours and friends.

Requiescat in Pace.

Funeral Arrangements.

The earthly remains of Mr Ryan will repose at his residence on Sunday afternoon, February 5th, from 4:00pm to 8:00pm in the evening.
His remains will be received into St Mary’s Church, Moyne, Thurles on Monday morning, February 6th, at 11:30am, to further repose for Requiem Mass at 12:00noon.
Interment will take place, immediately afterwards, in St. Mary’s cemetery, Moyne, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

For those of you who are unable to attend the funeral service for Mr Ryan, same can be viewed, streamed live online HERE.

The extended Ryan family wish to express their appreciation for your understanding at this difficult time and have made arrangements for those persons wishing to send messages of condolence, to use the link shown HERE.

Note Please: Family flowers only. Donations in lieu, if desired, to Irish Cancer Society.


Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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Death Of Pearl Tooher, Formerly Hollyford, Co. Tipperary.

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death, yesterday Friday 3rd February 2023, of Mrs Pearl (Margaret) Tooher (née O’Dwyer), Ard Easmuinn, Dundalk, Co. Louth, and formerly of Hollyford, Co. Tipperary.

Predeceased by her brother TJ (Hollyford) and sister Maureen (Lahinch); Mrs Tooher passed away in her 93rd year, while in the care of staff at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

Her passing is most deeply regretted and sadly missed by her husband Joe (Paddy), daughters Criena and Jane, sons-in-law Ray (Byrne) and Pádraig (Hamill), grandchildren Máire (MalHills), Áine, Kevin (Jen Murphy), Eoin, Mairéad and Dara and her great-grandchildren Éala, Eleanor, James and Oisín, brother Patrick (Clonmel) and sister Betty (London), nephews, nieces, extended relatives, neighbours and friends.

Requiescat in Pace.

Funeral Arrangements.

The earthly remains of Mrs Tooher will repose at McGeough’s Funeral Home, Kia Ora, No. 22 Jocelyn Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth on Sunday afternoon, February 5th, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.
Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Monday afternoon, February 6th, at 1:00pm in the Church of the Holy Redeemer, No. 82-86, Árd Easmuinn, Demesne, Dundalk, Co. Louth; followed by interment, immediately afterwards, in St Fursey’s Cemetery, Haggardstown.

For those of you who are unable to attend the funeral service for Mrs Tooher, same can be viewed, streamed live online HERE.

The extended Tooher family wish to express their appreciation for your understanding at this difficult time and have made arrangements for those persons wishing to send messages of condolence, to use the link shown HERE.


Suaimhneas síoraí dá h-anam dílis.

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Candidates Invited For Consideration As Ireland’s Rep On Council Of Europe Committee.

Minister for Justice, Mr Simon Harris T.D., today opened the application process for suitably qualified candidates to be considered for appointment as Ireland’s representative on the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).

The CPT was set up under the Council of Europe’s European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which came into force in 1989.

It builds on Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which provides that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The CPT provides a non-judicial preventative mechanism to protect those deprived of their liberty against torture and other forms of ill-treatment and in doing so complements the judicial work of the European Court of Human Rights.

The CPT carries out its task by periodic and ad hoc visits to places of detention, in order to assess how persons deprived of their liberty are treated. These places include prisons, juvenile detention centres, police stations, holding centres for immigration detainees, psychiatric hospitals etc.

During these visits, the Committee has the right of unimpeded access at any time of the day or night to any place where persons are detained. Members do not visit the State in respect of which they have been elected.

Members of the Committee are chosen from among persons of high moral character who are known for their competence in the field of human rights or having professional experience in the areas covered by the Convention. The CPT’s current membership is composed of independent and impartial experts drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds including lawyers, medical doctors and specialists in prison or police matters.

In inviting applications, Minister Harris said “I am pleased to invite expressions of interest from persons who wish to be considered for appointment to the CPT. This public invitation process attracted a number of high calibre candidates when it last took place in 2019 and I hope that we have the same level of engagement this time around. The work undertaken by the CPT is hugely important and this is a unique opportunity to serve one of the most important and effective European Committees. I would encourage any person interested in contributing to the Council of Europe’s work in this important area to consider applying for this position.”

Further details on eligibility criteria and how to apply are available on the Department’s website HERE.
Note: The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 24th February 2023 at 3:00pm.

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