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Mid-West Region’s Premier Live Entertainment & Cultural Venue Celebrates 30 years On Friday.

The Mid-West Region’s premier live entertainment and cultural venue, University Concert Hall (UCH) celebrates its 30th anniversary on Friday evening next, September 29th, with a performance by one of Ireland’s most prestigious orchestras.

University Concert Hall, Limerick.

Conducted by Joshua Gersen, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra will be accompanied by world-renowned pianist John O’Conor, who was one of the first musicians to perform at UCH.

UCH became the first purpose-built concert hall in Ireland when it was officially opened on the University of Limerick campus in September 1993 by Taoiseach Albert Reynolds T.D. and U.S. Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith.

The 1,038-seat auditorium has since attracted performances from some of the biggest names in entertainment including Johnny Cash and June Carter, James Taylor, Billy Connolly, Leslie Garrett, Van Morrison, The King’s Singers, Albert Hammond, Jimmy Carr, Sir James Galway, Christy Moore and the late Sinead O’Connor.

Ms Judith Woodworth, Chairperson of the UCH Board, said this Friday’s concert is a milestone moment in the venue’s history.

She continued, “We are immensely proud of our role in adding breadth and depth to the cultural life of the Mid-West, and our ongoing work to reflect and promote the longstanding artistic ethos of the University of Limerick by offering a wide range of cultural events and experiences.”

UCH Director Ms Sinead Hope said, “Attracting some of the world’s leading singer songwriters, standup comedians, pantomimes and classical performers to the Mid-West has had a hugely positive impact on the Region’s arts and entertainment sector, as well as the local economy.”

For more information see HERE.


Cancellation Of ‘The Priests’ For Upcoming Thurles Cathedral Concert.

In a statement published on Thurles Parish Facebook page, it has been announced that the upcoming evening of Music & Song with the popular musical trio ‘The Priests‘, has been sadly cancelled.

The Priests

‘The Priests’ Concert was due to take place on Friday evening next, September 29th, in Thurles Cathedral.
Their cancellation has been brought about due sadly to the illness of one of the artists taking part.

Refunds are now available through the Parish Office, Thurles, Tel: 0504 22229.

The organising committee apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Just a thought; would it be a nice gesture to donate the cost of your ticket to the existing Cathedral fund instead of seeking a refund.

“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased”. Hebrews Ch.13-V.16.
[Meaning: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.]


A Song For A Sunday.

Make Them Hear You.

Vocals: From the musical ‘Ragtime’, featuring the gospel, R&B, and soul artist Marlon Solomon.

Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens / Stephen Charles.

Make Them Hear You.

Go out and tell our story,
Let it echo far and wide,
Make them hear you.
Make them hear you.
How Justice was our battle,
And how Justice was denied.
Make them hear you.
Make them hear you.
And say to those who blame us,
For the way we chose to fight,
That sometimes there are battles,
That are more than black or white,
And I could not put down my sword,
When Justice was my right.
Make them hear you.

Go out and tell our story

To your daughters and your sons,
Make them hear you.
Make them hear you.
And tell them, “In our struggle,
We were not the only ones”.
Make them hear you.
Make them hear you.

Your sword can be a sermon,
Or the power of the pen.
Teach every child to raise his voice,
And then my brothers, then,
Will justice be demanded by ten million riteous men.
Make them hear you,
When they hear you, I’ll be near you,



Whatever Happened To Our Marbles Folk? – Story From Pen Of Author & Poet Tom Ryan.

When I was a child and while wearing the short trousers of a child, we didn’t have DVDs or Videos or the Internet or Sky TV. But we were very far from being a bored generation.
I was reminded of this the other day when the television cracked up in a certain house, and one wee boy thought the world had ended. Time was before television (B.T), when this wee lad would be far too delightfully occupied playing marbles.

Marbles – of the “Mibs” or “Glassies” or ”Beauties” variety.

Of course, we didn’t call those little, colourful objects marbles. No, we preferred to designate them “mibs” or “glassies” or ”beauties” (them of the multi-coloured variety).
There were also the “lucky ones” guaranteed to take on and beat all-comers-“ironies” or “clays” and “crocks” (large multi- coloured beauts), designed to scattered all others in all directions and designed for long distance events.

There were many games of “mibs” one could play, depending on the imagination of the players, and once I played a game, starting from the Watery Mall in Thurles all the way to Holy Cross Abbey, some five miles away, in a “Mibs Marathon”. The back aches still at the very memory of it.

Admittedly, sometimes marbles were used for mischievous purposes, as when heartless, thoughtless ones used them as “ammo” for y-shaped “gallogs” of wood, with strong rubber pieces attached to the forks for catapults such as Samson (last of the judges of the ancient Israelites) might have envied and which were used to “wipe out” imaginary Japanese Pacific machine-gun nests, but sometimes succeeded in obliterating the glass in some unfortunate person’s greenhouse or their back window pane.

You can see many former marble players on a golf course today, I can assure you I could name names and reveal just how good at marbles some of my whizz-kid contemporaries were, and how their basic education in marbles lore helped them to get out and get on in this great world of ours.

Mind you, some of these genteel gents or courtly girls, would be mortified to have it bandied about that, just as they have a habit of shooting too far short of the green today, so too this had been apparent at an early age, when they were similarly off the mark at marbles.
When you think of it, a former marbles man or woman who wanted to bring the game of marbles indoors must have conceived the notion of office golf.
After all, the spectacle of middle-aged men or women bending down to the kerbs and flicking glassy objects under the chassis of this Volkswagen or that Opel Vectra, is not a sophisticated one; and certainly, not a pursuit to earn even one mark in relation to Health and Safety.

In my childhood, it was a boy of little standing who did not show pride in his “mibs” of whatever colour, weight or make. Indeed, many a self-made millionaire rose to prominence in the community on the strength of his accuracy with his iron beauty or clay marbles.
A ‘Man of Marbles’ was one to be respected; a pillar of the community, and it was to him we went for counselling and caution on all matters that greatly affected our lives; such as hurling, swimming, comics, sweets, girl-friends (well, friends who were girls, really).
The top notch marbles man had a cool, calm, collected personality, either literally or figuratively speaking.
In truth, he never ever ‘lost his marbles’ about anything.

In later life I was to meet journalists, editors, army officers, mother superiors, school principals, parish priests, GAA officials and rugby/hockey secretaries; all who were able to attribute their standing in the world to an early and liberal education in marbles. And few marbles players have ended up in the clink; either they were too busy throwing marbles as kids, to end up getting into trouble, or too cute to get caught. These worldly wise marble players never let their marbles get stuck in a corner like a sitting duck or never swapped a “beauty” for an “irony”.

To this day I keep a few “glassies” around the house. They serve several purposes. For instance when I am moved to mighty madness at the unjust, unyielding, uncaring ways of the world, I take out these marbles and play a game involving flicking them into an egg cup. I imagine this egg cup is the world and the marbles neutron bombs. Wonderful game at a time of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Talk about therapy! I then return the marbles to the basket and I am happy again having removed the root, rotten cause of my moodiness. It beats throwing the laptop out the window or playing football with the telly.

I see few, if any, children playing marbles, nowadays. Such a pity. For now more than ever there’s a need for a cool and calm marbles personality to restore our sense of ‘proportion and ould style dacency’.
For the life of me, I cannot imagine a fellow old school tie-wearer of the ‘Marbles Academy’ ever letting the old Marble School down. I cannot imagine a marbles woman or man up to any kind of devilment or destruction. For, deep down, they would figure it was not only ‘not cricket’, but also, more
importantly, decidedly ‘not marbles’.


Kenyan-Born British Folk Singer & Whistler Roger Whittaker Dies In France.

Extract From song
My Land Is Kenya
by Roger Whittaker.

“You only got one mama, you only got one pa.
You only got one life to live, no matter who you are.
You can go the whole world over, every city has its dawn,
But everybody liveth has one place where he was born.”

Earlier this month we learned, sadly, of the passing of British Folk singer-songwriter and musician Roger (Henry Brough) Whittaker aged 87 years, (22nd March 1936 – 13th September 2023).
Mr Whittaker was born in Nairobi, [name translated means ‘place of cool waters’] latter the capital and largest city of Kenya, to parents from Staffordshire, England.

His popular folk music; guitar skills; his trademark whistling ability, together with his baritone singing voice offered an eclectic mix of popular songs which made him instantly recognisable on the airways from the summer of 1962 onwards, and his appearance on the Ulster Television show “This and That” in the same year.

In 1964, Mr Whittaker met Ms Natalie O’Brien, and they married in August of that year. They had five children: two sons Guy, and Alexander and three daughters Emily, Lauren, and Jessica; who in turn gave them 11 grandchildren.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Mr Whittaker had great success in Germany, releasing 25 albums and although he was unable to speak German, he sang his songs phonetically. He earned a “Golden Tuning Fork” (Goldene Stimmgabel in Germany) in 1986, based on record sales and TV viewer votes.
He appeared on German television and was on the UK Top of the Pops show, on several occasions in the 1970s.
In 1986, Mr Whittaker published his autobiography, entitled “So Far, So Good”, which was co-written with his wife, latter who became his manager in 1989.

Having sold nearly 50 million records; his success will be widely remembered through his song hits like “Steel Men” (1962); “Durham Town (The Leavin’)” (1969); “New World in the Morning” (1970); “My Land Is Kenya” (1970); “The Last Farewell” (1975); “Skye Boat Song”; “Wind Beneath My Wings” (1982) and “Skye Boat Song” (1986).

On April 1st 1989, Mr Whittaker’s parents, while still living in Kenya, were subjected to a brutal attack by a gang of four men. During this attack, his mother was tortured for some eight hours and sadly his father was murdered. The attack resulted in his mother moving back to England.

After recovering from heart problems Mr Whittaker and his wife Natalie retired to live France in 2012, and retired from touring in 2013.

During his career, Mr Whittaker earned over 250 silver, gold, and platinum awards and was part of a successful British team that won the annual ‘Knokke Music Festival’ in Belgium, winning the Press Prize as the ‘personality of the festival’. He was awarded a ‘Gold Badge Award’, from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) in 1988.

Mr Whittaker was cremated and interned in a private ceremony on Saturday, September 16th, 2023 last.

In ár gcroíthe go deo.